If you’ve ever tried to achieve a glamorous smoky eye look and instead, ended up looking like a reject from a Marilyn Manson video (and really, who hasn’t?), you know it’s not the easiest makeup technique to pull off.
The key is to go light at first (after all, it’s always easier to add more than to have to take some off), and blend, blend, blend.
1. Create a stay-put base
If you don’t create a proper base for your makeup, by the end of the night, you’ll have eyes that look smudged rather than smokey (and leaving you looking like Tara Reid on a bender).
To prevent your shadow from slipping mid-evening, sweep foundation or concealer across your eyelids and dust with powder. You could also try using an eyeshadow primer (we like Benefit’s new Stay Don’t Stray primer). This will absorb the oil in your lids, giving your makeup extra staying power.
2. Line your lashes
Line your upper lashes with pencil eyeliner. Go for black, brown or grey if you want dark, smouldering eyes, or deep purple, blue, or green if you want something fun and unusual.
Line as close to the lashes as possible, making the line thicker at mid-eye.
For the lower lashes, use a lighter shade of eyeliner along the bottom lashes, smudging it slightly with a cotton swap or smudge brush.
3. Lighten up
Apply a light base shadow (a shimmery gold or champagne will work nicely) over your eyelids and all the way up to your browbone.
4. Go dark
Sweep a dark shadow (ideally, in the same colour as your eyeliner) along your lashline; start at the outer eye and work inwards, blending and smudging until the eyeliner disappears.
Then, beginning at the lashline, use a light touch to apply the same shadow from lash line to just above the crease.
Blend upwards, so that the colour fades from dark to light. Go heavier on the outer corners of your lids.
5. Final touch
Use a cotton swab to clean up any spots where the shadow is too dark or uneven.
Finish by curling your eyelashes and applying a volumizing mascara for extra pop.
Tone down your lipstick. Smokey eyes look best when the rest of your make-up is subtle, so opt for nude or pale pink lips.
To make your eyes look brighter, apply a touch of white eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes.
What do you think of the smoky eye? Have you ever tried it?