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Monday, September 12, 2011

Makeup Monday: Smokey Eye in 7 simple steps!

One of my readers and long time friends sent me this lovely message the other day:

LJ...was just thinking/wondering...would love to see a make-up spot on the new blog about smokey eye stuff...the commercials try and sell it to us as easy and if there's a person who I think could actually explain it, I believe it would be you. I'm sure you have tons of things planned already, but would love to see it if you do. Loving the new blog!- Nicole

What a great idea, right? Smokey eyes have always been so intimidating to me- there are so many tutorials out there, but so many of them are done by people who are certified experts, with terminology that sounds like rocket science and complicated maneuvers only a trained gymnast could complete with ease! 

I am here to give you some surprising news. Smokey eyes are NOT that hard. Goodness knows why they are often explained in such a complicated way, but for the every day girl.... it CAN be done, and it CAN be done with ease. Here's how.

Start with your fresh little purdy face. Here I have already put on a mineral foundation base and my concealer. It's up to you if you want to add this step or not, but I think it's really important to have a nice, smooth base with little else going on for a smokey eyes. Smokey eyes and a strong lip are for editorial models... that's really tricky, if not near impossible to pull off in "real life".

A little trick to make your smokey eye a little easier and a little less "Whoa, I look like a raccoon!" is to use colors for your smokey eye. In this look, I am using a shimmery mauve and a dark golden plum color from the Wet and Wild Petal Pusher Palette. Looks that are also really pretty are purple and violet, copper brown and teal, or one of my favorites, black and gold. Gorgeous! Play around and see what feels right for you and fits your personal taste.

Pick two shades. Smokey eyes need only two colors: A deeper color and a slightly lighter shade. When blended, the two colors can create sort of an ombre effect, making two hues look like more.

Using an angled brush, pick up some of your darker shade and line the top of your lid with it. This doesn't need to be a perfect line, so don't stress! We are going to blend it out later. I like to make mine pretty thick, but you can make yours slightly thinner if you like.

Take a fluffy little eye shadow brush and blend that line we just made in a slightly circular motion. Just blend, blend blend away until you don't have a harsh line.

Take your slightly lighter shade and pick some of it up on your fluffy eye shadow brush.

Blend, blend and blend that over the entire lid and up into the crease, using a little windshield wiper motion to blend it into the crease.

Another little trick I like to use to make this look a bit less jarring is blending the two shades on the angular brush when I line the under part of the eye. You can also just use the darker liner shade for this step just as easily. Using little dash motions, line the under part of your eye from outer corner to inner.  Then, using your finger or a q-tip, lightly go over the line, smudging and softening it just a little. 

This is the greatest mascara ever. I have used it for years, and believe me, I've tried almost every mascara on the market. I bought tubes of Lancome mascara, Benefit Mascara, even the beloved Dior Show. For me, none compare. This stuff rocks. Lengthens, thickens, curls all with an inky black color that lasts and never flakes. Falsies in a tube. Try it, you'll like it!

Apply your mascara, starting at the base of your lashes. Holding the wand firm at the base of your lashes, slightly jiggle/vibrate your hand moving the wand from the base to the tip of your lashes. This is a great thickening trick that makes your eyelashes look even more fabulous.

I feel like a cyborg in the picture. I should be shooting laser beams from my made-up eye. Pew! Pew PEW!

Take a nice, soft eye pencil and line your waterline with it. Your waterline is the inner part of your lower eye, where your tear duct is located. The best way to line it is by pulling your lower eye lid down a bit with your left hand (or right, if you're a leftie) and lining with the other hand. See the picture? That's what that looks like! Goofy, but necessary. :D This gives your eye that extra little bit of definition and polish.

This is a new Maybelline product and I adore it. I only have the Violet so far, but I'd love to try the black and navy. This pencil is really smooth and soft, so it goes on really easily without any tugging or skipping. And the color payoff is awesome... it's basically cream/gel liner in a pencil form. 

Do the exact same thing you did on your first eye to your other eye. Keep the rest of your face really simple. A nice bit of pink gloss or some light mod lipstick is all you really need to complete the look! Oh, one last thing: Smokey eyes are meant to be cool and a bit undone. Don't stress about making everything look perfect- it defeats the purpose! This is rocker chic, a look that says you could care less about perfection- so adopt that attitude and don't worry too much :D

And.... we're done, pretty little cats and kittens! Enjoy your new smokey eye confidence- go out and paint the town red! Or mauve, or teal, or... whatever color you prefer! XD

As always, I'd love to see pictures if you end up trying this look out- I hope this tutorial helps you guys out and gives you some new confidence with smokey eye ability! 


  1. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial LJ, I've always wanted to try smoky eyes but every tutorial I've ever seen just makes it sound impossibly hard and like you're going to come away looking a total mess if you're a beginner at it, I'm going to bookmark this and try it out soon <3

  2. Aww, that is such a sweet comment, Juli! I am so stoked to hear you want to try it out- take some pictures if you do! <3

  3. Thank you for this!! I am a make-up noobie but I always want to try new things. I might actually try this technique out and the products you recommended :)

  4. what a cute little tutorial! i think you look absolutely perfect with smoky eyes... it's a look i could never pull off though. i'm much more of a blush & lipstick girl :)


  5. Okay, this is awesome and I'm totally going to have to try it now! :D


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