Makeup Tutorials

Makeup Tutorial: How To Create A Simple Smoky Eye

January 9, 2011

Since you guys wanted to see more step-by-step tutorials, I will be doing a series of makeup tutorials starting with one of my favorite looks, smoky eyes.

smoky eye tutorial

One thing I LOVE about the smoky look is how versatile it is. You can use pretty much any color and you can go from a soft smoky to a really dramatic one. My favorite colors to use on my brown eyes are purples, blues, greens, bronzes and charcoals. In my tutorial below, I used golds and browns but feel free to substitute them with other colors.

Step 1. Prep the eyelid with a primer (NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base) to ensure longer-lasting color.

Step 2. Apply a pale gold or light beige cream eyeshadow (MAC Chilled On Ice Paint Pot) all over the eyelid.

Step 3. Using a flat eyeshadow brush (MAC 239 Eye Shader), pat a medium brown eyeshadow (NARS Cordura Duo Eyeshadow) on the eyelid.

Step 5. Apply the dark brown eyeshadow (NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Cordura) on the lower eye.

Applying NARS Cordura on lower eye

Step 6. Draw a line along the upper lashline with a black liquid or gel eyeliner (MAC Blacktrack Fluidline). To create the illusion of longer, bigger eyes, drag the line a few mm past the outer corner. Line the waterline as well to make sure there are no “whites” peeping through.

Step 7. Brush a highlighting color (MAC Pollen Eyeshadow) on the inner corner of the eye and under the brow bone.

Step 8. Apply mascara (Rimmel London Lash Accelerator in Extreme Black) and fake lashes (Makeup For Life Lashes in Hugs ‘n Kisses) on upper lashes.

Step 9. Apply a few coats of mascara (Rimmel London Lash Accelerator in Extreme Black) on lower lashes.

Extra Beauty Tips
• Do your eye makeup first if you are going to be using dark colors. This will minimize any effort to clean up your foundation and concealer afterwards.

• Always pair dark eye makeup with a clean face and nude lips for a fool-proof look.

Like this tutorial? Check out my purple smoky eye tutorial as well!

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  • Reply Karen January 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I like this step-by-step tutorial! I think it’s very helpful 🙂

  • Reply Kristy January 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    what a pretty look 😀 i really love the colors here! <3
    & i'm looking foreward to seeing more stepbystep tutorials from you! haven't seen these in a while ;D

  • Reply bhumika January 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    loved it…looks easy n fab…

  • Reply Makeup Morsels January 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for doing a step-by-step 🙂 It’s definitely very helpful. Your lashes look super luscious xD

  • Reply Ana January 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I love the step by step tutorials with details and pictures for each step! Thank you, it’s very helpful!

    I would like to request natural or everyday looks that are easy and simple to do with few eyeshadows, but still I’m looking for more than just an invisible shadow and some mascara, eg. a soft smoky eye. Also I would like to request a tutorial or some suggestions of colours to use if you have cool undertones in your skin (with blue-green eyes) and can’t wear warm colours 8eg. most browns). Finding the right colours is my main problem when it comes to makeup, I have been mislead so many times by the MAC girls who always try to sell me warm colours that makes me look sooo tired. Have a nice day 🙂

    • Reply Phyllis January 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      If you have cool undertones with blue/green eyes, you can actually wear a LOT of colors – purple, pink, peach, gold, gray, neutrals and even browns (I actually LOVE bronzes on blue eyes). Just make sure the colors are cool-toned i.e. no red undertones.

  • Reply Jee January 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks for the thorough tutorial- very helpful. 🙂

  • Reply Yvette January 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Awesome tutorial! You’re very good at explaining step-by-step beauty instructions. And your look is lovely as always.

  • Reply stella January 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    thank you for the tutorial. it’s very helpful. I love reading your blog! I would like to request a step by step tutorial on the kpop group Kara in their Jumping video.
    I tried to recreate their look but I can’t seem to get it right. I loveeee their look in this video!

  • Reply Phyllis January 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    You are all very welcome! Any ideas on what tutorial I should be doing next?

  • Reply Wendy January 10, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Awesome! I think i’ll use these tricks to figure out how to perfect the smoky eye with my new fav smoky shadow-Mystery by Mac. thank you!

  • Reply Jenna January 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Nice tutorial… Love the look!
    Hope to see more step by step tutorials =)

  • Reply Ana January 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks you!!! 🙂

  • Reply meesha January 11, 2011 at 4:51 am

    thankyou for sharing such tutorials.. i’ll definitely try it in this way.. this is realy helpful for ones new in makeup…

  • Reply shopcoholic January 24, 2011 at 2:44 am

    wow! thanks for this!

  • Reply Tomi / MyTigerLily February 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Great step by step picture tutorial!! I love it when people show the pictures step by step 🙂

  • Reply Michael Skvortsov February 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    So pretty! This is one of the best smokey eyes I’ve seen done.
    Thanks for the detailed tutorial.

  • Reply Maggie February 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    No one commented on the color of those irises! ive never seen anything like it… awesome. (unless they are contacts?)

    • Reply Phyllis February 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      Yes they are contacts. I’m wearing Geo Tri-Color Lenses in Brown.

  • Reply Missmarimac February 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I love this tutorial! Im currently in school for make up at the academy of glam & I have been practicing the smokey look on different people & your tutorial really helped me perfect the smokey look!

