9 Easy Steps on How to Do a Smokey Eye: Beginner-Friendly Guide

How to Do Smokey Eye

The Smokey eye gives a hazy and smudge-out effect to the eyelids that resembles a Smokey look. It is a layer of a single or multiple shades and textures of eyeshadow that is diffusely brushed on organically. Smokey eyes add a different dimension to the eyes with an edgier approach. The different colours and hues of eyeshadows add character to the whole Smokey eye makeup that matches up to the desired look. This makeup look has evolved so much that it can easily be worn at any event and occasion. The smokey eye makeup can be both donned at special events and also as an everyday makeup look. Adjustments to the intensity of shades and choice of colours would do the trick for smokey eye makeup to look appropriate. A general choice for makeup eyeshadow would include matte neutral shades, but one could play with other colours to compliment the look one is going for. 

It might look easy on paper but can be tricky when done for the first time. Doing the smokey eye makeup can be hard at first for beginners, but after a few times of practice, one should get the hang out of it. When creating the Smokey eye look, it is convenient to get all the materials in one place. One should have some quality brush, eye primer, and eyeshadow palettes with varying shades. There are makeup palettes that include different shades of colour that could be used as the crease, base, and highlight eyeshadow. A good quality mascara and eyeliner product should add to the overall smoke eye makeup look.   

Listed below are the steps to do a smokey eye for beginners.

  1. Clean your lids.
  2. Put primer on your lids.
  3. Choose eyebrow colour.
  4. Apply the chosen eyebrow colour.
  5. Put your chosen crease colour.
  6. Apply the highlight
  7. Blend everything together.
  8. Draw lines to your eyes.
  9. Finish your eye makeup by putting on your mascara.

1. Clean your lids.

Clean your lids

It is of optimum importance to have the eyelids cleaned before the application of any makeup product. Make sure to have the face, including the eyelids, washed with a gentle deep cleanser to eliminate the nit and grit of dirt or remaining makeup. This helps create an even-out makeup application and allows the skin to unclog and breathe. Cleansing the eyelids also prevents any makeup contamination that can result in skin irritation while wearing the makeup.  

2. Put primer on your lids.

Put primer on your lids

Brush on some eyeshadow primer over the eyelids spreading it evenly using one’s clean fingers or makeup brush. Putting on primers is essential, especially for people with oily skin. Some people have sebaceous glands that can oversecrete oil and build up over time with makeup. This helps reduce or eliminate the chances of oil build-up that can cause smudging and creasing of the eyeshadows. An alternative for an eye primer would be concealers or foundations.  

3. Choose an eyeshadow colour.

Choose an eyeshadow colour

Pick out the desired eyebrow colour that should complement each other when blended. A traditional Smokey eye look would include matte shades of dark neutral colours, but one can opt for different shades as desired. Come up with three shades that include eyeshadow for the base, crease, and as a highlight. The three shades should vary when it comes to colour intensity, the crease colour should have the darkest shade, followed by the eyelid base shade, and the highlight colour should be the lightest. 

4. Apply the chosen eyeshadow colour.

Apply the chosen eyeshadow colour

It is advisable to use a decent brush when applying eyeshadow for a Smokey eye look to create a diffused stroke of the eyeshadow efficiently. Blend in the base colour eyeshadow over the eyelids, making sure it covers the middle to the lower portion of the eyelids to create the base. Blend the eyeshadow well to create a much more diffused colour than a solid one. One can smudge it out using bare fingers for a more rough stroke.  

5. Put your chosen crease colour.

Put your chosen crease colour

The crease eyeshadow should be the darkest colour among the three shadows. One can use a crease brush as they are usually much fluffier in texture and easily blends on the eyelids. The crease eyeshadow adds the perfect dimension to the overall smokey eye look. Blend the crease eyeshadow to the centre of the eyelids from the corner of the eyes and along the lash line. One can add as many layers as desired to increase the colour intensity. 

6. Apply the highlight

Apply the highlight

The last eyeshadow to be applied is the highlighting eyeshadow with a much more toned-down colour. Brush on the highlights just right under the areas of the brows and through the inner portion of the eyes. One can use a shimmer finish as a highlighter to add that extra shine to the eyelids. The highlight creates a layer of eyelid finish that intensifies a gradient contrast between the other eyeshadows. Putting on some highlight at the inner corner of the eyes is a great addition that brings the eyes out even more. 

