Whether you are going to a concert or a gala, the smokey eye can give a sophisticated touch to your look. Perfecting this technique isn't just for makeup professionals and artists: anyone with the right tools and a bit of know-how can do it.
Method 1 of 3: Get started
Step 1. Choose your colors
You can use any color to make a smokey eye, although it will take three shades of the same skin tone. We create a classic smokey eye with black or gray, but bronze and brown can also be used.
- Green eyes stand out particularly well with eyes made up of gray or mauve, while blue eyes are highlighted with gold or copper. Brown eyes go well with navy blue and gray.
- You need to choose three shades of each color: one cream and light, one medium and one dark.
- Avoid choosing colors that are too bright, unless you have very dark skin. Your smokey eye should accentuate your beautiful face, not be a distraction.
Step 2. Use the right material
Even though it is faster and easier to choose the first three complementary shades of any eye shadow, you create the perfect smokey eye with the right material.
- By using soft powder, you will be able to mix better, which is necessary to create the right effect. You can use compact powders and eye shadow, but for best effect use soft powder.
- Use black eyeliner to accentuate your gaze. You can use pencil, cream, or liquid eyeliner - any of these tools will work. Cream and liquid eyeliners give a very smooth finish, while a black pencil gives a softer look.
- Make sure you use good quality paintbrushes. Using old, dirty or spongy paintbrushes will leave streaks. The best brush is the brush that has a round tip. You can find it in any cosmetic store.
- Make sure to apply concealer or primer beforehand to prep your eyelids. Use a concealer brush.
- Get a large brush, makeup remover, and cotton swabs to correct any mistakes or to remove powder from your cheeks.
Step 3. Apply your makeup
Before you do a smokey eye, you need to create a neutral palette. Apply concealer to your eyes as well as blackheads and pimples, then put the powder on top to set it.
- You can use blush or bronzer to add dimension to your face. For the bronzer, rub it into the hollow of your cheeks with a large brush. For the blush, apply it to your cheekbones. Remember to apply light coats for a more natural look.
- Make sure you trim your eyebrows well and that they are the right color, as the smokey eye will highlight them. Eyebrows that are too thin or too light will make them look too dark and too artificial.
Method 2 of 3: Create a classic smokey eye
Step 1. Apply your highlighter
Highlighter is the lightest shade of your three eye shadow shades. Using your brush, pat the inside corner of your eyelid, top and bottom. Also, pass it directly under your eyebrow.
Step 2. Apply your medium shade
Pass it over your eyelid. Make sure to blend it with your highlighter in the inner corner so that there is no separation between the two colors. Apply it from bottom to top according to the natural crease of your eyelid, not the crease of the highlighter below your browbone.
Step 3. Start adding your darkest color
Start at the outer corner of your eye and form a C from the outer edge of your face, at the lash line.
- The darkest part should always start at the top edge of your lashes. Whenever you need to apply more, start there and apply horizontally or upwards.
- Don't apply too much shadow. 1/3 of the inside of your eyelid should not contain shadow. It will make your eyes look open and shiny.
- To add a more dramatic touch, pass your dark shadow in a more <than C shape at the end of your eyebrow. Make sure the darker part stays in the outside corner of your lash line.
- Spread some of your dark shadow under your eye, under your lower eyelid. Again, start at the outside corner and apply only to half of the eyelid. This will help to balance the dark side of the top of your eyes.
Step 4. Blend your shadows
Clean your brush with another brush or face soap and water. Dry it with a clean towel or rag, quickly wiping it back and forth. Then use your paintbrush to mix the colors.
- Start by mixing the lighter colors. Make sure that the medium color that is on your eyelid does not show a separation with the dark color that is in the crease. Gently move the brush forming a "C" where these two colors meet so that they give a smooth ashy effect.
- Blend the dark shade from the outside to the inside of your eyebrow bone. It should penetrate your skin and should not cover the highlighter you put under your eyebrows.
Step 5. Add the eyeliner
If you want a cat look, run your eyeliner from the inside corner of your lash line toward the end of your brow. Finish with a taper line before the edge of your eye shadow (where the darker part meets the part of your skin that has no shadow). For a spread look, draw a thin line above your lash line and use your fingertips or a small brush to spread and blur the line.
