Most of us probably have a signature look when it comes to clothing. A formula of shades and shapes that always works and that you reach four when you want to feel like you or when you don't have time to overthink. I have the same with beauty and often go for a subtle smokey eye. The focus is on the outer corner and the lash line, while the inner corner and 1/3d of your eye will be neutral. Here's how I do it! (For more info on the specific products I use, check out this post)
1) Apply primer. Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay Primer Potion are worth every penny.
2) Use a neutral as base color on the moving eyelid. Tan or beige would work. (I like M.A.C's Bisque and Kid and the purplish taupe Tease from the Naked Palette II). This layer of eyeshadow will help blend the colors easier. If you want dark and dramatic, use a gel liner in light brown or even black as base (this doubles as primer!)
3) Go over the upper lash line with a kohl pencil, focussing on the outer corners of the eye. I prefer a dark grey (M.A.C's Showstopper is good) or dark brown pencil over black because it's more smokey and less harsh. You can be messy here, we'll blend later.
4) Trace over that pencil line with dark eyeshadow. I often use a warm dark grey or a cool dark brown.
5) Apply a medium shade on to a fluffy blending brush (I use taupe) and go over the part where the dark color stops, with soft strokes, moving upwards to your crease.
6) Go back in to the the dark color with a smaller brush and apply on the outer v. Blend again. With any access powder that's still on the brush, go in on about 2/3d of your lower lashline.
7) Open up your eyes tremendously with a highlighter in the inner corner. Don't go too sparkly, we still want it to be natural. A matte cream color or a pearly shade work well (I love Bootycall from my Naked Palette II and heard good things about Shroom by M.A.C).
8) Add black mascara. Done!
photos by Eefje Gerritsjans