7 Steps to the Perfect Smokey Eye for Beginners

I thought I’d pop in and share a beauty tutorial with you — the smokey eye. I know it sounds intimidating, especially if you’re not really a makeup kinda gal, but it’s a lot easier than it looks. There are many variations and options you have while creating a smokey eye but today I am going to focus on a very basic version of it. Maybe I’ll get into adding colors and such a bit later.

Let’s get started!

Easy Smokey Eye

What I used for this look:

  • Makeup Primer – I used Smashbox & I love it.
  • Naked 2 Palette – however any palette or individual colors of black, smokey grey, light/shimmer grey, and a beige/cream work perfectly.
  • Strong black eye liner. I used Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Smoke. Something like this is perfect because it’s not just a liner. You can smudge it out to create that awesome smokey look.
  • Mascara. I use Voluminous by L’Oreal. Continues to be my favorite.
  • Falsies (optional). No reason to spend a ton on them either, the e.l.f. brand works fabulous for just $1.

Alright, now you’re ready! Let’s get to work on this smokey eye look.

Beginner's Smokey Eye

Let’s break this down … >> find out more…

natalia

Natalia is a mom to two crazy boys and wife to one handsome dude. She lives in France part of the year where her husband plays professional basketball, but she hails from Southern California. The hubs was born & raised in Nassau, Bahamas, which makes them an intercultural, interracial family traveling the globe together since 2007. She loves to cook (but mostly eat), hang with her fam, be adventurous, & find ways to stay girlie in a house full of men. On her site you can find loads of hair tutorials, makeup ideas, & fashion tips for the everyday woman. She believes that beauty and fashion don't have to be intimidating and that every woman should learn to embrace her own beauty.

Look For the Best Natural Foundation for You

What do you look for in a foundation?  Do you look for anything special in a foundation?  Do you even wear foundation?  A lot of us don’t, and I’m in and out of that camp all the time because I just don’t like the feel of heaviness on my skin.  At all.  The most I can handle on my face normally is a very lightweight moisturizer and some blush.  When it’s a special occasion or I need serious coverage for family photos or a random photo shoot.  In my day-to-day life I just don’t like the feel of anything on my skin.

find the right foundation

Still, my skin is a train wreck, and I feel a little better covering up some of this mid-30′s hormonal skin nonsense.   I’ve been on the lookout for just the right thing for awhile, and today I’m partnering with bareMinerals to share a new liquid foundation with you, called bareSkin, and so far I like it a lot.

how to choose the best natural foundation
It’s pretty important to shake up any liquid foundation before you start applying it because all the mineral and liquid goodness sinks to the bottom of the jar in-between uses.  bareSkin® foundation has been 20 years in the making and

>> find out more…

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

Repurpose Your Easter Baskets After the Candy is Gone

monsters inc easter basket

When Easter is over, as it is about to be, what do you do with all the leftover Easter baskets?  In my house growing up, my mom would stash all 10 Easter baskets back under the stairs, grass and all, to wait it out until the following Easter holiday.  I’m not quite as organized as my mother, maybe because I’m free to wing it with only 2 kids instead of 8, which means each year is different than the next.  More often than not, I forget I even have Easter baskets under my stairs, or I’m lured into buying new ones every year both by the children and myself.

children's storage

What does one do with all the baskets of the world flowing everywhere?  I’ll tell you what I do: after Easter half the time I send them to a thrift store and the other half I re-purpose them into something useful for the remaining 11 months of the year.

monster

This year my little guy (he’s still little to me) is getting an adorable little monster basket filled to the brim with Peeps and chocolate eggs.  And when he’s all done using it I’m filling it with toy cars to sit … >> find out more…

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

eShakti

eShaktiDo you ever find a piece of clothing that you love……”except”? That’s my shopping experience all too often. Often I find a dress I love, but I wish it was a little shorter.  The perfect top, except that I’ll have to layer it with a camisole because the neckline plunges a bit too far. We’ve all been there. Luckily, though, eShakti solves these, and a multitude of other, fashion dilemmas.

I was over-the-moon thrilled when I discovered eShakti. I figured everyone knew about it, but as I’ve talked with my friends I’ve found that most of them have never heard of it. So, I’m here to share it with you.Dress

As an online retailer, the thing that sets eShakti apart is the ability to customize the pieces you order.  No joke! Let’s say you find a dress that you love on their site (and you will, because the clothes are darling). To begin with, the size range for their clothing is amazing. Most items are offered from XS-6X. Woot! After finding the size that works for you, you will be asked to enter your height. Why? Because they will custom tailor the length to you.

But wait! Don’t like … >> find out more…

Carrie

Hello everyone, I’m Carrie. I’m a family photographer, and a mom of three elementary school kids. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Oregon, but I’ve lived on the east coast for the last eight years. I love exploring new places, baking, volunteering at my kids’ school, and reading. You can check out my other work at Cabesh Photography.

The Antique Route in Pretoria South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa, Antique RouteI wouldn’t call myself a hard core antique hunter, but every once in a while I do love a fun search for treasures that provide a special touch to the home. Moving to South Africa made antique shopping a little harder, but not impossible, when I discovered the antique route in Pretoria South Africa.

Pretoria, South Africa, Antique Route

map credit

South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria may be four hours away from my home, but that hasn’t stopped an occasional weekend trip to hunt for forgotten gems. Twelve shops line a 5 kilometer route through a quaint part of Pretoria. From old books to aged vinyls to charming wardrobes, you’ll find it all, each shop possessing their own flavor that makes them truly unique.

I’ve visited just about every single shop on the route. For my taste of cool vintage but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, these are the shops that catch my eye every single time.