- For a more intense touch, highlight the inside of your eyes. Draw a line on the inner edge of your eye, just below your upper eyelid and on your lower eyelid. Some people find this difficult to do since you have to run the eyeliner very close to the eyeball.
- Start at the spot that is closest to your tear gland, near your nose, with an eyeliner brush. This will make your eyes stand out, while also keeping them bright despite the dark tones overlooking them.
Step 6. Add mascara
Apply it delicately by passing the brush between your lashes to better define them. Put on no more than two coats to avoid clumps and an unnatural look. Apply just one coat to your lower lashes to define them without having raccoon eyes.
Step 7. Remove any excess color
If eye shadow or mascara has fallen on your cheeks, use a large brush to remove it quickly. If the mascara has run off, use a cotton swab and makeup remover to remove it, then use a large brush to replace any makeup that has been removed.
Method 3 of 3: Create a more intense smokey eye
Step 1. Put on your highlighter
Using the same technique as the classic smokey eye, use the lightest shade in the inner corners of your eyes, directly under your brow, above the crease. Spread some highlighter under your eye in the inner corner.
Step 2. Apply your dark shade along the lash line
Instead of starting with your medium shade, take the darkest shade and use a brush to work it down your lash line. The base of your eyelid should be darker. Then blend above the fold.
- Use a little on the lower lash line, but only near the outer corner. Pass the dark shadow over half of the lower eyelid.
- Only use your darker shadow on half of your eyelid. It should not reach the fold since this place is reserved for medium shade.
Step 3. Add your medium shade
Start halfway down your eyelid and work up to the crease. You must put this color where it can join the darker color.
- You can mix this color with the highlighter above your crease. The goal is for your eye shadow to lighten over time, from your lids to your brows.
- Use some to blend it with the dark shadow on your lower lash line.
Step 4. Mix your colors
Clean your brush with soap and water or by spraying it with antibacterial cleanser. Dry it in a cloth or towel before using it. Then, gently run it over your eyelid where the different shades meet.
- Use light strokes in the direction of your eyelid crease (horizontally), while creating the appearance of a blend of colors that goes from the bottom up.
- Make sure your eyelid line is the darkest part of your eyelid and apply more dark shadow if needed.
- Remember to blend the exteriors and edges of your eye so that the shadow gently blends into your skin tone. You should do the same with the color that is under your eye.
Step 5. Add your eyeliner
For an even more striking look, use your eyeliner to draw a thin line on your upper eyelid. Then use your brush or the tip of your finger to blur the edges, from bottom to top.
- To make your eyes look even darker, draw a line on the part of your eyelid that is closest to your eyeball, just below your upper eyelid.
- If you add eyeliner on your lower eyelid, only put it where there is dark eye shadow. However, be sure to taper the end of the line and blend it with the shade so that it doesn't contrast too much.
Step 6. Add your mascara
Gently apply your mascara to avoid getting it on your eyelid. Apply it to the upper lashes first, then apply a quick coat to the lower lashes. Wiggle the brush between your lashes to separate and define them. Avoid using more than two coats of mascara to avoid clumps.
Step 7. Clean off any excess makeup
If there is any eye shadow or mascara residue that has fallen on your cheeks, brush it off with a large brush. Use big, quick strokes to keep them from getting stuck in your skin. If you accidentally smear your eye shadow, take a cotton swab, dip it in makeup remover and fix the mistake, then use your brush to blend the area.
Step 8. It's done
- For a more edgy look, use cream-colored eye shadow.
- Be extra careful when applying makeup to the corner of your eye. A steady hand helps avoid smearing makeup or touching the eye. A trembling hand can ruin everything.
- Use good quality makeup. Go to a cosmetics store like Sephora to choose from the best products.
- Keep in mind that it is easier to add makeup than to remove if there is too much of it. Start with a lighter layer, then gradually add more to your liking.
- A cotton swab dipped in petroleum jelly will remove all makeup around your eyes, even the most waterproof, without removing your base.
- If you want to make a pointy end at the end of your eye, use some scotch tape to make a stencil and gently peel it off when you're done.
- Invest in good makeup brushes: they will give you a more professional look.