How to get perfect smokey eyes

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

No matter what your skin tone or make-up preferences, a classic smokey eye suits every complexion and face shape! Here, some simple steps on how to get it right:

1. Choose the correct colour
Smokey eyes don’t have to be black – shades of chocolate brown, charcoal and berry make interesting alternatives. Plus, they’re less harsh, so they work particularly well on very pale skins. If you find it easier, buy an eyeshadow palette containing different shades of your chosen colour (this saves you from having to find individual products that work well together).

2. Apply some foundation or primer
Cover your lids with a little bit of foundation or primer before applying your colour – this creates a nice base for the colour to stick to and prevents creases from forming when the product wears.

3. Apply your colour
Start off by covering your entire eyelid with a neutral eyeshadow shade (as close as possible to your natural skin colour). This colour can be extended all the way to the bottom of your eyebrow.

Next, find a shade slightly darker with a shimmery base, and apply it from your lash line to just above the crease of your eye. Find the second darkest colour in your palette and start by blending the colour from your lash line upwards, but only up until the crease. Blend as well as you can to avoid any smudging or harsh colour changes.

Dip your eyeliner brush into the deepest shade of eye shadow and line your top eyelid. Be careful not to leave a defined edge or border – gently press the brush against the line you’ve draws to smudge it into the lighter colour you previously applied.

Step back and look in the mirror. If you’re happy with what you see, move on to mascara, but if you feel it’s not dramatic enough, you may need to end off with some eyeliner. Use a black or dark brown liner to line your top eyelid as close to your lashes as possible. You can also line the inner rim of your bottom lash line, but remember that this makes the eyes look smaller.

4. Finish off
Complete your masterpiece by applying a few lashings of your favourite mascara. Voilà, smokey eyes the easy way!

Some our favourite products to get the look

This season we’re having fun with plums and lilac. We’re loving the Lancôme’s Hypnôse Doll Eyes Palette, R715. You can create a range of looks with fresh and natural shades using this versatile palette, professionally inspired applicators and step-by-step cheat sheet inside. Apply the eye shadow dry for blendable, buildable colour, or use wet for deeper colour intensity.

Our eyeliner of choice at the moment is NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner in Black, R199,95. The tip isn’t a felt tip, it’s made of lots of tiny brush hairs, so it’s a lot easier to get a fine point, and you can get way closer to your eyelashes too. You can control the thickness of your lines by pressing down just a touch. It’s intensely pigmented and waterproof. Pretty epic indeed!

Finish off your masterpiece look with Elizabeth Arden’s Lasting Impression Mascara in Lasting BlackR365, from their Eyes Wide Open Collection. They’ve incorporated their famous Ceramide technology into the mascara, which envelops the lashes to lengthen and thicken their look right before your eyes. The unique brush has five conic spheres that grab, coat and extend for remarkably long, fanned out lashes with each swipe. The formula is smudge proof, clump-free, flake-free and a pleasure to use.

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  1. Tanya

    The Smokey look is one of my all time favourite look.

    7 months ago •

  1. Zahraa Salie

    This idea to add primer to the eyelids- GENIUS
    I am totally going to try it

    10 months ago •

  1. Rachna Misra

    I really do battle with the smokey eye. thanks for the tips have to try them out

    11 months ago •

  1. Lee Rachstein

    Will have to give the smokey eye another try. I always end up looking like a panda :)

    11 months ago •


    I don’t know if I will ever perfect this. I am such so clumsy!

    11 months ago •

  1. Fana_kw Karani-wookey

    The right brushes make a big difference in achieving your look

    1 year ago •

  1. Fana_kw Karani-wookey

    I don’t seem to be able to get the best smokey eyes. I always thought it had to be black and the all black look is just to harsh for my skin colour. I definitely will try the Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Palette, I’m liking the plum and lilac colours for this season.

    1 year ago •

  1. whitney

    awesome tips, i will be definitely trying it out as I always struggle to create a smokey eye

    1 year ago •

  1. KhanyiN Ngcobo

    I wonder if the eyeshadows are matte or shimmer

    1 year ago •

  1. KhanyiN Ngcobo

    Simply put… with these tips any one can achieve the Smokey eye

    1 year ago •

  1. Fayyaadhah Bux

    Will be trying this out soon

    1 year ago •

  1. Loren-Lee Naidoo

    Great tips! Will try soon.

    1 year ago •

  1. Chandni Jivan

    Great tips.. Will definitely try it out

    1 year ago •

  1. Humaira Motala

    There are some really great tips here. Thank You!

    1 year ago •

  1. Ammara Khan

    I always struggle with smokey eyes. These tips are great!

    1 year ago •

  1. Danielle Cateley

    Awesome tips, thank you! :)

    1 year ago •

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