Functional Girl: A column
by CJ LEGARE
Dear Functional Girl: I love the look of a smoky eye, but I have no idea how to create one. Got any tips to help me make my eyes smolder? — Jen B.
Dear Jen: Creating a sexy, smoky eye isn’t as arduous a task as it may seem. I’ve got some great tips to ease you through the process.
Keep in mind that black isn’t the only shade that you can use to make your eyes smolder. Grays, browns, purples, coppers and silvers are great alternatives. On occasion I’ll even smudge a deep blue around my eyes when I’m feeling a little retro.
Make sure that you don’t put any eye cream on your upper lids before applying eye shadow. Start with an eyelid primer or a matte concealer to prep your lids and under-eye area to bond with the pigment. Brush a little loose powder just under the lower eye area to catch any shadow flakes.
You can use several different tools to apply eye shadow, including brushes, sponge-tip applicators, Q-tips, shadow crayons, as well as your very own fingertips—the latter being my preferred method. I feel like I have more control over the application when I use my fingertips. Always use your ring finger when working around your eye area. It’s the weakest finger, and less likely to pull and tear at the delicate skin.
Start by patting a good layer of pigment from the lash line to the crease. For those of you who are new to this, start lightly and build your coverage until you get more comfortable. Once you’ve applied the first layer, wipe your finger, then use it to blend or “smoke” the shadow upwards toward the brow bone, and laterally toward the outer corner of the eye. The idea is to have the color saturated around the eye, and softly graduated outwards.
Next, use a medium-sized eye-shadow brush to apply a highlighting shade (lighter and contrasting) to the brow bone, and to blend the lighter shade seamlessly into the darker. Some smoky looks involve strong lines to contour the eye area, but I think soft blending is more suited for someone just learning the method.
Finally, use a Q-tip or small eye-shadow brush to take the darker shadow under the eye. Again, build the coverage gradually. Sweep the brush from the inner to the outer corners. If the shadow line feels heavy or severe, use your highlighting shade to soften and blend it. Apply a little highlighter to the inner corners of the eyes to make them sparkle. Apply a coat or two of black mascara to your upper and lower lashes. Finish up by wiping away the loose powder.
Dear Functional Girl: I recently decided to take the plunge and start my own floral business. I’m working with limited funds, so I’m going to have to build my own Web site with one of those easy-to-follow templates. Got any tips? — Crystal L.
Dear Crystal: Congratulations, girlfriend! You are taking a very brave and very rewarding step. I started my own company four years ago, and it’s been a roller-coaster ride. But I have no regrets.
Being a small-business owner, I network quite a bit. That’s how I met my Web guru, Sam Fullman. When I mentioned your question, his eyes lit up and he began to throw phrases like “digital shopping cart” and “SEO” at me. I laughed, and said, “Let’s just help her put up a functioning site, and then we can tackle search-engine optimization.” He offered these easy tips.
Sam Fullman is a Web developer and database consultant. His San Marcos-based company Compass Point Media (www.compasspointmedia.com) has been in business for 10 years now, and has a monthly newsletter. You may contact him at (512) 754-7927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Functional Girl CJ Legare lives in Kyle with her husband, Joshua, and is addicted to 2 percent organic milk. If you’ve got a question or comment for Functional Girl, email her here. She blogs at http://functionalgirl.com/