Smoky Eyes Made Easy

Everyone loves a sexy smoky eye look but most people struggle to achieve it. Here is my simplified version that you can follow step by step.

The Tools

You need the right tools to create this look so here is a breakdown the products and tools I used:

Eye primer. TooFaced Shadow Insurance or a mac paint pot in Paintily or Groundwork. To stop your makeup smudging and creasing

A nude, matte shadow. Nars Biarritz shadow

A black kohl pencil such as Mac Feline or a black matte shadow like Mac Carbon.

A dark shadow. I used sketch by Mac as I wanted a purple hue but you can also use a dark brown shadow such as Mac Espresso or any colour you would like.

A lighter matte shadow that compliments the tones you want to use. I used a matte mauve from Inglot and then I also used omega from Mac. If you are doing a brown smokey look I like Mac Wedge or Texture shadow.

A flat shadow brush (stila # 15 flat end)

A bullet brush (stila # 15, curved end)

A soft socket and blending brush (Mac 217) is a good two in one

Mascara. Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes

Quick tip if you don’t have many shadows and want just one palette Hourglass Vol 6 Neo Classic Eye Palette is my favourite go to palette for my smoky eyes, it contains every colour you’ll need. For an absolute luxe splurge try one of the Tom Ford quad palettes, the textures are beautiful and so easy to blend, it does the work for you.

The Steps

Do eyes before foundation when doing a smokey look. Chances are you will get fallout from your eyeshadow so this means you can quickly clean under the eye and then apply foundation to keep it looking fresh and clean.

Prep your eyes first. Apply your eye primer all over your eyes with your finger. Then apply the skin colour matte shadow from the socket/crease up to your brow. This will make blending easier later.

There is a photo to correspond with each step

steps tp smokey eyes


1. Draw a black winged liquid liner look so you can use the shape as a guide later. This also helps to keep the lash line really dark.

2. Apply a black pencil or wet black shadow all over the eye lid and out to meet the winged liner and create a contemporary winged shape. If you want to add a hint of colour add a coloured shadow over the black. I added Nars Jolie Poupee above the black to introduce a hint of purple but this is optional.

3. Apply a slightly lighter shadow into the crease using a bullet/dome brush. I used Mac Scetch in the photo as I wanted to create a slightly purple toned smokey eye but you can also use a chocolate brown if you want a more traditional smokey eye.

4. You now need to start blending. Softly apply a matte shadow that matches the shadow you just applied in the crease but is also lighter in colour, use a soft brush like Mac brush 217 to avoid sharp lines as you want the colour to fade away. I used a matte light mauve tone. I like to do this step with my eyes open so I can see how high I am taking the colour. Now you need to blend that colour also. Use a clean fluffy blending brush to soften the edge of the smokey eye. If need be you can add a lighter colour still and blend that out. Don’t go too high you need to keep a gap under the brow. Remember it may take a while but blending and layering is the key to a good smoky look.

5. Apply black pencil or a black shadow to the bottom lash line (along the base of the lashes). if you have small eyes just draw to half way in not all the way to avoid making the eyes look smaller.

6. Smudge a lighter shadow along the bottom lash line using a smudge brush or bullet brush. I used the bullet brush on the Stila #15. This is to stop the black pencil from smudging and to blend and soften the edges. I used the same matte mauve that I used earlier to blend the top of the eyes. Check all of the shadow is blended

7. Finish off the look with black pencil in the rim if you want it really dramatic and lots and lots of mascara. I also like to use false lashes.

Now before you apply your foundation clean up any fallout.

Team this look with a contoured cheek and soft, nude peach toned lips. I love Nars Chihuahua gloss with my smoky eyes.


Thank you to my beautiful sister Faye for being my model xx

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Gemma Nichols Makeup Artistry is a mobile makeup and hair styling service in Sydney that will pamper you & your group to perfection for all occasions.
Gemma also specialises in commercial & corporate print & film.