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How to Master the Smokey Eye Makeup Look

smokey eye makeup Shay Mitchell

The smokey eye makeup look is a classic, yet difficult art to master. Thanks to a wide range of brown, gray, and black shades, you can create a shadowy effect that makes the whites of your eyes pop! In her tutorial, creator Thuy Le coined it the “Kardashian look” because of Kim’s frequent use, but it can complement any complexion. This guide (with some help from Le) will assist beginners in mastering the smokey eye with just six easy steps!

Smokey Eye Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Prep your eyelids

The first step in any makeup routine is to properly prep your skin. You’ll want to use concealer or eyelid primer to avoid any shadow fallout or smudging. The goal is to smooth out your eye area and make it all one color. My favorite primer is NARS’ Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. A good full-coverage concealer that can be used as a primer is Tarte’s Shape Tape.

Step 2: Base Color

smokey eye makeup tutorial

In need of a good palette for your smokey eye? These super sexy ones by TarteViseart Paris, and e.l.f have the perfect shades to fit all your smokey eye needs. Once you’ve picked one, with a flat eyeshadow brush, gently press a warm, light brown or gray shade all over your lid to create a smokey base. You will want to softly blend it outwards to give it a gradient appearance. Using a small smudging brush, sweep the same brown color along your lower lash line and blend it upwards to connect the two.

Step 3: Crease Color

To add dimension, buff a medium brown shade along the crease of your eyelids. For this step, you will want to use a fluffy crease brush. Gently move your brush back and forth over your crease until there is a subtle transition from your base color to your crease color. Then, go in with a smudging brush to reline your lower lash line, but this time tighter.

smokey eye makeup tutorial

Reach for a deep brown shade and a precision eyeshadow brush. To further define the outer corners, start creating a wing by gently moving your brush back and forth on the edge of your eyes. You can use a straight edge for this step to ensure you get the “lifted” effect.

Step 4: Liner

smokey eye makeup tutorial

A liquid or gel liner is perfect for creating a sharp wing extending from the outer corner of your eye. Le uses YSL’s Couture Eyeliner for its deep, black color and thin applicator. 

smokey eye makeup tutorial

To avoid any skin color peeking through, use an eyeliner pencil to line the inside of your upper and lower lash lines.

Step 5: Blend

smokey eye makeup tutorial

Go back in with your smudging brush and black eyeshadow to blend any harsh lines from the liquid wing. This should give it a smokier appearance in the end.

Step 6: Mascara

smokey eye makeup tutorial

The final, most important step is to apply falsies or mascara to your lashes. Without it, your eyes will look incomplete. Sacred Child Beauty’s primer and mascara are the perfect duo to complement your freshly smoked-out lids.

Thuy Lee Tutorial

Remember, when in doubt, blend it out! But don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it the first try. It’s a look that takes practice and patience. Feel free to customize it to your particular eye shape and add any additional colors you’d like. As we often say…no rules here!

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