If you thought New York Fashion Week would be immune to the minimalist makeup trends sweeping the industry, well, you’d be wrong. Season after season, designers sent models down the runway “as they were” — save for a tap of concealer and maybe a brush of brow gel. Luckily, that barely-there phase seems to be ending. The latest showcase of fall and winter collections proves that one of the moodiest makeup trends is making a return: the smoky eye.
Smoky eyes aren’t new, but they are the antithesis to the naked makeup look we’ve come to expect at Fashion Week. Even so, the smoky eye you thought you knew (yes, that one you wore every Saturday night in college) is gone. These aren’t the heavier iterations that only look good on Instagram bloggers who wear false lashes and own a ring light. No, the smoky eyes seen at shows — like Tibi, LaQuan Smith, and Tom Ford — give nuance to a trend we thought we’d seen a million times before. Even better, most only take one product to complete, so you can spend more time showing off the look than creating it.
Need some inspiration? Ahead, the best smoky eyes to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week.
Too much smoke in a smoky eye can quickly turn anyone into a club rat. Luckily, makeup artist Gucci Westman arrived backstage at Brock Collection to prove a bold and brazen eye can be pretty and badass.
Line the the upper and lower lashline in a creamy gel eyeliner to draw as much attention to the eye as possible. This formula from Chanel is malleable enough to be applied in a precise line or smudged to messy perfection.
Chanel CALLIGRAPHIE DE CHANELLongwear Intense Cream Eyeliner, $35, available at Nordstrom
We never thought a smoky eye could be subtle, but Mark Badgley and James Mischka (of Badgley Mischka) proved us wrong when they sent models down the runway with lids coated in a light wash of gray shadow and, well, that’s it.
The key to this look: Finding the right shade of gray to keep the look bold without it appearing too heavy on the eye. Our favorite is the taupe shadow in this Kevyn Aucoin eye palette. Use a fluffy brush to sweep the the solid color across the lid, and you’re done.
Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eye Shadow Set, $58, available at DermStore
Truth be told, Tom Ford always selects a smoky eye to accompany whatever designs he sends down the runway — no matter the season — and his latest iteration includes a game-changer for the trend: mauve eyeshadow.
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