How To Do Smokey Eyes

The smokey eye is a classic beauty look that always appears stunning. Whether it’s date night, a cocktail party, or something incredibly glamorous, like a red carpet show, a smokey eye is the perfect makeup look for a range of events. 

How To Do Smokey Eyes

It may look complicated, but a smokey eye is easy to do when you break all of the steps down. You don’t have to be an expert makeup artist to master this look!

You’ll learn how to do a smokey eye in this post, including the tools you’ll need for the look and a step-by-step guide that takes you through the process.

Keep reading to find out how to perfect your smokey eye look!

How To Do A Smokey Eye

Things You’ll Need

  • Concealer: Opt for a full-coverage product to smooth and prime your eyes. You can swap this for an eyeshadow primer if you prefer.
  • Shader brush: This is a dense eyeshadow brush that’s perfect for packing on color.
  • Blending brush: This is a fluffy brush designed to blend colors so they look seamless.
  • Eyeshadow palette: You’ll need three shades for a smokey eye. One is for the highlight, another for the crease, and another for an all-over color.
  • Gel liner: You can opt to blend the gel out for a diffused look or create a sharp, clean wing instead. 
  • Mascara: Black mascara is best for a smokey eye. A waterproof one is best for events as this will stay in place for the whole night.

Steps To Do A Smokey Eye

Once you have your supplies, follow these steps to perfect a smokey eye.

Step 1: Prime Lids

Start by priming your eyelids with a concealer or eyeshadow primer. This will act as a base and prevent any shadow from smudging as you go about your day. 

Step 2: Choose Your Shadow

A smokey eye traditionally involves three shades: one for the lid, one for the crease, and the last one for a highlight.

Crease shades are usually the darkest shade, the lid shade is normally a mid-tone, and the highlight shade is the lightest.

Smokey eyes often involve matte colors in brown, navy, and black shades, but feel free to try out brighter and bolder colors.

Try to avoid a full-on dark look if you have small eyes, as this can make your eyes look smaller. You can use a gray or dark brown color to tone down some of the black’s intensity.

Step 3: Apply Your Lid Shade

Use your flat shadow brush to press the all-over lid shade onto your eyelid. Aim to blend it a little from the lower area of your lid to the middle. This will diffuse the color so it doesn’t look too stark and saturated. 

If you have hooded eyes or want to make your eyes look more open, apply the color above your crease and nearer to your brow. This will make it seem like you have more lid space, which opens the eyes more.

Step 4: Apply The Crease Shade

Add dimension to the lid color by adding the crease shade. Choose a color that is a shade or two deeper than your all-over lid color. 

Use your blending brush to diffuse the color to the outer area of your eye. Move towards the middle of your lid as you apply the color in little circular motions. Add more layers to make the pigment bolder, until the color looks smokey and blended. 

Once there is a smooth shift between your all-over lid shade and crease color, you can move on to the following step.

How To Do Smokey Eyes

Step 5: Apply Highlight

Now apply a lighter shadow that’s a shade or two lighter than your all-over lid shade. This should extend from your crease to the brow bone. 

The highlight color will finish off the gradient effect and tie the look together. Add a dab of the same color in the inner corners of your eyes to make you look more awake. 

Step 6: Blending

If you notice any areas that don’t look as seamless, use the shadow brush to blend between the colors. Use your fluffy brush and keep blending until everything looks diffused.

Step 7: Eyeliner

Use a black eyeshadow to draw out your desired eyeliner look. After you’re happy with the shape, use your gel liner to go over the shadow. Don’t forget your lower and upper lash lines.

If your smokey eye isn’t that intense, opt for a pencil liner, as this won’t look as harsh. On the other hand, if you prefer a sharp cat eye, go for a liquid liner. 

Step 8: Mascara

Apply the rest of your makeup, like foundation, concealer, and blush, before finishing off your eyes. This will prevent any face makeup from sticking to the eyelashes, ensuring that they look as dark and black as possible. 

Apply mascara once you’re happy with the way your eyes look. It’s best to apply mascara to your bottom lashes before your top ones. This stops the product from rubbing onto your eyelids when you look up to apply it. 

Now you know how to apply a smokey eye!

Smokey Eye Tips

Here are some makeup tips to help you when doing a smokey eye:

Keep Eye Makeup Remover Handy

Apply your smokey eye first, then use a Q tip dipped in eye makeup remover to clean up any edges. This keeps the look as polished as possible.

Remember Placement

When it comes to the lower lashes, avoid taking the color down too much. The eyeshadow shouldn’t go past your lower lashes, but remain as close to them as possible. The color should be denser near the lash line, but diffuse out as you get further down.

Avoid applying eye makeup around the tear troughs. This is where concealer is meant to go. Eyeshadow should remain in the outer corners and under the iris.

Experiment With Color

Smokey eyes can be done in lots of different colors, not just black! Have fun playing with bolder shades of plum, emerald, or charcoal gray. 

Blur Away

Smokey eye makeup shouldn’t look too precise, but should have a skilled smudge to it. Use a small dome brush or a crease brush to blend out any harsh lines. 

Lightly blur the shades under your eyes too, but as mentioned above, avoid applying the color too far down.

The Bottom Line

Smokey eyes can look intimidating, but once you break it down, the look is quite simple to do! 

Remember that practice makes perfect, so keep trying the process before your event and see how much you improve. 

We hope you have fun experimenting with different eyeshadow colors as you practice your smokey eye look!

Willa Price

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