The Ultimate Guide To Perfecting Your Smokey Eye Look

The smokey eye look is one of the most classic beauty looks out there. It can be sexy, elegant, and dramatic, depending on how you do it. 

But if you’re not careful when applying this look, it could end up looking like a hot mess. With the right techniques and products in hand, you can create a perfect smokey eye every time!

Experiment with different eyeshadow shades to find the ones that complement your eye color and skin tone.
Use eyeshadow brushes for precise application and blending.
Start with lighter shades and gradually build up the intensity for a seamless gradient effect.
Apply eyeliner along the upper lash line to enhance the smokey eye look.
Highlight the inner corner of your eyes with a shimmery eyeshadow to add brightness and dimension.
Don’t forget to curl your lashes and apply mascara for a finishing touch.
Practice and refine your technique to achieve the perfect smokey eye for any occasion.

Preparation is Key

Preparation is key to having the best smokey eye makeup look. Here are some tips for getting ready:

Prep your skin. If you’ve got oily skin, make sure that your primer is moisturizing and not oily. If you have dry skin, use a hydrating primer instead.

Prep your eyes/lashes/face with an eye cream or serum before applying any shadow or liner (they’ll help keep moisture in). 

Don’t forget about those eyebrows too! They’re probably the most important part of any look because they frame everything else perfectly! 

Tweeze them out first if necessary (maybe even shave them off), then apply eyebrow gel before starting on those beautiful lashes by brushing one side up towards the front of the can until it reaches its full length – then repeat with other side just so I don’t get bored easily 😉

Building the perfect smokey eye look may seem challenging, but with the right techniques, you can achieve stunning results. Explore our comprehensive guide on perfecting your smokey eye look and unlock the secrets to creating a captivating and alluring makeup style.

Apply the Foundation

Using a sponge or foundation brush, apply the foundation all over your face. You can do this in one go or you can gently tap it on for more coverage. 

If you have super red spots on your face that need to be covered up, use a concealer before applying the foundation so that it’s easier to blend.

Once you’ve completed this step, blend in the edges of your face with either a sponge or brush so that there are no harsh lines showing where you applied makeup. 

Be careful not to blend too much at this point; we’re just trying to make sure everything’s even right now!

TechniqueFoundation Tools
Application ToolsBeautyblender Sponge, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Sigma Beauty F80 Flat Kabuki Brush
Application MethodApply foundation using a dampened sponge or foundation brush for a smooth and flawless finish.
Coverage OptionsApply foundation in one go for lighter coverage or gently tap it on for more coverage and a buildable effect.
Blending TechniqueUse a bouncing or stippling motion to blend the foundation evenly into the skin and achieve a natural look.
Tool MaintenanceClean foundation tools regularly to remove product buildup and bacteria for hygienic application.

Applying Foundation with the Right Tools

This table presents techniques and tool recommendations for applying foundation. It suggests specific brands and tools like Beautyblender Sponge, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, and Sigma Beauty F80 Flat Kabuki Brush for achieving a flawless foundation application.

It emphasizes the importance of the application method, coverage options, blending technique, and proper tool maintenance for an even and natural-looking foundation finish.


Concealer is the perfect tool for covering up blemishes and dark circles, which are often caused by acne or poor sleep. It can also be used to brighten the under-eye area and make you look more awake.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Apply a small amount around your eye with your ring finger.
  • Blend it in by patting gently with your ring finger until it’s fully blended out.
  • Use a concealer brush (this one) if you want more precision!

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Color on The Eyelids

Applying color to the eye lids is one of the most important parts of creating a smokey look. Don’t get it wrong! The key to success here is not to be heavy handed with the product you want just enough color on your brush for light application. 

Apply a light coat first, and if you need more coverage, apply another coat. You can even dab off some excess product from your brush with a tissue before applying so you have only what you need on there when it comes time for application.

When applying color, it’s best to use an angled eye shadow brush with synthetic bristles (this will help blend). Alternatively, use a dampened blending sponge or kabuki brush if you’re looking for something easier and less messy.

Crease With a Neutral Shade or Brown Shade

Next, you’re going to need to apply a neutral shade or brown color into your crease. You can use whatever brush you have on hand for this step a liner brush is best, but if that’s not available then any small angled brush will do the trick. 

Apply the product with a light hand and let it dry for a second before blending out with either an upward motion (like making little circles) or outward strokes.

