How to do a Smokey Eye During A Patriarchal Political Apocalypse

Sarah Graalman
Extra Newsfeed
Published in
7 min readOct 19, 2017

Everything is great so let’s get glam!

Courtesy of Munch and Fil Vocasek

Hey guys! It’s me. Thought I’d holler at y’all with some hot tips on how to achieve a sultry smokey eye, in case you’re feeling particularly femme fatale this season, or are in a hurry to achieve some beauty goals since it could be our final fall forever-ever. Nothing like the end-times to pull out all the stops! The eyes are often acknowledged as our windows to the soul, so whether or not your soul is screaming in fear, is in deep regressive sleep-mode, or blazing with fury of a thousand Amazonian warrior queens — nothing off-sets deep existential fear like kohl eyeliner and some kicky eyeshadows.

Step 1! The first trick to ‘getting it right’ is making sure you are in the right head-space. How are you feeling today? Like there’s no point in general? Or is this current political climate making you feel totes SYFOF (sexy yet full of fury)? I always begin by peering into the mirror, pondering the far-reaching existential issues facing us currently. “Is this all really happening now? Are we in an alternate history? Will we perish in a nuclear war in the next 6 or so months? Is he president still? I checked this morning but its been a few hours.” Checks news again. Frantically paces. Hides money under floorboards for no discernible reason. “Would this president consider me a human since I’m probably just a level-four in his ratings-scale? Has my life been shaped by a patriarchal system? Do I still have Health Insurance?” Checks news again. “Maybe? Wait I can’t tell…No. Yes? What time is the vote today?” Writes angry letter to anyone. Sets up donation to 7th organization.

OK, Great! Now that you’ve played a little emotional chaos-jazz to get the creative juices flowing, let’s get glam.

Well, flimflam. You know what? Just skip step 2. You can slap foundation on later. We somehow lost 45 minutes while pondering futility and need to make up some time. I don’t really understand why I keep losing so much time these days. Stares at phone with unbridled, wide-eyed fear for another 20 minutes.

Step 3! Have you watched footage of icebergs collapsing yet? It’s. terrifying. Anyhow let’s choose your eye-shadows. For the simplest smokey eye, you’ll want two colors; one dark and one a little lighter, as well as one dark eyeliner. I normally go with waterproof, in case I suddenly burst into some good ole’ fear-tears. Waterproof pencil keeps the those tears from running that sultry lewk goin-on around the eyes. *Pro-tip: An overly-smudgy liner can turn playful sexy ‘drama’ into DUH-RAMMAAH. Ladies, you know we can’t afford to even snap at a rabid off-leashed dog without being called ‘erratic’ so let’s keep our chins up, eyes forward, and our liner ‘erratic-lookin’ free. Now, are you blindly furious constantly at news-alerts? SURE! But should your face be furious? Actually, don’t answer that yet. Though it seems we are backsliding in a biblical flood, we may receive word that visible passion and anger for women is not only acceptable but also the new fabulous trend of Winter 2017! (Anna Wintour, I’m looking at you.) Fingers crossed, cause I was born with a wee bit of indecipherable rage I’m pretty sure I’ve been masking for decades. Ha HA! I’m smiling, laughing, and shimmying as I said that, so no worries.

Step 4. Line the eyes thickly, blending it up towards the crease before the liner ‘sets’, using a flat brush. Actually, use whatever the hell you want to. Use a Q-tip. You know what? Use your fingers. Don’t waste your money buying a million brushes if you don’t have the extra funds. You have to pay for birth control again, so save save save. It’s not like women are responsible for not-having or having babies or are the gender paying more the functioning of our bodies or make less on the dollar than cis-gendered straight men as rules about existing in our bodies are tossed out like candy at a candy-themed-parade. But Viagra? Totes free. Haha! Hold on my vision just got blurry. Is the earth vibrating? Is it 5pm yet? Is there whisky anywhere? Is everything ok in the newziez? Do I still have health insurance? Is the earth shaking or am I having a panic attack? Is there a hurricane at my door? Is Trump a hurricane? Instead of ‘man’ is he a human fury-ball of destruction? Is that him at my door? Did he bring paper towels to clean up after himself? Where am I? Oh, right — we’re just gabbin’ beauty. Anyhow, yeah no brushes. Screw it.

