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How to Create an Everyday Smokey Eye in 5 Simple Steps

If there was one makeup style I had to wear for the rest of my life, it would be the good ol’ smokey eye. As much as I’m all for embracing natural beauty, the “no makeup-makeup look” is a bit plain on me. If you haven’t noticed, I’m wearing a smokey eye in almost all my photos. I feel like it really helps to not only bring out my eyes, but the rest of my facial features too. Some may call me high-maintenance for putting on a smokey eye every time I do my makeup. However, after years of practice, I’ve definitely picked up on techniques to perfect that everyday smokey eye efficiently. If you’re looking to master a classic smokey eye in time for the fall and winter months, it’s time to stock up on some staple eye products and follow these 5 simple steps.

PREP THE EYES WITH PRIMER & CONCEALER

Just like with face makeup, the secret behind the perfect smokey eye is a solid foundation. With that said, I always start with prepping my eyes with a primer. This will help the eyeshadow stay on the lids longer without flaking off, and make everything look more seamless and smooth. You can either use a regular face primer, or one that’s specific to the eyes. Personally though, I haven’t noticed much of a difference between the two, so I use a regular face primer to save some space in my makeup bag. Then, I use concealer to conceal my dark circles and other areas of discoloration on or around my lids. Yes, we’re going for a smokey look – but not panda eyes!

MAKE THE EYES POP WITH A HIGHLIGHTER

Before going in with color, I like to use my highlighter to create structure around my eyes. To make your eyes pop, consider lining the inner corners of your eyes with a bit of highlight. I also highlight just below my eyebrows and around the eyelids for that extra oomph. As far as what kind of highlighter goes – you can either use your face highlighter or a highlighter type shade in an eyeshadow palette you may have! My go-to highlighter for ANYTHING is Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop.

CREATE DRAMA WITH DARK EYESHADOWS

After we’re done highlighting, it’s time to create the drama! Dun dun dunnnnnn! This step is pivotal for creating the perfect smokey eye. For my everyday look, I like to use dark brown, grey, and black shades in my eyeshadow palette. I am a fan of Urban Decay’s Naked Palette because you simply cannot go wrong with that one. Of course, there are many others you can choose from as well that will create a similar effect! I start light towards the inner corners of my lids, and as I work my way out, I gradually go darker. The gradient look is really nice for an everyday smokey. Since I was blessed with beautiful double eyelids (thanks mom & dad!), I like to go in with a brush at the end, and add more dark shadow where the lids crease. This helps to add more definition and shape to my eyes.

USE EYELINER TO LINE THE UPPER & LOWER LIDS

The smokey eye look is starting to come together well at this point, but let’s not forget the eyeliner! For my upper lids, my go-to is a slight winged look with liquid liner, because I’ve found that this style flatters my eye shape the best. But, everyone’s eye shape is different so it’s all about experimenting with what works and what doesn’t on your own. Feel free to get a little experimental here. For my bottom lids, I prefer a smudged pencil look. To achieve that effect, I use either a black or dark brown eyeliner pencil to line my bottom water line. This makes my eyes appear fuller and really contributes to that “smokey” look.

CURL LASHES & FINISH OFF WITH A QUALITY MASCARA

Whether you’re a smokey eye or a “no makeup-makeup look” kind of gal, I’m sure you could agree that no makeup look is ever complete without voluminous lashes! I pretty much never wear falsies, because they are heavy. I really don’t know how so many girls out there do it – I have trouble keeping my eyes open whenever I wear fake lashes. Luckily, I was also blessed with pretty long natural lashes to begin with for an Asian gal… so I can easily get away with just using mascara. For those who feel they need extra volume, this is the time where you’d glue on synthetic lashes, curl them, and apply a bit of mascara so that they blend in nicely with the natural lashes. Personally, I just go in with an eyelash curler to curl my lashes, then apply two to three coats of a quality mascara – and voila, my smokey eye is complete!

Are you a smokey eye or a “no makeup-makeup look” kind of gal?

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94 Comments
  • tammy c.
    August 20, 2018

    I love a good smokey eye too! you are so good at it. I need more practice! will definitely stock up on the essentials next time I’m at Sephora and give your tips a try. thanks for sharing babe!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      Aw thanks Tammy! Practice definitely makes perfect πŸ™‚

  • Stella
    August 20, 2018

    Your makeup is always flawless! Thanks for sharing your secrets. I love the Naked palette by UD too 😍😍😍

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      Thank you Stella! You truly can never go wrong with UD’s Naked Palette for sure!

  • Turtle
    August 20, 2018

    You are gorgeous!! I love a good smokey eye, may have to do one tonight

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      Thanks Turtle! You can never go wrong with a good smokey eye πŸ™‚

  • Mademoiselle Coconath
    August 20, 2018

    Great post dear! You look amazing
    xx
    Mademoiselle Coconath
    http://mllecoconath.com

  • Carolyn
    August 20, 2018

    Great makeup tips girl! And I don’t think you’re high maintenance…I think you do whatever the heck you want that makes you feel and look confident!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      Hahaha thank you Carolyn! Finally someone who gets me! πŸ˜‰

  • Corina
    August 20, 2018

    I also go for a light smokey for my day to day make-up (when I have one). These products are all very suitable.

    xo Corina
    https://unbouquetdamour.com/checkered-pants

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      I like a lighter smokey during the day too! But darker at night πŸ˜‰ hehe xx

  • Ranelle Ivens
    August 20, 2018

    I am such a failure when it comes to fancy pretty eye shadow but you make it seem so easy!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      Haha it definitely takes practice but it’s worth it!

  • Mariann Yip
    August 20, 2018

    I love a good Smokey eye makeup and definitely agree that Naked palette is perfect for that type of look πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      So glad you love the smokey eye makeup trend too! πŸ™‚

  • Christine Kong
    August 20, 2018

    I love doing a smokey eye for special occasions! I never know how to apply shadow since I am Asian and don’t have a double eye lid. I just got this mascara and can’t wait to use it. I need all the help I can get with my scrawny Asian lashes lol. Thanks for the tips with the highlighter in the corner of the eyes too! xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      It definitely takes practice! But you are so gorgeous you don’t need makeup haha seriously! Smokey eye can look really cool on monolids too but I wish I could give more tips on that haha. I have yet to attempt a smokey eye on a friend with monolids! I’d love to one day though – think it’d be fun πŸ™‚ I’m glad you found a mascara you’re excited to try! Hopefully it won’t disappoint πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Anicheberry
    August 20, 2018

    I love the tips. I struggle a lot with makeup and have never tried the smokey eye, but will practise with these tips.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 20, 2018

      I’m so glad to hear it babe! Practice makes perfect! πŸ˜‰

  • Candace
    August 20, 2018

    I’m sooo in love with smokey eyes, but I don’t practice it that much since it requires patience lol Urban Decay Naked Palette is my all time favorite to do it.

    XO
    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Haha it actually doesn’t take too much time once you get the hang of it which is nice! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Welling
    August 20, 2018

    I’ve never been very good at applying eye makeup- thanks for the great tutorial!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      We all start somewhere, right? Haha glad you enjoyed it Jessica! xo

  • Tara Fuller
    August 20, 2018

    perfect steps and great products!

  • Kileen
    August 20, 2018

    Love the tutorial babe, and such a gorgeous smokey eye look. Your makeup is always spot on!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Thank you Kileen! I’m so happy you liked it! xo

  • Monidipa
    August 21, 2018

    I too wear the smokey eye look sometimes. I would love to try these products for a perfect smokey eye. You look so gorgeous.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Thank you so much! Can never go wrong with a classic smokey eye πŸ™‚

  • Preet
    August 21, 2018

    What a lovely makeup tutorial. How I wish I was as talented and could pull off such a look.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      You totally could, girl! Just give it a try πŸ™‚

  • Karlyn Cruz
    August 21, 2018

    Wow! This is such a great cosmetic brand and very nice to recommend. Loved this simple steps to make a great eye style.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Thanks Karlyn! There are just so many make-up brands I love!

