The smokey eye look first hit the scenes around the 1920s, its popularity then grew throughout the next decade as many Hollywood actresses, in particular Marlene Dietrich, sported the look using a mix of candle soot and Vaseline.
And though, now, we’ve moved onto more complex eyeshadow palette formulas and an array of different tools, how many makeup brushes do you have in your kit right now, we all still love to sport that sexy, sultry, statement eye look to this day.
Everyone has googled how to do a smokey eye look at some point, right?
And the best news is that regardless of whether you’re a makeup newbie or a professional artist, it’s a look that anyone can achieve.
Plus, there are so many different ways to create a gorgeous smokey eye makeup look.
If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Keep reading to see the multitude of smokey eye looks to try out for yourself today (see also “Best 70s Makeup To Keep Wearing Today“)!
1. Classic Smokey Eye
You can never beat a classic, and this look is sure to look amazing whether you’re out for brunch or partying the night away.
The trick to the classic smokey eye is to use dark neutral colors such as browns and greys.
You’ll also want to stick to matte products here, though you can add a touch of shimmer to the lid if you want to give the look a little extra pizazz.
This a great option since it suits pretty much all eye types and helps to give the eye added definition.
Blending and smudging skills will be essential to complete this look along with some expert eyeliner strokes.
But once you get the technique down you’ll be able to recreate the perfect eye look for any occasion.
2. One-Product Smokey Eye
Believe it or not, you don’t actually need an expansive make-up kit with hundreds of brushes and 15 different shades of eyeshadow to perfect a smokey eye.
You can easily create a smokey eye look using just one shade of eyeshadow. And an eyeliner pencil, so maybe two products.
To recreate this look, all you need to do is apply your chosen color, a matte black often works well, to the lid and then really blend and smudge it out using either a blending brush or even just your finger if you don’t have one.
Then you’ll apply a little more to your lower lash line and blend that out too.
Finally, to really complete the look, you’ll then add a little eyeliner to your water line to really tighten the look and give that distinctive and sleek look.
3. Pop-Of-Color Smokey Eye
Love a smokey eye but dislike the lack of color? Then add some! There are no rules when it comes to makeup!
Plus, for nighttime looks, this bright burst of color adds exactly the right amount of drama that you’re looking for.
Add going about creating the look couldn’t be easier. Simply follow the same steps that you would for your classic smokey eye, but just leave the lower lash line clear.
Then with a colored eyeliner of your choosing, a bold blue tends to really work in this instance but pinks, purples, and golds also look phenomenal, and swipe it on your lower lash line and smoke it out slightly.
4. Shimmering Smokey Eye
Adding a shimmering sparkle to your smokey eye look is a great way to elevate your look from everyday makeup to bold glamor.
Really, you can pick any shimmering shade from a palette of your choosing, but we find that neutral shimmers such as golds or silvers tend to give the best effect.
To create this beautiful look, you’ll want to blend out your darker shades at the outer corner, the crease, and the lower lash line.
Then using a makeup wipe or a cotton bud and some makeup remover, you’ll get rid of any extra fall out on the lid and preferably then prime the area using a base or concealer.
Once you’ve done this you can pack on your shimmering shade pretty densely to give that super sparkly finish, take a lighter shade to highlight your brow bone and inner corners, and then apply a thin layer of eyeliner to complete the look.
5. Pink Smokey Eye
Smokey eyes don’t just have to come exclusively in neutral colors and shades, if you love a burst of color, you can easily create a smokey eye using your favorite shades.
In this instance, we’ve gone with pink!
The same kind of rules will apply when recreating the look, you’ll want to try and stick to matte tones and then blend them out with similar yet different transition shades.
If you want a distinguishable sparkle to the look then you can also follow the aforementioned smokey eye tips and tricks to make sure that it stands out.
6. Ombre Smokey Eye
To really make a statement, why not opt for an ombre or multicolored smokey eye look?
The transition between these shades is so seamlessly stunning and is the perfect bold and bright option that is sure to catch everyone’s attention.
This option is a little more advanced but as long as you follow one simple rule you shouldn’t encounter many issues. And that rule is blend, blend, and then blend some more.
When opting for multiple eyeshadow colors it’s easy to create harsh lines that hinder the look, copious amounts of blending and smudging may require a little patience, but it also ensures that you achieve that seamless look you’re going for.
7. Bridal Smokey Eye
A softer and more subtle smokey eye is a common favorite bridal makeup choice, and for good reason, it’s elegant, beautiful, and adds just a touch of drama.
To create this look, you will want to opt for slightly lighter shades of brown and stick to a light or bronzy shade of glitter on the lid that isn’t too overpowering.
Then you’ll want to add some false eyelashes and just a hint of eyeliner to finish off the look.
Ensuring that you prep and prime your eyes will be vital if you’re doing your own makeup on the big day to ensure that the shadow doesn’t crease, smudge, or move during the day.
8. Everyday Smokey Eye
While this look can’t quite be described as a natural makeup look, it’s as close as you’re likely to get if you want that smoked-out eye look that works well in day-to-day life.
You’ll get all of that definition just without quite the same intensity.
And achieving it is super simple. Instead of opting for dark browns and blacks from your eyeshadow palette, you’ll choose either lighter browns and oranges, or alternatively, you could even opt for a cool-toned taupe color instead.
Then you’ll dial down the bold eyeliner for something that just follows the upper lash line. But you could also add a small neat flick at the end if you’d prefer.
Try to not overload your lower lash line with eyeshadow either and opt for smaller falsies or instead go for a generous coating of mascara and add extra definition to your lashes using an eyelash curler.
9. Cut Crease Smokey Eyes
A really prominent cut crease is a fairly new trend in the makeup scene, but we must admit we hope it sticks around because it is truly phenomenal.
And when it comes to dramatic and elegant makeup, you can’t beat a smokey cut crease eye look.
To create this look, you’ll want to start by applying your darkest shade to the crease of your eye and then blend this out with a slightly lighter transition shade.
Then you’ll want to remove any excess fallout using a cotton bud.
It’s really important to ensure that this is done with precision to create the crease you’re trying to achieve.
Then you’ll add your base and the product for your lid. In this instance, we’d recommend a nude color that matches your skin tone.
Next, you’ll want to create that smokey straight line from the outer corner of your eye.
To get that really straight line, you can either use sellotape to catch the fallout or you can trace out the line using makeup remover.
Once you’ve done this you can then begin to add your finishing touches such as the glittery liner across the line and crease, the black liner across the lash line, a highlighting shade on the brow bone and inner corner, along with a pair of dramatic and thick false lashes.
Smokey eyes are one of those makeup trends that will never fall out of fashion. It creates such a sultry, dramatic, and downright stunning look that we just can’t get enough of.
But as we’ve learned from this article, there isn’t one right way to create a smokey look… there are tons.
So, have some fun, try and experiment a little, and don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t turn out amazing the first time – makeup is a learning experience and practice makes perfect.