Linda Cantello is dubbed the "creator" of the smokey eye. In a world with fast trends and makeup collections launching faster than ever before, we trail back to one of the iconic beauty looks in the history of beauty. A look created to withstand trends and time and now forms the base to every makeup look.
I cannot say I am the “inventor“ of the Smokey Eye. But when I deconstructed a dark eye to make it look “lived in” back in the day, is when the term “Smokey Eye“ came into use. Before that, eye makeup, like jackets, was constructed, quite rigid. The idea of an intensely shaded, not perfect eye was quite new at that time, coming right on the heels of grunge and minimalist makeup. I wanted to create a sensual eye. That looked lived in, slept in. I did a constructed eye then smudged and blended it in. Like any deconstruction, you need to know how to do it properly before you can break it successfully.
There are many eye shapes, not just one. What is important in my creative process is that no matter how intense the eye look is, it always flatters the woman. You notice a woman by her eyes, not by her makeup. I cannot stand what I call “painting by numbers“ school of makeup, where everything is just placed without considering the actual eye shape. Whatever eye makeup I do, there is always an undefinable blending of edges, so it never looks painted on with no thought to the face.
The Armani eye is mostly elongated, never round. The outer corners are emphasized but blended. The shade can change: from navy, to grey, to brown. But mostly, it consists of variations of black.
Giorgio Armani is the master of the black pencil and placing shadows. He always asks me for a black pencil when we are doing the makeup fittings backstage before each fashion show. He has taught me how to always consider how the eye looks in profile. Also, how a small smudge of shadow, placed wisely, can intensify a look, even if the eye makeup remains relatively natural.
My favorite way of doing a Smokey Eye is the following: take a black (or color of choice) crayon, like Smooth Silk Eye Pencil, and apply it close to the top and bottom lashes. It does not have to be perfect, the most important thing is it reached the base of the lashes. Then blend it in an outward motion until you get your desired shape. Apply more Smooth Silk Eye Pencil or Eyes To Kill Eye Liner to intensify corners and lash roots, and set and blend it a little more with Fluid Sheer (I like shade 2 the most). I also love to use Eyes To Kill Stellar or Eye Tint as both have an incredible finish and are easily to apply and blend.