Neo Noir: Dramatic Metallic Look

I wanted to revisit the classic dark-eyes-dark-lips noir look, but update it a little with muted, mysterious colors on the lids. It’s actually quite a simple look to recreate.

I’m using limited edition crushed metallic pigments from MAC, but you can easily find alternatives in the permanent range. You will need:

  • Black pencil
  • Bright teal-green (Rain Drop pigment; alternative: MAC Steamy shadow)
  • Pale silver-green (Moss Garden pigment; alternative: MAC Reflects Transparent Teal)
  • Mascara

Alternatively, you can choose any color as long as you pair a bright medium shade and a coordinating pale glittery shade. Just remember that because you are applying the shadow over a black base, the shades you choose need to be a shade lighter/brighter than you intend them to be. If you’re not sure, just test it over black pencil on the back of your hand first.

Step 1: I began by applying a very thick coat of black kajal to the entire lid, up to the socket line. Then I ran it along the loewr lash line as well.

Step 2: Using a finger, very lightly smoke out the edges of the liner so you don’t have any harsh lines. It should just look like a smoky eye.

Step 3: Laying the first shade; apply the medium shade onto the entire lid, over the black, leaving only the center empty. I used my fingers because that controls crushed metal pigments better, but if you’re using regular pigment or pressed shadow, just use a shadow brush.

When you’re done, just brush or gently smudge the color out at the outer corners to create faint wings.

Step 4: With a damp flat brush, I picked up the more glittery, pale shade and smoothed it onto the center of the lid. Blend slightly into the first shade, but not too much.

Next, apply the pale shade to the innermost corners of the eyes as well.

Step 5: Finish by touching up black liner along the water line, and then applying mascara.

For the lips, I applied a dark liver-brown (MAC Amplified Lipstick in Deepest Wish), then kept the cheeks soft with a very light pink (Bourjois Eye Shadow #15).