To create a classic smoky eye you need at least three shades of a similar hue. Usually different shades of grey ranging from light grey (or even white highlighter) to a dark charcoal can help achieve a great smoky eye look. If you’re new to doing smoky eyes, it may be a good idea to avoid using colors that are too bright. You want your smoky eye to accentuate your eyes and highlight your features, not to distract from it.
Using the Right Tools
Using the right tools is essential to creating the perfect smoky eye. It’s also important to have the right type of eyeshadows. Using loose powders gives you the best blending ability, which is necessary for creating a great smoky eye. You have the ability to use pressed powders and cream shadows as well, but loose powder makes it easier especially if you’re a beginner.
Be sure to have a pitch-black eyeliner to accentuate your smoky eye. Good quality makeup brushes are essential to create a properly blended smoky eye. Using dirty, old, or sponge brushes will create a smeared look that doesn’t blend. A domed eyeshadow brush, which is rounded at the top is best for creating a nice blend with your eyeshadow.
Prepping your skin before you put on your eyeshadow is a good idea and you should create your neutral palette. This can be done by applying concealer under your eyes and on any dark spots. To set it, apply a powder foundation on top.
Smoky Eye – Light to Dark
Start with your highlighter which is the lightest of your three eyeshadow shades. By starting with the lightest color first and moving to darker shades, you’ll avoid darkening your makeup too much. It’s easier to go from light to dark rather than dark to light. With your eyeshadow brush, dab the highlighter color on the inside corner of your eye (be sure not to get any in your eyes). Then apply it in a sweeping motion directly under your eyebrows as well.
Next, take your medium shade and sweep it over your entire eyelid. Be sure to blend it at the inside corners with your highlighter, so that there isn’t a harsh divide between the two colors. Apply it upwards only to the natural crease on your lid, not all the way to the highlighter underneath your brows.
Applying the darkest shade is a bit different in process. This color is best applied by starting at the outside corner of your eyes towards the inside corner. It’s important to note that the darkest part should always be the point at the upper edge of your lash line.
Avoid applying the dark shade too far into the inner corner of the eye. You want the shade to gradually darken as it moves towards the outer part of your lid. This will help your eyes to look open and bright. By sweeping a little of your dark shadow under your eye onto your lower lid you will help balance the darkness out on the top of your eyes and add a bit more of a dramatic look.
Clean your eyeshadow brush and make sure that it’s dry. Then gently blend your colors at the points where they meet. This should create a gradual fade in color from light to dark and form a smooth blend.
You can now add eyeliner to help define and enhance your look. Be sure to blend in the eyeliner with the darkest shade on your eyelid. Make sure your eyebrows are well-shaped and colored, as the smoky eye will draw attention to them. Having brows that are too thin or light will make your smoky eye look too dark and unnatural.
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