How to achieve a dramatic black smoky eye, according to Nicola Coughlan’s make-up artist

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Hanna Ibraheem
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Nicola Coughlan at the Oscar Wilde Awards 2020.

For the 2021 SAG Awards, Bridgeton star Nicola Coughlan wore a dramatic smoky eye – and her make-up artist revealed exactly how it was done.

Awards season is upon us and once again, this year’s ceremonies will take on a virtual setting due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, some celebrities are still giving us incredible red carpet moments. Case-in-point: Nicola Coughlan.

For the 2021 SAG Awards, Coughlan wore a dramatic black lace and tulle gown by Christian Siriano and paired her gorgeous dress with an equally strong beauty look.

Alongside a wet, slicked down bob, the Bridgerton star wore a bold red lip. But our favourite part of the entire look? Her easy-to-wear black smoky eye.

Some smoky eyes tend to take black eyeshadow across the entire eyelid, which can make it seem intimidating (and requires a lot of muscle-tiring blending). But Coughlan’s version keeps all of the attention along the lash line, making it the perfect option for those wanting to try a smoky eye for the first time.

Make-up artist Neil Young, who was behind Coughlan’s make-up, revealed that the key to her eye make-up was the mascara. Iconic London’s Triple Threat Mascara, £19, to be more precise.

This mascara has a thin wand that’s packed with dense bristles, helping to make it easier to reach the smallest of lashes. Interestingly though, Young opted to apply mascara before any eyeshadow, making it the first step to Coughlan’s eye look.

In an Instagram post, Young said: “For the eyes, several coats of Triple Threat Mascara were applied to add length, volume and depth to Nicola’s lashes. Doing this before eye make-up allows for application right into the roots of the lashes, allowing for an easy clean up.”

It makes sense – we’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve painstakingly blended and buffed our eyeshadow before smudging our handy work with mascara.

Once Young applied the mascara, he took Iconic London’s Nice to Naughty Eyeshadow Palette, £45 and added the shade Drop Me Out (a deep, dark black) along her lash line. To add dimension, he then added a small amount of lip oil over her eyelids for a subtle glossy finish.

“For extra definition we blended Drop Me Out from the Nice to Naughty Palette into the roots of the lashes and softened around the eye with a blending brush to create a sheer veil and followed with a few dots of Lip Oil in Sugar Mama to catch the light,” he explained.

An easy-to-wear smoky eye that’s also spring-time appropriate? Consider us sold.

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