27 May

How To: The Perfect Daytime Smoky Eye

Yesterday, I showed you how to conceal those nasty under-eye circles.  Today, I’ve got another how to that every woman should know: the coveted smoky eye!

Most women assume that the smoky eye look is only appropriate for nighttime, but I’m here to tell you how very false that is!  This look is all about definition— it makes eyes pop and adds and interest to your makeup look.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like depth and interest all the time, not just at night.


Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: After your dark circles have been concealed and your lids have been primed, sweep some highlighter along your brow bone.  If you’re using a cream (like one of my favorites, High Beam by Benefit), rub it along the underside of your eyebrow.  If you’d prefer an eye shadow, I totally recommend CoverGirl’s eye enhancers in “Champage”.  Go ahead and sweep this all over your lid and continue up and onto your brow bone.

Step 2: Select your color palette.  This is the important aspect that changes this look from day to night.  I chose a grey palette because it looks good with blue eyes and it’s not too dark for daytime.  People with green eyes look great with purple shadow, and if your eyes are brown, try brown or gold shadow (although just about any color can look nice on brown eyes).  You will need to choose three shades in your palette: the lightest will go on your lids, the darker color will be for shading, and the darkest color will be used for liner. Here are the colors I used:


Step 3: Sweep the lightest color over your entire lid.  Make sure you’re using a soft brush with long enough bristles, so the color isn’t overly concentrated.

Step 4: Use either the same brush or a slightly shorter-bristled shadow brush to apply a slightly darker shadow into the crease of your lid.  Start slowly— you can always add more as you go— and work your way above the crease until you reach the desired shading.  Be aware that for daytime, you want to define, but you don’t want to go too over-the-top.

Step 5: Use the same color to blend the darker shadow along the outer corner of your eye.  Start at the crease of your lid and work toward the inner corner of your eye.  Don’t go too far… you want to see both the lighter and darker shades.  Here’s what it should look like when you’re done:

Step 6: Take the darkest color and line your eyes using a small, flat eyeliner brush.  You can wet the brush, or not— it’s up to you.  Here’s a tip for those of us who don’t have super-big eyes: Make sure your upper and lower liner lines connect at the outer corner of your eye and make sure the lower lid isn’t lined as heavily as the upper lid.  This will keep your eyes from looking smaller and boxed in by heavy liner.

Step 7: Sweep a little bit of your highlighter along the inner corner of your eyes to make them pop.

Step 8: Curl your lashed and apply a couple coats of mascara to finish off the look.

There you go, the perfect smoky eye!

(I’ve chosen to show you a smoky eye look that is appropriate for daytime, but if you’re looking to take this look up a notch, go for darker or bolder colors, but keep the same technique, and you’ll be ready for a night out on the town!)

Are you a fan of the smoky eye look?  Have you already perfected it, or do you struggle to do it yourself?  Any favorite shadow palettes you’d like to share? Tell me about it in the comments!

{ posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 }


Comments: {2}

  • Sirleen writes:

    Thanks so much Kim!! I’ve always wanted to know how to create beautiful smoky eyes. I’m going to give it a try with the help of your photos.

  • Lara writes:

    thank you, lovely lady! exactly what i was looking for ;)

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