7. Blend everything together.

Blend everything together

Blend all the eyeshadow to create a cohesive but gradient appearance of the smokey eye look. One can use a pencil brush to soften and make a smudge appearance of the blended layers of colours. Many often overlook this step, which is considered one of the most essential. A general rule when blending is to have all colours blend until there are no longer creases of colour between the three shades. 

8. Draw lines to your eyes.

Draw lines to your eyes

Adding a touch of eyeliner along the lash line would be a perfect touch to a smokey eye makeup look. Eyeliners create more depth and dimension to the eyes in contrast with the diffused strokes of the smokey eye look. One can use any type of eyeliner as long as it does not smudge and has a much-defined colour to serve its purpose. Black eyeliner is much preferred as it is more neutral and generally brings out the overall appearance of the eyes.    

9. Finish your eye makeup by putting on your mascara.

Finish your eye makeup by putting on your mascara

To finish the entire look, put on a mascara that further adds drama to the smokey eye effect. Putting the mascara on after the whole eyelid allows the makeup to set in and not dash any powder on brushed mascaras. A good mascara that complements the eyes is a great addition to accentuate the eyes. 

What are the things needed for doing a smokey eye?

One would need some eyeshadow brushes, an eyeshadow makeup palette, eye primer, eyeliner, and mascara to achieve the perfect smokey eye look. A set of good quality and best eyeshadow brushes is essential when doing the smokey eye makeup to create the strokes, smear, and gradient effect that blends everything together. An eye primer sets the eyeshadow and keeps them from smudging and creasing caused by a build-up of oil or sweat.  A colour palette of choice and the best eye makeup products with varying shades of the crease, base, and highlight eyeshadow create that perfect makeup gradient.  A dramatic smokey eye look would not be complete without the added dimension brought by eyeliner and a bold mascara.  

What are the best eyeshadows for a smokey eyes?

The best eyeshadow for smokey eyes is the one that can add more depth to the eyes. A much more traditional take on the smokey eye would consist of matte eyeshadow of neutral dark colours like black, brown, and grey. One could experiment with different best eyeshadow shades and colours to create the desired smokey eye makeup look. Warmer and cooler eyeshadow palettes could work for people with light to medium skin tones. Darker matte colours of green and blue could still look dramatic on the eyes with a hint of quirk and sexy. A shimmered highlighter eyeshadow adds the perfect polish and finishes on a smokey eye look. 

In what event do we usually use a smokey eye look?

A smokey eye look is so versatile that one could sport the look at any event or even wear it as an everyday look. The appropriateness of a smokey eye look in different settings would depend on the intensity of colours and shades used. One could wear a heavier smokey eye application on night events as they would blend in well in dimmer lights that open the eyes even more. When going for every day or daytime smokey eye look, one could tone down the layers of eyeshadow to make it more subtle and light in appearance. Variations and the correct technique for smokey eye makeup will do no wrong when used at any event. 

What are the dos and don'ts of doing smokey eye? (NEWLY ADDED)

Doing a smokey eye effect can be difficult for beginners. One has to practice and follow a step-by-step procedure on how to go about doing the perfect stroke. Getting the hang of it requires time and patience. One could also follow these simple guides on the Do’s and Dont’s of Smokey Eye Makeup. 

Listed below are the do’s and don't’s of doing a smokey eye look.  

  • DO apply colours and shades and colours that complement each other. Don’t pair colours that contrastingly repel one another resulting in an unattractive blend of colours.
  • DO invest in good-quality brushes that precisely blend through the corners of the eyes. Don’t use uneven brushes that result in patching out of colours. 
  • DO try to add a little sparkle over the smokey eye blend as it provides an eye-catching touch to the overall look. Don’t go overboard with the glitter. Just enough for a bit of accent. 
  • DO blend all the colours well, preventing any visible creases between the different eyeshadows used. Don’t forget to even out the colours to provide a softer transition between colours. 

Is it hard to do smokey eye makeup?

Yes, smokey eye makeup can be hard at first, but it can be learned quickly. One should know the right combination of eyeshadow colours that would complement each other and, at the same time, match one’s skin tone and complexion. Picking out the right brush can be tricky to comfortably apply the different strokes that create a well-blended eyeshadow makeup for smokey eye makeup. Doing the step-by-step instructions on smokey eye makeup and getting through the hoops of getting it right takes practise but shouldn't be that hard to perfect over time.