Smokey Eyes Made Easy

Smokey Eyes Made Easy

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
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Looking to finally nail the ever-popular smokey eye once and for all? Look no further. 

Apply All of Your Other Makeup First (Besides Concealer)

Skip adding concealer under your eyes, though, because eye shadow “fallout” will get trapped there and make your eyes look dark. Instead, apply your concealer after you finish your eyes. You can go in with a q-tip and some eye makeup remover to clean up the fall out under eyes before moving on to your concealer.

Also, make sure you get your blush in place before starting your eyes. When you have blush on your cheeks, it helps you to not go overboard in the eye department.

Prime Your Eyelids 

You should set a good base for the eyeshadow, like this one from Urban Decay, to make your smoky eye go on smoothly and stay there. After applying the primer, allow it to dry before beginning your shadow. This will keep your eyeshadow on all day and help it not to crease or smudge, which is very important when creating dramatic eye looks. 

Apply a Neutral, Color-Based Shadow

This should be applied over your entire eyelid, from lash to brow bone. Choose a good neutral beige or natural color that will blend well with your skin tone. If possible, find one with a shimmer; not a glitter.

Line Your Eyes

Using a black eyeliner, line the entire eye, upper lid and lower lash line. Get as close to your lashes as possible, and use your fingertip to move your lid around in order to get the liner into your lash line.

Soften the Liner

Using a small eyeshadow brush, or in a pinch you can use a q-tip, gently go over the liner to help soften the effect.

Apply Black Eyeshadow

Use either the sponge-tipped applicator that comes with eyeshadow, or a q-tip, to apply black powder eyeshadow over the now-softened eyeliner. Only do the top lid for now, since you have not applied your under-eye concealer yet.

Once you apply the eyeshadow, use the applicator, the q-tip, or your finger to gently smudge the shadow.

Apply Blending Shadow

Choose a nice base shadow that will ultimately blend with any other colors you choose. You should apply the color with either the applicator or an eyeshadow brush, starting at the lash line and going to the crease of your lid, and ending directly under your brow bone. The basic effect will look like an oval when you close your eye, more or less.

Sweep Under Your Eyes

Use a powder brush, or cotton balls, to sweep away any eyeshadow from under your eye area. With this done, you can apply your concealer and powder.

Apply Black Shadow to the Bottom Line

Apply a black powder shadow to the softened eye liner on the bottom lid, with an applicator or q-tip, then smudge.

Encircle Your Eyes with Your Blending Shadow

Using the blending shadow you selected above, gently and gradually blend the eyeshadow into a circle around your eye area. This means applying and smudging the shadow under the eyes as well. 

Coat Your Lashes

Add a few coats of black mascara that will help lengthen and add volume to your lashes. The more drama the better. 

Check Your Work

Once your mascara is dried, check your work and blend any areas that stand out, also remove any remnants of mascara that have gotten on your eyelid.

Pro Tips

  1. To save even more money, find a black eyeshadow that works well wet and use it as your eye liner too.
  2. Don’t be afraid to use color, instead of brown or gray, for your general eyeshadow. Dark blues and dark greens are always great to use for a smokey eye look but also give some fun color as well. Try to find one that goes with your dress.
  3. To add a little extra fun to your lashes, use a black mascara as a base and then apply a colored mascara to the tips.
  4. The biggest tip is to remember to play down your lips since you played up your eyes. Try putting a neutral, lip-toned, liner on your lips and then a little gloss.