Smokey eyes are one of the most sought after eye makeup looks since Cleopatra or even before.
This classic makeup technique has been well known for sultry and rebellious appearance however they look a bit overdone for an everyday look, unless worn by rockstars or seductresses(?). Blurry and smudged eyes instantly give out mysterious and smoldering attitude even without smoking(?!) and now we understand where the expression smoking hot is coming from.
Apart from their heavy appearances, the techniques to achieve smokey eyes aren't so difficult and depending on the look you desire, the heaviness is quite modifiable and can be easily toned down for an easy on the eyes look.
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Here are some examples of smokey eye looks.
Classic Smokey Eyes
Dark Brown Smokey Eyes
Lovely coffee espresso brown smokey eyes
Reverse Smokey Eyes
Image: eyemakeupworld.comThis is an interesting one, you only go smokey on under eyes. Casually pretty!
Gun Powder Grey Smokey Eyes
Green Smokey Eyes
Looks from Diane Furtenburg Spring 2017 Backstage Beauty
Blue Smokey Eyes
Rhianna Vogue Cover for Arabia November 2017
H I S T O R Y
As far back as ancient Egypt or Persian empire, there are numerous paintings found with men and women wearing heavy eyeliners and dark eye makeups. The origin and use of smokey eyes rather a natural survival instinct than a cosmetic one as to protect eyes from harsh sun or ward off evil or eye infections. Kohl was the one mainly used in those days, which was mix of oil and powder from dark or colored mineral stones. The toxicity of such substances were unknown due to the absence of science back then however, they found that these substances were effective in preventing and treating infections. At the same time, they found the appearance cosmetically pretty alluring.
H O W - T O
To sum up, smudging and blending is the main techniques, followed by the under eye lines and waterlines. The key point for smokey eyes are blurring and smudging, not about cat eyes or precise eye lines.
P R E P A R E B A S E
Smudging is the one thing we want, but keeping the smudging under control and maintaining is also equally important to the successful smokey eyes because you don't want over smudging and smudge off to happen.
Prepare the eyelids and under eyes with relatively matte makeup primer or base with loose powder or nude/light brown colored eye shadows. Any matte translucent powder will do, not the sparkling or creamy ones.
*I love this DHC primer, it is not really for eyes only but in general for face. It finishes so velvety soft and beautifully.
D R A W O N E Y E L I D S & S M U D G E
Draw lines like the photo below along eye socket and the middle of the eyelid and smudge with fingers or round eyeshadow brush creating creased shadow from tail to front. Don't limit yourself to only black kohl, use colored kohl eye pencils. Use soft textured crayon type pencils rather than the thin or rolling types as those do not pigment well on eyelids and smudge the way you like since they are made for eye lines. You rather or may use creamy eyeshadows instead then set with loose shadows.
L O W E R E Y E L I N E S & W A T E R L I N E S
Lower eyelines are essential to smokey eyes. Draw Kohls along the lower lash lines. Depending on the look you prefer, you can go over entire lower lines or half of the line from mid to end.
If you have small eyes, you can skip the under eye lines as it can make your eyes look smaller, but try first.
M A S C A R A S
We all know about the power of mascara. It instantly wakes up your eyes and make them look bigger. Doing both upper or lower is up to you. If lower, give another round of loose powder around and under eyes, avoiding lashes because it will cause them to cake.
With all Said, I found the following video tutorial most helpful and easy to follow from YSL. Also their new product eye duo smoker is a fantastic find for smokey eyes with dual round tips for gliding and smudging colors all in one. It also comes in 4 colors.
extra - C O L O R S M O K E Y E Y E S
Color smokey are very popular these days. It is also way easier to wear everyday since less dramatic than traditional all black. Color smokey eyes were also popular in ancient times. In those days crushed/milled color mineral stones were used such as cobalt for blue, oxidized copper for dark orange, malachite for green or chrysocolla for cyan.
Today, we have hundred of color selections. Thank God! For me after trying most of colors, blue and grey seem to work the best. But they might not work for everybody. So do try as many colors as you can and find what works best for you.
For colored smokey eyes, depending on the look you want such as you would like monochrome look or smoky lines with color overall.
For monochrome look, you need one color for eyelid, eye lines and even mascara. For dark eye lines with colors, draw on eyelids and smudge steps above with dark kohls then, add colors over eyelids and inner corner of eyes. Finish with either dark or color mascara.
When eye lining with color shadows, wet brush tip and apply shadows for better pigmentation and color pop.
KENDALL JENNER S M O K E Y E Y E S
This look is quite popular of course because of Kendall Jenner! and some of you might want to try as party or night out makeup. Watch makeup tutorial video of Lisa Eldrigde who actually did Kandall's editorial makeup. Her youtube channel is worth watching. I especially love the use of illuminator and sparkling eyeshadow finish at the end.
R E S T OF F A C E & H A I R
G O C L E A N & N E A T
Suggested Product: HOURGLASS Femme Nude Lip Stylo $32
A T T I T U D E
Attitude wise, if you are wearing smokey eyes you should act like smoking hot, like you know you are hot, unless you will be wearing raccoon eyes. So carry yourself with smoldering attitude. Squinting and slightly closed eyes work well.
I found this video of late Elizabeth Taylor doing her smokey eyes. She uses eyeshadows, tho. She goes over eye socket with dark shadows and under eyes and does light grey over eye lids for contrast.
It took me forever to finish this blog as there are so many variations, looks and techniques available for smokey eyes, so settling into something simple was pretty hard. Hope you find this useful and enjoy smokey eyes more. Everyone born with beautiful eyes so you better smoke them hot!