The smokey eye look has been a very popular look for the last few years and I had decided that I would learn how to do it myself. However, when I went through a number of smokey eye makeup tutorials, I was left disappointed as all of them seemed to require ten different cosmetic products and brushes. Being a minimal makeup person, I obviously did not possess this cartload of makeup stuff and frankly, didn’t want to fuss about with so many products. So now what? No smokey eye for me?
The stubborn Capricorn in me kicked in and I thought that there must be some way of getting the same effect with fewer products. It may not look absolutely professional but then all the women in the world aren’t professional makeup artists, so it does not matter if it doesn’t look perfect. I wanted to make the look comfortable and easy for me to create without going out of my way. So I pulled out my favourite eyeliner and a new mascara that my best friend had recommended to me and set to work. Needless to say, I was successful enough for my own satisfaction and this tutorial was the result of that experiment.
This look is especially useful for those who either don’t want to be too fussy or precise with their makeup or those who just can’t be precise with eye makeup. It is a beautiful yet forgiving look and can dress up your face perfectly for an evening out.
To do smokey eye makeup you will need:
- Black or dark brown eyeliner pencil, NOT smudgeproof (choose black if you’re dark, brown if you’re very fair)
- Skin-toned powder of any sort to match your skin colour (compact, blush, eyeshadow, Biotique sandalwood and basil talc)
- Optional: a white, silver or very light cream eyeshadow or eyeliner pencil, 1 eyeshadow of any other colour of your choice (refer to point 9 of this tutorial).
- Dab the skin-toned powder onto entire eyelid halfway up to the eyebrows (past the crease) and below lower lash line. This will prevent the liner from bleeding or spreading all over your eyelid if you sweat or become a little oily on the face.
- Line your eye above the upper lashes and below the lower lashes. The line can be untidy, it will actually help things along. Line all the way from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. Keep the line thick except for the part near the inner corner.
- Line the inner rim (waterline) of your eyes along the lower lashes. To do this, pull the lower lid down and run the tip of the eyeliner firmly along the inner rim from corner to corner.
- Now rub the pad of your ring finger along the line on the upper lid and smudge it. Smudging it makes the line more blurred.
- Then start making upward and inward strokes beginning from the outer corner on the upper lid. Move halfway along the line towards the inner corner as you do this. This will start the smudging of the liner. This is what gives the ‘smokey eye’ effect. Smudge only up to the crease line (where your eyeball ends) until the line you had drawn no longer looks like a line. You will now a dark shading all over your eyelid which is darker along the lashline and fades upwards and inwards.
- Rub the same finger along the groove on the upper lid between where your eyeball ends and the brow bone begins (the crease). Doing this deepens the shading in the crease.
- Repeat step 4 on the line below the lower lashes. Use the absolute minimum area of the pad of your finger for this line or else you’ll land up looking like you have dark circles. If you find this too difficult, use a ear-bud to smudge the line by stroking it very lightly until you’ve blurred the line.
- Repeat steps 2 to 7 to layer the colour. This will deepen the shading.
- To add some colour to this black-only shading, you can dab a little blue, gold, dull pink or purple eyeshadow onto your upper eyelid. Dab from the inner corner halfway to the outer corner. Blend the place where the two colours (black and your chosen eyeshadow) meet.
- Smokey eye makeup can close in the eyes a bit and overwhelm them. So if you have close-set eyes or small eyes, apply a little white, silver or light cream eyeshadow/eyeliner to the inner corner of the upper lids. Spread it slightly upwards and outwards with your finger so that it blends with the rest of the eyeshadow. This opens up and brightens the eyes. It also balances out the heavy dark colouring on the rest of the eye.
- To add a final, pretty touch to the look, wing out the black shadow a little as I’ve done in the pictures above. To do this, smudge the outer corner again and then press the blackened fingertip squarely on the outer corner of your brow bone. From there again sweep your finger through the crease. Then open your eye and fine tune the wing by brushing the same finger from the inner corner of your eye up towards the end of your eyebrow.
- Apply two coats of mascara in quick succession to the upper lashes of each eye. Your smokey eye makeup is done!
Eyeliner: L’Oreal Contour Kohl 131, Jet Black
Mascara: L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes, Blackest Black
Lipstick: Maybelline Watershine 61, Mochaccino
*The shading that you do along the crease gives an oval haze of ‘smoke’ above the eye. However, if you find you’ve gone a little too close to the brow, just use a cotton bud to clean up the excess. There should be no colour above the crease.
*Keep ear-buds to correct any blunders. Just swipe mistakes away with a firm stroke.
*You can use some of the pale eyeshadow that you’ve used to highlight the inner corner to highlight the section between the smokey part and the brow. It creates a nice contrast and gives definition to the smokey eye. Apply a tiny amount and rub the line between the pale shadow and the black one gently o blend the 2 together.
*Team a smokey eye look with a nude coloured lipstick or gloss.
*While doing heavy eye makeup of this sort, I’ve noticed that my eyes start to water a lot. If tears run over your eye makeup it will spoil the effect. In case your eyes water too, keep a tissue handy to blot away any tears before they roll over the eye makeup.
*If you have dark circles, I recommend that you either avoid this look until they disappear, or camouflage them with some skin toned powder or a concealer, if you have one. Otherwise you could end up looking like a panda.
*Keep a tissue or wet wipe with you to wipe off the colour on your fingers between the steps of this tutorial. That way you won’t accidentally get smudges of black where you don’t want them.