  • Nancie
    August 21, 2018

    Excellent smokey eye tutorial for anyone who wants the smokey eye look.

  • Deena Pinto
    August 21, 2018

    I just love a lot of drama around my eyes, im so used to a lot of kajol . Need to buy some of these essentials

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      I am the same way! All about that drama… on my eyes. LOL! xx

  • Stephanie
    August 21, 2018

    These are definitely all the things required to master a smokey eye – and you’ve certainly mastered it! I love smokey eyes on you just as much as I love minimal makeup to none on you as well! I especially agree with the highlighter bit. I love it for my browbone and my inner corners!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Awww Stephanie, you are just the sweetest! Thank you so much! <3 xoxo

  • Geraline Batarra
    August 21, 2018

    These are great steps to do for having a beautiful eyes in wearing your make and it seems that all the products looks so great to use.

  • Taylor Mobley
    August 21, 2018

    Definitely an easy way to get a night time smokey eye πŸ™‚

  • Deborah
    August 21, 2018

    I really need to try that Revlon mascara, your lashes always look amazing!
    These are all great tips to achieving that gorgeous smokey eye look!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      It’s amazing! Covergirl makes really amazing mascaras too. I just about never buy overpriced mascara anymore because the drugstore ones do just as well if not better, for a fraction of the cost!

  • Czjai Reyes-Ocampo
    August 21, 2018

    There was a time when I was so obsessed with the smokey eye look. These days, as I am always pressed for time in the morning, I skip the eyeshadow and just apply the basics on my face.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Haha I think I’ve always been into the smokey eye look; in fact when I was younger I think I overdid it LOL. I’ve finally found a happy medium that looks natural but isn’t too overdone or underdone. I’m the type that literally goes all out or goes out with no makeup at all haha

  • Erica D Ardali
    August 21, 2018

    Smokey eyes were at one time something I struggled with. I am happy that the trend is going softer and it is more wearable for most of us who struggled with the black dramatic version

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Yes! The smokey eye doesn’t always have to be dark. I also enjoy toying around with lighter fun shades!

  • Frank
    August 21, 2018

    Smokey eye is one of my favorite looks. My wife was looking for a tutorial for this so I’ll share it with her!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Yay! Hope she will find it helpful! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  • adriana
    August 21, 2018

    These are such great tips! I love a good smokey eye – having the right tools is a must!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Thanks Adriana! Glad you found these tips insightful!

  • Christa
    August 21, 2018

    I love how you included items in all price points! I love a smokey eye but don’t always love the price of make-up.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      I am with you girl! Makeup can really add up as far as price goes so it’s important to pick and choose items worth splurging on and others not so much πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay
    August 21, 2018

    I’m on team “smoky eye”, I always go for drama on the eyes and simple everywhere else. However, it’s not an easy look to get right! Thanks for this wonderful tutorial.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      So glad you’re on team smokey eye too! I remember it being a challenge when I was first trying to perfect the look, but after consistently doing it, it feels like I could create it in my sleep!

  • Jessica
    August 21, 2018

    This looks amazing on you dear! Thanks for the tips!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Thank you so much, Jessica! I appreciate it xx

  • Tosha
    August 21, 2018

    Love the post. Great tips on make up which I rarely wear but when I do I can use pointers! I’ve tried the Smokey eye and wasn’t that great but gonna give it another whirl!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      Thanks Tosha! The smokey eye is so fun to create! You can also play with different colors too if you’re not a fan of the dark smokey. πŸ™‚

  • Cecilia Harvard
    August 21, 2018

    I need to try this look ASAP! Thanks for sharing.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 21, 2018

      You’d rock the smokey eye, Cecilia! xx

  • Nina
    August 22, 2018

    Woow dear! Really nice tips! Thanks for sharing!!
    Have a great day! xx

    La ilusion de Nina – http://lailusiondenina.blogspt.com

  • Elizabeth O
    August 22, 2018

    This is such a great post. I like how quickly you can put a smokey eye together and you highlighted some great products too.

