Hello everyone! Today I am bringing you the lowdown on how to get the perfect smokey eye effect.
Do you love the smokey eye look but stray away from it for fear of looking like you got punched in both your eyes? (That would have been one heck of a fight by the way!) I don't blame you, attempting to achieve a smokey eye effect can be very intimidating; especially when using bolder colors like black... which we will today! But please don't run away...hey, come back! I'm only using black to show you that if black can be "tamed" and "smoked out" to become more wearable than you can then embrace any color you fancy, my dears.
After you go through this step by step tutorial you will be able to look at your eyeshadows and say, "Bring it on!" No eyeshadow will ever be able to intimidate you ever again!
Please bear with me...there are a lot of pictures, but I really want to demonstrate everything in detail (just keep your eyes on the prize...what you forgot already?....it's the smokey eye effect!).
In every picture I will describe what I am doing and add any tips that will aid you in that particular step. Ok, ready? Let's roll...
Here are the colors I will be using (with a red outlined square for your convenience) A light shimmery champagne, a light matte brown, a medium matte brown, and a matte black shadow (this one has specks of shimmer in it but they don't show up).
Take your blending brush and dab it on the light matte shade to add a generous amount of product; tap off the excess product from your brush- you can do this by flicking the end of your brush with your fingers or tapping your brush on something (never blow on your brushes; that will transfer the bacteria from your mouth to your brush and to your eyes!)
- With eyelids primed, blend that shade into your crease (like shown in photo below)in a windshield wiper motion and in little circles motion.
- Once you apply the shadow to this area, run your blending brush slightly above your crease (where you applied color) and below to blend in the color both ways.
- You don't want to be able to see where the color begins and where it ends.
- This will prep your eyeshadow for the blending step.
- By adding that neutral shade to the crease, the black eyeshadow that you will be applying next, will not be applied harshly in that area (crease) and will be easier to blend.
- This color and step is also helping you to add dimension to your eyes.
- Now take your eyeshadow brush and gently dab it into the black shadow; tap off excess
- Make sure you don't get too much product at once; it's better to gradually build up the intensity of color than to try to correct an over-applied mess.
- Gently dab the black shadow onto your lid, starting at the center, then work your way to the outer corner and the inner corner. Take the color upward towards the crease, but don't apply it on the crease or past the crease.
- Avoid swiping back and forth; this creates a lot of fall out. Dabbing is now your new friend 🙂
- Build up to your desired intensity by going back and adding more color to your brush. I went into the black 2 times.
- To avoid fallout, I always face downward to look into the mirror; that way all the fallout from the eyeshadows fall onto my vanity and not on my cheek area.
- At this point your black eyeshadow will look somewhat harsh and uneven, so take your blending brush and gently blend the edges of the black shadow outward towards that light brown shade you previously applied on your crease.
- Feel free to go back into the light brown shade with your blending brush to add a bit more dimension to this area (the crease).
- With the same blending brush, go into the medium matte brown shade and apply a little at a time for the next step.
- Take that medium matte brown shade into the outer V area of your crease and lid.
- Apply in a V motion
- Clean your brush off and go over the V area with small gentle circles to blend it into the black, into the light brown shade and outwards to your outer eye area (but not too far).
- Build up to your desired intensity. I went back in to the color 3 times.
- With this step you are adding even more dimension and softening the black even more.
- Now take an angled brush (or any small, fluffier brush you may have) and lightly dab it into the light shimmery champagne color
- This is going to be your highlighting color.
Add that light color to your brow bone, just above the light shade of brown.
You are also going to take that light color and dab it on the area between your nose and tear duct (this area tends to be shadowed, so adding a lighter shade instantly brightens it up and makes your eyes appear bigger and more awake).
- After applying on that inner corner area take it all the way up to connect it to the brow bone area where you already applied this color (think of it as a giant C that goes from your inner eye to the outer part of your brow).
- This eliminates any harsh lines that may still remain from your darker eyeshadows
- Dark eyeshadows (like the ones I am using here;black and brown) tend to make your eyes look closer together; by adding the highlighter to this area you are setting them apart again.
We are done with the top portion of our eyes and this is what it should resemble:
For the lower lash line take a tiny brush, take that same light color and add to your tear duct area blending it outwards to about 1/3 of the eye
- Go back to your eyeshadow brush (or any smaller brush, if it makes you feel more comfortable) and dab a small amount of black eyeshadow.
- You are going to place this on the outer 2/3 of the lower lash line
- Always begin on the outer eye area; that's where you want the most concentration of color to be.
Here I am showing you where to stop the black shade:
- Clean off your brush with a paper towel and dab it into the light brown shade and use it to blend the highlighting color and black together (We don't want it to go from light to suddenly dark)
- This shade is applied in the center area of your lower lash line and creates a gradient effect (again, you don't want to see where one color ends and where the other begins)
-With whatever residue of product that is left on the brush gently blend underneath the black eyeshadow as well (with a smokey eye, you want to avoid any harsh lines)
- Now take the medium brown shade and softly go over the black just a tad:
- If you still feel like there are harsh lines, take a sponge tip applicator and use it to blend them away!
Do a happy dance because YOU ARE DONE WITH THE EYESHADOW!!! HOOOORRRRRAAAAAY!!!! Once you are done with your happy dance finish off the look with your choice of eyeliner and mascara. I used my Be a Bombshell eyeliner pen in Oxyx and my The Balm: What's Your Type? "The Body Builder Mascara" in Black (I know long name)
-Tip: If you happen to get your under eye area "dirty", just swipe off product with a fluffy brush and use concealer to freshen that are up. You can see my concealer routine here .
And here is the finished look: What an amazing difference filled in eyebrows, eyeliner and mascara make! I really like using brown anytime I do a black smokey eye because it tones it down and makes it more wearable for daytime! To see how I fill in my brows click here.
I know it seems like a ton of steps because of all the pictures but really there are only 6: crease color for blending, lid color, blend again, outer V, highlighting and lower lash line.
The most important tip I can give you is to BLEND; it's what gives it that smokey effect.
And you don't have to stick to these colors; use the same steps and have fun experimenting with colors.
Example: Adding a burgundy shade instead of the medium brown would warm up the look; and adding just a hing of blue or purple instead of the medium brown would add a playful touch!
Makeup brushes used:
- Sigma SS224 (blending brush) sigmabeauty.com
- Sigma SS239 (eyeshadow brush)
- Sigma SS275 (angled brush)
- Coastal Scents C148 Percision brush (tiny brush used for lower lash line)
- All eyeshadows are form the Urban Decay Naked Palette.
*If you don't have all these brushes, don't sweat it, I am going to come up with a look you can create with just one eyeshadow brush! Coming soon to the blog near you!
Thanks so much for reading and have a super-fab day!!!