Making your eyes pop and exaggerating your most active feature on your face can prove challenging for many.
From sultry smoky eyes to purposely-smudged liner, the skills of make-up artists across Aberdeen are highly sought after – especially for those of us who aren’t quite sure what products to use or what goes where.
On hand to clear things up and give Society readers a lesson in how to achieve the must-have stand-out eye, Leanne Cathcart of Bobbi Brown shares her 20-year insight into the make-up industry and directs us on what to do.
Working all over the world including London, Dubai and Hong Kong to name a few, the Bobbi Brown make-up artist is based in Aberdeen’s John Lewis store – which has the Bobbi Brown brand exclusively in the north-east – and knows the make-up inside out having worked in some of its biggest stores.
She said: “I’ve worked all over the place. I worked in London for about five years and Bobbi Brown also gave me the opportunity to work in Dubai and in Hong Kong so I’ve worked in a number of different places for the brand.”
She perfects the stand-out look by creating a dramatic smoky eye working with Bobbi Brown’s Nude on Nude palette.
“The colours I’ve used are quite on trend, using more pinks, peaches and rosy colours, but in a wearable way,” said Leanne.
“It can be for both day and night – it really just depends on how strong you like to wear your eye make-up. If you like to wear a strong eye during the day then it works well for that, but it’s really the perfect evening eye.”
A brand that’s all about development and education, Leanne says Bobbi Brown’s passion for teaching its customers how to use their products – and spending time with them to show them how to wear the products – is what attracted her to work for the brand initially. She said: “I think Bobbi Brown is a really approachable brand. We’re an education brand and for us it’s not a makeover, it’s a how-to.
“We take customers through everything step-by-step and show them how to do it. You end up taking away the information you need to apply and wear it, not just the product. That’s the number one thing for me as I want women to look and feel their best and I feel they can’t do that unless they have the knowledge behind the product, too.
“We’re women too and we understand women don’t naturally understand everything about make-up and that we can be your best friend for the day and help ensure you find the best additions for your make-up bag.”
Want to perfect a dramatic smoky eye? Follow these steps to recreate Leanne’s look.
Step one: Brighten
To brighten the eye you want to use an eyeshadow colour that is one to two shades brighter than your skin tone ensuring that it reaches right up to just under the brow to really open up the whole eye area.
Step two: Add colour
Add a colour on to the lower lid that’s one to two shades darker than your skin tone and then that way it gives you something to blend your colours into. It makes it easier to blend out the whole eye make-up.
Once you come to blend the product, use a blending brush, but for adding the colour to the lower eyelid you can use any eyeshadow brush that has a natural bristle that is going to pick up the product and place it on to the lid easier.
With your blending brush you’ll want to ensure there’s a hard edge at the crease of the eye so that the brighter colour and the mid-tone colour meet together.
Step three: Define
This step is to really define your lash line. I used a darker colour in the palette – Rich Caviar. It makes your eye pop and it’s the strongest part of the eye make-up.
Then after applying it along from the lash line I start to blend it up towards the crease of the line. Again this makes sure there are no hard edges and that the colours blend seamlessly into each other.
Step four: Pop
Making the eyelid pop is usually done with a contrasting texture or colour and it just brings life and a bit of dimension to the lid of the eye.
I used Dusk from the palette which is a really on-trend colour. It’s between a pink and a peach and is a shimmer eye shadow as well and catches the light and gives further dimension to the eye.
When you blend out the lower lash line just make sure you’ve used something that complements the upper eyelid underneath the eye. But again, it’s blended and darkest again on the lash line. That way it will keep the concentration of colour at the lash line and point of focus at the lash line making the eye look a little more open and the whites of the eye whiter.
Step five: Build
Building up the lashes is the most important thing. Even if you’ve got no other eye make-up on it’s the number one thing to make your eyes look bigger, brighter and stronger. Making sure you have enough mascara at the roots of the lash is super important and then taking the product right through to the tips of the eyelashes.
Some people don’t use enough mascara so get the bristles right into the lash line and pull it all through to the tip. The direction you’re pulling the brush in is also really important as well. You want to make sure you’re pulling out and up and with the lower lashes it’s down and out as well. The focus of the eye is open. It shouldn’t look heavy and closed.
Step six: Conceal
This step is really important for a smoky eye because if you have quite a dark or strong look, if you don’t brighten the under eye then it can actually make the face look a lot more tired.
I’ve used one of our “can’t live without” products, the full cover concealer for underneath the eye.
Make the under eye as bright as the brow bone – no brighter than that as it can make the eye look bottom heavy. If you brighten the under eye to the brightness and depth of the brow bone than you’ll always have a nice bright, standout look.