How I Wear Color: Urban Decay's Smoked Palette

I may prefer muted tones from the neck down, but when I wear a smoky eye, no color is off limits.
Publish date:
August 22, 2013
eyeliners, eyeshadows, maybelline, Urban Decay, smoky eyes, palettes, estee lauder

I'm not a person that likes color--fashion wise, that is. Ninety percent of my wardrobe is black, charcoal gray, denim, navy, white, camel, or some type or earth-toned green (you know: olive, forest, etc.). A lot of people--or maybe just my mom-- think I'm too young to dress in such muted tones, but I happen to think they're gorgeous, and the aforementioned shades make up a deeply entrenched comfort zone that I don't see myself stepping out of anytime soon.

Interestingly enough, though, as color-shy as I am with fashion, I'm adventurous with makeup. Bright orange lip? Sure, why not? Teal eyeliner? I'm down. I use makeup to add intrigue and oomph to a neutral outfit (that, and a maybe a bold piece of jewelry), which is why when I saw the Urban Decay Smoked Palette, my eyes lit up and I got a little tingly down there.

It includes 10 highly pigmented shadows that can be combined in an infinite number of ways to create a fresh take on the smoky eye. The top five shades are more neutral--I see these as "assist" colors. Like, if applying eyeshadow were a sport, these would be the colors that pass you the ball right before you score a goal. Yeah, a crazy analogy, I know, but this is what beauty writers do! I swear, we make up stories to justify buying/having things, and it's fine.

Anyway, combine any of these top colors in the crease or the outer corner, with any of the bottom colors all over the lid, and it's going to look right every time.

The white shade can be used as a matte brow highlight, or in the inner corner. The peachy, nude shade can be used to blend out the crease, or as a neutral base all over the lid. For my everyday look, I use the peach shade all over the lid, and buff the shade Barlust into my crease and outer corner.

But today we're not interested in everyday looks. Today we're talking about all-out, saturated colors, "damn, look at her, she's rocking a bright green smokey eye and not giving a flying fruit loop" type looks.


I've outlined two looks for you guys, the first one being just that: a bright green smoky eye.

The star of this look is the shade "Loaded." It is a rich, emerald/forest green and it is EVERYTHING. And I don't say things like that, OK? Because I'm unenthusiastic and slightly apathetic--again, my mom's words not mine-- but this shade of green is just to die for.

I started by priming my lids with concealer and buffing some bronzer into my crease. I do this for every single eyeshadow look.

Next, just to intensify the color and make sure the shadow didn't look too dark as I packed it on, I applied Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Emerald.

Using a flat shader brush, I applied Loaded all over the cream eyeshadow base.

I then took a fluffy brush and used both Barlust--a metallic, coppery brown, and Backdoor, a matte dark brown, to deepen my crease and darken my outer corner.

After, I applied the same cream eyeshadow/Loaded combo with an angled brush onto my lower lash line.

Taking a flat angled brush, I used Estee Lauder's Double Wear gel eyeliner and very lightly lined my upper lash line and water line. You don't want to go too heavy with the liner on your upper lash line, or you'll risk hiding that beautiful green color.

Once you've applied your crease color, you can go back with a shader brush, and reapply Loaded to make sure the color is as intense as possible and not disguised by any brown fallout.

Next, curl your lashes and apply mascara. For extra drama, you can add false lashes, but to again, avoid concealing the green, cut the lashes in half, and apply them to the outer corner of your eyes.


The second look is more subtle, though still a unique and rich take on the smoky eye. Start with the same first two steps by applying concealer to the lids and bronzer to the crease.

Using the same (clean) shader brush, apply Barlust all over the lid.

Taking Evidence, a beautiful, metallic sapphire, use a blending brush to buff it into your outer corner and crease. Then take any liner brush, wet it, and use it to apply Evidence to the waterline and lower lash line. When applying Evidence to the waterline, pat/press the color on, don't try to glide it on.

Apply any black liner. I used Urban Decay's 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion to create a wing, but the palette itself comes with the same color eyeliner in pressed form.

The blue will look more intense/more grey/more blue/darker in different lighting, which will be good since this is an evening look and throughout the course of the night you might find yourself under various types of lighting, e.g. red lights next to a DJ booth, a streetlight while bumming a cigarette off some hot French guy, the morning light shining through the bedroom window of said French guy's apartment, etc.