The smoky eye is a perennial red carpet favorite and a no-fail way to amp up the “glam rock factor”—the words makeup artist Vincent Oquendo used to describe the sultry lid look he created on L’Oréal Paris spokesmodel Soo Joo Park for the amfAR Gala in Los Angeles. Inspired by Park’s Jeremy Scott gown and punky updo, Oquendo’s first instinct was to reach for rich jewel tones, but decided “less is certainly more” with a high-octane dress covered from shoulder to ankle in a rainbow of sequins. And while a neutral palette doesn’t exactly sound poppin’, it’s undoubtedly sexy when applied the right way. Here’s exactly how he offset her contour and made browns look anything but boring:
1. Define Eyes
The model requested a “tough” vibe, he says, so after skin was prepped and eyes were “messily” lined in brown, the pro handed another pencil to Park—this time in black, try (1) L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte-Matic Liner in Ultra Black)—to intensify the effect. “I asked her to rim all the way around the waterline and go hard, squint, and mess it up so that it looked very rock and roll,” says Oquendo. “Soo Joo is a maverick with her own makeup.”
2. Be a Little Catty
Next, he “scribbled” along the top lashes with the same brown liner used in step one to craft a messy cat-eye shape. Then he blended the pigment with a fluffy brush. For a similar look, try (2) L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner in Brown.
3. Set it and Forget it
To lock in the shape, he layered a shimmery coffee-colored shadow over the pencil. Try (3) L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Eyeshadow in Quartz Fume. Want to customize your lid color? Reach for L’Oréal Paris’ Colour Riche La Palette Nude, which contains ten neutral shadow shades in three finishes (shimmery satin, buttery matte, and lustrous sheen).
4. Contour Quickly
Oquendo accentuated Park’s cheekbones with L’Oréal Paris’ new (4) Infallible Pro Contour Palette, which applies contour powder and highlighter in one quick swoop. He suggests holding the dual-peaked brush like you would a telephone, aligning the “valley” with your cheekbone so that the bristles deposit highlighter and contour powder above and below it. Then sweep the brush down towards the corner of your mouth, stopping when it aligns with the center of your eye.
The pro also used the deeper shade in the compact to add “warmth” to the crease of the eye and along the lower lashes—dusting the bronze shade over the liner and shadow he had already laid down.
5. Plump Up Lips
After topping off lashes with mascara, Oquendo coated Park’s lips with balm and then pumped them with a nude liner. Try (5) L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Au Naturale. “Soo Joo doesn’t have thin lips, but she definitely wanted something a little fuller,” Oquendo says. “We overdrew the top of her mouth to give her a pouty look.” To make lips budge-proof, the pro blotted and reapplied another layer of liner before sending Park to meet the paparazzi. To touch up in a single swipe, tuck L’Oréal Paris’ Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss in Statement Nude in your clutch.
Whether you’re facing a wall of flashbulbs or simply snapping a selfie, this smoky eye is a no-fail way to get noticed.