  • Reply Roseanne February 22, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Hey hun! great look, i did something really similar as well since i am in love with the nars cordura, check it out if you have time 🙂
    xx Roseanne

  • Reply Hayley February 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

    love this eye look! the step by step pictures make it so easy to follow too! thank you!

    check out my blog:

  • Reply Shae March 5, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I LOVE this site! The tutorials are amazing, especially with step by step photos and your eyes are beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial! I’m sure we will be referring to your page from our women’s website! Thanks so much for the tutorials!

  • Reply mahsa March 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    you have really pretty eyes… i don’t know if i could get away with that

    i use a different technique that i found on youtube years ago, but this looks simple enough for others 🙂

  • Reply fajas colombianas April 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for this tutorial, I actually wear this look everyday when I go outside. It makes me look as if I have bigger eyes which people around me like.

  • Reply Tashina May 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    This was such a great tutorial. I love that the pictures really helped add to it.

  • Reply Aariia June 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    One thing that i can’t do is do eye makeup.. 🙁 i just can’t get it right..but i think these steps are really going to help me…thanks alot.. 🙂

  • Reply jennifer July 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I really like your false eyelashes in each of your tutorials. Where can I find/buy them?

  • Reply maria August 4, 2011 at 8:32 am

    hi dear
    do u have a you tube channel?
    would love to have u on youtube

  • Reply Katrina September 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Question: Do you apply mascara to you upper lashes before or after you put on the fake lashes?

    • Reply Phyllis September 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      You can do it before and after but personally, I only do it before because I like to reuse my fake lashes.

  • Reply arlene September 16, 2011 at 1:54 am

    just have to say, I LOVE THIS! 🙂 I have never gotten the smokey eye look till now! 🙂 I have gone through dozens of tutorials but it never looked right till now! 🙂 You really are amazing 🙂 Thanks so much! 🙂 My makeup looks fantastic! 🙂

    • Reply Phyllis September 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Yay good job!

  • Reply Nubia September 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I love this tutorial.

  • Reply yourmom October 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    nice color contacts

  • Reply elliek November 17, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    yeahhh..nice try with colored contacts..

  • Reply Claire November 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I have never been able to do a brown smoky eye… I am Asian with a monolid and medium-dark skin and using brown always just makes them look tired, especially under the eyes. Any tips anyone?

    • Reply Phyllis November 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Claire,

      I would recommend using honey shades with golden undertones and staying away from coppers or anything with red undertones. You can also try adding a dab of shimmery gold/light beige eyeshadow in the inner corners – this will really help perk up tired eyes.

  • Reply Rhiannon November 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Why shouldn’t you use red tones for blue/green eyes? I have turquoise eyes and my favourite eye shadows all range between browns, golds, bronzes and coppers. I find they suit my skin and hair tone (i have ash brown hair and light olive skin) and they really make my eyes stand out. I find anything in cooler colours doesn’t really have the same ‘wow’ effect and can make under my eyes look a bit dark. Was just wondering if there’s any thing I’m missing here… lol Mind you it could be because I apply the same rules as ‘smokey eye’ I keep the rest of my make-up very clean with nude lips. Lovin’ all the Mac by the way. My fave brand! 😀 x

    • Reply Phyllis November 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks Rhiannon =)

      If you read Ana’s comment above, she has cool undertones with blue/green eyes, which is why I suggested her to stay away from eyeshadows that are too warm. You, on the other hand, have olive skin, which is completely different.

      When it comes to picking eyeshadows, you have to look at a few things, including eye color, hair color and your skin tone. You can refer to this entry for more info:

  • Reply Hotchocolate4sunshine November 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

    this is fabulous. love it. 🙂 x

  • Reply TJ November 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    This is a great tutorial! I’ve been looking for a way to do this with my eyes.

  • Reply KSLim November 29, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Great Tutorial website for eye make-up! For those who still find it difficult can use other althernative item which is Eye Majic Instant eyeshadow. =)

  • Reply priyanka honey November 29, 2011 at 5:54 am

    amazing tutorial…

  • Reply Courtey December 12, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I like that you did a smoky eye for a bronze/brown color because I’ve seen several tutorials for a dark blue smoky eye and have decided it might just not be right for me. There are some cool smoky eyes at: where users get create with color combos.

  • Reply Maria December 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I love the beauty tip at the end about doing eye make up before concealer and foundation- I always have dark smudges under my eyes after doing smoky eye- not anymore 🙂 Thanks!!

    • Reply Phyllis December 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

      You’re welcome Maria 🙂

  • Reply franly January 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    nice tutorial.. it really help a lot.. tnx!

  • Reply vivian le April 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    i have a question… i like the brown lenses but i don’t which one it’s good on my eyes…. i very like your brown color… what’s your lenses called?

  • Reply Courtney April 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I like how you outline step by step with photos and what product you used. I’m a fan of the smoky eye that doesn’t just use a black or navy shadow, so this is great. Any more tutorials you’d like to share, we’d love to see them at!

  • Reply Stephanie July 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for a decent tutorial on smoky eyes for such a long time

  • Reply Amc August 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Thanks for this I will try this later 🙂 hope you can post more step by step tutorial.. By the way you look gorgeous whatever makeup style you do

  • Reply Inge Lakawa October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

    very nice tutorial. easy to follow. i’ll try this!

  • Reply Jillian May 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I love this! Your eyes look absolutely gorgeous.

  • Reply Diana October 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Sorry to break it to you, but this website stole your entire tutorial and claimed it as their own:

  • Reply paakhi November 5, 2016 at 7:36 am

    look quite simple …definately gonna try

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