We love that smoky eyeshadow can look however you want it: rebellious and rock 'n' roll cool, or glam movie star. And, it works for any time of day or any occasion.
But it can be a daunting makeup technique to pull off. All those products and blending? Toeing the line between artfully hazy and just plain messy? It's enough to send even the most makeup-obsessed among us into a spin.
Here’s the secret no one tells you: a smoky eye can be as easy or as involved as you make it. Want to use 10 different eyeshadows, 15 brushes and an entire hour to create a smoky eye look? You do you. But if you've only got five minutes and limited makeup skills, then this one's for you. And while we're still going to use multiple products (all that layering is what will give you the depth and dimension) we promise it's super easy and minimal.
Before you start...
- Don't go into this thinking you need to achieve perfection. Remember, everything is going to get smudged, smoked and blended out, so take the pressure off. Also, it's makeup, and makeup can be easily removed, so no biggie if you feel like you've messed up. Remove it and start again!
- The most successful smoky eye will keep colour rich and concentrated at the lash line and diffuse subtly outward for that beautiful smokiness we’re aiming for.
- We said this is a ‘quick and easy’ smoky eye tutorial, so try to limit makeup items as much as possible. Leave the layers of smoky eye makeup for another time.
- Blend like your life (or smoky eye) depends on it. The hallmark of a smoky eye is diffused, not block, colour that has dimension because of the product layering, so there’s really no such thing as too much blending!
- Nowhere in the makeup rule book does it say that a smoky eye has to be grey or black. These steps will work with whatever colour you choose, whether that’s beautifully burnished browns and bronzes, or bolder purples and greens.
- You can also play around with finishes! Your smoky eye can be a matte, shimmer, satin or glitter.
Step 1: Prep is key
Step 2: Colour with a crayon
Step 3: Layer a powder (or two)
Before you go...
- To bring even more focus to your excellent smoky eye look, highlight the brow bone and inner corners of the eye with a flesh-toned, shimmery eyeshadow or illuminator. This also has an eye-opening effect which is important if you’re worried your smoky eye is making your eyes appear smaller.
- Balance out the smoky eye with some subtle blush. You want a natural glow, not a pop of colour, so go easy.
- As for your lips? The old ‘only highlight one feature at a time’ rule no longer applies, so wear what you want, from a bold red to a simple lip balm.