How to Create a Colorful Smoky Eye with Phoenix Makeup Artist Stephanie Neiheisel

We all know the smoky eye. It's a classic look that can be transformed and adapted for any occasion, any outfit, and anytime.

But start adding bold colors into the typical palette of blacks, grays, and browns, and things might get a little hairy.

Thankfully, Stephanie Neiheisel of SN Makeup Artist and Phoenix Makeup Collective has just the bravery and steady hand to lead us through creating a cranberry smoky eye.

Neiheisel prefers to start with the eyes because "things can get a little messy," and you don't want to ruin the rest of your makeup with fallout from doing your eyes.

Before touching any shadow, applying a good eyelid primer is key. That way, you start with an even canvas of sorts. Neiheisel uses Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

Once you've applied that all over the lid and just under the eye, you're ready for shadow. Neiheisel starts with the cranberry-hued Muse shadow from Lime Crime's Venus palette. Spread this all over the lid from the lash line to the crease. Using a smaller brush, apply the same color just underneath your bottom lashes.

Neiheisel says you want to mirror what you do on your upper lid to your lower lid to create a balanced look.

To tame down the bright red color a bit, Neiheisel goes back over the lids with the darker Icon shadow from the same palette, leaving the original Muse color showing just along the crease.

Using a larger, fluffy brush, start blending the colors by adding in the base (light pink) shadow from Kat Von D's Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad in Rust around the edges of the Muse shadow.

To make the eye pop, Neiheisel adds the highlight color from the Kat Von D palette under the brow bone and in the inner corner of the eye.

Because the Muse shadow is such an intense color, it needs to be faded out a little bit with a warmer tone. Neiheisel blends the Creation shadow from the Lime Crime palette in the crease. She adds this to the outer corner and just under the eye as well.

The final touch is adding the shimmery Aura from the Lime Crime palette. Blend to the tear duct and just under the eye brow. Blend everything together a bit with a fluffy brush, and the eyeshadow is done. Take a tissue or makeup wipe and clean up any shadow that might have fallen below the eye before moving on.

To complete the eye look, add liner, mascara, and lashes.

Neiheisel uses the brown eyeliner from Antonym Cosmetics and the Lash Perfecting Gel mascara from Per-fékt Beauty. Once your lashes are on and set, Neiheisel recommends hiding the bases with a gel eyeliner, like MAC's Blacktrack gel liner.

Go ahead and finish the rest of your makeup (foundation, eyebrows, et cetera), add Josephine Cosmetics' Mackenzie lipstick and a nude gloss, and you're ready for every holiday party this season.

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Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter