The Classic Smoky Eye
When creating the classic smoky eye, heed my advice: Less is more. Many women think the secret behind this smoldering look is to embrace their black eye shadow with no abandon, but this will leave you looking like Morticia Addams. The key to an elegant smoky eye is to apply darker eye shadow sparingly, using lighter colors like grey over the lid and the darker black just in the crease. Once this is applied, use a blending brush to smudge and soften the colors. Use the same smudging technique with your bottom eyeliner using a cotton swab or precision eye brush. Put a brighter color, like white or metallic silver, in the corners of the eyes to widen them.
Check out this video tutorial for a demo on How to Create a Smoky Eye.
The Colored Smoky Eye
A colored smoky eye uses the same concepts as the classic smoky eye and is a great alternative for a daytime look. To keep the smoky effect, stick to shadows in the same color family, using navy, hunter greens, or plums. For this look, choose two hues of the color you’re using. Spread the light color over the whole eyelid. Next, use the darker color to create a V-shape in the outer corner of your eyes. I like to use eye shadow sponges when I do this, because it keeps the color very rich and opaque. Then you want to take a tapered brush and blend the darker color from the outer corners upward toward the creases. This subtle darkness in the crease is what will really make your eyes stand out. For the model’s extra lush lashes, apply fake eyelashes to finish, or give your own a boost with a lash curler and lengthening mascara.
Learn How to Use a Lash Curler.
The Smoky Eye for Your Eye Color
For a smoky eye unique to your particular eye color, you need to pick colors that will make your peepers pop. Copper and blue shadows will enhance blue eyes. Brown eyes stand out with lavender and chocolate shadows, while green eyes pop with green and brown shades. The trick to creating a smoky eye for your eye color is choosing two hues within your color family and pairing with a neutral like beige. Start with a dynamic color (such as blue), a lighter shade of this color, and one neutral color. Spread the dynamic color across the lid, extending slightly past the outer corner of the eye. Next, use an eyeliner to line the bottom rim of your eyes in the color of your choice. Then use a tapered brush or eyeliner brush to spread the dynamic color under the eyes in the outer corners. In the inner corners, spread your neutral color eye shadow. I like to use a neutral that has a little hint of sparkle to avoid the look of dark under-eye circles. Another tip I like is to add a little water to your palette when you’re using a shadow as a liner. It’ll create a richer color more similar to eyeliner. Finally, use the lighter shade of your dynamic color in the inner corner of the eye, spreading up to the crease.
Learn more about choosing the best shadow hues for your eye color with these video tutorials:
- Choosing the Right Shadow for Blue Eyes
- Finding the Right Shadow for Brown Eyes
- How to Choose the Right Eye Shadow for Green Eyes
The Chocolate Smoky Eye
A neutral smoky eye creates an especially striking look that’s still appropriate for the office or other daytime occasions. To help the look last all day, prep the eyelids with a primer before applying eye makeup. Once again, a neutral shadow with a little bit of sparkle will be more illuminating than a matte shadow. Any shadows with flecks of gold or olive will brighten your complexion. For this look spread the brown shadow all the way across the lid, swiping a second coat in the crease of the eye. Next, use a light yellow or gold shadow to trace where you would normally place eyeliner, creating a reflective look. Apply this same shadow lightly with a blending brush just under the brow line. Finish with mascara and a glossy pout.
The Pop of Color Smoky Eye
This look puts a slight spin on the classic smoky eye. Start by creating the classic smoky eye from the first look, minus the shadow in the inner corners of the eyes. Now choose a stick eyeliner in whichever color you want. Line your eyes with the color, then add the color to the inner corner of your eye as well. Next, choose a second color or a shade of your accent color in an eye shadow. Trace your liner closely with this second color. Add mascara and turn heads!