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How to make a smoky eye

Published on January 24, 2023 at 14:05 / Updated on October 16, 2023 at 15:14

One of the most sought-after and desired makeup looks is the smoky eye. It can be achieved in many ways and requires a little more dexterity than a natural look. However, you can do it with the right tools and makeup products! By following our tips, you will already have a good foundation as you explore the world of smoky eyes!

Brushes: the key to a smoky eye look

For smoky eye looks, the right brushes need to work in unison with your hand movements to give you the desired effect. Yes, it's a technique that requires a little practice, but you'll see that it's not rocket science and that once you're comfortable with it, the method will become easier and easier.

The blending brush will help you blend and apply eyeshadows to create a gradient of colour and soften your smoky eye.

The flat, soft brush is perfect for applying shades on your mobile eyelids.

Pencil/Detail brushes and bevelled brushes are ideal for application to the base of the lashes or in small areas around the eye to finish the job.

Makeup: eyeshadows and pencils

Many believe that a smoky eye is always in black, gray and brown shades. On the contrary, a smoky eye is a technique, not a shade. The most important thing to keep in mind is that when selecting your colours, have 2 to 3 gradients on hand. One pale (slightly lighter than your skin tone), one medium and one dark. This way, you'll have the opportunity to even out your smoky eye so that it doesn’t look too made up or severe. These shades should also have a matte finish, which will be great for creating depth and structure to your look. In addition to eye shadows, we suggest you have a black or dark brown eye pencil. This will be applied at the base of the lashes and on the mucous membrane (if desired); it will intensify your powder products thanks to its creamy texture.

Where and how to apply smoky eye makeup

We recommend the following techniques for a smoky effect that can be adapted to all types of eyes. We will focus on the intensity at the lashes' base and the eyelid's crease, creating somewhat of a visual lift towards the outer part of the eye.

Step 1

Apply the pale eyeshadow over the entire lid with your flat brush, making sure to blend slightly into the crease. This step will mainly serve to get a nice, even colour on the eyelid and prepare it for the other shades.

Step 2

Using your blending brush and medium eyeshadow shade, add some colour on the outer corner of your eye (starting point) and work back and forth across the crease like a windshield wiper. The crease of the eyelid is just below the eyebrow bone, and you need to apply just enough pressure to stay in that area. Make sure you only hollow out half of the eye crease for a more flattering effect that will create a slight lift. If you proceed from the outer corner all the way to the inner corner of the eye, you'll get an overly dark and heavy finish that will give the illusion of a smaller eye.

Step 3

To intensify and define the look, draw a few eye pencil lines over half of the upper lash line and follow with your detail brush to blend these lines. Don't try to make a perfect "cat eye" line. That is different from the look you are going for. Instead, you want to blend the pencil lines outward from the eye for a smoky, wispy finish. You can do the same on the lower lash line for a little more intensity. Be sure to apply only to the outer end of the eye.

Step 4

If you want to intensify the look a little more, it's time to use your dark colour. We suggest you use your detail brush, apply the dark pigment on half of your upper lashes, and then, with your blending brush (clean or from which you took the time to remove as much pigment as possible before this step), brush the base of the lashes. Gradually, the brush will pick up some of the pigment to add a smoky effect that you will also distribute in the crease. Continue until you like the intensity.

Optiona steps

You can apply your eye pencil on the mucosa for an even more intense, feline and sexy look.

To add a little light and texture, apply a metallic eyeshadow (cream or powder) to the center of the eyelid. You'll have a mix of texture and a glamorous finish.

Step 5

Finish with a few coats of intense black mascara and maybe even false lashes. You're done!

We invite you to watch the tutorial to help you complete the look step by step. This is a more advanced makeup look, but the result is worth it. You'll turn heads with the right tools, products, and patience!

By Jean-François Casselman-Dupont in collaboration with Familiprix.

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