There is nothing more stunning and seductive than the classic smoky eye look. This eye makeup is fondly referred to as the little black dress of makeup.  Smokey eyes have been in trend for quite a while now and there is absolutely no signs of it going out of fashion.

smokey eye makeup

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However, smokey eye makeup is not easy to achieve. It can make the dusky skin tone look muddy and fair skin look sooty if not done properly. You need to master the smoky eye makeup technique for the perfect finish. All you need to have is the right tools, products and know the right application techniques. Today I present simple tips and tricks to achieve the perfect smoky eye makeup.

Products you will need for smoky eye makeup:

  • Eye primer
  • At least three eye shadows. Black, brown and gray are common, but dark blue and green can also be used.
  • Eyeliner and kohl of brown or black shade
  • Makeup brushes
  • Eyelash curler
  • Highlighter
  • Cotton swabs
  • Smudger
  • Translucent dusting powder
  • Mascara


A good quality brush is very essential while doing the makeup. You will need a shader brush to apply the shadow to the lid, a mid-sized brush for the crease, a pencil brush to work on the lash line and a fluffy brush to blend the shades.

Smokey eye makeup 2

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Prime and prep the eyes:

Always do the eyes first and then move to face and lip makeup. It will be much easier to remove the shadow fall out and smudging on a bare skin than on a made-up skin. In addition, dark colors have the tendency to smear all over the face on freshly applied foundation.

Begin your makeup by applying a light shade of concealer on the eyelids and under eye area. Then apply the primer on the entire eyelids. A primer will give a smooth and even base that is extremely important for blending the makeup. It evens out the skin tone, makes the shadow lasts longer and prevents makeup from melting and creasing. Spread an even layer over the entire lid and leave it to dry for a few seconds before going ahead with the next step.

Good selection of colors:

You can do the smoky eye makeup in any shade you want, the only point you need to remember is to form the color gradient- from the darkest to the lightest. For this, you need to have a variety of eye shadows. If you are opting for a black smoky eye makeup, then you should have colors like jet-black, light black, a couple of grays and a white for highlighting. You also need to determine the shades that will complement the eye color perfectly. Women with hazel eyes should opt for brown or beige eye shadow while blue-eyed beauties should go for gray and white eyeshadow. Brown eyed women should go for navy and beige eye shadow and women with green eyes should go for green and gold eye shadow. Plum is a dramatic shade and will look amazing in lieu of brown or black eye shadow.

Combine light-based colors with rich, dark shades. For example, a soft gold based will go best with a deep purple or brown.

smokey eye makeup eye liner

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For smoky eye makeup, crayon, pencil and gel liners are recommended. Avoid going for liquid eyeliner, as they are hard to smudge. Women with hazel eyes should apply black liner, blue eyes should apply navy liner, brown eyes should go for brown or black liner and green eyes should go for dark brown liner.

You need to line the top lash line, bottom lash line and water line while creating the smoky eye makeup. Line the top and bottom lash line with an eye pencil. People with small eyes should apply the liner from the middle of the under eye to the outside of the eye, while people with large eyes can line from corner to corner. Making a perfect line is not required on a smoky eye makeup, as it has to be blended right into the shadow. Once you have drawn the line, run your finger or smudger over it. You can also apply a bit of shadow to get a smudged effect.

To break the monotony, you can also opt for jeweled toned liner like blue, purple or deep green. A violet liner goes best for creating a gorgeous smoky makeup.

smokey eye makeup eye shadow application

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Eye shadow:

A standard smoky eye makeup look comprises of applying a pewter eye shadow all over the eyelid, charcoal in the crease and a light shade on the brow bone.

Apply a medium color shade of all the eye shadows on the entire eyelid using the tip of the eye shadow brush. Then take the dark shade and apply directly over the penciled area and crease. The shadow will soften the harsh lines made by the liner.

Next, take a shadow lighter than your natural skin tone and apply under the eyebrow until it meets the darker shade. Blend all the three shades to create a gradient effect.


You do not need to highlight the eyes much while donning a smoky eye look. Apply a dot of highlighter on the center of the brow bone and blend it to the end of the brow. A dot above the tear duct will also do. This will brighten up the eyes. For the tear ducts, shimmery silver, light pink or gold will work best.


Blending is the key to achieve a perfect smoky eye makeup look. You have to blend all the colors flawlessly. Use the fluffy brush to blend out the harsh and obvious lines. For blending the crease color, use small, circular motions. Do not forget to wipe the brush on a tissue or the back of the hand to remove the color before blending the new sections.

smokey eye makeup mascara

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Primarily, curl the eyelashes to open up the eyes and make them stand out. After curling the lashes, apply two coats of black or brown mascara. For a more dramatic look, apply three coats of black mascara. Wiggle the mascara wand at the roots or the base for ample volume. Apply just a single coat of mascara on the bottom lash line. It is advisable to apply waterproof mascara on the bottom lashes, as the area is prone to smudging. To add fun to your look, try blue or purple mascara. This will make the eyes pop. You can also go for false lashes or strip lashes to make the smoky eyes look more dramatic. Go for waterproof mascara as they hold the lashes better and for a longer time. However, waterproof mascara is drying and should not be applied on a daily basis.


Now brush away the shadow that has fallen on the cheeks with a fluffy or fan brush. Clean the smeared areas with a cotton swab. Dip the cotton swab in a makeup remover and begin by cleaning up the messy lines.  It is best to use a scotch tape as a stencil to prevent the trouble of getting rid of fallout from the eye shadow. This will also prevent the smudging of makeup.

Finish the look:

Smoky eye makeup is not just about applying the eye shadow the correct way. It is about the overall look. Remember the basic rule; you have to highlight either the eyes or mouth, but never both. Do not overdo the cheeks, face and lips. Avoid bright and dark hues for the rest of the face. While applying a dramatic eye makeup, you have to keep the lips muted.  Finish the look by lightly lining the lips with a nude liner and applying lip color in caramel, peach or barely there pink. Keep the foundation coverage medium with a little blush and some bronzer.


  • Always apply the makeup to clean and fresh skin. Cleanse and tone the skin to remove the natural oil and existing makeup.
  • Experiment with different eye shadow colors to find out which shade will work best for you. Try it with different brushes and techniques.
  • You have to keep the tools handy while trying out the look. Have at least two eye shadow brushes and some cotton swabs to clean the eye shadow and eyeliner.
  • Your brows should be well groomed and shaped. This will give you a polished look.
  • Use contrasting colors to make your eyes stand out. For example, brown eyes would look beautiful against purple.
  • Banish the dark circles by using concealer.
  • Build the intensity of the color gradually, rather than applying it all at once. This will add depth and consistency to your look.

You can experiment with different colors and levels of intensity to find a perfect smoky makeup for yourself. All you need to do is a lot of practice to make it perfect.