The smokey eye is a classic for a reason. There’s no occasion it won’t work for, and with this step-by-step guide, you don’t have to be a professional makeup artist to perfect the technique. You can also dial it up or make it as simple as you want. Here’s how…
Step 1: Set your base
Preparation is key. Whether you’re painting your walls or adding colour to your eyelids, creating the perfect, smooth base with a primer helps to keep everything in place for as long as possible.
For crease-free eyeshadow application, close your eyes and spritz a lightweight layer of our ultra-soft Lancôme La Base Pro over your face to create a smooth canvas. It will also help to boost your makeup's staying power for long-lasting wear.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a primer, reach for your favourite concealer instead. It glides on your lids easily to create a smooth base and also neutralises any discolouration or imperfections.
Our Teint Idole Ultra Wear All Over Concealer is infused with skin-caring ingredients to encourage long-lasting comfortable wear. It also comes in 20 different shades and with an angled applicator that helps to give a precise application.
Step 2: Select your eyeshadow shades
To create a classic smokey eye, you’ll need three complementary eyeshadow shades: one light, one medium and one dark. You can also dab on glitter or shimmer at the end for a super-glam look.
Your mid shade is your base colour, while your darker shade adds contrast at the crease and your lightest shade is your highlighter.
Offering five flattering shades in one handy palette and 10 different colour combinations, our Hypnôse Eyeshadow Palettes are perfect for creating a nude smokey eye or a more dramatic take on this makeup favourite. Their highly pigmented eyeshadows also create intense colour (especially when wet) that lasts and is smudge-resistant.
Step 3: Apply your mid all-over shade
Using a flat brush, apply your chosen medium eyeshadow colour all over your upper lid and above the socket crease. To help eyes appear more open and brighter, you can blend your shadow upwards towards your eyebrow to create a colour gradient.
Step 4: Apply your darker crease colour
Switch to an angled brush and take your darkest shade (espresso and charcoal shades work well here) along your lower lash line and to the outer corner of your eyes. To smooth any harsh lines, you can blend up and outwards with a soft, fluffy eyeshadow brush.
Step 5: Apply your highlight colour
Used correctly, highlights act like an optical illusion, drawing attention to your eyes and making them appear brighter, more awake and lifted. When it comes to highlighting your eyes, there are two key areas to focus on – the inner corner and brow bone. For a natural highlighted look, use a matte shadow that’s a few shades lighter than your skin tone. For something a little more special, reach for a shimmer.
Step 6: Line it up
Once you’ve perfected your shadow, grab your favourite liner and apply to your upper and lower lash lines to amp up the intensity. For a sharp, smudge-free finish and a standout bold line, we recommend a gel eyeliner.
We love the Drama Liquid Pencil Eyeliner for long-lasting wear. Its gel formula glides on easily for easy application and is smudgeable when first applied for a softer look. Once set though, it is transfer-resistant and won’t rub off for up to 24 hours.
It also comes in a range of matte, metallic and glitter finishes to complement every eye colour. For brown eyes, choose warm and golden shades. Blue eyes look great with bronze tones, while green eyes really pop with purple, olive and copper hues.
Step 7: Lastly, your lashes
We feel naked leaving the house without a final slick of mascara. To add the perfect finishing touch to your smokey eye look, coat your lashes (the topside and underside) with a volumising mascara.
Our Lash Idôle mascara is an award winner for a reason. Its non-clumping, feather-light gel emulsion formula, and wand with 125 different bristle sizes and 360 micro-bristles, helps to coat every lash for a fanned out, eye-opening effect that stays put all night. If you’re not blessed with naturally long, curled lashes, use a lash curler before applying.