The secrets of smokey eye makeup, no one tells you!

If I had deposited 5 bucks every time someone asked me about smoky eye makeup, I would have been pretty rich by this time. Yes, so is the popularity of the smoky eyes and one can create scores of variations of this distinct style by just varying the shades and techniques. You can go messy, polished and perfect, soft and subtle, or dramatic with them. They range from simple (a couple of shadows with a smudgy kohl) to complicated (with different gradient of shades in the crease and on the lid).

But, there is a difference between a “good smoky eye makeup” and a “perfect smoky eye makeup”! Usually a lot of stuff going on when it comes to perfect smoky eyes, but some of the biggest boost comes from the subtlest touches.

Here are some tips that are mostly not discussed!

You can do a super-smoky eye makeup with 3 shadows only and in 5-7 minutes!

Nope! You don’t have to be a pro or a MUA for this. I’m serious! — it’s totally true.

The easiest way to do a smoky eye!

Step 1: Put a Neutral shadow all over the lid.

Step 2: Put the darkest shadow all over the eyeball section


Step 3: With a dark brown shadow, blend the crease

Step 4: Highlight and blend the brow bone area


Step 5: Draw your eyes with an eyeliner or eye pencil

Step 6: Smudge and apply mascara. If you want to elevate the effect, use falsies of your choice.



You can wear a lip color.

It’s a common notion that with a smoky eye, your lips need to go nude! Yes, to balance dark eyes, the lips need to be subtle but not necessarily “nude”. On the contrary, some “natural” lip colors often bring out a magical balance in the facial features while sporting smoky eyes. you can wear a variety of lip colors with a smoky eye look, the trick is not to compete with the eyes. A pale, light, or subtle lip color will complete your look beautifully without distracting from those gorgeous eyes!

Tips to note!

  • A pale pink color adds a splash of sweetness to the lips that balances a smoky eye perfectly. A touch of pink color works especially well with grey or blue tinged smoky eye makeup.

pale pink lips

  • A medium pink offers a strong, but not overpowering, lip color to go with strong eyes. Choose a pink shade that is about two shades darker than your natural lip color.
  • A peach or coral shade looks gorgeous with smoky eyes, especially for women with warm skin tones. Try a peach colored lip gloss for a soft, subtle lip look.


  • A light plum lipstick is another lip color that goes with smoky eyes. But remember opt for a light to medium plum rather than a deep, dark shade to keep the look from being overdone.
  • Normally red is not a color makeup experts would promote to pair with a smoky eye look, but it can be done. The trick is to choose a light red that works well with your natural coloring. A light red lip can also help balance an extremely dramatic or very dark smoky eye. Don’t draw the lips big or prominent; rather, tap the color for a diffused finish.

red lips

  • If you are doing a super-dark smoky eye,  you can opt for a nude lip color that doesn’t wash you out.
  • If you have created dramatic eyes, you can leave un-pigmented lips nude and applying a clear gloss over bare lips. This works especially well for smoky eye looks that use a lot of color, since the clear gloss adds polish but won’t compete with the eye shadow color. But your lips should be prim and proper enough to be left bare. Pigmentation, dead skin are not good friends for this trick.

If you want some great tips on nude lipsticks that don’t wash you out, this post is a must read.

Get your perfect nude lipstick!

Never skip an eye-shadow primer when doing a smoky eye

When doing smoky eyes, primer is usually a good idea because primer makes your lids smoother, which, in turn, makes your eyeshadow less patchy, less prone to settle in the creases after some time. Primer also extends the wear time of your eye makeup. Who doesn’t want both of these good things?! Also, by enriching the color of the eye shadows you apply on top of it, primer makes those shadows more vibrant and more intense, which in turn equals less layering!

You can also use concealer or foundation as a primer. Both will work to a fair degree of success, but I prefer a dedicated primer for the “perfect” application.

A good read.

“6 Must-know tricks to keep your eyeshadow from creasing”

For smoldering smoky eyes, always conceal and/or brighten under-eye area

Yes! You heard it right! Even if you don’t feel like you need concealer because you don’t have dark circles, apply at least a little bit anyway. If you think a concealer might be absolutely unnecessary, try an eye brightener, at the very least when you’re doing smoky eyes. When I had got my first brightener, I was convinced that it’s a bad investment, till I tried it. The effect is absolutely too good to ignore. This is important because smoky eyes are one of those looks that can look incomplete without some brightening/concealing under the eyes. It’s one of those little touches that stay subtle by themselves but pull the whole look together.

Additionally, there’s also a maddening side effect of wearing dark colors like gray, black and brown on your lids and lower lash lines. They can make your eyes look just plain tired, and dull in some cases. But a brighter under-eye area counteracts the effect, and it also adds some nice but subtle contrast… and that makes your smoky eyes look even smokier!


Smudge shadow along your lower lash lines for a balanced smoky eye effect

Next time you do a smoky eye look, if you’re not doing it already; try smudging a little shadow along that lower lash line. As I had mentioned earlier, certain subtle touches can bring gulf difference in the final effect of smoky eye makeup, one of those: smudging shadow along your lower lash line.

If you keep your lower lash line bare, the eye looks slightly top heavy and unbalanced.

If you smudge shadow under my lower lash line, the eyes looks more balanced. The smoky effect envelopes the eyes, making it look larger, balanced and dramatic.

All you have to do is to apply the shadow on lower lash line, right up next to the lash roots, with a flat eyeliner brush. Then I gently smudged the shadow out with a pencil brush and blend, blend and blend. Yes, blending is almost the most important part of this!

If you really have the skill and wish, you can apply as many layers as you like. A matte brown, shimmery brown, gradients of grey, just anything!

undereye shadow

Now a very pertinent question is How far you draw the shadows? Now, no one wants to look like a panda. It depends on your choice of effect, the further you go, the more dramatic the look. But keeping the shadow close to the lashes works the best for beginners. If you haven’t tried this before and aren’t comfortable with the idea of color along your lower lash line, try it first with a very light shade that complements what you’re wearing on your lids. Example, if you are wearing a dark brown, try a lighter shade of brown or taupe that are about one shade darker than your skin tone. Blend well, beauties, and have fun.

Once you are confident, try to push the limit and check the effect! Experimenting, at one time, will give you the perfect match for your eyes!

Till I get back with more, more and more tips on smoky eye makeup, let me know if you find this interesting! And, of course, try and let me know your precious comments.

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