It’s All Smoke and Mirrors – The Smokes by Maybelline


I started smoking this weekend. Smoking out my eyes, that is. Silly! You didn’t think I’d start the habit now, did you? Maybelline New York has knocked it out of the park once again with their latest eye shadow palette, The Smokes. There is nothing prettier than a smokey eye for evening. So with the holidays upon us, and all the parties that ensue, how about giving it a try? And even if you don’t have a party to go to, who cares because it’s oh so pretty. Smoke out your eyes, dim the lights, sit yourself in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine, and who cares if only the cat is there to appreciate it. Seriously, who better knows a smokey cat eye when it sees one, anyway.

Maybelline — The Smokes

The Smokes colour palette has 12 gorgeous matte and shimmer options, like purples that give me visions of sugar plums, shortbread shades of neutrals to ground it all, browns that are reminiscent of gingerbread men, tinsel-y tones situated next to deeper, New Year’s perfect metallic greys, a very cheeky pink and four shades of blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.

I am so excited to continue to try out The Smokes palette, but I tell you that come January, I will be changing the colour names. The purple will no longer be sugar plum and simply be called plain old plum. Oh who am I kidding, I don’t do simple colour names, not when terms like aubergine exist. So the shades will transition into Aubergine, London Fog, Sandstone, Carob and Starry Night. smokeyeye2

What I like about The Smokes palette is that it is notably different from The Nudes. I don’t feel like I’ve purchased the same eye shadow colours again, but packaged up differently. Other than two neutral tones, which are always useful and will get used up, it is full of much deeper, richer hues and sparkly shadows. I love The Nudes for every day and on the weekend, but The Smokes is great for those days or nights when you want to feel a bit more glam.

Just as an FYI, I tried it this weekend then hit the gym. I recognize that I may have looked a tad Houswives for BodyPump class, but my job is to test out the product before writing about it, so test I did. I couldn’t let the gym get in the way of research. And anyway, I was grateful for the smokey eye because I realized 10 minutes from the end of the class that I put my Lulu’s on inside out. Hopefully, people were busy looking at my pretty peepers and not at the tag on my gym pants. You, lookin’ at me? You, lookin’ at me?

The other thing that I like about The Smokes is that it is not too pigmented. Some eye shadows seem to go on the brush, to a dab on my hand, then on my eye and it’s still too much. This allows you build up to the intensity you desire. For me, the impatient beauty applicator, that is helpful. And if you want it to last, try an eye shadow primer before applying the shadow. They really tell us to use one no matter, but let’s be honest, most of us don’t.

The Smokey Eye How-to:


In order to create the smokey eye, you will need a few tools.

  • Maybelline’s The Smokes eye palette
  • Good, fluffy eye shadow brushes
  • Gel, liquid or pencil eye liner in a strong colour
  • Black mascara
  • Loose powder

Step 1

Apply a little loose powder under your eyes and leave it unblended to catch any of the darker eye shadow colour that drops down. Next, select three shades of eye colour from the palette, a light shade, a medium base shade and a deep hue. Apply the light highlighting shade along the brow bone and add a dab in the inner corners of both eyes. Next, apply the medium base colour over the entire lid, ending at the crease. Blend so that there isn’t an obvious start and end from one shade to the other. Now grab your darkest shade. Dab it on your hand or a tissue to blot off a bit of the excess colour. Apply it to your eye, starting with the outer corner and apply in a half moon or C shape from the lashline to the halfway point along the crease. The darkest point should be at the outer corner. Blend, blend, blend back and forth in a windshield wiper motion. You don’t want to see an obvious start and end between any of the three colours. They should each blend into one another. You can add some of the darkest colour to your lower lid as well to balance the look. Sweep it halfway across the bottom lid.

Step 2

Next, add your eye liner. Sweep it across the entire lid using small, short strokes to create an intense, cat eye look. Take it from the inner corner to the outer edge and tapering it up and out as you move to the end of the eye. You can go back in and draw a thicker line from the halfway point to the outer edge for a more dramatic look or keep it thin  for a slightly softer look. For a smudgy look, go in with your finger, eraser on the back of an eye pencil or Q-tip and smudge or blur the line.

Step 3

Lashes is the next step. First curl your lashes. Then add a jet black mascara. Wiggle your mascara wand from roots to tip to get full coverage. You can apply two coats. With a very delicate hand and whatever remains on your wand, apply a single coat to the bottom lashes to carefully define them. A tip that I learned from one of my beauty expert friend is to take a toothpick and very carefully go in and separate the lashes right after you apply the mascara and before it dries. Careful though, the last thing we want is for anyone to accidentally get a toothpick to the eye. Ugghh.

Step 4

Defining the brows is the last critical step. They are what frames your face and an important, but often neglected detail to makeup application. Select a colour that is close to your brow colour – a slightly deeper shade if you are blonde and slightly softer shade if your eyebrows are dark. You can use a brow pencil or brow powder. Personally, I like to use them both as the wax from the pencil helps the powder stick and stay in place. The powder gives a softer look then the pencil. Or you can try Mabelline’s new Brow Drama – an almost mascara type of brow definer. I have yet to try it so no reviews from my end on the good, the bad or the fughly, but have heard from others that they like it, but you have to go over the brow a few times to get enough deposit.

Step 5

Lastly, brush away the loose powder you added under your eye and off you go. Pair it with a nude lip.

Et voilà, you now have the tools, the steps and the tips to create the perfect smokey eye. It’s time to go out and get your Smokes. The best part is, you don’t have to stand out in the cold to enjoy it.





  1. I love the greyish colours!!Nice for the holidays!

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