10 under $20: Smoky eyes kit
Why be shy with your creamy black eyeliner? Trace a thick line of Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Onyx onto your upper and lower lash lines. Then, smudge it with a square eye-shadow brush for a cool, Kate Moss effect. When it starts to look too Kate-Moss-the-morning-after, use a Q-tip to clean up the edges, says makeup artist Val Garland, who created the runway makeup at BCBG's Spring 2013 show.
Purple shadow duo stick
If you're nervous about wearing a colored shadow, reach for purple. It's foolproof. "Violets and purples are made of cool blue and warm red, so they flatter any complexion and enhance any eye color," says celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt. Use the darker end of the CoverGirl SmokyShadow Blast in Purple Plume at the lash line, and blend the softer pink shade just past the lid.
Navy shadow and liner
Worn out from too many holiday parties? Dark blue shadows brighten the whites of the eyes and make you look more awake, says Surratt. First, press NYX Retractable Eye Liner in Deep Blue into the upper lash line. Then, use a shadow brush to blend NYX Nude Matte Shadow in In the Buff from the lash line upward. This will give the liner a soft, hazy glow.
There's a reason Kim Kardashian has been reaching for these classic smoky shades since 2006. The deep, dark grays create impact and make the eyes look larger, says Surratt. They're also less harsh than your basic black. Using Sephora Microsmooth Baked Eyeshadow Trio in Black Light, brush the soft white across the lids, blend the gray into the crease, and focus the dark black on the upper and lower lash lines and in the corners for added definition.
Bronzey brown shadow
Bronzey brown smoky eyes are soft and sensual and work on every skin tone. Start by applying the darker bronze shade of L'Oréal Paris HIP Studio Secrets Professional Bright Shadow in Flare all across the lid, extending it into an almond shape. Soften the edges with a lighter nude shade and finish with tons of black mascara. "A lot of lashes is glamorous and fun," makeup artist Pat McGrath said backstage at the Spring 2013 Gucci show, where she created a similar look.
Shades of sapphire
Create stunning, jewel-toned eyes with Maybelline EyeStudio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow in Sapphire Siren. Dust the white shade from the lash line up to the brow bone, then pat the soft blue across the lid. Blend the darker blue shadow into the corners and the crease and use the black shadow to define the upper and lower lash lines.
Sweet or sultry palette
For irresistible bedroom eyes, the Victoria's Secret Smoky Eyes Kit is a no-brainer. Use the three complementary shades and the accompanying dual-ended brush to create flirty (lilac) or sexy (shimmery black) smoky eyes.
Expresso shadow and topcoat
For a smoldering brown smoky eye that will stay put until first light, try Revlon PhotoReady Primer and Shadow in Graffiti. The primer holds the gold and brown shadows firmly in place (even on the dance floor). If 2 A.M. rolls around and your look needs a second wind, simply pat the shimmery white "topcoat" on lids for an instant pick-me-up.
The shadows in Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips in Smoky are categorized into three mini palettes. For best results, throw the rules out the window and mix and match the shades yourself. Just always remember to concentrate the darkest color at the lash line and blend upward, says Surratt.
Smoky eyes aren't just for bad girls. "Traditionally, smoky eyes are associated as being dark or sooty, but the technique can be used with any color family," says Surratt. In dark and light earthy tones, like the matte shades in Sonia Kashuk's Instructional Eye Palette in Eye on Neutral, it adds depth to make the eyes look bigger, brighter, and more ethereal