How to do smokey eye makeup with pictures

For a popular sultry and sexy look, create wide-open, smoky eyes with this simple how-to guide.

What you will need:

  • cream style concealer or heavy foundation
  • eyeliner pencil in black, dark gray or dark charcoal brown
  • powder shadow in dark brown or gray
  • powder shadow in ivory or light beige
  • black mascara
  • eye shadow makeup brush
  • cotton swab or applicator sponge

Creating the look:

  1. Cover the surface of the eyelid with creamy concealer or with a heavyweight foundation. This will form a smooth base over which to apply the eye makeup and will help it to last longer.
  2. Using the pencil eyeliner, trace a thin line along the top lash line from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner. Next, trace the bottom lash line from the inner to outer corner. Use a cotton swab or applicator sponge to smudge the lines so they are not stark stripes and to remove any clumps left by the pencil. The farther the color is from the lashes, the more it should fade.
  3. Lightly brush the powder shadow over the surface of the lid, including into the crease. Brush outward and with an upward motion. Stop short of the brow line and do not pass the outer edge of the brows on the sides.
  4. Sweep a little of the light powder shadow across the brow bone, blending lightly. Start the light shadow a little inside of the inner corner eye. This brightens and opens up the eye.
  5. Finish with smoothly applied mascara.

Color tips:

If you have very light skin, hair and eyes, use the grays and browns for this look as black will be too harsh. Women with darker or olive-toned skin and brown hair and eyes can use black for liner and even for shadow. For other variations on this look, use a dark natural green tone such as khaki or a dark gray with a hint of purple, burgundy or plum. Try combining colors; for example, sweep a little bronze-brown over a charcoal brown to brighten up the look. Avoid shadows with blues or any pastels for the smoky look.

For a festive evening look, replace the ivory powder shadow with a pale but shimmering metallic gold shadow. A silvery-white can also be used, but keep it very sheer or it will look pasty. Use a glittery gunmetal gray for the dark shadow. For really dramatic evening eyes, extend the shadow a little further than the outer brow edge in a small upsweep. Pair the upsweep with long and dark false eyelashes. This cats’ eyes look is extremely striking for a night on the town, but would be overkill for most daytime events.

The rest of the face:

To make sure the eyes are the focus of attention, keep the makeup on the rest of the face subtle. Avoid totally nude lips look unless you want to really vamp it up. Instead, use a muted plum on the lips and cheeks for natural and sophisticated color. Sheer berry tones and browns are also appropriate. Most importantly, avoid brights and pastels as they will detract from the sultry nature of the eyes. If red lipstick is a must, use a very sheer red.

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