How to Do Smokey Eye Makeup

How to Do Smokey Eye Makeup: A Step-by-Step Guide

Smokey eye makeup is a timeless and glamorous look that adds drama and intensity to your eyes. It’s a versatile technique that can be adapted to various occasions, from a night out to a special event. Whether you’re a makeup enthusiast or a beginner, learning how to create a smokey eye can be a game-changer for your makeup skills. In this step-by-step guide, we will take you through the process of achieving the perfect Smokey eye makeup look.

The smokey eye makeup technique involves using a combination of eyeshadow shades to create a gradient effect from light to dark. The result is a sultry and smoldering eye look that emphasizes the shape and depth of your eyes. While the classic smokey eye is often associated with black and gray shades, you can experiment with different colors to suit your personal style.

 Understanding Smokey Eye Makeup

Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what smokey eye makeup entails. Smokey eye makeup aims to create a sense of depth and dimension, with darker shades on the outer corners of the eyes and lighter shades toward the inner corners. The key to achieving a flawless smokey eye is proper blending and layering of eyeshadow colors.

Preparing the Eyes

To ensure your smokey eye makeup lasts all day or night, it’s crucial to prepare the eyes properly. Start by cleansing and moisturizing the eye area to create a smooth canvas for makeup application. This step helps remove any oil or debris that might affect the longevity of your eye makeup.

Next, apply an eye primer to create a base for the eyeshadow. The primer helps the eyeshadow adhere better to the eyelids and prevents creasing or fading throughout the day.

Choosing the Right Eyeshadow Colors

When it comes to selecting eyeshadow colors for your smokey eye look, there are numerous options to consider. While classic black and gray shades are popular choices, you can also experiment with earth tones or jewel tones to add a unique twist to your makeup.

Black and gray shades create a timeless and sophisticated smokey eye. They work well for evening events or when you want a more dramatic look. Earth tones, such as browns and taupes, are perfect for achieving a softer and more natural smokey eye. Jewel tones like deep purples or greens can be used to create a bold and eye-catching look.

Applying the Base Eyeshadow

To start the smokey eye makeup application, begin with a neutral shade that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter. This base shade will help create a smooth transition between the darker and lighter colors.

Apply the base eyeshadow all over the eyelid, from the lash line to the brow bone, using a flat eyeshadow brush or your finger. Make sure to blend the color seamlessly for a natural-looking gradient effect.

Creating Depth with the Crease Color

The crease color is responsible for adding depth and definition to the eyes. Select a slightly darker shade than your base color and apply it to the crease using a fluffy blending brush. Focus on the outer half of the crease and blend the color inward in windshield-wiper motions.

Blending is key when it comes to creating a seamless transition between colors. Use gentle circular motions to ensure the crease color is well blended and there are no harsh lines.

Adding Drama with the Outer V Color

The outer V color is applied to the outer corner of the eye, creating a smoldering and elongated effect. Choose a darker shade, preferably in the same color family as your crease color, and apply it to the outer V area using a small, tapered blending brush.

Start by placing the color on the outer corner of the eye and blend it slightly into the crease. Use back-and-forth motions to blend the color, gradually building up the intensity until you achieve the desired level of drama.

Defining the Lower Lash Line

To balance the smokey eye look, it’s important to define the lower lash line as well. Take a smudging brush or a small angled brush and apply a similar shade to the outer V color along the lower lash line. This step adds depth and intensity to the overall look.

If you prefer a softer look, you can also apply a dark eyeshadow or eyeliner to the outer two-thirds of the lower lash line and blend it out for a smudged effect.

Highlighting the Inner Corner and Brow Bone

To brighten up the eyes and add dimension, apply a light shade to the inner corner and brow bone. This highlighting step helps create contrast and makes the eyes appear more awake.

Choose a light shimmer or matte shade and apply it to the inner corner using a small brush. Blend the color slightly onto the inner part of the eyelid for a seamless transition. Then, apply the same shade to the brow bone to highlight the area.

Blending Everything Together

Once all the eyeshadow colors are applied, it’s time to blend everything together for a cohesive look. Take a clean blending brush and softly blend the edges of the eyeshadows, focusing on the areas where the colors meet. This step ensures there are no harsh lines and creates a seamless gradient effect.

Use gentle circular motions and back-and-forth blending to soften any edges and achieve a smooth transition between the eyeshadow shades.

Applying Eyeliner and Mascara

Eyeliner and mascara are essential elements of a smokey eye makeup look. They help define the eyes and add extra intensity.

For a classic smokey eye, opt for a black or dark brown eyeliner. You can create a winged eyeliner look for added drama or simply line the upper lash line for a more subtle effect.

Apply two coats of volumizing mascara to the upper and lower lashes to enhance the length and fullness. Wiggle the mascara wand from the root to the tip of the lashes for maximum impact.

Final Touches

Before finalizing your smokey eye makeup, take a moment to clean up any fallout or excess eyeshadow that may have fallen onto the under-eye area. Use a clean brush or a makeup wipe to gently remove any fallout without smudging the rest of your makeup.

Additionally, check for symmetry by comparing both eyes. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure both eyes look balanced and cohesive.

Tips for a Long-Lasting Smokey Eye Makeup

To make your smokey eye makeup last all day or night, follow these tips:

  • Set your eyeshadow with a setting spray or a translucent powder to prevent creasing and fading.
  • Opt for waterproof eyeliner and mascara to ensure they stay in place, even if your eyes water or if you’re in a humid environment.
  • Use an eyeshadow primer or a cream eyeshadow as a base to enhance the longevity of your eyeshadow.

Removing Smokey Eye Makeup

When it’s time to remove your smokey eye makeup, it’s important to do so gently to avoid tugging or irritating the delicate eye area.

Start by using a gentle eye makeup remover on a cotton pad or a makeup wipe. Press the pad against your closed eyelid for a few seconds to allow the product to break down the makeup. Then, gently wipe away the eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara.

After removing the makeup, cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser to remove any residue. Follow up with an eye cream or moisturizer to nourish the eye area.


Creating a stunning smokey eye makeup look is an art that anyone can master with practice. By following this step-by-step guide, you can achieve a sultry and glamorous look that enhances your eyes and adds a touch of drama to your overall makeup.

Remember to choose the right eyeshadow colors, blend carefully, and use the appropriate techniques for a flawless finish. With some patience and experimentation, you’ll be able to create your own signature smokey eye look.

FAQs About How to Do Smokey Eye Makeup

Can I use different colors for a smokey eye makeup look?

Absolutely! While classic black and gray shades are popular, you can experiment with various colors to suit your style and complement your eye color.

How can I prevent my smokey eye makeup from smudging?

To prevent smudging, make sure to use an eyeshadow primer, set your eyeshadow with a setting spray or powder, and opt for waterproof eyeliner and mascara.

Can I create a daytime-appropriate smokey eye?

Yes! For a daytime look, opt for softer and more neutral shades, and go for a lighter application. Blend carefully to achieve a more subtle effect.

What brushes do I need for creating a smokey eye?

You’ll need a flat eyeshadow brush, a fluffy blending brush, a small tapered blending brush, a smudging brush, and an angled brush for applying eyeshadow or eyeliner along the lower lash line.

How can I make my smokey eye makeup last all day?

Set your eyeshadow with a setting spray or powder, use an eyeshadow primer or cream base, and choose long-wearing and waterproof products for extended wear.

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