The Smoky Eye + Gray Hair...Doable?

The smoky eye has always been my standby eye makeup artillery for those occasions when you need to churn out the Big Serious Glamour. Mostly black-tie stuff, evening know, fancy-schmancy stuff.  But as more and more of my natural silver hair grows-in, I find that overall, less is more in the makeup department.  So it follows that when Elle UK did a piece on the easy, 3-step smoky eye in their August issue, I panicked a little. Where do I stand in my relationship with the smoky eye? Am I going to have to give it up? (unlikely) It has been a while since I pulled-out the whole evening smoky eye arsenal, and I must say I was ready for an opportunity to see if I could still rock it.

So for those of you who, like me, are wondering if  the smoky eye is still a viable option for you, or are perhaps wanting to try it on for the first time,  this instalment is for you.  The Highland Fashionista will be road-testing the Elle 3-step "Headline" smoky eye, so that you don't have to. For science, of course.

Any of you who are subscribers to Elle UK and wish to follow-along,  you may turn to page 77 in your beauty hymnals now.

The first step was to gather the materials I would need. Because I don't own any grey cream eyeshadow, I settled on using a champagne cream highlighter by MAC as a base, and using my charcoal powder over the top.

CQ  eyeshadow in Charcoal (discontinued), MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study

Black Expressions Kajal Eyeliner Pencil by Maybelline

To begin with, I started with a freshly-showered self, and a face with just a little tinted moisturiser, some concealer, and lipgloss.  And some seriously fuzzy hair (it takes a while to calm down after washing....just look away please).

And then on to STEP I

Okay....right....that was pretty straightforward. 

And then....STEP 2

"The messier the better" is something you never have to say to me twice.  I can totally do that.
The result: complete hideosity.
Hard to tell in this photo, lets try a close-up.

Okay, that's just wrong. This raccoon liner looks very Middleton sister

Moving swiftly on to STEP 3

Okay, so I smudged and mascaraed, but then I realised that I was not going to be able to lay aside my old way of doing a smoky eye, which was to put some more shadow on top of the liner, to sort of set things and blend and smoke it out a bit more. So I did that too.  I think it would be really hard if you are an experienced smoker of eyes to keep it just to three steps, quite frankly. The beauty lies in the layering, if you ask me. 

Ta-Daaaa.  Pretty cool right? Amiright!? Amiright!?

Also tweaked: new lipstick. Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colour in pale mauve. A smoky eye needs a light lip, gals.
 Not like we used to do it in the 90's, all Robert Palmer style. Some things are just not up for discussion. 

So. The smoky eye. Is it still a viable option for those of us who aren't in our twenties (or thirties) any longer? 

Hell yes. 

And the Elle "Headline" smoky eye? 

PASS - with a few tweaks.

I am a huge fan of layering the colour. I don't think a cream eyeshadow is a necessity, as long as you use a good eyeshadow base or even some foundation on your lids, as I did. Secondly, I would always want to go over any eyeliner with a little shadow. The shadow sets the liner, and it blurs the edges for a nicer effect. And lastly, if you are silver(ish)-haired like me, or even just really fair, I would use nothing darker than gray shadow and liner, even though you can totally rock this look with black, purple, any colour really. The lighter you go, the softer the look.  But with the silver hair, I like the charcoal eyeshadow. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to take my new "Headline" smoky eyes for a spin. 


  1. Thanks. Looks easy to do this way and I'm going to try it for sure. Great lipstick too.

  2. I might have to send my own pictures of doing this with ghost-white skin later this weekend. I've never even tried to do a smoky eye.


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