    • Sharon Wu
      August 22, 2018

      Thank you Elizabeth! I’m glad you think so xx

  • Jennifer
    August 22, 2018

    Great tips and tricks! I have to check out the mascara options. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      August 22, 2018

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! Mascara is a staple for all makeup looks! πŸ™‚

  • gladys nava
    August 22, 2018

    Yes! I love those simple steps listed. Wanna try this later! Hope that outcome will be beautiful.

  • Nandita
    August 22, 2018

    I like the smokey-eyes look, but am never able to nail it..got some helpful pointers here though.
    – Nandita

    • Sharon Wu
      August 22, 2018

      It was a challenge for me at first too but ever since I got the hang of it, it’s all I ever go for when I wear makeup hahaha

  • TheStyleSecond
    August 22, 2018

    I cannot WAIT to try this!!! I am the worst at doing the Smokey eye!!! Now I feel like I have a chance with these tips. And I’ve been looking for a better macsara to try instead of what I normally useβ€”can’t wait to try this one. πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ I may shock everyone at work by showing up with a full makeup look next time! 😊

    • Sharon Wu
      August 23, 2018

      Aw yay! Haha the smokey eye is so fun to wear – both day and night! For the day time I like to go lighter and at night more dramatic! πŸ˜‰ Let me know how yours turns out when you get the chance to try it, darling! xx

  • Jenn
    August 23, 2018

    I love smokey eyes, that kind of make up you can wear anytime. But first, lemme buy those products!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 23, 2018

      I literally wear smokey eye everywhere! Haha

  • Alexis
    August 23, 2018

    Great tips! Now if I could just have someone do it for me. πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      August 23, 2018

      Lol right? Some days I just wish I could wake up and have my full face on already hahaha

  • Megan Elliott
    August 23, 2018

    I love a good smokey eye!! This is a gorgeous version!

  • rachel vogt
    August 23, 2018

    These are such great tips, thanks for sharing babe. I just got that mascara, can’t wait to try it.

    xoxo, Rachel
    http://rachelvogttrends.com

    • Sharon Wu
      August 24, 2018

      Yay! I’d love to hear how you like it! xx

  • Whitney
    August 25, 2018

    your look stunning babe! love the mix of products you use!

    xo, Whitney

  • Samantha Mariko
    August 26, 2018

    This looks like an easy- to-do smokey eye! I’m so bummed the NAKED palette is going to be discontinued – hope they launch something even better!

    • Sharon Wu
      August 27, 2018

      OMG are you serious? I actually had no idea they were going to discontinue the NAKED palette because I thought they just released a relatively new one now that long ago (which is the one I use)! What a bummer!

  • Denise Kokinis
    August 27, 2018

    Such a good tutorial! I love the simple steps, because I for sure don’t want to spend a ton of time doing it!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

    • Sharon Wu
      August 27, 2018

      Thanks Denise! Glad you enjoyed it! xx

  • Suzanne
    September 4, 2018

    I’m sorry I just can’t do a smoky eye during the day! It’s more appropriate for an evening look in my opinion. But you look fab! xo, Suzanne

    • Sharon Wu
      September 4, 2018

      Haha to each her own! πŸ˜‰ thanks babe!!

  • marcy
    September 7, 2018

    Smokey eyes is my favorite too because makes my eye looks bigger. I feel all asian girls can feel related with this. However I only makes this look when I have a special event or ocassion because normally I don’t know how to do it. Agreed on the eyelashes!! They make everythig much better lol

    Thanks for sharing
    xo
    Marcy

    • Sharon Wu
      September 8, 2018

      LOL!!! Omg hahaha you read my mind! I think smokey eye makes mine look bigger too haha! Practice definitely makes perfect πŸ™‚

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