Although the joy of makeup is that it can transform even the most mundane of Tuesdays into a special occasion, there are some calendar events that just cry out for a a special lick of paint. And where Valentine’s Day makeup is concerned, you can’t get sultrier, sexier or more darned romantic than a classic smoky eye.
If you’ve never mastered them before, make this weekend your excuse. And if you’re an old hand, try changing things up with brown, gold, navy or green. Here are some of the best in the biz to guide you.
Best for drama: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘n’ Roll Bedroom Eyes
No wishy-washy shadow here. Charlotte Tilbury is the absolute master of the smoky eye, and her divinely feline ‘bedroom’ eyes aren’t exaggerating. Perfect for darker skintones and making best friends with your blending brush.
Best for beginners: Lisa Eldridge Classic Smoky Eye Tutorial
Straightforward, unintimidating and pleasantly messy, Lisa Eldridge delivers a great basic smoky eye for nervous rookies. It’s grey and taupe, so less scary than black, and you won’t need to faff about with tape or falsies. Smudge ‘n’ go.
Best for blondes: Charlotte Tilbury Copper Smoky Eye
Not everyone wants to go fully panda, and as well as being softer than black, bronze and copper shades look amazing with blue or green eyes. Our imaginary best friend Charlotte Tilbury works her magic on model Laura Bailey in this tutorial, complete with excellent instructions on how the hell to apply individual false lashes.
Best for expert tips: Smoky Eyes with Bobbi Brown
Guardian beauty guru Sali Hughes is joined by makeup legend Bobbi Brown in this video, which is full of fantastic advice for no-nonsense smoky eyes that won’t look ridiculous in a casual setting – as well as some excellent namedropping. Tell us again about doing Keith Richards’ eyeliner, Bobbi!
Best for disco-lovers: Pixiwoo Perfect Easy Smoky Eye Makeup
Metallics make brilliant smoky eyes, provided you do them right. The colour might be daunting, but this mermaidy green eye from Pixiwoo is actually easier to master than your average matte black. It’s also ideal for sticking a finger up at Valentine’s Day and going out dancing instead.
Best for colour addicts: Tanya Burr Glamorous Navy Smoky Eye
If the thought of classic black shadow makes you die of boredom, switch it up with an eyeful of colour instead. Shimmering midnight blue works on practically every skintone, and Tanya Burr makes this one sound like a relative doddle.
The finished look is pretty intense, but you could skip the electric blue liner and falsies for look that’s more ‘look deep into my eyes’ and less ‘look at my glue skills.’