Creating the perfectly Smoky Eye

The smoky eye is the staple of eye makeup. Cut creases come and go, winged lines will make a comeback, but the smoky eye will never die. For any aspiring makeup guru, it is imperative that you learn how to create the perfect smoky eye. I am here to guide you along the way to your enlightenment.

When you look at your eye, you will see natural highlights and shadows. The shadows will fall in the crease, if you have a prominent one, and to the outer corner of the eye. When placing your eyeshadows, you want the darker colours to fall in and/or around the natural shadows and the lighter colours on the highlights. For most people this means that the lighter colours in your palette will go on the inner eye, heading towards the nose. The darker colours will go in the crease of the eye (where you can feel the eyeball protrude from the socket… yuck) and at the outer corner, in the direction of the ear.

As an important side note, for those of us, including my poor self, who have hooded eyes, you will have limited lid space and a super large crease. It is always advisable to place the darker colours slightly higher than your crease (natural shadow) to create the illusion the you have more lid space. If you do not do this then you will only be able to see the dark eyeshadows when your eye is open. A black eye is seldom a good look. Just saying. I do, however, support individuality and freedom of expression.

To create the most basic look you will need at least three shadows: a light one for the lid space, a dark one for the crease and natural shadows, and an intermediate colour to blend the two together. You don’t want to try blend black and white. The boundary between the two will be very harsh. Using a grey as a transmission shade will make the blending easier and will give you a smooth transmission and spectrum effect.

When choosing which colours to use, first ask yourself if you want the finished look to be harmonious and natural or contrasting and bold. For a subtler look, maybe for daytime wear, chose colours which harmonise with your eye colour.

Blue Eyes

Choose cool, aquatic colours such as blues and greens. You can also get away with greys. When choosing your palette, try channel your inner sea voyager. Think little mermaid and finding nemo. Let’s get nautical.

Brown Eyes

You can opt for slightly warmer colours such as red, copper and hues of orange. Burn baby. This time place yourself on the dry side of the beach, channelling sunshine, sunburn, citrus fruits, and cosmopolitans. You are a saucy and spicy so and so…

If you want to be a daredevil and go for a bold and eye-snatching look then simply reverse the colour suggestions: cool colours for brown eyes and warm colours for blue eyes. The sharp juxtaposition between eye colour and makeup will certainly make the boys wink.

To further complicate things, you can also do your makeup based on season or to harmonise with an outfit. I am currently madly in love Mac’s burgundy eye palette (some may say pansexuality, but I say deep appreciation for highly pigmented eyeshadows and amazing scope for different looks).

You can have a look at the palette on

In terms of the tools that you will need to have at hand, I generally recommend three brushes: a flat brush to pack colour onto the eye area; a soft, fluffy brush to blend the edges of the colour and to soften harsh edges; and a liner brush to smoke the lash line/ apply eyeliner.

Real Techniques do a cute little pencil case of eye brushes: a perfect starter quick that will allow you to create any look you want. This can also be purchase through lookfantastic.

I hope I have given you a nice introduction to the Smoky Eye and that you are super excited to go and try create your own looks. Feel free to send them over to me and if you have any questions, fire them my way too.

Love you all.

Prinny G x




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