How To Pull Off Intense Eye Makeup

Wendy Rodewald
Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard pulls off a sexy, smoky eye.
Photo: Getty Images

With sexy, sleepy-lidded eyes like Marion Cotillard‘s, almost any makeup is going be gorgeous — including the dusky, black-lined eye she sported at last night’s AFI festival premiere of her new film, Rust and Bone. But the elements at play in the French actress’ textbook perfect smokies can teach all of us a thing or two about pulling off the look. Here’s how to make bold eye makeup work for you.

Line inside and outside the lash line, all around the eye.
Sexy liner is all about the contrast between inky black makeup and the whites of the eyes. Your mission: leave no lash line bare. Shimmy a soft black pencil above, below and between lashes, and line both top and bottom inner rims.

Groom and fill in your brows.
A serious eye look needs structure, which strong brows help to frame. And with all the attention on your eye area, any bald spots or straggler hairs will be in spotlight.

Incorporate highlights.
Since dark makeup can make the eyes recede, add depth with shimmery highlight shades. On Marion Cotillard, metallic gold above the crease adds light to the inner eye area. Blend your highlight shade on the center of the eyelid, too. But avoid frosty shimmer on the brow bone, which looks dated.

Blend, blend, blend.
You’ll probably need less eye shadow than you think you will. Start with a tiny bit of product on your brush, and work it outward to create a soft smoke. This makes all the difference between a look like Marion’s and a raccoon eye. Finish by blending all the shades together to erase any hard lines.

What are your favorite tips for pulling off a dark, smoky eye?