As a working makeup artist, the number one question I get from clients is: can you teach me how to do a Smoky Eye?

My answer? YES!

AND you probably already have the tools you need!

Every woman I need has a drawer full of eyeshadow palettes but rarely reaches for them. Well friend, grab one and let’s go!

Before we get started, 2 tips:

  • remember, any new skill requires practice. You won’t get it perfect the first time, no one does! Take your time, have fun, and realize that mistakes are why we have things like cotton swabs (they’re like makeup erasers!)
  • when learning a new eye look, do your eye makeup first, before you apply any complexion makeup! It’s easier to clean up mistakes and saves time.

Let’s Get Started
You likely have the following items in your makeup drawer! When I teach private makeup lessons and group classes, everyone I meet has more shadows than they know what to do with, and more shadow brushes than they know how to use. I’ve linked some of my favorites if you are ready to update, but I am willing to bet you can achieve this look with items you already have!

Gather your supplies:
Eye Primer
3 eye shadows: Light, Mid-Tone, and Dark
3 shadow brushes
Eyeliner pencil
Lash Curler (optional)
Cotton swabs
Eye Makeup Remover

If you really need to update your products click here to find my links for all the products used!

Like a good recipe, I suggest reading this all the way through one time before you go back to the beginning and try it yourself, step-by-step. Ready? Let’s go!

Step One:
Prime the eyelid using your eye primer. Apply a THIN layer all over the eyelid from the lash line all the way up to the brow bone. You can even run a tiny bit along your lower lash line.

Now it’s time for eye shadow.
Top Tip: Work Lightest to Darkest

Step Two:
Apply the lightest shade of your eye shadow with your biggest shadow brush all over the lid, from the lash line to the brow bone. This will create a canvas for all your other shadows and make blending easier.

Step Three:
Now, with your mid-sized eye shadow brush, apply your mid-tone eye shadow starting in your crease. That’s the top of your eyeball–you can feel it with your brush. Use a windshield wiper motion to blend back and forth, creating a soft shadow and making sure the edges are soft.

Step Four:

Time for eyeliner! Use a black, waterproof eye liner pencil to line the eyelid, as close to your lash line as possible. To create a cohesive dark look, you might have to tight line your eye–this is a great makeup artist secret!

Tight-lining means lining up under your lashes to really intensify the darkness in your lashline!

Here’s where you might have to forget what you know about eyeliner under the eye. Too much darkness under the eye can really age you. I suggest a very thin liner smudged into the lower lashes, which you will soften with your darkest shadow.

Step Five:

Use your darkest shadow with your smallest shadow brush to deepen the outer corner of your eye lid and smudge over the liner on your lash line. Then take a teensy amount and trace the dark shadow over the skinny liner you put under your lashes. THIS is the secret to a smoky eye ladies—the sultry all-the-way around the eye blend!

This is getting exciting!

Finish your eye look by curling your lashes (if they’re straight like mine) and applying a few coats of mascara.

If you look up smoky eye tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, you are likely to see extremely dramatic looks that feature strong brows and huge fake lashes. I actually think this looks more modern (and to be honest, is more flattering for real life) so keep the rest of your makeup soft.

Finishing touches:

My best suggestions to balance a smoky eye. Moisten a cotton swab with oil-free eye makeup remover, and sweep across your under eye, removing any shadow fall-out. Apply a fast-absorbing eye cream which can absorb while you do your foundation and eye brows. Then dab a bit of concealer under your eyes and pat to set.

Side-by-side with one side done:

Finish the look with cream blush and lip stain!

My friend Jess helped photograph this pictorial for me, and we had the sweetest supervisors! Hi, baby toes!

Shop these products and more faves here

So of course, little ladies got some makeup, too!

Tag me in your pics, @triciaclarkemakeup on Instagram! I’d love to see how you create this look at home, remember, take your time and have fun!

I’m loving being part of the Renewing Mom community, and I’m so glad you’re here.  If you want to book me for a private makeup lesson, a group class (hello, Girls’ Night) or know someone getting married, check me out at Tricia Clarke Makeup

Tricia Clarke

Tricia is a professional makeup artist, public speaker, and owner of Tricia Clarke Makeup. She is a mama and lives with her husband in the suburbs of Chicago.

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