Red carpet makeup can look perfect on our television but be too much of a good thing for the real world. But one beauty staple that never disappoints from red carpet to runway to sidewalk to boardroom is the smoky eye. The look is a favorite for award-winning director Ava Duvernay who looked stunning at this month’s Golden Globe Awards and at the NAACP Image Awards (above). “We wanted to up the ante on Ava’s signature black smoky eye by creating additional dimension, and infusing colour and texture with a shimmery blue,” says Uzo, NARS Globe Artistry Director who created the look using the brand’s Velvet Shadow Stick in Glénan.

We asked NARS lead make up artist Gillian Okopny about what makes this look stand the test of time.

Everything Zoomer: Why does the smoky eye remain such a popular beauty look?

Gillian Okopny: I feel that the smoky eye remains to be a popular beauty look because it is a classic and timeless look like a Red lip. Over the years we have seen different variations of it which reflect the trends of that era but it has always been a great way to enhance the level of glamour in any look.

EZ: And what makes it flattering on women over 40, 50 and beyond?

GO: A smoky eye adds more seductiveness and drama to the eyes for women of any age.

EZ: Are there any make up do’s or don’t’s for the smoky eye for women over 50?

GO: A makeup ‘do’ is find your personal makeup style. Wear what makes you feel like your most gorgeous self and take some risks along the way. ‘Don’t’ feel that you need to do something just because you see it all over Instagram or Youtube. If you see an interesting look, ask yourself “is this me?” When in doubt, book a consultation with a professional. Nars Artists can teach you how to take the latest trend and make it your own.

EZ: Any other tips for application? The NARS shadow stick is a shadow, not a liner, but was used on Ava DuVernay at the Globes to line the eyes, what is the advantage of a shadow stick over pencil or liquid liner?

GO: The great thing about the Nars Shadow Sticks is that they are both your eyeshadow AND your eyeliner! I am such a fan of these sticks because they are so user friendly and can take your eyes from soft to smokey with one easy application. They are great to wear alone or layered under eyeshadows for more dimension.

EZ: Should women of a certain age stay away from black and try more subtle colour?

GO: I feel that makeup is more of a reflection of someone’s personal style rather than age and is more dependent on one’s comfort wearing the makeup. If a woman in her 50’s feels like wearing a dark black smoky eye, I say go for it! If she is trying out a smoky eye for the first time, she may feel more comfortable trying more subtle shades such as a warm brown or light grey. Try Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Brousse or Bellissima for an impactful yet soft look.