How to Perfect the Smoky Eye

Mila Kunis Smoky Eye

The smoky eye, like a flawless cat eye or perfect red lips, is one of those beauty trends that everyone should learn to master. It’s such a classic evening look. It flatters every eye shape and color, and somehow works whether you’re going to a club or a wedding. There are many different ways to elevate the smoky eye: play around with different colors, add some sparkle…but first things first, you have to learn how to create a basic smoky. Read on for a step-by-step guide to creating a quick and easy smoky eye.


-Eyeshadow primer

-Eyeshadows in gray/black shades and a matte, neutral shade like taupe or brown to serve as transition. Grab a smoky eye palette to keep everything in one place – Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky is a great option.

-Black eyeliner pencil

-Lash curler


-Eyeshadow brushes

-Eye makeup remover and Q-tips to fix any mistakes.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

STEP 1: Start by applying a shadow primer all over your lid and up to your brow bone. My go-to is Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. This helps the shadow to stay on all night, prevents creasing and fallout and makes colors look more vibrant.


Eyeshadow Crease Lid Brow Bone

STEP 2: To get a classic smoky, you need at least 2-3 different shadows, which is why I highly recommend using a palette. It just makes everything so much more organized. The picture above shows the shades in UD’s Naked Smoky. We’ll use that as a guide.

1. Take a shade that almost matches your skin tone to go over the primer, to act as a sort of setting powder. You can use Thirteen from the Naked Smoky. Use a neutral matte shade, like Combust, as your transition. This allows all of the more intense colors to blend more easily. Apply it over your lid and up to your brow bone.

2. Using a flat shader brush, apply a dark color, like Dagger, over your lid and up to your crease. Sigma’s E55 is a cult classic flat shader.

3. Take a fluffy brush and apply a slightly softer color, like Slanted, from your inner corner to the middle of your eye.

4. Using a tightly packed crease brush, add a dark, intense color like Black Market, to your outer crease and blend, blend, blend. The denser and smaller the brush, the better. When working with dark colors, things can get wild if you’re not careful. It’s important to be precise. Stila’s Precision Crease Brush is a great option.

5. Use a clean blending brush (love Sigma’s Tapered Blending Brush), and sweep Slanted all over your crease. The key to any eye look is blending. Be patient and keep going – the more seamless the look is, the better.

6. Apply a light color, like Thirteen, to your inner corner to open up your eye.

Marc Jacobs Highliner

STEP 3: Take a creamy black kohl liner and apply it to your upper lash line and waterline. Marc Jacobs’ Highliner is one of the best for blending – pricey, but worth it. If you like tight-lining, go for it. Take a smudge brush and gently pull the liner up on your lid, to intensify that sexy, messy look.

STEP 4: Take a darker, gray color (like Dagger or Slanted from the Naked Smoky palette) and apply it to your lower lash line with a smudge brush. E.L.F has a good one that is only one dollar. It will pull the entire look together.

too faced better than sex mascara

STEP 5: Curl your lashes – give it a few good pumps – and apply a healthy amount of black mascara. Currently I’m loving Shiseido Eyelash Curler (it grabs every lash) and Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara. To learn how to flawlessly apply mascara, check out this post!

Are you surprised it only takes 5 steps to create a smoky eye? Do you have a different method? Let us know in the comments below and on PAMPADOUR!

Image via Boro

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