Before we get started I’d like to share some basic tips and tricks I have picked up from other bloggers over the years.
Choose your colors
- You could essentially use any color of a similar shade or hue to create a decent smokey eye.
- To get a classic smoky eye I would usually opt for the black or gray colors, but bronze, gold and brown are also commonly used.
- Green eyes look particularly good with a gray and plum smoky eye, while blue eyes pop with gold or copper and brown eyes go great with shades of navy and gray.
- You should choose three shades of each color: a light, medium and a dark shade.
- Avoid choosing colors that are too bright, or if you have very fair skin too dark. You want your smoky eye to accentuate your pretty face, not to distract from it.
Use the right tools
- Although there is always the option to use one of those complimentary sponge applicators or wands that you sometimes get with some makeup pallets, I would almost always opt not to. I find that the perfect smoky eye is created using the right supplies and you would be surprised to notice that it can make all the difference to the look you are trying to achieve.
- I find using matte eyeshades gives you the best blending ability, which is necessary for creating a great smoky eye. You have the option to use other bases of shadow for instance, cream based eyeshadow or satin based eyeshadow or even shows that have a glittery base to them, but for the best look try and go for the pressed matte eyeshadow.
- Use pitch-black eyeliner to accentuate your smoky eye. You have the option of using a pencil, cream, or liquid eyeliner, and any will work just fine. Cream and liquid eyeliners give a very smooth finish, while pencil eyeliner gives a softer blended look.
- Be sure to use good quality makeup brushes. Using dirty, old, or sponge brushes will create a smeared look that doesn’t blend. The best makeup brush for a smoky eye is a flat brush to pat on the eyeshadow, a domed eyeshadow brush to help blend out any sharp lines, and a pencil brush which will give you more accuracy when trying to apply eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes or to the bottom lash line. You can find these at many beauty supply stores. The brushes I tend to use are:
- MAC pencil Brush – 219
- MAC shader Brush – 239
- MAC Blending Brush – 217
- Be sure to have concealer and eyeshadow primer to prep your lids before applying the smoky eye. Use a concealer brush to apply both.
- Have a large fluffy brush, makeup remover and q-tips on hand to fix any mistakes or loose shadow on your cheeks.
Apply your face makeup
Before you put on your smoky eye, you should create your neutral palette. Apply concealer under your eyes and on any dark or red spots, and then apply a powder foundation over the top to set it.
- You have the option of applying blush or bronzer to add dimension to your face. For a bronzer, sweep it into the hollows of your cheeks with a large fluffy brush. To apply a blush, blend it into the apples of your cheeks. Remember to apply both lightly, for the most natural look.
- Make sure your eyebrows are well-shaped and colored, as the smoky eye will draw attention to them. Having brows that are too thin or light will make your smoky eye look too dark and unnatural.
Now to begin with the application process:
Apply your highlighter.
Your highlighter is the lightest of your three eyeshadow shades. Using your eyeshadow brush, dab it on the inside corner of your eyelid on both your upper and lower lids. Sweep it directly under your eyebrows as well, from the beginning to the end of your brows.
Put on your medium shade.
Take your middle eyeshadow shade and sweep it over your entire eyelid. Be sure to blend it at the inside corners with your highlighter, so that there isn’t a harsh divide between the two colors. Apply it upwards only to the natural crease on your lid, not all the way to the highlighter underneath your brows.
Begin adding your darkest color.
Begin at the outside corner of your eyes, and sweep in a ‘C’ shape from the about halfway inwards (from the outside of your face) on the lash line, back up and around to about halfway inwards on the crease of your eyelid.
- The darkest part should always be the point at the upper edge of your lash line. Whenever you need to apply more of your dark shadow, start at this point and work inwards or upwards.
- Don’t apply the shadow too far in. You want the inside ⅓-½ of your eyelid to not have any dark shadow. This will help your eyes to look open and bright.
- To add a dramatic look to your classic smoky eye, sweep your dark eyeshadow to a point (more of a “<” shape than a “C” shape) towards the end of your eyebrow. Make sure that the darkest point still remains at the outside corner of your lash line.
- Sweep a little of your dark shadow under your eye onto your lower lid. Again, start at the outside corner and bring it only about halfway in. This will help to balance the darkness out on the top of your eyes.
Below @Missmaes shows off the perfect look using Urban Decay Naked 2.
Below: Smokey eye pictorial by Eline F
Below: @Lauren shows us the basics of applying eyeshadow in layers to achieve a very easy smokey eye look
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