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Step-by-step smoky eye makeup tutorial

Posted at 1:06 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 15:06:57-04

Makeup artist Katie Livingston shows us how to create a beautiful smoky eye - using the eye shadow you already own. For more from Katie, you can find her on Instagram here.

Katie walks you through the process below, step by step.

Myth: a smoky eye needs to be black.
I think a lot of people shy away from the 'smoky eye' because they are afraid of looking like a raccoon/panda bear/ like they got punched in the eye, etc. but luckily you can still get a sultry smoked out eyeshadow look without looking like any of those!
The blending techniques used when applying your eyeshadow is what makes it smoky, not necessarily just using black. The steps to achieve a smoky eye that I have listed below can be done with any colors! For example, you can do a smoky purple eye, a warm red/brown smoky eye (love for fall!), or a smoky eye with just different shades of browns.

For simplicity purposes, I will use matte browns as an example, but feel free to play with different colors that appeal to you!
Step 1: prime eye and set with a natural color face powder or translucent powder.
Step 2: with fluffy blending brush, apply light brown shadow into crease, leaving space below brow bone.
(favorite brushes for this step: Sigma e40, Morphe M441, MAC 224)

Step 3: With slightly more dense brush, apply darker brown into lower crease and pack on lid. (if you like shimmer, you can pack a shimmery color on your lid for a little extra pop. If you have fine lines or sagging of the eyelids, I do not recommend shimmer as it will highlight those—but of course do whatever you want, there are no rules in makeup, just suggestions!)
(favorite brushes for this step: Sigma e25 and MAC 227, and I love using my ring finger to pack colors onto the lid)

Step 4: with pencil brush or small smudger brush, apply the darkest brown to lash line and softly blend into lid color.

Step 5: with pencil brush apply medium brown to lower lash line and blend

Step 5: apply mascara

Optional steps:
Apply false lashes (see link for help!
Line eyes with kohl eyeliner, close to lashline and smudge out
Line tightline and water line with eyeliner. Lining your tightline will make lashes appear more full.
There are a million different ways to do a smoky eye, but these are some basic steps to help you achieve a blown out faded type of eye makeup look. Have fun with it!