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How to create beautiful smokey eyes

I often get asked by women how to create the coveted smokey eye, especially now that the party season is fast approaching. The main issue seems to be applying the darker colour without it looking like a real mess and they are convinced it is an impossible look to achieve. A good smokey eye will look sexy and sumptuous! SO HOW DO YOU CREATE A SMOKEY EYE?

Identify your eye shape

First things first, you need to identify your eye shape as this really affects how you apply that darker colour. Once you’ve identified the shape closest to yours, it will be so much easier to apply.

eye shapes

Almond Eyes

  • To really accentuate your almond eye shape, keep the lids light with a shimmery eye shadow.

  • Apply a medium shade to the outer corners, slightly into the crease and very lightly above it.

  • Add a darker shade to the outer corners of the lid and along the lash line, blending away the edges.

  • Line under the lash line with the darker shade and blend out to soften.

  • Use a dark kohl pencil to line both the upper and lower waterlines.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Close-set Eyes

  • To give the illusion of wider set eyes, you want to concentrate light reflective colours on the inner corners of your lid.

  • Next apply a medium shade on the centre of your lid, blending outwards and upwards.

  • Use a darker shade on the outer corners, extending it a little by blending outwards and upwards to the brow bone.

  • Next, line only the outer corners with black kohl pencil and blend outwards and upwards, keeping your tear duct free and light.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Prominent/Protruding Eyes

  • By using a darker shade all over your eyelid, this will create the illusion of a smaller eye.

  • Avoid using light and reflective colours on the middle of your eyelid as they will make them look bigger.

  • Blend the colour into the socket line to soften and line with kohl along your lash line.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes. A smokey eye is perfect for you!

Downturned Eyes

  • Apply a light colour all over your lid and up to your brow bone.

  • Add a medium shade from the centre to the outer corner of your eye, blending outwards and upwards.

  • Next add a darker shade to the outer corner and blend outwards and upwards into the crease ever so slightly.

  • Line the outer corners of the tops of your eyes and blend upwards.

  • You could flick the ends of your liner up and out too (a liquid/gel liner would work best for this).

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Wide-set Eyes

  • To give the illusion of ‘pulling’ the eyes closer together, apply a medium or darker shadow all over the lid, blending everything inward.

  • Line your eyes with a kohl pencil all the way along the top and bottom lash line and blend inwards.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Hooded Eyes

  • Due to the skin that droops over the crease, the lid can look much smaller or even disappear.

  • Apply a darker shade over and past the crease to draw the focus upwards. Matt shades work better here.

  • Apply a light reflective shade to any area of the lid you can see.

  • ‘Tight line’ the top waterline to intensify and enlarge your eye shape.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Upturned Eyes

  • Emphasise the natural lift by dividing the lid into two sections.

  • Apply a lighter shade across the inner corner.

  • Next, add a medium/darker shade from the centre to the outer corner blending outwards and upwards lightly into the crease.

Round Eyes

  • Apply a darker shimmer shade to the lid and blend upwards.

  • Add a medium shade to the crease line and blend.

  • Line the upper lash line with a dark liner and blend.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Monolid Eyes

  • To create definition and the illusion of dimension, apply a gradient of colours, from dark to light.

  • Apply a dark shade closest to the lash line.

  • Next, add a medium shade above the dark shade, up to the crease.

  • Add a light shade above the crease to the brow bone.

  • Line the top lash line.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Deep-set Eyes

  • There is a lot of natural shadowing with deep set eyes and this really will do most of the work for you, so for this reason, keep the look light.

  • Start by applying a lighter shade across the whole lid.

  • Next, apply a medium shade to the outer corner being careful not to bring it up over the crease.

  • Apply a darker shade on the outer corners on top and underneath the eye.

  • Then, using a black kohl eyeliner pencil, line all the way around your lash line and rub over it with a brush to soften.

  • Finish with black mascara to top and bottom lashes.


Choose the right products Make sure you are using the right products. A good eye shadow doesn’t need to cost a lot of money as long as you check the pigment first before buying. You can do this but sweeping the shadow across the back of your hand with your finger. If you can see the colour straight away, the pigment is strong and easily blendable. If it takes a few strokes, don’t buy it. It’ll just make application a lot harder and the colour won't be as vibrant as it looks in the packaging. Brushes are also important and if you have a suitable blending brush, it really will make your life a whole lot easier. Failing that, you can blend with a cotton bud or even your fingertip.



  • Apply a small amount of foundation or tinted moisturiser to the lid first and then set with pressed powder as this gives a really good base for your shadow and helps it stay put.

  • Leave applying foundation/tinted moisturiser under your eye until after you have finished your smokey eye. A lot of eye shadows, particularly darker ones, can drop colour particles under your eye so it’s easier to wipe it away and then apply your foundation/tinted moisturiser as normal.

  • Start with a small amount of colour first to get the shape you desire and then build up colour for more intensity. It is easier to add than to take-away!

  • Curling your lashes will give your eyes a natural lift.

  • To really push the wow factor, you could apply some false strip eyelashes.

  • Don’t forget to define your eyebrows as this will really open up your eyes.




I love the intensity of these colours and the range allows you to create more natural smokey eyes if you prefer that to a more intense look.

£33.57 at Debenhams

Bobbi Brown Caviar and Rubies

Beautifully warm colours which can be used for daytime and evening looks.

£46.75 at John Lewis

Maybelline 24K Nudes

A great little palette at a great price.

£11.99 at Superdrug



I offer one-to-one lessons and group party workshops. For more information, visit my services page or contact


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