Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Build a Quad: “Smoky Duo”

To me, the classic smoky eye is a mix of grays, silvers, and blacks–but the best part about smoky eyes? You can make any eye smoky. I thought rather than just doing a monochromatic quad for smoky eyes (at least, this time around!), it’d be nice to give you the ability to create two different smoky eyed looks in one.

This quad includes: MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow (a soft, lightly shimmered beige), MAC Soft Brown eyeshadow (matte reddish medium brown), MAC Silver Ring eyeshadow (shimmery silver-gray), and MAC Carbon eyeshadow (matte black).

A few combinations to try with this…

  • Ricepaper all over the lid, Soft Brown in the outer corner/crease, Ricepaper to highlight
  • Ricepaper all over the lid, Soft Brown in the outer corner/crease, Carbon dusted lightly in the crease, Ricepaper to highlight
  • Ricepaper all over the lid, Silver Ring on the outer lid/corner, Carbon in the crease, Ricepaper to highlight
  • Silver Ring all over the lid, Carbon in the crease, Ricepaper to highlight

A few looks I’ve done that can be replicated with these shades…

Build a Quad is a feature focusing on creating different eyeshadow palettes that are both beautiful and functional using permanent shades of eyeshadow. We invite readers to suggest their own build-a-quads — just leave your ideas in the comments! Don’t forget to name your quad! :)

See swatches

Ricepaper, Soft Brown, Silver Ring, Carbon

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20 thoughts on “Build a Quad: “Smoky Duo”

  1. Roxanne

    Nice! Is that really Carbon though? It has glitter in it on the picture (but we all know what Carbon looks like, right?! :)).
    I think Soft Brown is the odd one out. Personally I would replace it with a very light silvery grey (Gorgeous maybe?. Soft Brown just feels as if it fits better in a brown/neutral palette to me!
    Anyway, nice palette. Will you be doing something really colourful soon? Like a rainbow/sunrise palette? Just a thought.

    • Hey Roxanne,

      It’s *my* Carbon, LOL. Which has a bunch of shimmer particles in it, from being housed with other shimmers and brush double-dipping. Luckily, though, the shimmers don’t actually transfer (always applies matte). The photos are all doctored (like I’m cropping out lil’ circles from photos of my own stuff) so they’re more color accurate than if I used MAC’s!

      Try Soft Brown with Carbon – it’s such a nice way to add depth to brown, I swear :)

      • Roxanne

        Oh, I figured you used the pictures from the MAC-site. You’re right though, the MAC colors are NEVER accurate!

        I was just thinking of trying Carbon with Soft Brown! Great minds think alike LOL :) That color still needs to grow on me, though. I just don’t know how to make it work! Thank you for the tip!

        • Soft Brown is one of my FAVORITE matte shades ever. I looked at the quad, and I was like, “This looks weird,” but I had actually started from swatches before putting it into the photos, and I liked the way the swatches worked. (I also did this neutral to smoky eye experiment a year or so ago that used Soft Brown & Carbon, which is where I got the inspiration from!)

          Soft Brown is amazinggg in the crease!

  2. Great combo! I don’t have Silver Ring, but it’s on my list of things to get after Christmas. :)

  3. aradhana

    interesting quad…i will have to try the soft brown/carbon combo sometime soon…

    my suggestion for a quad would be my current fave:
    soft brown
    brown down

    looking at the colours in the pan, it seems all kind of the same, but it allows me to achieve a range of looks, from subtle to smokey…i suppose one of the two medium brown could be replaced with a highlighter like ricepaper, but hush does the trick on my skintone…

  4. rashmi

    wow i havent seen ricepaper but m tempted to buy this one
    just a thought is this somewhat similar to naked lunch ???
    and soft brown is too good nice to add to a collection

    thanks for posting … pls do a pink and gold quad
    otherwise pls suggest a pink and gold quad for me here

    thanks christine and yes yes i wanna share something with u i got mac 226 brush online … how cool is that

    • Ricepaper is pretty! It’s a lot lighter and not as shimmery as Naked Lunch. Soft Brown is definitely a must have!

      You could try: Goldmine, Expensive Pink, Passionate, and Antiqued.

      So glad you got the 226!

  5. Katie

    I love these build a quad posts. They give me so many ideas for color combos!

  6. Nicole

    Somehow Soft Brown doesn’t look like it belongs and fits to the other shades. I would replace it with somethink like Omega or a cooler brown color.

  7. Wow I LOVE the quad! I might make it myself, I’m just missing Silver Ring! Another great look with these would be;
    Carbon over the lid, then fading up toward the crease with Silver ring, then from Silver ring, Ricepaper blending out to brow bone!
    Really simple but could be effective! Would smoke & diamonds be a good sub for silver ring?!

    Thanks for the great posts Christine!

    • Definitely try it! :) At least the combo, even if you don’t make the quad itself.

      Smoke & Diamonds would work in its place, though I wouldn’t say the two are identical – but it’d be pretty!

  8. glitter princess

    I have all colours bar carbn s i use boots no 7 black and i use ruby and millies black which I perfer! once i run out will either get carbon or urban decay’s zero! I have to say I love soft brown! its such a lovely shade I always apply this on my creae first to give it more dimnsin as i have asian eyes :)!!!

    ps – i love these build a quad post!! yeaahhhh XX

  9. Danielle

    This is actually a really great combination of colors. I think you’ve made some great choices. Some people may think that the Soft Brown does not work in this palate, but I think the complete opposite. It is a great color for the crease to soften out what can become harsh by using the darker colors. For example, I would use this palate as so:

    Silver Ring on the lid
    Soft Brown in the crease
    Ricepaper under the brow to highlight
    Carbon in the outer crease/v to add more depth to the crease and “smoke” it out

    As a matter of fact, this type of combo is what I go to whenever I create a smoky eye. A light shade like Ricepaper (Vanilla, Orb, Shroom, etc.) to highlight, a medium to light brown shade to define the crease (Brownscript, Soft Brown, Saddle, etc.), my color of choice for the lid (just the other day I used Greensmoke), and Carbon for extra definition/ smoke factor.

    • Hey Danielle!

      It’s definitely one of those “you have to see it to believe it” kind of combos, I think. I played with swatches before I put it into Photoshop, and I’d definitely agree that it looks “off” but the combo works SO SO well!