A Beginner’s Guide To Nailing That Perfect Smokey Eye Makeup


A Beginner’s Guide To Nailing That Perfect Smokey Eye Makeup

By Anupriya Jamuar


One of the classic go-to evening makeup looks is the ever-loved smokey eye makeup. The hues of sooty black and carefully smudged eyeliner strike the perfect balance of chaotic but classy if done right. Though on the other hand, if not done right, the line between looking sexily dishevelled and racoon-like is wafer-thin.


Even though, in theory, doing a smokey eye does sound easy enough, the secret to a well-done smokey eye look lies in the details. So, if you’ve found yourself googling “how to do smokey eye makeup” you’re not alone and we’re here to help you crack the code.


The secret to nailing that smokey eye look is in getting your layers right. The concept of smokey eyes is simple: the fire is supposed to be in your eyes and then it smokes towards your brow bone,” explained celebrity makeup artist Elton Fernandez. This means, the deepest shades of your smokey eyes lie close to your waterline and gradually fade into lighter shades towards your brow bone. The bottom line is to keep blending until there are no lines or edges visible.


Now that you know what to do, let us help you figure out how to do the smokey eye makeup. Step 1: Assemble your kit.


How makeup pros ace the look


Here are the top rules to create that makeup pro-like

  • Smoke shows always start with a base colour before you go in with your blacks and greys. Its also best to prime your eyelids to ensure the colour last longer.
  • There is no complicated technique, the secret is to be patient while blending and there is a lot of blending involved so keep your fluffy brushes ready.
  • Always be ready for fallout. We recommend you apply some loose powder before dipping into eyeshadow so it's easier to clean it in the end.
  • Avoid layering more than three eyeshadow shades. Apparently, there is a thing called too much chaos.

Up Next: Best gel pot liners for smokey eye makeup

Your guide to creating the smokey eye look


Step 1: Prep your eyelids with primer and concealer to build a base.


Step 2: Start depositing your eyeshadows and blend. Use an eyeshadow brush to deposit colour, and then switch to a fluffy brush for blending; use tight rounded strokes.


Step 3: Keep the darkest colours closer to your lash line and gradually fade it towards your brow bone. Switch to the lighter shade of your smokey eye near your brow bone to make it look seamless.


Step 4: Use an eyeliner to draw out a wing. This will help give your eyes more dimension and keep the attention on them rather than the makeup.


Dust off any fallout using a big fluffy brush and set everything in place.


Pro tip: Switch to an eyeliner gel pot instead of eyeshadow for a classic black smokey eye. The creamy texture gives intense colour and blends easily too.


Smokey eye makeup: The classic black smoke show

You cannot go wrong with a classic black smokey eye look. For ease, we suggest you use a kajal pencil or gel pot liner and then set it in place using some black eyeshadow. Black smokey eyes are also great for a day to night transition. Honestly, is there any occasion where you cannot rock a classic black smokey eye? The answer is no. Pair it with a bold red lipstick if you are also loving the latest runaway trends.


Here are the products you need to build a classic black smokey eye:

Up Next: Nail your smokey eyes in just 3 steps

Smokey eye makeup: Everyday brown smoke show

If the sultry black is a bit too intense for your everyday looks, then we suggest you move on to the beautiful earthly browns. A brown smokey eye is perfect for your weekend brunches and Monday mall shopping. Instead of playing around with blacks, switch to taupe eyeshadow and add some dramatic liner and volumizing mascara to slay the look.


Here are the products you need to build an everyday smokey eye look:

Up Next: Ace your brown smokey eyes game

Smokey eye makeup: Coloured smokey eyes

Who said you can only create a smokey eye with black and browns? Level up with a pretty pop of colour in your smokey eye and bedazzle everyone. For your next party, take your black smokey eye a step further and add a beautiful midnight blue in the centre. This is a wonderful way of balancing your subtle outfits and nailing that razor-sharp sultry look in no time.


Here is what you need to nail this look:

Dive deeper into your smoke show
With the right tips, tricks and techniques, anyone can nail a smokey eye. But once you have created your smoke show it is just as vital to know how to finish the whole look to create that wow effect.


Find a complementary lip shade  

Usually, a pink or nude lip pairs well with this intense smokey look as it keeps the attention on the eyes. But if you also love to go all out, we suggest pairing it with a bold red pout for maximum impact. You can also play the balancing game to make things simpler: softer lips for intense smokey eyes like black and blue and bolder lips for soft smokey eyes like browns.


Smudge-proof your smokey eyes 

When you are playing with such intense colours you obviously do not want it bleeding down your face after a few hours. To make sure this does not happen, always set your cream products with an eyeshadow of the same colour or translucent powder. An eyelid primer will also help grip and fix your makeup in place for longer periods.


Focus on the details


We bring to you expert advises and industry tricks you did not know you needed.

  • A cream eyeshadow or a gel pot liner will make it easier to smoke out that fire.
  • If you do not have all the products and different shades, you can still make it work. You can create that perfect black smokey eye with just a kajal pencil.
  • Keep your concealer and Q-tips ready to easily fix any mistakes or clean up the edges for some finishing touches.
  • Start from the centre of your eyelid and blend it outwards. Use tight rounded brush strokes for blending. This is the easiest way of building up your smokey eye.

And would you look at that, you are all set to nail your smokey eye look one step at a time!

Get your burning smoke show questions answered


Q. Can I use a kajal for my smokey eyes? 
- Yes, a creamy kajal pencil blends well so you can use it to create your smokey eyes. Just apply the product directly on your eyelids, starting from the centre and blend outwards towards your brow bone.


Q. Do brown smokey eyes show up on darker skin? 

- The trick is to use a base colour that intensifies the brown colour. Especially for darker skin tones, start with a light matte base like cream or beige, so the colours show up better.


Q. Should I use kohl or kajal for my smokey eye makeup? 
- Kohl is less messy, but you can go with either of the product. If you are using a creamy product that blends well and easily, you are good to go.