Step 5. Apply eye-shadow, with the darkest color being placed closest to the lash line, blending up into the crease. Just dig into the shadow with your hands. It will soothe you. Maybe ‘meow’ the entirety of Beethoven’s 5th as you apply the shadow with your bare hands. You know how the smoke closest to the flame is the darkest? It’s like that- as though your soul is a flame and your eyes are a campfire and the shadow is the billowy smoke gently dissipating as it reaches the tree-tops, your eyebrows are like the trees. Ahhhh — remember the trees? Those sturdy earth statues that help us breathe and filter out toxins, stretching to the heavens through hopeful clear skies. We’d climb up their branches perching in them like they were thrones, all before we began staring endlessly into our phones awaiting news of environmental chaos and executive orders and terrifying twitter aler — -Oooh! A news alert! Maybe there is a small piece of hope in my phone!

Shouldn’t have done that. Trump is still President and the Hamburglar is now head of Health and Human services. YES it is humorously ironic that a masked cartoon villain famous for stealing extremely poor-quality burgers would have such a job. Now that vibrating panic has returned. Life hack: Take advantage that tremble. As your hands are shaking uncontrollably, just hold a brush or a q-tip to your eye and allow the shaking to naturally blend the shadows. Make your panic work for *you*. Is this all normal? Well, Betsy Devos is the Hamburglar of Education so Trump’s got himself a trope and he’s sticking to it. Have you watched those clips of the icebergs collapsing yet?

Step 6. Scream. Bellow. Let it out. Text a friend. Log-off from Facebook. Look at an old photo album and remember how soft your grandmother’s hands were. Ask photos of beloved ancestors if you’re doing ok. DO NOT LOOK AT SOCIAL MEDIA. Trust me. Someone you last saw decades ago is posting currently about All Lives Mattering and rhyming guns with ‘fun’ and you’re going to ruin your face. BREATHE. Remember what you were doing — Makeup! This all still matters, right? Why did we begin wearing makeup anyway? For them? For a President who talks down to women no matter if he’s judging them or seemingly complimenting them? Ohhhhh dear. Am I feeding into it all by loving lipstick? Will men call me ‘girl’ forever? I’m a woman, damnit! Stop spiraling, Sarah! You love makeup because its powerful and makes you feel good and it’s valuable. WE MUST COMPLETE THE TASK.

Step 7. It can’t be 2pm already. We started at 8am. We haven’t done mascara. Maybe you’re running out of steam or doubting whether or not the center will continue to hold, you mustn’t forget mascara. Universe collapsing or not, there is zero sense in having done all that work only to skirt the mascara. Catch your breath, tell your boss you were at a protest, and finish on the train. Pack it on, coating the front and backs of the lashes with mascara. Add more liner to the waterline. The kids call it ‘tight-lining’. Isn’t that a nice new thing to know? Appreciate the mindless time away from the news. Figure out how you want to fight today. Acknowledge something has shifted, though Trump is still President for another 200 years according to the ‘Trump Emotional and Destruction Calendar”. Is this a death rattle? Is this the end? Is Maybeline Great Lash an amazing mascara? The future is unwritten.

Warning: There is a 97% chance a male-timbered voice will interrupt you if you do any primping in public to say something like ‘Hey girl you’re hot you don’t need all that stuff’ or “Stop right there, you look GREAT!” or ‘I happen to think you look better with no makeup.” Why? Why this always? Clearly there’s a handbook out there titled “Phrasebook for Men Addressing Those Who Sport the Makeups” written in 1953, and is in its eighteenth printing. The book is outdated, my dudes! That book should be blank with the photo below on every page!

Step 7. Look up and stare at him in the eye. Feel free to take a spin with phrases like “I do this for me” or “It’s ok for you to not comment on my appearance” Or give a tight smile and think those phrases while staring at him for 5 solid seconds without blinking. Maybe bark once, just for fun and then return to your task. Never mind his minding-too-much. Go about your day with those eyes of fury. Repeat same steps next day if you’re feeling it. Maybe tomorrow you’ll feel like wearing a bright red lip, or blue eyeshadow. Maybe you feel like wearing nothing on your face at all. It’s currently still a free country, so do absolutely whatever you need to get through, cause you’re gonna get through it, one tight-lined eye at a time.