If you’re worried that the always popular smokey eye look we’ve all come to love might just decide to hang up its hat, think again beauties.
This is one eye makeup look that will be around for a very long time and just in case you haven’t become addicted to social sites such as Instagram, we can pretty much guarantee you might once you’ve had a look at some of the smokey eyes featured. Some looks are just down right amazing and make most girls like us want to pull out our brushes and makeup and start creating!
From classic, smokey eyes done up in darker colors, to the bold, and more trendy looks done using metallics and bright colors. As with most eye makeup styles there is more than one way to slay this beautiful look, and none that should keep you from creating 🙂 All you need to arm yourself with is patience, a few good brushes, and your go-to eye colors and eyeliner. Your smokey eyes can be created with or without eyeliner and almost any eyeshadow colors you desire.
For this particular tutorial we’ll be focusing on two smokey eye looks created with colors that fall under the category of neutral and one smokey eye look that is slightly bolder. The three colors we’ll be featuring for our smokey eye looks are a black, dark brown and a deep plum with a satin finish.
For all of the smokey eye looks below the one tip to keep in mind throughout is blending. Knowing how to blend your eyeshadows is key to your entire eye makeup look and if you’re a professional artist will also reflect the level of skill in applying color. Not only will blending shadows correctly create a seamless finish, it will help as well to soften darker shadows and any harsh lines. This is one eye makeup tip you’ll use forever. Especially if your goal is to create eyes with professional results.
1. For this first set of smokey eyes done in black we’ll be using an onyx eyeliner on the waterline and along the top lid only. The eyeshadows to grab and have ready are a matte black shadow, a dark slate, soft taupe shimmer, and a highlighting color or base shade for your brow bone and inner corner of eyes like a light champagne hue in satin, shimmer or a matte finish. Eye makeup brushes you’ll need will include a medium size shadow brush for the lids, a blending brush for the crease and blending shadows, and an overall eyeshadow brush for highlighting the brow bone and any additional blending if necessary.
Starting with your medium size eyeshadow brush, apply the matte black shadow along the eyelid where you would usually put your liner and run the same color along the bottom lashes too. Don’t be afraid to add too much color as this will be the foundation for your entire eye makeup look. When you’re happy with the intensity you can begin to blend the color out and up into the eyelid using you blending brush.
The next step is adding your dark slate shadow so that it overlaps just slightly with the matte black shadow. Use your eyeshadow brush first to apply color and blend with your blending brush to soften hard lines.
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Next, add your soft taupe shimmer and follow the exact same steps as above so that the color overlaps slightly with the dark gray but instead of extending the color out as you blend your smokey eye shape, take your large all over color brush and soften any harsh lines.
The final step before finishing up the look is to add your highlighter or base shade to the brow bone. Before beginning make sure to wipe your brushes clean of any darker colors as this will compromise your final results.
You can use your fingers, (index or middle fingers work best) to pat your base color directly under the brows and along the brow bone before blending with your blender brush. Use the same brush for applying the base shade to the inner crease/corner of eyes.
For this look we like to use a rich black gel eyeliner in a pencil form since it’s water-resistant, can be applied to the waterline and is less likely to smudge. We like Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner in Perfect Black since it goes on like a gel and dries to a nice sheen.
Make sure to start with a freshly sharpened pencil and line tightly along the upper lid. You can use the smudge tip applicator to blend your liner or leave as is. Finish by applying the same gel eyeliner pencil to your waterline and for the ultimate sultry look sweep a mix of your dark slate shadow and taupe shimmer together along the bottom lashes.
Finish the eyes by cleaning up any fallout color with either a makeup remover stick or a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover. Run your Q-tip, or eraser stick around the bottom half of the eye to grab any unwanted color. Your foundation and concealer will follow next.
Apply your concealer under the eyes and along the outer eye color to give the look a polished finish and make the eyes pop. No smokey eye look would be complete without curling your lashes, so grab a curler and get busy beauties. One or two generous coat of your favorite black or dark brown mascara and you’re all set to show off your eyes! Lashes welcome too 🙂
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2. For our dark brown smokey eyes we’ll be re-visiting the same techniques from our first look. One of our favorite smokey eye sets for creating a gorgeous smokey eye in brown hues is the Backstage Beauty Smokey Eye Quad in Super Natural ($39.99, bethbenderbeauty.com).
To begin, start first by applying the darkest shadow (charcoal) in the quad to the eyelid. You can use our cat eye stencil to get the precise point at the outer eye area as seen here. Sweep the same color along the bottom lashline and extend the color outwards just past the end of eyes. Use the same layering techniques as the last look above, overlapping the eyeshadows and going lighter as you blend shadows at the point where all three shades overlap and create a seamless look.
Next, add your chocolate brown shadow in the quad using your medium size eyeshadow brush and apply above the previous darker charcoal shadow, blending in crease. Complete this part of your look by adding the soft matte taupe shadow and blending color just above your crease and outwards, extending slightly past the end of eyes. Use the satin finish base shade for accentuating your brow bone and highlighting the inner corner of eyes. Make sure to wipe all brushes first before moving onto your base shade.
For this smokey eye look we’re going to finish up with a dark brown gel waterproof eyeliner pencil, also from Too Faced in Perfect Brown. Follow the same steps as above with our first look, but instead, extend the top eyeliner for a more elongated, feline effect. You can smudge the liner using the smudge tip applicator on your pencil to give the liner a more smoldering effect. Finish with a rich brown mascara before moving on to clean up around the eyes, and finally your foundation and concealer.
3. Our personal favorite, the purple or plum smokey eye can be created with either a dark brown or charcoal shadow combined with a plum or purple. For this smokey eye look we’ll be using a dark brown shadow from the Backstage Beauty Smoky Eye Quad in Where There’s Smoke. Using your plum metallic shadow from the quad apply your color to the entire eyelid area using your medium size eyeshadow brush. Next, using your blending brush add another layer of plum over the lids and up into the crease, extending your color outwards and blending back towards the center of your crease. The next color you’ll want to pick up is your dark brown.
Beginning at the outer eye, place the tip of your blending brush in the crease and moving it back and forth using the wind-shield wiper effect, blend your color. The outer eye is where you’ll want to deposit more of your dark brown. Wipe the blender brush clean of any dark colors before dipping it into your platinum shimmer and highlighting the inner eye area as seen here in the photo above. Highlight the brow bone using the lightest color in your Where There’s Smoke Palette and blend using your all over shadow brush to soften any harsh lines.
This smokey eye look calls for a set of false lash strips. To do, start first by using a black gel liner in a pot with an eyeliner brush to line tightly along the eyelid, and almost into the lashline. Next pull a lash strip out, trim from the outer eye if needed, apply your lash glue and slip into your natural lashline. Wait at least a few minutes (5 minutes is good) before curling and adding mascara.
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For professional, makeup artist results, make sure to finish the look with foundation, BB cream, or a tinted moisturizer to even out the skin tone, and finally a concealer applied under the eyes and set with a translucent powder.
1. If you plan to include eyeliner in your look, wait until you’ve finished applying your eye color since you may have fallout. Another great tip is to add a layer of translucent powder directly underneath the eyes when applying your shadows to catch any color that does fall below the bottom lashes. Once you’re eyes are finished, you can remove the powder by using a fluffy shadow brush and sweeping the powder away.
2. Clean up any eyeshadow outside of your smokey eye look using a Q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover or an eye cream and move it along the bottom half of your eyes.
3. Before applying your mascara, try using a mascara shield/guard and place it behind your eyelashes. This will prevent any color from transferring onto your skin or the eye area.
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