How to Do Smokey Eye Makeup: Expert Tips for Effortless Glam

How to Do Smokey Eye MakeUp

They are dramatic, seductive, and the perfect makeup look for an evening in a chic restaurant or club: smokey eyes. But many people are intimidated by this classic makeup look and don’t dare to try it.

But it’s not that difficult to create smokey eyes. Here we explain which colors suit you best and how to do smokey eye makeup. So pay attention.

The most important things in brief

What you need for smokey eyes

eyeshadow primer

Artdeco eyeshadow base

how to do smokey eye makeup with Artdeco eyeshadow base

If you not only want your eyeshadow to last longer but also want the colors to be more intense and not smudge, then you need an eyeshadow base. The primer prepares the eyelid for the eyeshadow and ensures that the color does not settle in the crease and lasts longer. This way, your smokey eyes will last all night.

eyeshadow palette

Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette (for lighter types)

How to Do Smokey Eye MakeUp

If you are a rather light type with light skin, a cool undertone, and light hair and eyebrows, then you should use eyeshadows with rather light and cool shades. A cool brown or gray in different shades is perfect for smokey eyes. Stay away from dark colors and deep black.

NARS Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette (for medium types)

Best Eyeshadow Palette

As a medium type, you can wear almost anything. Warm shades look good on you if you have a warm undertone on your skin. Warm brown, gold, or apricot is ideal for you.

However, the colors should not be too dark on you, even with a smokey eye. It’s better to stay in the medium range and go for a dark brown instead of black.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Soft Glam (for darker types)

Mini Glam Palette

If you have a darker skin type, you can also use dark colors without any problems. Play with the contrasts for a very dramatic look.

Eyeshadow Brush

To apply your eyeshadow correctly, you need several eyeshadow brushes. Brushes that allow you to apply the eyeshadow precisely as well as shade it gently are important.

This set from Real Techniques (my favorite brush by the way) contains all the important brushes for eye makeup. Just make sure to wash the brushes thoroughly after each use so that they are ready to use again next time.


For a dramatic smokey eye, you also need an eyeliner, of course. Our favorite is the Too Faced Better Than Sex eyeliner. It is waterproof, also very suitable for beginners, and has a very fine tip and a deep black color. It ensures a particularly precise wing and is also smudge-proof.


Of course, no eye makeup should be without mascara. Our favorite is the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara. Why? It gives your lashes a intense curl without the need for eyelash curlers. It separates the lashes beautifully and lasts a particularly long time.

Fake lashes

If you can’t get enough intense lashes, you can of course also use fake lashes. They make your eyes look even more intense and dramatic and are the perfect finishing touch to smokey eyes. We recommend the lashes from Ardell.

Important tips for smokey eyes

Smokey eyes are one of the most popular eye make-ups and create a seductive, dramatic look. What’s more, they are one of the most popular makeup looks.

But it’s not that difficult. In addition to the right technique, it is only important that you choose the right shade of eyeshadow. You should pay attention to this:

Consider your skin tone

Before you choose an eyeshadow for your smokey eyes, you should find out what your skin tone is. A rough distinction is made between cool and warm skin tones, but some people have a neutral skin tone. This is how you can find out whether you have a warm or cool skin tone:

Do you tan quickly in the sun and rarely get sunburnt? Then you probably have a warm undertone. If your skin turns red quickly in the sun, you have a cool undertone.

Take a look at your jewelry rack. If you mainly wear silver jewelry, you probably have a cool undertone. If you mainly wear gold jewelry, your undertone is probably warm.

Take a look at your wrists. If your veins are green, you probably have a warm undertone. If the veins are blue or purple, your undertone is cool.

Have you found out your skin tone? Then choosing your eyeshadow is quite simple. Those with a cool undertone prefer cool colors such as grey, blue, taupe, black, or cold brown, while those with a warm undertone can opt for warm tones such as warm brown, gold, copper, or beige.

Pay attention to your hair tone

You should also consider your hair color and the color of your eyebrows. If you have light hair (blonde, gray, red), you should opt for light shades for smokey eye makeup. Shades that are too dark, such as dark brown or black, will quickly make you look “gothic”.

If you have dark hair, you can also use darker colors for your eye makeup. And if you have light hair but dark eyebrows, you can use a healthy balance.

Pay attention to eye color

Eye color also has an influence on which eye shadow colors look particularly good on you. If you want your eyes to stand out, it’s best to use complementary colors in your eye makeup. For example, copper looks particularly good on green eyes.

Blue eyes are accentuated by shades of pink and brown eyes look good in almost any shade.

You can create smokey eyes with any color. It doesn’t always have to be black or brown. Bright shades also work perfectly for the smokey eye look.

how to do smokey eye makeupStep by step

Prepare the eyelid

First, of course, you should wash your face thoroughly and remove any sebum and dirt residue with a toner. Then use your skincare product as usual.

You can then gently dab your eyelid with a tissue to slightly decrease it.

Then apply the eyeshadow primer to the entire eyelid up to the eyebrows.

We recommend doing your eye makeup first and then applying foundation, concealer, and the like. This way, the fallout (i.e. the eyeshadow particles that often fall off when applying makeup) won’t destroy the rest of the makeup.

Apply eyeshadow to the upper eyelid

Start with the lightest shade (light beige) and apply it to the entire eyelid up to the eyebrow and into the corners of the eyes.

Now apply a slightly darker color and apply it to the crease of the eyelid. Use a fluffy shading brush to gently blend the color and pull the color slightly upwards so that it also sits above the crease. You can also use the brush to pull the color slightly outwards towards the pointy end of your brow. This will give you an optical wing.

Now you can add a slightly darker color to the crease of the eyelid as desired and gently blend it in, pulling it slightly downwards onto the movable eyelid. Blend the colors so well that you have smooth transitions and no edges are visible.

Then apply the darkest color to the mobile eyelid. Do this sparingly. Blend the color into the crease of the eyelid to create a smooth transition between all colors.

With a clean brush and a highlighter or the lightest shade of eyeshadow, you can then visually lift the brows by applying the shade directly under the brow where it is highest.

Apply eyeshadow to the lower eyelid

Use the second lightest shade that you used above and apply it to the lower eyelid with a thin, fine brush. Don’t go too deep so as not to give the impression of dark circles. Blend until there are no more sharp edges.

With the slightly darker color, you can now go from the outer corner of the eye to about the middle of the eye. Also, blend well and visually connect the lower lid with the upper lid by gently pulling the color up at the corner of the eye.

The finishing touches

Now you can apply some kajal to the upper and/or lower waterline. Tip: Use brown kajal for a natural look, black kajal for a particularly dramatic look, or white kajal on the lower waterline to make the eye appear larger and brighter.

If you want to create a beautiful wing with eyeliner, now is the time to do it.

You can then apply mascara to your eyelashes.

Our tip: Take a hand mirror and apply mascara to your lashes while looking behind you in the mirror. This way, the mascara won’t smudge on the upper lid and mess up your smokey eyes.

how to do smokey eye makeup – Video Tutorial

Alexandra Anele shows you the basics of smokey eyes and a great seductive look. Step by step, she explains which shades suit you and how exactly you should apply your makeup.


Smokey eyes can be quite intimidating at first. Especially for beginners. But it’s not that difficult. The most important thing is that you choose the right colors and that you blend them long and thoroughly.

Above, we have explained which colors suit whom. We’ve also given you a step-by-step guide from preparation to eyeshadow and finishing touches. Have fun applying your makeup!

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