Smoky Eye Makeup
'The Trick' To Smoky, Step By Step...
The Smoky Eye Makeup Style has to be one of the most popular eye makeup styles. It is seen everywhere and for almost any occasion, from red carpet events, night out, work place, to casual daytime events like shopping are going to school.
Why? When done well, it is a beautiful and flattering eye makeup style for anyone.
However, gorgeous smoky eye makeup can also be a little tricky. There are color choices to make that need to work together, and eye makeup technique that is well, more technical. The style and finish objective for most of us is soft, smoky eye definition but, without the use of some key techniques, the look can descend into harsh and trashy.
Here are the key tricks to beautiful smoky eye makeup.
1. Good choices in palette colors.
2. Eye pencil that smudges with ease.
3. Correct sequence of steps for proper layering.
4. Effective blending.
Recommended Palette Of Colors
Deep and earthy;
violets, grays, blues, greens, browns, even beiges ...your coloring
AND the drama level of the effect, soft smoky or dramatic smoky, will be in how dark or light the colors chosen are (that will increase or decrease the CONTRAST against your skin tone).
IMPORTANT: Placement of shades is an important part of this look BUT blending is the KEY to the 'smoked out' effect of smoky eye makeup.
Always a good start to any makeup...
Even out skin tone of face with foundation, and concealer...for the face, less is always more in application of foundation, so as light weight as possible and apply concealer only as needed, to meet objective of an even skin tone.
Prep the eye area with a good base, dusted with translucent powder before beginning Step 2 (that is the key to an easier, smoother, and longer lasting application of eye makeup).
Gather your makeup and tools:
For smoky eye makeup, choose three eye shadow colors of the same color family (a light shade, medium, and dark shade) and a coordinating dark pencil.
Need Some? Check out my product suggestions below.
Smoky Eye Makeup 'Step By Step':
GENERALLY, think of a smoky eye makeup application in terms of color darkest at the lash area, getting lighter as you move towards the brow, each layer WELL blended and disappearing into the next.
AND... Each layer must deal with a zone.
START AT THE LASH LINE.
Start with a soft ('smudge-able'), sharp, dark eye pencil, applied tightly along the lash line.
Black will create the most 'smoked out' drama along side an already deep toned palette of shadows.
A great eye lining technique that will avoid any gaps between liner and upper lashes, are short angled strokes between the lashes (at the root), from outer corner to inner corner. Once you've got those gaps, move the pencil a little more freely horizontally along the lash line.
SOFTEN AND SMUDGE THE EYELINER.
Take a small, firm hair, eye shadow brush (there are actual makeup brushes called eye 'smudge' brush) and blend the eye liner along the lash line horizontally and out a little past the outer corner (you can also use your ring finger gently... I prefer a brush because it is more precise).
APPLY EYE LINER UNDER LOWER LASHES.
Take the pencil, and line under lower lash line, starting at the outer corner and moving toward the inner corner (For less extreme, softer version, stop at two thirds of the way and blend into corner in next step).
SOFTEN AND SMUDGE THE EYELINER.
Now using a small smudge brush, smudge and soften and blend, moving back and forth horizontally, sweeping out a little past outer corner, and in to inner.
LINE THE INNER RIM "WATER LINE".
Standard but OPTIONAL: Lining the inner rims of the upper and lower lids which creates the blackest 'smoked out' look.
With some experimentation, you will easily be able to gage the drama level of the smoky eye makeup style you are looking for.
WORKING TOWARD THE UPPER LID CREASE.
Apply the deepest eye shadow shade using a medium eye shadow brush. Its zone is from the upper lid lash line, blending well into the smudged pencil, up to and well blended into the crease (the second color should merge into the first).
UNDER THE LOWER LASHES
Under the lower lash line, the deepest shade has a more narrow placement, using an small shadow brush or angled eyeliner brush, right under the lashes from outer corner to inner corner (you can stop a third of the way from the inner corner to soften the look).
WORKING IN CREASE TOWARD THE UPPER BROW BONE .I. Apply the medium shade of eye shadow colors using a medium eye shadow brush.
This zone in a smoky eye, overlaps the deep shade, moves into the crease and toward brow bone. PLUS it is placed under the lower lash line from outer corner to inner corner (use the tip of the brush and a horizontal sweep under the lash line).
II. Use an eye blender brush, one with a small round head of firm but soft bristles, sweep horizontally right under the lash line to soften/ smudge the shadow, as well as blend the shades together.
UPPER BROW BONE + INNER CORNER OF EYE
I. Highlight the brow bone, using your lightest shade or an official shimmer/ highlighter, with focus at the outer third of brow, Also, you can brighten the very inner lower corner of the eye with a small placement at approximately the tear duct.
II. Take a eye shader brush, soft bristles, larger head, for easy blending or use your medium eye shadow brush gently blending into border shade.
I. Finish with black mascara.
Use an eye lash curler first, and then on the upper lashes take the mascara wand horizontally, "grip" the base of the lashes and jiggle up and through very tips of lashes. Working the lashes with repeated coats until the lashes are positioned with a nice "splay" outward.
II. For the lower lashes, take the mascara wand vertically, and sweep from inner to outer corners. Take your fingertips and "pinch" anything too long or "cabaret".
III. Brush and comb through any clumps or ill positioned lashes quickly before dry ( an old clean mascara wand is great for this job). Clean up any dust, specs or unwanted marks with a cotton swab.
OPTIONAL- If you really want to take this into all out glamour, add false lashes.
Always a good finish...
Don't forget to groom your brows into place.
Get rid of strays underneath (don't pluck above the brow) and fill if sparse. They complete the look of any makeup style because they frame the eyes.
This will help them stay put Tweezerman SPA Browmousse, Styling Gel for Eyebrows.
BE TIDY: When you are applying eye shadows, try placing a folded tissue under the lower lash line to catch the shadow dust falling.
Good tools and products are always critical to the success, polish and ultimate impact of a look. Here are a few recommendations that cater to the 'smoky eye' makeup style.
- Cargo Eye Shadow Palettes
- Christian Dior Eye Shadow Palettes
- Bobbi Brown Shadow Palettes
- Urban Decay Naked Palette
- Pencil Eyeliners by MAC, NARS, and drugstore brand L'oreal(soft enough to smudge).
...There are lots to choose from and these multi color palettes can take the guess work out of color combinations.Find some of the above here at my best makeup products page.
Here is an example of the same smoky eye makeup technique using a lighter palette of colors.
If you want a makeup style for day with a little more flare OR perhaps, a low key sexy night time look, this is a great application.
The difference between low key smoky eye makeup and dramatic effect smoky eye makeup really comes down to:
- Adjusting the color palette to lighter shades and reducing the contrast between depth of tones
- Reducing shimmer or frost to fairly matte colors.
- Minimizing the lining below the eye, and the thickness of line at the upper lash line.
- Changing black lining of water line, to a lighter shade like a
light blue gray.
Learning this smoky eye makeup application technique will give you a very versatile, professional makeup style. As fashion changes, you only need to adjust the palette choices.