Do It Yourself: Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em!

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with Joy Lynh Matmanivong

The Smokey Eye is a very popular look for a night out, but can also be worn during the day, depending on the color scheme.  Because the look is typically dramatic, most people assume it’s not something they can achieve on their own.  But it is surprisingly easy to do… with the right tools.

A traditional Smokey eye is created using a black and gray color scheme.  When using other colors, the rule of thumb would be to use colors in the same family, from going dark to light.

You’ll need an eye pencil, preferably not one that is waterproof because you’ll need to be able to smudge it.   (I prefer to use a kohl/kajal pencil).  They are usually softer and very much pigmented  –  perfect for a dramatic look.  You’ll also need your eye shadows and eye lid primer/concealer, along with an angle shadow brush, eye shadow brush, Q-tips and eye makeup remover.

  • Apply lid primer/concealer as a base, to make sure your shadows do not crease.
  • Line your eyes by the lash line with your eye pencil.  You may draw a thicker line for a more dramatic look.
  • Take your angled shadow brush and brush over the line you just created, which will produce a softer line and start “smoking it out.”
  • Apply your darkest color shadow first on the lid.  Determining how dramatic you want to go with this look is a matter of personal preference.  If you are placing the darkest color only on half the lid, then that’s a minimal smokey eye.  Doing the entire lid is a moderate smokey eye, and working out past the lid will give you a very dramatic smokey look.
  • Next, apply your second darkest color where you finished off with the darkest color, then apply the lightest color where the last color ended, up to your brow bone.  Use the blending shadow brush to blend each section into one another.  The idea is to not have harsh lines and to create a “smoked out” look.
  • This is a messy look to do, so I suggest you clean your mess up with a Q-tip and eye makeup remover for those messy fallouts.  Finish with concealer and powder.
  • Tip: Highlight the inner corner eyes with a shimmery light color eye shadow, as this will brighten up your eyes.