Once you’ve blended everything together, you’ll have created the perfect smoky eye look!

The Pencil EyeLiner

You can create the perfect smokey eye by using an eye pencil to draw a line. The key is to use a fine tip pencil, like this one from NYX Cosmetics, which will allow you to draw thin lines. To keep your liner looking sharp, use a sharpener when it starts to get dull.

Once you have drawn your line, you can blend it out using a smudge brush (like this one from Smashbox Cosmetics). This will help soften the look so that it doesn’t appear harsh or overpowering. 

If you happen to get some smudging on your lid while blending out your liner, don’t worry! Just remove any excess shadow with makeup remover wipes and continue with other steps in this tutorial!

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Smudge the Line for a Smokey Effect

Once you’ve traced your liner, grab a small brush and lightly sweep it over the line. This will help to soften the edges of your eye makeup and give it an even more smoky look. If you want more drama, try using a liquid or gel liner instead of pencil they tend to be bolder.

Defining Your Smokey Eye

For many people, a great smokey eye is the perfect way to make their eyes stand out. It can be done in a variety of ways and colors.

The first step in defining your smokey eye is choosing the right color palette for your look:

  • For a day-to-day look that’s not too intense, try using brown tones a rich chocolate shade will do nicely.
  • If you want something with more pizzazz, opt for purple tones instead! This hue works well on green eyes and will give them an added depth as well as helping them stand out from other colors used on other parts of your face.

You may also want to experiment with different types of liner: pencils or gels are both excellent options when creating this type of smoky effect

TechniqueColor Options
Eyeshadow ShadesUrban Decay Naked Palette, MAC Cosmetics Warm Neutrals Palette, Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
Color VariationsExperiment with a range of shades such as deep browns, smoky grays, sultry purples, and metallic hues.
UndertonesConsider eyeshadow shades with warm, cool, or neutral undertones to complement your eye color and skin tone.
IntensityAdjust the intensity of your smokey eye by layering and blending different shades to achieve your desired effect.
MonochromaticTry monochromatic smokey eyes using different shades of the same color for a subtle and cohesive look.
Color CombinationsExplore complementary color combinations like warm browns with gold shimmer or cool grays with silver accents.

Defining Your Smokey Eye with Color Options

This table presents techniques and color options for defining your smokey eye. It suggests specific eyeshadow palettes like Urban Decay Naked Palette, MAC Cosmetics Warm Neutrals Palette, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette for a diverse range of eyeshadow shades to create a statement smokey eye.

It emphasizes the importance of experimenting with different colors, undertones, intensities, and color combinations to enhance and personalize your smokey eye look.

It is All About Shadows and Light

A smokey eye is all about shadows and light, so it’s important to use a light hand when applying shadow. 

Even if you’re using an eyeshadow palette with a lot of pigment, try not to pack on too much product at once. 

You want your lashes to look natural, not like they were glued together with glue from the bottom of your eyelid (gross).

To apply shadow in the crease of your eye, first use an angled brush or sponge applicator to soften up any harsh lines around your eyes that are caused by other makeup products or glasses frames this will help prevent any creasing later on! 

Next, take out another fluffy brush (or two) and pat down some powder overtop each lash line so they don’t seem too heavy in comparison. 

If there are still some spots showing through even after applying these steps then go ahead and add more on top just make sure not too much gets packed onto one spot because we don’t want those eyebrows looking like they’ve been plucked off someone else’s head!

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When Blending, Blend in an Upward Motion

Blending is the art of using a blendable shadow or liner to create a more seamless look by blending out harsh lines. 

A lot of people think they can just sweep their eyeshadow all over the lid, but that’s not going to work you need to blend it in an upward motion.

If you’re using a cream product, use your fingers and pat at the product until it’s blended thoroughly. 

If you’re using an powder, use a brush or sponge applicator and sweep across your lids from lash line up (or vice versa) until completely blended out.

Keep it Soft and Fluffy

There are several things you need to do here to achieve the perfect smokey eye look. First, choose a fluffy brush (like the one pictured above) and use it sparingly with a very light hand. 

You also want to make sure that you’re using a product that’s lighter in tone than your skin color. If possible, choose something that matches the shade of your hair this will help keep it subtle and neutralizes any redness in your eyeshadow application.

Finally, apply only enough shadow so that it’s noticeable but not overpowering; remember: less is more!

