Hola my little Chicharróns!

I spent the weekend sleeping for twenty hours, thanking God for Texas beef, cleaning my disgusting kitchen, grocery planning and shopping, mastering various trivia categories on QuizUp, and finally being able to breathe through my nose again. Take that, untimely cold! All in all, a superior weekend. I’m almost ready for Monday… if Monday didn’t mean the start of a workweek. But, alas, it is, and so, onward Christian soldier.

I’ve had a question submitted about the elusive makeup term “smokey eye.” What is it? How do you do it? Let’s take a deep breath and break it down, Stephanie Tanner Style:

Q) What is a smokey eye?

A) This, according to Google:

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

And this, according to me:

“Smokey Eye” is a term someone like Cosmo coined, and, to me, it describes a “look” more than a specific method or even technique. You can use any colors you want, any shade you want, and make any shape you want. The one commonality is the use of blending to create a soft, smokey (apparently) fade from dark to light. Sooo, I encourage you to put “Smokey Eye” into the Pinterest search bar for tutorials, while I will concentrate on on some general guidelines.

Q) How do you smoke your eye?

A) You need at least two colors, but I recommend 3 or 4 for ease of use and forgiveness of error. In general, they need to be shades in the same family, as well as a light highlight color. So, in a traditional smokey eye, you would use black, white, and a shade of grey in the middle. Variations could include Navy, medium blue, white, or dark purple, medium purple, and white. I recommend shades that are matte or only have a slight shimmer.

Also of note, you will need good blending brushes.

Blend a line of either the darkest, or the middle (or a fourth, lighter than middle) shade under your lower lashline to tie everything together. You can even put the darkest color right on the outer corner, and blend into a lighter shade toward your inner corner. The thicker and darker this line, the more dramatic.

Always concentrate the darkest color closest to your lashline. The idea is that the lashes and rim of your eye are the darkest, and it fades up to the white shade on your browbone.

In general, the darkest color is applied from lid through crease. The higher you take the darkest color, the more dramatic your look will be. Keep the darkest color out of the crease for a more natural rendition.

Q) Can you put all that into a convenient list?

A) No. Okay. Yes.

Smokey Eye Directions:
1) Apply darkest color to lid. Blend up toward crease/browbone. (see above for note on drama level)
2) Apply lightest color to browbone. Blend down toward crease.
3) Apply middle color to crease, blending up toward browbone.
4) Reapply lightest color to browbone, and blend down.
5) Reapply middle color and blend up.
6) Repeat 4-5 until there is a gradual, blended gradient.
7) Swirl a clean blending brush over everything, just to make sure.
8) Apply shade (or shades) of your choice under lower lasline, connecting to the top at outer corner.
9) Take clean brush and blend outer line, to smoke it. Optional: use lightest shade to help blend/soften.
10) Apply black eyeliner on upper lashline and lower lashline, as well as upper and lower waterlines, if so inclined.
11) Mascara like you’ve never mascaraed before. Upper and lower. Black. Many coats. Optional: Add false lashes. Optional: Become a Kardashian.

And that’s it! Clear as smoke, right?

Note on variation:

It is common now to make the smokey eye more wearable by putting a softer, neutral shade all over the lid, and then using the above technique in the outer corner and crease only. I don’t consider this a true smokey eye, however. Such interpretation can be seen in the third example above.

Here’s a favorite from my Pinterest makeup board, that gives a fun glitter pop:

Smokey Glitter

I now challenge all of you to do your homework and try a smokey eye this week!

Note: Pairing it with your face:

Make sure you have filled in your brows. You NEED a strong brow with such a strong makeup. Trust me. Keep cheeks and lips natural, pinky, peachy. Recently, though, strong lips and eyes have been rocked and I am a fan. It all comes down to how vampy you’re feeling that day. Rule of thumb is nude/neutral, though, especially if wearing dramatic eyes during the day.

Let me know if you have follow-up questions… this is not a simple concept, people!




2 thoughts on “Makeup Monday: What is a Smokey Eye and How do I Put it on My Face?

    1. Kaitlin Vincent Post author

      I mean make sure your brows are filled in and visible on your face, specifically if you are blonde. Think of them as picture frames for your eyes! 😉


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