Easy, So-Pretty Valentine’s Day Makeup You’ll Want to Wear Past February

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Easy, So-Pretty Valentine’s Day Makeup You’ll Want to Wear Past February
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Photo: ImaxTree

Alright, so we’re all about wearing whatever you want, whenever you want, and if that means a Valentine’s Day filled with sweatpants, greasy hair, and zero-makeup, then hell, yes—more power to you (also, can we join you? These tights and fake lashes are annoying as hell). But if you’ve got yourself a hot date, or you just want to have a solo dinner feeling pretty and put-together, then we’ve got you covered with an incredibly pretty, and surprisingly easy, smokey eye that you’ll want to wear pretty much every day past February 14th.

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And because we can’t exactly sneak into your house and do your makeup before your big night out, we enlisted the help of Achelle Dunaway, makeup artist and Global Artistic Director at E.l.f. Cosmetics to help us create an easy date-night eye look that you can do in under 10 minutes. Yes, it sounds like a tall order, but trust us when we say it’s totally do-able. Keep reading for the full how-to, and then get ready to finally master the art of eyeshadow and eyeliner.

Photography: Rolando Robinson
Makeup: Achelle Dunaway, E.l.f. Cosmetics
Model: Sarah Barnes

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How To: Date-Night Eyes
How To: Date-Night Eyes
Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 1: Prime it up
STEP 1: Prime it up

To keep shadow from creasing and sliding through the night, blend an eyeshadow primer, like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, across your entire eyelid before beginning your makeup.

Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 2: Create a base
STEP 2: Create a base

Sweep an eyeshadow one shade deeper than your skin tone across your eyelid with an eyeshadow brush, blending across the entire lid and up to your crease. For this look, Dunaway worked with the E.l.f. Prism Eyeshadow Palette in Naked, though we also love the Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Mineral Contour.

Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 3: Contour the lid
STEP 3: Contour the lid

The difference between a blah smokey eye and a gorgeous, professional-looking smokey eye is the amount of depth it has. And to get depth, you need to layer multiple shadows. So after your base, blend a shimmery, chocolate-brown shadow in the outer corners of the eyes (like a sideways V), then sweep the remaining color on the brush across the crease of your eye to define the lid. (In the photo, Dunaway is holding E.l.f.'s Mascara and Shadow Shield beneath the eye to prevent excess shadow from falling onto the skin, but you can also use a tissue or playing card in a pinch.)

Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 4: Rim the eyes
STEP 4: Rim the eyes

Using a jet-black eyeliner, like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Liner in Invasion, trace the upper lash line from the inner corner to the outer corner, then line just the outer quarter of your bottom lashes, stopping short of the middle of the eye.

Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 5: Smoke it out
STEP 5: Smoke it out

Here's the key to a smokey eye: Blend like your life depends on it. As soon as you apply your eyeliner, grab a clean blending brush, like Make Up For Ever 2016 Medium Precision Blender Brush, and gently buff at the liner in concentric circles to soften the line and give your eyes a hazy, smokey finish.

Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 6: Define the lashes
STEP 6: Define the lashes

Curl your lashes, then apply a thick coat of black mascara to the upper and lower lashes. For this step, Dunaway used the E.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara, though we also love Lorac Pro Plus Fiber Mascara.

Photo: Rolando Robinson
STEP 7: Smile at yourself
STEP 7: Smile at yourself

Because you're insanely gorgeous (and smart, and driven, and talented, and brilliant), and ready for your next night out.

Photo: Rolando Robinson

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  • How To: Date-Night Eyes
  • STEP 1: Prime it up
  • STEP 2: Create a base
  • STEP 3: Contour the lid
  • STEP 4: Rim the eyes
  • STEP 5: Smoke it out
  • STEP 6: Define the lashes
  • STEP 7: Smile at yourself

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