TechniqueFluffy Brush Recommendations
Brush TypeBH Cosmetics Fluffy Blending Brush, Morphe M441 Pro Firm Blending Crease Brush, Sigma Beauty E40 Tapered Blending Brush
Brush UsageUse the fluffy brush sparingly with a light hand for a soft and blended smokey eye effect.
Brush DensityOpt for fluffy brushes with medium to high density for better control and blending.
Brush MaterialLook for brushes made with soft, synthetic bristles to ensure a gentle touch on the delicate eye area.
Brush SizeSelect a brush size that fits comfortably into your crease area for precise application and blending.
Brush CleaningProperly clean your fluffy brushes regularly to maintain their softness and effectiveness.

Fluffy Brush Recommendations and Usage

This table provides recommendations and usage tips for using fluffy brushes to achieve a soft and fluffy smokey eye look. It suggests specific brand names such as BH Cosmetics, Morphe, and Sigma Beauty for fluffy blending brushes.

These brushes should be used sparingly with a light hand for a seamless and well-blended smokey eye effect. It also emphasizes the importance of brush density, material, size, and proper cleaning for optimal results.

Lower Lash Line

Most people think that the crease of the eye is just a little bit darker than the rest of the eye, but it’s actually more like an inverted triangle. 

The base of your shadow should go right up against your lower lash line and up into the inner corner of your eye as well as along any definition you have between your brows and upper lid. 

A lot of people also like to add some definition by applying an outline along this area with their dark shadow color using either a brush or finger (no crease brush needed). Make sure to blend these two areas together seamlessly so that it looks natural, not harsh or obvious.

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There you have it, the complete guide to perfecting your smokey eye look. The key is patience and practice, but once you get comfortable with these steps, your eyes will be on fire!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further enhance your knowledge and skills for achieving the perfect smokey eye look:

CNN Underscored: How to Do Smokey Eye Makeup: Discover expert tips and step-by-step instructions for creating a stunning smokey eye makeup look, as featured on CNN Underscored. Short Description: Explore this comprehensive guide from CNN Underscored for expert advice and techniques on how to achieve a captivating smokey eye makeup.

BeBeautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Smokey Eyes: Dive into this ultimate guide to mastering smokey eye makeup, brought to you by BeBeautiful. Short Description: Elevate your eye makeup game with BeBeautiful’s comprehensive guide, offering invaluable tips and tricks for achieving the ultimate smokey eye look.

Beautifully Me: A Step-by-Step Guide to Smokey Eye Makeup: Learn the art of creating a mesmerizing smokey eye look with this detailed step-by-step guide from Beautifully Me. Short Description: Beautifully Me presents a detailed step-by-step guide to help you effortlessly create a timeless smokey eye makeup look.

Feel free to explore these external resources for more in-depth information on mastering smokey eye makeup techniques.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to smokey eye makeup:

How do I choose the right eyeshadow shades for a smokey eye look?

To choose the right eyeshadow shades for a smokey eye look, consider your eye color and skin tone. Opt for shades that complement your eyes, such as deep browns, grays, purples, or smokey metallics. Experiment with different shades to find what works best for you.

What tools do I need to create a smokey eye look?

To create a smokey eye look, you’ll need eyeshadow brushes (such as a fluffy blending brush and a small precision brush), an eyeshadow palette with coordinating shades, eyeliner, mascara, and optional false lashes. Brushes will help you blend and apply the eyeshadow with precision.

How can I prevent eyeshadow fallout when creating a smokey eye?

To prevent eyeshadow fallout, tap off any excess eyeshadow from your brush before applying. You can also hold a tissue under your eyes to catch any fallout. Another technique is to do your eye makeup before your foundation, so you can easily clean up any fallout without messing up your base.

Can I create a smokey eye look for daytime?

Absolutely! For a daytime smokey eye, opt for softer shades and lighter application. Use neutral or soft brown shades to create a more subtle effect. Be sure to blend the eyeshadow well and pair it with natural-looking lashes and a light coat of mascara.

Any tips for achieving a long-lasting smokey eye look?

To make your smokey eye look last longer, use an eyeshadow primer before applying any eyeshadow. This will create a base that helps the eyeshadow adhere better and prevents creasing or fading. Additionally, applying an eyeliner pencil as a base underneath your eyeshadow can provide extra staying power.

Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and adapt the techniques to suit your preferences and features.