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LESSONS:

CASSANDRA GREY’S
GUIDE TO THE
SMOKEY EYE

Our Founder on how she achieves Victoria Beckham’s clean-yet-dirty signature look in ten easy steps.

Photographer NAJ JAMAI

It only took a year and some odd months commuting from the couch to the bed for me to become accustomed to a certain lifestyle that consists of getting dressed from the waist up, an in-depth skin routine (basically a spa-grade, at-home facial), and an unlimited Zoom account that doesn’t kick you out after 45 minutes. While I wasn’t exactly invited to the Met Gala this year, and I didn’t jet off to Paris Fashion Week like everyone else on the ‘gram, I am falling back into glamour at home in the endless hot girl summer that is Los Angeles.

For me, there is nothing more glamorous than waking up in makeup and perfume from the night before. Of course, I would never actually go to bed without washing my face for fear of being fired from my job, however, I do believe I have mastered that “night before” look, that not unlike my pixie hair cut, I stole from Victoria Beckham. 

I like my skin to look clean, healthy, and impossibly glowy, as though I have no foundation on, and I like my eyes to look dirty and disheveled like I did something @deuxmoi-worthy the night before. It really took me years of studying makeup artists to now be in the position to share my secrets with you.  

And share I shall:

10-STEP SMOKEY EYE

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I start by ZIIP-ing for 15 minutes to sculpt and tighten, then I hydrate and activate dormant skin cells with my serums. Currently, I am alternating between the Eighth Day Regenerative Serum and The Serum by Augustinus Bader, both of which create healthy, young, and glowy skin. They are both expensive, but in this case you really get what you pay for and a little drop goes a long way.

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I then mix Dr. Barbara’s Sturm’s Sun Drops into her signature purslane-rich hydrating face cream. My skin feels so fresh and clean with this mix and I know I’m protecting my [very expensive] skin from the sun.

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PRO-TIP: when I want a dirty, smokey eye, I always apply all my face makeup first, and if I want a polished cat eye, I always apply my eye makeup first. To that end, for this step, I apply CHANEL’s Les Beige Healthy Glow Fluid in Sunkissed all over my face to even my skin tone by providing translucent-yet-camera-ready coverage using the game-changing CHANEL No. 102 foundation brush.

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I then apply my all-time favorite complexion product since 2005, which is, of course, a in-every-artists’-kit Hollywood hero product–Yves Saint Laurent’s incomparable Touche Éclat concealer. I like to use a Concealer under my eyes and where I may have any red splotches and this magic wand brightens and conceals perfectly. I love it so much.

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Next is the bronzer and no one does bronzer better than Mr. Tom Ford. Currently, I am loving his Soleil Glow Bronzer, but I am proud to say I own every bronzing product he has ever made.

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Then I highlight. And then I highlight again throughout the day. And then again at night. If I’m being honest, it’s really hard to choose just one highlighter out of my collection to recommend to you, but if I have to, I choose the Lit Up Highlight Stick by Westman Atelier. It’s clean, really hard to mess up, and the packaging looks so good when I take it out during the day–almost like an accessory to my top-half outfit.

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Next come the brows. I can spend 45 minutes on my brows if I’m really going for it, but for a quick never-fail job, I use this recently-discovered Brow Cheat by Charlotte Tilbury.

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Now for the best part! To really blend like Beckham I use the VBB Smoky Eye Brick in Tweed. I absolutely love this color combination–it really creates that dirty, smokey look but it also has warmth which makes my eyes pop. And while the look is dirty and decadent, her formulations are clean and vegan.

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After I have applied a ton of eye shadow, I go over it with Victoria Beckham’s Satin Kajel Liner in Bordeaux, applying it and then blending it with the smudger (conveniently located on the same stick). Side note: it’s like she thought of everything I would need to steal her look. She really is such a generous woman in that she is so supportive of others (me included) and gives away all her beauty secrets. Well, she doesn’t quite give them away, but her stuff is luxury at an accessible price. I digress.

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Like my brows, I can spend 45 minutes on my lips and cheeks too (seriously, go check out my IG to see that tutorial), but to keep this step easy and [almost] effortless, I apply the Touche Éclat Concealer (used earlier) on my lips to make them look fuller, then tap on Jillian Dempsey’s Cheek Tint in Petal over the concealer and also to my cheekbones, then I use the Westman Highlighter along my Cupid’s Bow.

BONUS STEP: Don’t forget to buy one of our iconic VIOLET GREY-branded makeup bags in patent white to put all the above products in. Then label the bag GO-TO MAKEUP LOOK to keep all your steps in one place.