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If you want classic eye makeup with a slight edge, there’s no style more ideal than the smokey eye – but as timeless as it is, the technique can be elusive. A true smokey eye is slightly imperfect and involves just the right amount of smudging and blending, so it’s easy to take the look too far. Knowing how to do a basic smokey eye should be in every makeup lover’s skillset and it just requires the right makeup formulas, application tools, and blending techniques. Fortunately, striking the balance between neat and undone is made simple with our 5 step smokey eye makeup tutorial.

Types of Mascara

What is a smokey eye?

The smokey eye is defined by its slightly messy gradient, with hues smudged into one another to create dimension and depth. Rooted in a rock’n’roll aesthetic, smokey eye makeup is often associated with dark, dramatic colours. But the style has come a long way – so you might wonder, does smokey eyes suit everyone? The answer is a resounding yes. Available in a variety of colourways, each Hypnôse Eyeshadow Palette includes 5 complementary shades that make it simple to create any smokey eye look. A classic black and grey style be achieved with the Smokey Chic palette, while the softer hues of the French Nude palette can create a warm, natural smokey eye makeup. If you prefer colour, create high impact looks with jewel toned palettes like Bleu Hypnôtique or Reflet D’Améthyste.

How to get the smokey eye look in 5 steps

Though it’s a staple of glamorous makeup looks, if you know how to do a smokey eye correctly it can be the perfect addition to natural, dewy makeup too. No matter the shades you choose, the steps for how to do smokey eye shadow remain consistent.

  1. Start with skincare to prepare for makeup application.
  2. Create a smooth canvas for eyeshadow with primer and concealer.
  3. Apply and blend shadows.
  4. Smudge out pencil liner.
  5. Add finishing touches like brow makeup, winged liner, and mascara.

Ahead, delve into each step of how to do a smokey eye to achieve a perfectly imperfect look every time.

1. Prep with skincare

Makeup should always be applied to clean, nourished complexions – so skin prep is a foundational step. Here’s how to prepare skin for smokey eye makeup:

  • Cleanse the skin with a gentle face cleanser.
  • Boost moisture with a nourishing face cream.
  • If applying makeup for daytime wear, apply SPF.

  • 2. Prime and conceal

    Whether you prefer a dramatic or soft smokey eye makeup, the key to crease free, lasting eyeshadow is makeup primer. This is an especially important step when it comes to creating a smokey eye look, because the style requires significant blending. Primer creates a smooth base for shadow application and helps make the blending process seamless. A brightening concealer applied after primer can help colours pop if you’re going for a vivid smokey eye.

    3. Apply shadow and blend

    After preparing and priming the eyelids for makeup, it’s time to add eyeshadow. Choose your preferred smokey eye colours and use clean makeup brushes to ensure previously used shades don’t affect the look.

    1. Using the All Over Shadow No10 Eyeshadow Brush, apply a wash of light, neutral shadow all over the eyelid as a base colour.
    2. Take a deeper shade and press colour onto the eyelid with a flat eyeshadow brush, being careful not to go above the crease.
    3. With an angled brush like Sleek Blend No14 Eyeshadow & Eyeliner Brush, add the darkest shadow just along the upper and lower lash line.
    4. Finally, lightly blend the shadows into one another with Petit Crease No13 Precision Eyeshadow Brush using small circular motions.
    volumising mascara

    4. Smudge out pencil liner

    If proper blending technique is the hero of a smokey eye tutorial, pencil eyeliner is the all-important sidekick. With an ultra-creamy formula for easy blending and high colour payoff, Crayon Khôl is must have makeup for creating a smokey eye. Sketch liner along the upper lash line, tapering slightly upwards at the outer corner before smudging and blending with a small brush.

    5. Add finishing touches

    A matte smokey eye look is a chic style already, but for those who prefer some shimmer, stamp a metallic in the centre of the eyelid before adding finishing touches. Depending on your desired look, final steps can include:

    1. Draw in winged liner with an ink formula like Idôle Liner.
    2. Bring the look together with volumising mascara to maximise your eyes.
    3. Shape and fill the eyebrows with Brôw Shaping Powdery Pencil.

    Now you know how to apply eyeshadow for smokey eyes, discover more makeup styles like our valentine's day makeup look.


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