Lose the heavy smoke, keep it natural for winter

By Olivia Garber

The smoke has cleared.

After years of reigning as the go-to makeup look, the smoky eye trend… The smoke has cleared.

After years of reigning as the go-to makeup look, the smoky eye trend is now over. In The New York Times article “You can fall out of bed and look good,” leading makeup artists declared the end of an era. Smoky is out; simplicity is in.

Terry Barber, director of makeup artistry for MAC Cosmetics, told The New York Times that this year’s style is more about looking like you’re “coming home from the party,” not “going out to the party.”

But I think I speak for most women when I say that how I look when I fall out of bed is not how I look when I’m trying to look like I just fell out of bed. The effortless look that’s growing in popularity isn’t effortless, but it is fairly simple.

So put away your charcoal eyeshadow and jet-black liner and reach for some lighter fare. If you’re raring to go out this weekend, here’s a quick tutorial for an au naturel look with a little shine.


Unless you’re in a fight club and constantly sport black eyes, lay off the foundation. For the most part, I prefer to use just moisturizer because it saves time and doesn’t leave streaks on my clothes. But if you want to give your complexion a little boost, try lighter products like tinted moisturizer and beauty balm cream. These even skin tone while giving the face a natural glow. Follow up with some concealer if you want, and you’re ready to go.

Now that you’ve got a base, it’s time for a little blush. Allure magazine’s article “The 10 makeup colors you’ll want in 2012” recommends blending pink and peachy colors for a flushed effect, but stick to colors that work with your skin tone. I like applying berry-colored cheek stain to the apples of my cheeks and blending upward toward my cheekbones. The stain has a more natural finish and doesn’t make one look too made up.

Don’t use bronzer with this look. It’s winter — if you’re suddenly two shades darker, it’s going to look fake.


If you have sparse brows, take an eyeshadow that’s close to your hair color and lightly brush it through any thin patches. Use a light hand to avoid a drawn-on look.


This look attempts to brighten and open the eyes without weighing them down with too much product. For this look, I’m using two shades: a shimmery nude and a light brown. But before starting with the shadow, set a glossy base to add some shine. You can use Vaseline; I have a shimmery, peach-colored lip balm that works perfectly for this look.

Apply the foundational gloss over the base of the lid, making sure it’s blended well at the crease. You can use a brush, but I find it’s easier to use my finger to apply and blend.

Then, taking a shadow brush, push the nude shadow onto the inner corner of your eye and blend to the other side. Keep it sheer; you don’t want it to be too heavy.

Using an angled brush, take the darker shade and lightly trace around the corners of your eyes, going only about a quarter of the way in on the bottom lash line and into the crease. Blend the dark color with the nude — this will contour your eye, giving it more depth.

You can stop here, or line the lash line with a dark eyeshadow. The line will make lashes seem fuller, and shadow provides a softer finish than gel or liquid liner. Avoid lining you waterline — the inside of your lashline — with jet-black liner. It doesn’t work with a natural look, and it closes-in eyes without making them look larger.

Finally, finish up with a couple coats of mascara on the top lashes only. To avoid getting rogue specks anywhere except your lashes, grab a hand mirror and look down while swiping. When your lashes dry, grab a eyelash curler and clamp for about 10 to 15 seconds. Curled lashes make eyes look more open. If your lashes are too stubborn to curl, take a hair dryer and blast the curler for about 5 seconds. The heat will help lock in a curl.


To keep the look understated, just swipe on some lip balm. But if you want a pop of color, make sure to keep it light. Cosmopolitan said bright colors are en vogue for 2012 — as long as they’re kept sheer.

A berry-colored lipstick will finish this look off. Apply the product only on the center of your bottom lip. Then, using a lip brush, blend the product out. Blot your lips with tissue paper, then apply another coat if you want a bolder lip.

Final touches:

If you have skin that’s prone to being oily, dust some powder on your T-zone and any other trouble spots. This look should last for most of the day, and unlike with the smoky style of old, you won’t have to keep checking the mirror for errant raccoon eyes.

To transform this natural look into something edgier for nighttime, use black liner on the upper lash line and flick it out for a ’60s look. Or you could use a brighter color on your lips. The key is to pick one feature and make it stand out. Keep it simple, keep it classy.