How to Fix 3 Common Smoky Eye Mishaps

Prevent Smudges: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Photo: Time Inc. Digital Studio

A smoky eye is just as much a staple in your makeup arsenal as your favorite mascara. Although makeup artists swear the technique is foolproof to create, skipping over details can cause a series of slipups that will leave you with a sooty rather than sultry look. We considered the three most common pitfalls and asked the pros for their best defenses. The good news: "If your smoky eyes wind up a little messy in the end, that's cool," says makeup artist Tracey Levy. "That's what gives it a sultry look." Here, we have the pro's quick fixes for common smoky eye mishaps.

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Avoid Shadow Fallout: SK-II Signs Eye Masks

Avoid Shadow Fallout: SK-II Signs Eye Masks
Time Inc. Digital Studio

Levy applies a hydrating eye patch under each eye before brushing on shadows. When the dust settles, it won't be on your face. "Once finished, I take off the masks and the mess goes with it," she says. Bonus: Your skin is left super-dewy and fresh.

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Tone Down A Too-Dark Lid: Q-Tips Cotton Swabs

Tone Down A Too-Dark Lid: Q-Tips Cotton Swabs 
Time Inc. Digital Studio

Got a bit carried away? Dip a cotton swab in a cleansing water, says Gita Bass. Run it around the perimeter of your smoky eye then lightly atop your lids to pick up some color. Since these types of formulas aren't oily, they'll remove excess pigment without ruining your makeup job. You can also brush a shimmery neutral shadow over the newly clean portions to create a brighter overall effect.

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Prevent Smudges: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Prevent Smudges: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Time Inc. Digital Studio

To ensure that the layers of color you've built don't crease or move down to your cheek after a few hours, Levy recommends applying translucent powder just outside the edges. Work it in with a small, fluffy brush, dusting over the perimeter.

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