I do love a smokey eye.

A bride, in her pristine white dress with a slightly edgy, shimmery, smokey eye is such a beautiful, modern bridal look.

Photography by Sean Flanigan

Gone are the days when brides only had two looks to choose from on their wedding day ~ the bare faced, virginal, barely there look or the OTT, Dancing on Ice/drag queen ‘got to pile it on for the photos' look. Brides can be more adventurous and actually have fun with their make up ~ hurrah!

Smokey eyes are not strictly a night time look anymore either. I know plenty of girls who feel underdressed without a little bit of eyeliner/shimmery eye shadow so why should they suddenly go bare faced for their wedding?! Even Her Royal Highness Kate Middleton went for a slightly smokey look ~ which was so refreshing.

Here are some celebrities showcasing their stunning, smoldering, smokey eye make up…

Top row: Fashion Bomb Daily | RBT | Project Wedding | Bottom Row: Smokey Eye Tips | RBT | Project Wedding

I think the smokey eye is a truly universal look, it doesn't matter what skin tone or eye colour you have, there's a smokey look to suit you. Unfortunately, as lovely as it is, the perfect smokey eye can be quite hard to achieve {remember my Bobbi Brown make up session?} so who better to show us just how it's done than the super talented make up artist extraordinaire Mariam Jensen?!

Mariam specialises in the art of Airbrush Makeup {she also teaches at the prestigious Jemma Kid Makeup School in London} and has more than 12 years expertise working with top celebrities, musicians, TV production companies and leading bridal fashion brands. Lucky for us, she also offers fabulous makeup for weddings and special occasions!

Top image & bottom left: Shanna Melville Bridal Couture | Edwina Ibbotson Millinery | Make Up By Mariam Jensen

Today, Mariam is going to share a basic ‘suits' all smokey eyed bridal look using black, beige and shimmering brown tones but you could always adapt it using other shimmery shades instead of brown. Greys, purples, greens…the sky's the limit!

How To Create The Perfect Bridal Smokey Eye…

1. Start with a clean eye with nothing on the lid area, no eye cream, foundation, etc as this can make the makeup crease. For the first step, I like to prep the eye with a primer such as MAC Prep and Prime Eye which is great     for neutralising any discolourations on the lid but also creates the perfect base for your makeup.

2. Next, highlight subtly on the brow bone with MAC Eyeshadow in Shroom applied with the soft 224 Brush for a light wash of colour.

3. Use the MAC 217 Brush to blend a dark base colour on lower lid of eye; I really like MAC Paint Pot in Blackground {a gorgeous luminous black shade}. I would blend this colour to the crease with the same brush and then take the same colour along the bottom lash line using a pencil brush, like MAC 219 Brush.

4. To add dimension and colour to the look, try adding MAC Pigment in Chocolate Brown on top of the colour on the lid with a flat fluff brush, such a MAC 213 Brush, this gorgeous warm brown shade looks great on almost anyone and is really wearable.

On the outer corners you can blend some dark brown or black shades to make the look smokier with the same 213 Brush. Be careful with placement of brush, blending the colour into the socket/crease.

Next use the pencil brush to add some colour to the bottom lash line, I like to layer the deeper shades and add a touch of the pigment to add texture to the look.

5. Finally I would rim the eyes with a black pencil, I like MAC Smolder Eye Kohl as it glides on easily and is also great for blending with shadows for smokier looks.

6. Finish off the look with an amazing set of false eyelashes. I am a big fan of Shu Uemura's Partial Soft Cross Lashes which are in segments that can be added where desired to create volume and length.

The finishing touches

To complement this popular bridal look, opt for gorgeous, flawless skin created with the use of airbrush makeup and either a soft nude or bold lip for a sexy look that lasts the whole day.

Here are some gorgeous real brides rocking a classic, smokey eyed look similar to Mariam's tutorial…

Top row: Sean Flanigan | Style Me Pretty | Snippet & Ink| Bottom Row: Callway Gable| Jose Villa| Style Me Pretty

They look positively stunning! Race you to the Mac counter?!

If you do go the DIY route, it goes without saying {but I'll say it anyway} practice, practice, practice before the big day…and put your dress on after you've finished your make up to avoid unsightly smudges and potential spillages!

Alternatively, if you're not that confident applying your own make up or you'd rather be pampered, I suggest leaving it to an expert. Mariam Jensen is based in London, England. Check out her website and blog to see more of her gorgeous work.

SPECIAL OFFER ~ For a limited period, Mariam Jensen is offering a special rate on bridal bookings for weddings from January – May 2012. Brides can enjoy full on-day airbrush makeup for the bride and bridal party for the price of traditional makeup. For further information on Mariam Jensen and her airbrush make-up services, visit www.mariamjensen.com or call +44 (0) 797 040570.