How to Create an Everyday Smokey Eye in 5 Simple Steps

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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 Responses

  1. 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!

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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/

    1. 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

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

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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

  10. 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

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

  12. 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.

    1. 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™‚

  13. 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.

    1. 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!

  14. 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!

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

  16. 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! 😊

    1. 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

    1. 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!

  17. 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

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