The 'Reverse' Smoky Eye: An Old Classic Is Getting A Chic Reboot

It's hard to imagine not loving a good smoky eye. Using dark shades to create a dramatic effect, it's perfect for a formal event or a special date night. However, if you aren't afraid to give new makeup trends a spin and want to try something with the same vibe that takes a very different path, then you need to try a reverse smoky eye. Revealing its purpose in the name, the technique may still incorporate deep hues; however, it mixes things up using a lighter shade to create the full look. 

Celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo explained to PopSugar, "The beauty of the 'reverse' smoky eye is that you are swapping where you would traditionally put the dark colors." Oquendo continues, "[I like to] play with matte versus shimmers to create subtle depth in my client's eyes. I might use a matte color on the lids and a shimmer in the inner corner," Oquendo says. As for the full process, he adds, "Start with a light or white pencil and smudge it on the lids and inner corner of the eye. To add depth, use your contour color or a taupe in your crease and sweep it around your lower lash line."

Of course, that's just the basic method. From there, you can play around and try other variations of the old classic that's getting a chic reboot.

Full reverse smoky eye

When creating a reverse smoky look, you might find yourself focusing on your eyelid. However, thanks to the fact that this is such a striking style, you might want to extend the effect. This involves using the same shades, application, and placement on both the top and the bottom of your eye. For instance, while using a gradual transition to move from white to deep gray up above, the same kind of gradient has been used below the bottom lash line to ensure a cohesive and stunning result.

Split reverse smoky eye

Instead of melding the dramatically different shades together, do the exact opposite with your reverse smoky eye look and split them up. First, you can use the lighter and brighter color on top, which will not only look incredible but will also help to make your eyes appear more prominent. Next, underline your eye with a darker color to create a flattering frame. You can definitely keep this line crisp and sharp if you prefer; however, you might want to lean into the smoky style by blurring it a little.

Winged reverse smoky eye

If you love winged liner, you'll be thrilled that you don't have to ditch it to embrace a reverse smoky eye. Instead, you can combine the styles. Start with eyeshadow on top to fill in the lighter area. Follow that by applying liner on the bottom while bringing it both to the inner corner and beyond the outer edge, and, of course, don't forget the flick. Go over the liner with a charcoal eyeshadow to soften it, and drag the color gently across your eyelid for a little extra touch.

Shimmery reverse smoky eye

The reverse smoky eye trend is certainly fabulous, just as it is. However, you can also take things to the next level style-wise by opting to use shimmery eyeshadows to create the look. A striking contrast to a sleek black liner, you surely can't go wrong with a glittery white, light gray, or nude shade. Frankly, you can layer all three lighter tones on top of each other for some delightful depth, or you can go for an ombré effect and move from one to the next across your entire eyelid.

Reverse smoky eye with color

The standard smoky eye may primarily rely on black and gray, while the reverse version lightens things up a bit, but what about vibrant colors? You can put a fun spin on this traditionally serious and almost somber look by adding a pop of playful pigment. Consider turquoise, lemon yellow, maroon, or hot pink, to name a few eye-catching possibilities. A fantastic choice if you want to match the hue with your outfit, you could also make the color on your eye the one splash of brightness in an otherwise dark ensemble.