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The Perfect Smoky Eye: How To Create the Ultimate in Sexy Make-up Looks

The key to the perfect smoky eye is in the layering, making it look soft and blended, which can take some patience and effort to do. But with a little practice, it’ll be easy and fast to give your eyes a sultry, edgy makeover! The following tips and tricks will help you to create this sought-after make-up look with ease.

Colour and Texture

The smoky eye can be created in almost any colour palette – the most common being grey, black and brown. Whether you want a dramatic, edgy “rocker girl” look or a softer, sultry look, the colour palette you choose should always include a dark, medium and light-toned shadow.

Smoky eyes work best with a combination of matte and shimmer textures, but make sure you have a matte product for your darkest tone. Remember that you can always change the effect of a matte colour by adding a shimmery colour on top, but it’s difficult to hide a shimmery colour with a matte colour. It’s safest to start with matte colour and add to it if you choose to.


  • A dark (black or brown) eye pencil or eyeshadow for your lashline.
  • A medium-toned colour for your eyelids.
  • A light colour for highlighting and for blending.
  • An eyelash curler and black mascara.
  • A large eyeshadow brush, a medium eyeshadow brush and an angle brush.

Creating the Smoky Eye

  1. Start with a light application of concealer or foundation on your eyelids and finish with powder to set it. This helps to give your smoky eye a fresh canvas and gives the product you’ll be applying something to adhere to.
  2. Using your medium eyeshadow brush apply your medium-toned colour to the lid, working it up to (but not beyond the crease). To achieve the soft, layered look, start with a little product and build to it, blending as you go.
  3. With your dark pencil or angle brush dipped in dark eyeshadow, line your upper lashline. If you choose to use a pencil, make sure it’s soft, and use an angle brush to blend the line down into the lashline and out and up. If you use an eyeshadow, blend the colour down into the lashline and up towards the crease.
  4. If you wish, you can intensify the look by lining the inside of your eyelids with eyeliner. Make sure to line both the top and bottom and blend it into the lashline.
  5. Using your large eyeshadow brush, apply your highlighter colour to your browbone and onto the inner corners of your eyes. If you’d like to soften your smoky eye, blend your light colour onto your eyelids. It’ll soften and lighten the entire effect.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you’re fair, a very dark colour palette will look harsh on you. Opt for a softer colour palette in brown or grey.
  • To mix up the effect of the smoky eye, try colour palettes in plums, blues and greens. It’ll soften and modernize your look and enhance your eye colour if you choose a colour palette that contrasts with your eyes.
  • For a less-perfect smudgy effect, use your fingers to apply and blend your colours.
  • Use a fan brush to apply a heavy amount of loose powder to the top of your cheekbones before you start your smoky eye. The powder will catch any falling product and save you from fixing the rest of your face when you’re finished.
  • For a real cat-eye effect, blend your liner out from the outer corner of your eye slightly.
  • You may choose to intensify your look by applying your dark colour to your crease, smudging it up from the outer corner of your eye into your crease and blending it across towards the inside or your eye.
  • If you want to use shimmery colours, choose them as your medium and light shades, but keep the basis of your dark look a matte pencil or shadow.
  • Always take a step back from such detailed work and look at your whole face. Are both eyes balanced? Is the overall effect what you want? Is there anything you need or want to fix?


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