Pretoria, South Africa, Antique Route

Bellbottoms

By far the coolest little shop you’ll find on the route. Heavier on the bric-a-brac (aka knick knacks), there’s a high possibility you’ll find something to add to your home decor. The room of vinyls will have you sorting through for hours. At their … >> find out more…

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

How To Pack Makeup For Travel

How To Pack Makeup For Travel (And Break Proof It In The Process) | Petit ElefantFeeling fresh and pretty at 40,000 feet can be about as easy as figuring out middle seat armrest etiquette. Mainly because: makeup. Our favorite blushes and balms aren’t always very travel-friendly, crumbling faster than the little behind you who can’t pop his wee ears.

But if years of travel have taught me anything, it’s how to pack makeup properly. Streamlining is key of course, and comes down to focusing on the essentials you’ll need to feel your best – primer, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, blush and finishing powder; plus the implements (think brushes and an eyelash curler) to apply them.

How To Pack Makeup For Travel (And Break Proof It In The Process) | Petit ElefantThese are my tried-and-true favorites, and despite being accidentally stepped on (carry-on bags have a tendency to slide during takeoff and landing), dropped in hotel bathrooms and otherwise handled less than gently, have stayed intact and mess-free, making me feel a lot less stressed and a lot more pretty. (Nothing goes on worse than that shattered powder blush you just tried to scoop off the floor with a postcard, thinking you can just pretend it’s the loose mineral variety. Trust me.)

Then there’s makeup bags. We all know there are some super gorgeous ones that make us happy whenever … >> find out more…

Pilar

A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer, social media strategist, photographer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared in and on some cool sites like Babble, CNN, Huffington Post, Yahoo and Fandango (where she's Contributing Editor of the Family Room).

Asparagus Bacon Frittata for Easter Brunch

asparagus frittata with baconEaster Brunch is one of my family’s favorite meals to share together. We’re big on breakfast foods at our house and especially when it comes to egg dishes like omelets and frittatas. And especially when it comes to a good asparagus recipe. Asparagus goes very well with eggs and bacon. This is one of those brunch recipes that is also delicious for lunch or dinner. This asparagus bacon frittata is very savory and satisfying. I served it up with a side of home fries browned up in a little bit of the bacon drippings.

brunch asparagus frittata with bacon

I don’t buy bacon very often, so when I do, there are often cheers heard ’round the house – “bac-on! bac-on! bac-on!” And then the sneaking starts. One piece here. A nibble there. I can’t blame the poor kids. Bacon is mighty tasty. And this woudn’t be an asparagus bacon frittata without it.

When it comes to cheese, you want to use a stronger one that holds up to the flavor of the bacon and meshes well with the asparagus. I used an four cheese Italian blend this time. Usually I go with gruyere which is one of the greatest cheeses EVER. Mozzarella is nice and … >> find out more…

Lindsey Johnson

Lindsey Johnson can usually be found in one of three places--the kitchen (cooking and washing dishes), behind her camera, or at her laptop editing photos and writing. If she's not in any of those places, chances are she's chasing after her three crazy kids or scoring a great find at the thrift store. She writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia and lives near the beautiful mountains in Utah with the aforementioned three crazy kids and one great husband.

7 Minute Makeup Look for a Fresh Face

It’s completely realistic to get gorgeous in the morning with a an easy, everyday, 7 minute makeup look.  It’s true. Stay with me. Work, school, kids, dinner, housework, family time. These are just a few things that take up life, often we probably even have more to add to the list. Just because we’re busy doesn’t mean we can’t make time for ourselves, though.  I don’t know about you, but when I make the effort to, put on makeup and attempt my hair I feel so much better. I’m actually a lot more productive!Easy Everyday Makeup lookI have whittled my makeup routine down to 7 minutes. That’s right, seven. How do I know it’s seven? Well, I timed it. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t lying to ya’ll. Oh and I had a couple of little boys interrupting me to check on their dinosaurs, so you might even be able to knock this out in less! Here’s what I used for my 7 minute makeup routine. You can most certainly adapt to what you have or what works for you.

Eyes: Revlon palette. I love these palettes but the one I use the most is called Impressionist. It’s simple … >> find out more…

natalia

Natalia is a mom to two crazy boys and wife to one handsome dude. She lives in France part of the year where her husband plays professional basketball, but she hails from Southern California. The hubs was born & raised in Nassau, Bahamas, which makes them an intercultural, interracial family traveling the globe together since 2007. She loves to cook (but mostly eat), hang with her fam, be adventurous, & find ways to stay girlie in a house full of men. On her site you can find loads of hair tutorials, makeup ideas, & fashion tips for the everyday woman. She believes that beauty and fashion don't have to be intimidating and that every woman should learn to embrace her own beauty.

How To Home Gel Removal DIY

how to remove gel nails

Manicures at home are pretty much my specialty.  I love doing my own nails, so much so that I have a regular old salon party every Sunday night with my ridiculous collection of OPI nail polish; I watch my stories and give myself a manicure and go to a super happy place before the week turns to madness.  It’s a ritual I’ve had for a long time and I don’t feel quite right on Monday if I don’t have pretty painted nails.

It’s just a thing, and we all have our things, don’t we?

how to remove shellac nails

Well anyway.  I always have my nails done, it’s just how I roll.  But when I travel I hate to take nail polish with me unless it’s an emergency (sometimes I have, in fact, had nail emergencies, deal with it) so if I’m traveling for more than 5 days I like to get a shellac/gel manicure so I’m not stressing about chipped nail polish (a trashy look on me).

how to remove a gel manicure

Eventually though even a gel manicure starts to peel, taking the whole nail-bed with it, and the temptation to peel the manicure all the way off becomes too much for me (gel peels off like a … >> find out more…

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!