Say “No!” to Boring Smoky Eyes

You know you’re a beauty addict when doing a smoky eye becomes boring.  We all know I love the look, but after awhile I need to change it up.  I picked up a great tip from NARS artist Aisha Alves recently and decided to start playing with colorful eyeshadow bases.

NARS Mozambique Eye Paint product

NARS Eye Paint in Mozambique

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I don’t typically layer my creams and powders, but clearly it’s time to start.  If this were a video game, you could say I’ve leveled up.  The last level was too easy, I got through it too quickly, and I needed more of a challenge.  It turns out the real challenge was photographing this look step-by-step, then running to Walgreens at 9:00pm (still in split-face makeup) to buy flour for a brunch I’d almost forgotten.  But I digress.

I wanted to show you the difference a color base can make, not just on the overall color of the look, but on the texture and depth too.  On the left side of the photos I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  On the right, NARS Mozambique Eye Paint.  I then did the exact same look to both eyes using the same amount of eyeshadow on each with Urban Decay Naked.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance / NARS Mozambique

Step 1:  Too Faced Shadow Insurance / NARS Mozambique

I was sure to follow Aisha’s guide for the application and placement of Mozambique.  I used my finger to tap and gently blend it from the lashes and up.  I went back and added more to my mobile lid as needed to slowly build up intensity.

NARS Mozambique Tutorial Step 2

Step 2: Urban Decay Smog

Using the side of a smudge brush, I applied Smog to my mobile lid while leaving the center bare. I made sure to run Smog along my upper lashes with the tip of my brush.

NARS Mozambique Tutorial Step 3

Step 3: Urban Decay Half Baked

Using the same brush, I tapped Half Baked onto the center of my lids.  The color is a bit muted over Mozambique, but the sparkle is more obvious.

Step 4:  Hustle, Perfect Espresso, Dramatic Lashes

Step 4: Urban Decay Hustle, Too Faced Perfect Espresso, Trish McEvoy Dramatic Lashes

Again with the smudge brush, I added Hustle to the outer corners of my eyes.  It looks far more intense over Mozambique.  Using a small fluffy brush, I blended Buck into my creases and Naked onto my brow bones.  I added Too Faced Perfect Espresso eyeliner to my lashlines and a coat of  the new Trish McEvoy Dramatic Lash mascara.

NARS Mozambique Tutorial finished with Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Primer kept the shadows true to color, but it also would require more color built up for a smoky look.

NARS Mozambique Tutorial finished with Mozambique

Using Mozambique as a colorful cream base instantly added depth, made the shadows more interesting, and the sparkle pop.  I also really like the way Half Baked over Mozambique caught the light when I moved.

NARS Mozambique Tutorial full face finished

The finished look(s)! I feel like Mozambique also made my eye appear larger at first glance – always a good thing.  I find myself quickly taking on new bases (including lip liner which I did for this look also) and I’m excited about mixing and matching.  I’ll be sure to let you know if I find anything that really stands out!

What are some of your favorite bases to use?


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Disclosure: Products in this post were provided by PR for consideration.

  • Arianne

    Love the side with the khaki green base! It’s so multi-dimensional and super sexy! :)

    • Alison M

      After finding your blog a couple years ago, I felt inspired to master the smoky eye. So Thank You, Arianne! <3

  • Divya

    This is beautiful Allison! You are anyway the “smokey eye queen” and now a level up its stunning! :-) The green from under Half Baked is beautiful :-)

    • Alison M

      Do you ever play with cream bases?

      • Divya

        I do! I actually have a green cream eye shadow from Shiseido from a couple of years which I wear under gold! :-) the pigment in that is too low to show up like yours.. but its shimmery so I really like it under other colors :-)

  • Phyrra

    I love the NARS Eye Paints for smoky eyes. I think Transvaal plus Urban Decay Verve is an easy, gorgeous look.

    • Alison M

      I bet that combination is lovely with your eyes! I’m on a mission now…LAYER WITH ALL THE EYE PAINTS! Lol!

  • Sarah S.

    Pretty! I usually do a color base when I wear smoky eyes, too :)

    • Alison M

      What are your favorites?

      • Sarah S.

        I had every Nyx jumbo pencil! But I’ve found using a very creamy eyeliner, like the Too Faced Perfect Eyes, works quite well, too :)

  • Kristi C.

    Duuuude!! (pardon me whilst I pick my chin up off the floor). * Updates list to add colored bases. I can’t get over how much depth and shmexy the khaki base gives to the exact same colors! I am feeling inspired to up my game after seeing this.

    • Alison M

      Mozambique is so fabulous. The shmex appeal is intense! I want to check out some NYX Jumpo Pencils too that Sarah suggested.

  • Nikki P.

    The lid with Mozambique does look more fabulous. Thanks for this wonderful smokey eye tip! :)

    • Alison M

      Glad you enjoyed it, Nikki!

  • Kristen / Glambunctious

    Mozam-BOOM! Love this. I have a green cream shadow from Givenchy I’ve only worn once – this is a great way to rock it! Thanks for the reminder! Also, I would have loved to see you at Walgreen’s mid-pictorial, especially if you were checking out the Ariel lashes! PS: your Instagram Ariel share caused me to make a trip to Walgreen’s (I call it Wally G’s, is that weird?) the next day! Happy to report that I bagged the lash duo! {hand clappers} So thank you for that share!

    • Alison M

      Lol, glad you were able to get the lashes too :) Part of me feels the need to go buy more. Ariel lashes for life!

  • Alison M

    Thanks, Smita! Definitely give mixing a try! In the future, no need to link back to your site. Just connect your blog to your Disqus profile and you are good to go. Total time saver :)

  • Rae // theNotice

    Super-excellent, Alison ;) I rarely play with coloured bases (cream products and my eyelids don’t usually mix well), but I LOVED seeing the difference a base made in this look!

    • Alison M

      Glad you enjoyed it! Do all creams cause problems? I love the Eye Paints because they are so budge proof.

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