What Are Smokey Eyes?

Certain items have a built-in sex appeal, such as the iconic red lipstick, little black dress, and sensual and sexy smokey eye makeup.

In this article, we’ll peruse the fundamentals of smokey eye makeup, including a guide for beginners and different smokey eye makeups to try.

What Is Smokey Eye Makeup?


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Smokey eye (you may also find it spelled smoky eye FYI) makeup is a bold look that gives the eyes a dark, smokey appearance. This type of eye makeup is highly popular, but you should not apply it every day.  It can help to put the finishing touches on a great look that might include a fashionable dress and some great platform shoes.

Smokey makeup is best suited for formal situations. This look includes eyeshadow primer, eyeliner, at least two eyeshadows, and mascara.

Three Things to Consider Before Beginning Your Smokey Eye

The goal is to keep the darkest spot at the lash line at all times. It maintains the makeup looking fresh and trendy, and it ensures that the focus is on the eye rather than the makeup.

Maintain a straightforward approach! Use no more than a liner and three shadows to make your eyes pop.

Also, the blend is your friend, and brushes are essential for achieving that blend. It’s not important how dark you go or what colors you use for a smokey eye; it’s all about how effectively you blend the liner and shadow. That’s what gives it that smoldering appearance.

What You’ll Need to Get the Smokey Eye

To obtain the smokey eye effect, you’ll need the following items:

  • Concealer or eyeshadow primer
  • A dark gel or pencil liner, such as black or brown
  • An eyeshadow palette that includes the following:
  • a darker eyeshadow shade to add depth
  • a middle eyeshadow shade to serve as a base color
  • a metallic eyeshadow or subtle shimmer to draw attention to the eyes

How to Do Your Smokey Eye Makeup

a close up photo of a woman with smokey eye makeup

Smokey eyes may appear simple in theory, but they can be difficult to achieve in practice. This is because there is a thing like too much smoke. After all, smoky eyes are intended to be the rebellious, rock ‘n’ roll alternative to flawless makeup.

However, there is a deliberate balance to be achieved between being “sexily disheveled” and simply odd. As a result, it’s unsurprising that many people have looked up how to achieve a smoky eye on the internet.

The style may appear intimidating, but the smokey eye is a simple eye makeup look once you understand the tips and tricks behind it. To achieve that coveted characteristic smoky look, follow our step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1: Get Your Eyes Ready

As a base, apply concealer or eyeshadow primer to your eyelids. This guarantees that the eyeshadow lasts and remains in place throughout the day.

Step 2: Apply Your Middle Shade on Your Eyelids

Choose a hue that balances your darker shade because your medium shade will be the foundation of your eye look. Choose beige and muted browns for a more understated look.

Step 3: Smudge Your Upper Lid With a Dark Eyeliner Pencil Close to Your Lashes

When lining your eyes, be sure to get in between your lashes for complete coverage. Don’t stress about the liner being flawless because it will be smeared and blended with the remainder of the eyeshadow.

Step 4: Apply the Darker Eyeshadow Shade Over Your Liner and to the Outer Corners and Crease of Your Eyes

Use grey, black, or navy for classic smokey eyes. If you want a more vibrant look, jewel tones like purple, deep red, and green can work.

Step 5: To Add Contrast, Add a Light Shimmer to the Inner Corner of Your Eye

When selecting a hue for the light shimmer, use one that matches the other colors in the look. Silver or gold can complement more neutral smokey eyes, while light colors such as orange, pink, or blue complement more vibrant looks.

Types of Smokey Eye Makeup You Should Try

Natural Smokey Eye for Everyday

Wear a smudgy, smoldering smokey eye amid the day if that’s what you desire. Choose lighter colors and omit the thick eyeliner for a more subdued rendition of the glam makeup look for daytime. Use matte brown hues and a liquid liner to outline the lash line without going overboard.

Neutral Smokey Eye

Grays and blacks and browns and neutrals in all tones and hues will be your go-to shades for a traditional smokey eye. Although a few shades from the same family might provide even more dimension, you need two or three shadows. You may also add a black eyeshadow to the extreme outer corners to keep it even more dramatic and a taupe hue to aid transition between your two major shades.

Colorful Smokey Eye

No rule says a smokey eye needs to be gray. If you enjoy color, repeat the techniques outlined in the tutorial above, substituting with bright, vibrant tones. Begin with a wash of matte yellow underneath the bottom lashes and across the eyelid, then move on to darker tones of orange and gold on the outside corners. Blend the hues with your brush, as usual, to melt the colors together.

When dealing with shimmers and lighter colors, use white eyeliner as a base to make the pigments on top pop.

Bronze Smokey Eye

Everything to do with the gilded, bronze tones screams beach vacation, and we’re all for it. Instead of matte formulas, try all glitter, shimmer, and metal finishes for your shadows.

Silvery Smokey Eye

This is what you obtain when you utilize the gunmetal colors of a classic smokey eye and tinker with the shape and placement to achieve a more contemporary, trendy effect.

Classic Matte Smokey Eye

a girl wearing a bandana with classic matte smokey eye makeup

An all-matte eye look is extremely cool, and it’s providing 90s supermodel vibes. Forgo the shimmer and instead focus on the eyeliner and heavier shadow on the outer corners to achieve this look.

Soft, Shimmery Smokey Eye

Smokey eyes have a reputation for being a dark makeup look, but you shouldn’t have to pack on coal-black shadows to achieve it. Use a gentle, subtle wash of blended colors to achieve this sparkly eye look.

Colorful Gradient The Smokey Eye

Begin with the lightest shade in the inner corner and gradually work your way darker toward the outside corner to achieve this appearance. Then, of course, add a generous amount of mascara to your lashes and place falsies in the outer corners.