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Article Published on: 04 APR 2023 |

The smoky eye is one of the most iconic and versatile eye makeup looks. It is a classic technique that can be tailored to suit any occasion, from a night out with friends to a formal event. However, it can be tricky to master, and many people struggle to achieve the perfect balance of smokiness and definition. To help you get it right, we've gathered advice from five pro makeup artists who share their top tips for mastering the art of the smoky eye.

Choose the Right Products

The first step in achieving a flawless smoky eye is selecting the right products. According to makeup artist Tara Savelo, "a smoky eye is all about the blending, so you need to choose products that are easy to work with." She recommends using creamy eyeshadows or pencils that can be blended out easily, such as MAC's Paint Pots or Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon eyeshadow pencils. Additionally, it's important to use eyeshadows that are highly pigmented, as this will ensure that the color shows up well on the lid.

Another important product to consider is eyeliner. A smoky eye requires a certain level of definition, so you'll want to choose an eyeliner that can create a precise line. Gel or liquid eyeliners are great options, as they allow you to draw a sharp line and then smudge it out for a smoky effect. Try products like the Inglot AMC Gel Liner or the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.


Start with a Neutral Base

To create a seamless smoky eye, it's important to start with a neutral base. This will help to even out the skin tone on the eyelid and create a smooth canvas for your eyeshadow. Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge recommends using a neutral-toned eyeshadow or primer, such as the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion or the MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. This will also help to prevent creasing and ensure that your eyeshadow stays in place throughout the day or night.

Photo by Godisable Jacob

Blend, Blend, Blend

Perhaps the most important step in achieving a smoky eye is blending. According to makeup artist Pat McGrath, "blending is the key to creating a seamless smoky eye." To achieve a perfectly blended look, it's important to use a combination of brushes and your fingers. Start by using a fluffy blending brush to apply a transition shade in the crease of the eye. Then, use a smaller brush to apply a darker shade to the outer corner of the eye, blending it inwards towards the center. Use a clean blending brush to soften any harsh lines and ensure that everything is seamlessly blended together.

Photo by Darya Sannikova

Don't Forget the Lower Lash Line

One mistake that many people make when creating a smoky eye is neglecting the lower lash line. However, adding definition to the lower lash line can help to balance out the look and create a more dramatic effect. Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic recommends using a small smudging brush to apply eyeshadow or eyeliner to the lower lash line. He suggests starting with a light color and gradually building up to a darker shade, blending as you go to create a seamless transition.

Photo by Dids

Balance the Look with the Rest of Your Makeup

Finally, it's important to balance the smoky eye with the rest of your makeup. According to makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, "when creating a smoky eye, it's important to keep the rest of your makeup minimal and fresh." She recommends pairing a smoky eye with a nude or pink lip and keeping the skin looking radiant and natural. This will ensure that the focus remains on the eyes and create a cohesive, balanced look.

Photo by Jennifer Enujiugha

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