7:26:00 AM

Photography and retouching by SJ van Zyl of Kohl Makeup Academy. Model: Chez Blaq.

I love a really good smoky eye. If you're going to try out the smoky look I always say go as dark as you can - the darker it is, the cooler it looks; but it's also important to do it right and choose a smoky eye style that's suitable for where you're going.

How I usually approach the smoky eye is by creating a guide from the lower lash line, extending it up to the outer edge of the crease. This guide will form the outer shape of my smoky eye. The reason why I create this guide is because its 'upwards' direction lifts the eye, preventing you from having a down-slanting or irregular shaped smoky eye in the end.

Once that's done, I apply a thick line of black gel liner along the upper lash line, and with a flat concealer brush I then blend the gel liner upwards (while it's still wet) towards the crease of the eye. Thereafter, I immediately blend and soften the liner with a blending brush, spreading it evenly across the entire lid. From then on, I pretty much build up the black, applying layers and layers of black eye shadow with a flat eye shadow brush. Once the lid is dark enough, I apply black kohl pencil over the lower lash line, and then soften the pencil with a small blending brush. Finishing off, I apply black shadow over the kohl pencil just to set the pigment and keep it in place.

If you want to rock an all-black smoky eye, go for it - but I sometimes like adding a little colour to the look. Try gold or bronze shadows, placing them in the inner corners of the eyes, or apply rich colours like purples or blues which work beautifully on darker skin tones. I used a blend of Stila's 'freesia' and 'rosette' shadows from their 'In The Garden' palette.

Other products I used...

1. NYX Jumbo Pencil in 'Black' to create the 'guide.' You can buy this at Clicks or order it on Spree.co.za. Price: R99.

2. INGLOT Gel Liner in '77' (black). Price: R189.

3. BEAUTIQUE Concealer Brush to spread the gel liner upwards to the crease. Price: R60.

4. KOHL MAKEUP Blending Brush, you can also use REAL TECHNIQUES Shading Brush.

5. SAUCEBOX eye shadows in 'Toffee' and 'Black Widow.'

6. INGLOT Kohl Pencil in 'Black.' Price: R189.

7. Your favourite mascara. I used INGLOT's False Lash Effect Mascara for this look.

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