Easy Tutorial: How To Do A Perfect Smokey Eye Makeup

Looking to experiment with your makeup look? Here's all you need to get a smokey shade on your eyes.

Published On Nov 30, 2023 | Updated On Mar 05, 2024


This look feels equal parts cool, edgy, glam, and classic all at the same time, which means it's versatile enough for pretty much any event but not an easy one to master at that. It’s one of those eye makeups that can instantly turn your basic look to pop glam but it’s also one of those eye makeups which when aren’t done right, give you racoon eyes! So, if you don’t want your attempt at this eye makeup to end in frustration, here is an easy tutorial to turn your basic look into pop glam.

Things you’ll need for the perfect smokey eye makeup

  1. A full-coverage concealer
  2. An eyeshadow primer
  3. Shader eyeshadow brush to transfer pigments onto your eyelids
  4. A blending brush to ensure no harsh lines survive
  5. An eyeshadow palette 
  6. An eyeliner
  7. A black mascara

Now let’s pick up the makeup bag and get to it

We can never stress enough on how important it is to clean your face and hands well before starting this easy smokey eye makeup. Choose an oil-free cleanser to remove the oil and dirt from your face and especially your eyes. This will also ensure that the pigments of the smokey eye eyeshadow pop on your eyes and sit for a longer time.

Start by applying a primer to your eye to even out any creases and lines on the skin, giving a smooth base for the color to grip onto. Try and not skip this step if you have an oily skin.

If you are to choose between the eye primer and concealer, choose concealer for smokey eye makeup but our recommendation will be to not skip on any as it gives you a flawless base for that poppin’ look. Try and use colour-correcting concealer around the eyes to remove any dark spots or discolouration on the eyelids to make the application easier for the smokey eye eyeshadow. 
Tip: Don’t drag but dab your concealer around the eyes so that it doesn’t settle in your creases.

Smokey eyes include three different colours- a colour for the part of the eyelid that moves, a crease colour and a highlight colour, with your easy smokey eyeshadow shades being black and brown with a highlight shade. The crease colour is usually darker, the highlight shade being the lightest shade and the shade for your mobile lid is a neutral mid-tone. 
Pro tip: try and stay away from an all-black smokey eye but try and play more with dark brown or grays to lower the intensity of black.

Take your shader eyeshadow brush and transfer the pigments of eyeshadow onto the eyelids, preferably a mid-toned nude brown for a subtle smokey base. Blend it well to give it a more gradient look rather than a huge patch of colour, take it to the crease and extend it to the outer edge of the eye. Blend, blend, blend, blend as much as you can.
If you have hooded eyes, apply this eyeshadow shade closer to your brow than you normally would.

Pick a shade darker or two from your mobile lid shade to add dimension to the eyes. Then use a blending brush to blend the colour on the outer corner of your eyes while slowly moving towards the centre of your eyes in small, circular motions until you have a smoke blend. Do not, we repeat, do not move on to the next step until you’ve blended all the colours into a perfectly flowing transition of shades.

You can choose to skip this step altogether if you want a basic smokey eye makeup but if you want to go full-on glam, pick out the glitteriest shade from your palette and make sure to shimmer up the place when you walk in the room. 
Opt for a shade that's one to two tones lighter than your base colour and apply this generously from your crease up to your brow bone. 
For that extra glow, don't forget the inner corners. Dab a bit of the highlight shade in this area, and watch your eyes come to life.

Before you go all in with your eyeliner, use a black eyeshadow to line the eyes initially. This will allow you to perfect the shape before committing to a liquid or gel liner. Once you’re happy with the shape, apply the gel liner along both your upper and lower lash lines but if your goal is a sharp cat eye opt for liquid eyeliner. 
Pro tip: opt for a dark brown pencil on the waterline to open up the eyes, creating the illusion of larger, brighter eyes.

Now that you've conquered the battlefield, it's time for the grand finale – mascara! But wait: start with the bottom lashes before you flutter the top ones. Why? Well, we're avoiding mascara mayhem on your lids when you look up while applying mascara to your bottom lashes. 
And here we are done with a tiring yet easy smokey eye makeup.

Photo: Shutterstock