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Issa Pressman: Smoke and Mirrors

It’s easy to be intimidated by a black smoky eye. Many people (myself included) have shied away from black shadows in fear of looking too “mataray” or intense. Mix that with a natural RBF and risk having people cower in fear as I walk by? Hard pass! At least, that’s what I used to think. Taking this strong eye look against a more neutral base, as seen on Issa Pressman, does wonders in mixing statement yet delicate at the same time. Interested in trying it out for yourself? Read up on how to get this gorgeous smoky look below!

1. While the main focus of this look may be the eyes, Issa’s glowing, healthy skin is the glue that really ties the whole look together. This lightweight cream base is perfect for prepping the skin before foundation, leaving it with a soft, luminous dew. It also acts as a moisturizer and sunscreen (sans the white cast), keeping your skin nourished and protected throughout the day while extending the staying power of your makeup. Massage evenly into the skin and watch the magic happen!

2. This foundation from Maybelline is an excellent option for long-wearing, semi-mattes that don’t quite suck the life out of your skin. With such a lightweight formulation, the product blends easily onto the skin and wears comfortably throughout the day. This can be applied with either a beauty sponge or a brush, but I’d recommend a sponge to really press the product into the skin for a smoother, more flawless finish.

3. Because of my combination skin, I always make sure to set my foundation with powder. This pressed powder is a good inexpensive option for an effective oil-controlling powder that also gives the skin a slight (very slight; don’t expect a miracle!) airbrushed effect by minimizing the appearance of pores. Take some onto a brush—trust me; just skip the sponge it comes with—tap off the excess, and lightly dust across your face.

4. This product has been such a powerhouse for fluffy, brushed up brows that it feels almost sacrilegious not to mention it for this look. As an all-in-one brow product, the Boy Brow fluffs, fills, and shapes unruly brows for beautifully organized chaos. For Issa’s look, brush up your brows first with a clean spoolie, then proceed to coating them with the product in short upward strokes. Go back in with your clean spoolie to further shape and separate your brows for a fluffier, more dispersed look.

5. To truly bring out the full potential of our eyeshadow pigments, reduce fallout, and extend longevity, be sure to first prime the lids with an eyeshadow primer. This product from Detail Makeover is a great inexpensive option that makes sure your pigment really sticks. Tap some onto your lids with a brush or your fingertips.

6. Issa’s look is a gradient of browns, blacks, and purples. The key to achieving this depth is all in the blending, so be ready with a good blending brush. Take the matte tan shade all over the lids, under the lower lash line, and up to the brow bone, then layer the champagne gold shimmer shade directly on top of it for a little added glow. Take the plum shade (I suggest spraying your eyeshadow brush with some setting spray first for better adherence) and pack pigment until halfway up the lid. Take a blending brush and blend the plum shade up to the crease. Next, take the black shade and lightly build up pigment close to both the upper and lower lash lines. To avoid going full raccoon, layer the black up slowly! When satisfied with the intensity, blend gently outward.

7. Take this teeny pencil eyeliner from Chihuahua and line your eyes very, very closely to your lashes. Be sure to get all the way in, filling in the waterline completely. You can also smudge this slightly outward as well to blend out the harsh lines.

8. This look emphasizes the natural contours of Issa’s face. Warm up the edges of the face by taking this Rimmel bronzer onto a brush and lightly sweeping it close to the hairline all the way down to the jaw. Buff a little extra onto the hollows of your cheeks for a more defined cheekbone. Issa already has a lovely defined nose (so jealous!), so the contour on her nose bridge wasn’t heavy. For a more diffused look, tap a small amount of the bronzer onto your index fingers and, starting from the temples, glide downwards.

9. With the help of strong flash photography and an amazing makeup job, Issa’s skin really pops! Get her dewy (and borderline wet) highlight by using this powder highlighter from Maybelline! Dust some onto the high points of your face with a highlighter brush for a beautiful sheen without looking chalky. For added effect, brush some onto your brow bone and press a bit onto the inner corners of your eyes.

10. Move over, mattes! For this look, gloss is boss. For Issa’s shining nude lip, swipe some of NYX’s Intense Butter gloss across your lips for a pigmented yet luscious pinky tan shine.

Written by:

Julia Benito

Julia is Calyxta’s resident crazy plant lady with an unstoppable caffeine addiction and an ever-increasing love for glitter eye shadow. When she’s not staring out the window mulling over the correctness of her grammar, she can be found drawing on eyeliner, watching anime, reading books, or petting strangers’ dogs.

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