How to do a smokey eye
Perfect for nights out, mastering this classic look is easier than you might think.
What is a smokey eye?
The go-to evening look
Like a bold red lip or winged liner, a smouldering smokey eye is one of the classics. Layers of eye shadow and liner are buffed out to create a 'smokey' effect. It suits everyone, and with smudging key to creating the look, it's a good one for beginners to try.
The kit you need
We've picked out a few of our favourite eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners and mascaras.
Step-by-step: Classic black smokey eye
1. Start with a clean base
Use an eye-friendly cleanser or just some water to gently clean your eyes. Make sure they're dry before you start.
2. Add a primer
An eye primer helps your shadow to stick without creasing, and keeps it in place for longer. Warm a small amount on your fingertips and smooth onto your eyelids.
3. Add some concealer under the eye
Pat a little concealer under your eyes to brighten any dark circles. Once blended you can also brush over a setting powder - this will catch any eyeshadow that drops down as you apply. Just swipe off this powder once your eye look is complete to reveal a neat finish.
4. Start with your lightest shadow
You'll use two eyeshadow shades for this look; a lighter grey and a darker grey or black shadow. Start with your lighter shade to create a base, sweeping the colour over the whole of the lid.
5. Layer in your darker shadow
Taking your darker shade, apply to the outer third of your eyelid, starting close to your lash line and working up and into the crease of your eyelid. Buff this in with your brush until you're happy with the effect.
6. Smudge liner along your lash lines
Using an eyeliner, draw along your top lash line. You can bring this around your bottom lash line too for a more dramatic look. Don't worry about it being neat - take your brush and buff into the rest of the shadow.
7. Highlight your inner corner
This step is optional, but we love the brightening effect it has. Take a highlighter or the lightest eyeshadow in your palette and apply to the inner corner of each eye.
Smokey eye variations
Once you've got the technique you can experiment with different eyeshadows - why not try one of these?
Glitter smokey eye
Perfect for the party season, swap one or both of your shades to glitter eyeshadows.