When it comes to DIY smokey eyes I promise it’s easier than you think. You do not have to leave the house looking like you’ve just stepped out of the circus. I can show you 2 full proof ways on how you can get the seductive and exquisite smokey eyes you have been wanting. You only need 2 eye shadow colours to get started! Here is how…
If it were a popularity contest, then smokey eyes would win hands down.
The most requested makeup look that I get asked for is hands down, the smokey eye. Lucky for me this is my specialty, a timeless look that I love! The smokey eye look is so popular yet so many people are scared of attempting it on themselves, let alone wear it as an everyday look for work or to visit the shops. When most people think smokey eye they think black, or they think bright colours like purple and blue. If you are one of these people then I totally get it, it’s what we see all over Instagram followed by #smokeyeye, but I’m here to tell you it’s not the case at all.
A smokey eye can be very subtle and can suit just about anyone. It’s all about the application and colours you choose. Allow me to shed some light and show you how you can create the smokey eye and how you can wear it every day in just a few basic steps.
Rule No. 1: A smokey eye makeup worn during the day is not only for the Kardashians of this world, a smokey eye makeup can suit anyone at any time of the day.
Rule No. 2: Smokey eye makeup can be created using any colours, not just black.
Rule No. 3: There is more than one way to apply a smokey eye, we refer to these as the Glamour Eye and the Colour Wash eye, technically both are smokey eyes, but the placement of colour varies slightly.
The Glamour & the Wash.
I will show you 2 of the most common ways to apply smokey eye makeup, these 2 ways suit just about everyone. Practice these looks, use various colours. Add more product for a more dramatic look and less for a more subtle look. Just ensure you follow the pattern of where to apply the different colours. Remember with any smokey eye makeup you need light colours as well as dark, the degree of how much dark colour you use will determine how dramatic it is *hint hint.. use less dark colours for a more natural day time look.
What you will need:
- At least 2-3 eyeshadow colours of different depths and shades within the same tone i.e dark brown, medium brown, nude.
- At lease one eyeshadow blending brush and one eyeshadow applicator brush (see below)
- Eyeshadow primer or eyeshadow base.
- Your favourite under-eye concealer. To see my pick of concealers click here
Colour Wash smokey eye
This way of applying a smokey eye is very simple and can be done with 1-2 colours. You start by applying the primer all over the lid and up to the brow bone. Then take the darkest shade and apply it with your applicator eyeshadow brush on the lash line first, making your way across the entire lid. Then with your blending brush, work your way up towards the crease to soften the colour as you reach the crease line, diffusing the colour so it blends in with the skin.
If you want to use a second colour then you can start blending a lighter shade to where your first colour finishes, so that it transitions from a dark shade (eg. dark brown) to a lighter shade (eg. medium brown). Depending on the intensity of colours you use, this could be the most natural way to apply a smokey eye makeup.
Glamour Smokey Eye…
This way of applying the smokey eye will suit almost any eye shape, but is especially favourable to those who don’t have a visible crease line, as you get to create one!
The glamour eye is all about positioning. You will need at least 3 colours for this, ideally in the same tones. As mentioned above start by applying primer all over up until the brow bone. Then using your blending brush, apply a transition colour to the crease line, this colour is usually your medium colour. Next with your applicator brush, apply your darkest colour to the outer corner, then use your blending brush to start blending it inwards, until its softly positioned 2/3’s of the way in. As the last step, you have the option of using your applicator brush to apply the lightest colour, (or a shimmer) to the inner corner of the eye working your way towards the centre of the eye lid, basically where you haven’t applied any eye shadow or you can leave it blank.
To finish up both looks, remember to line your lower lash line with the medium or darker eye shadow, apply mascara and eyeliner if you choose to.
In order to truly master a smokey eye, you must practice it and experiment with colours and application methods. The above is just a guide, use it to get you started, but if you feel that there are other techniques, products and tools that work better for you then that’s ok, I highly suggest you go with those. Do what works for you.
I would say that the smokey eye is one of the styles that our students get both excited about and petrified of when they are first starting out in our Professional Makeup Artistry course. It is a make style that will never go out of style, and if you love makeup, then it is a style that you should try to master on yourself.
Director of the Academy of Hair & Makeup