05. Smokey Eye Look - Lecture

Smokey Eye Look From Bridget Bardot to Kim Kardasian

Where did the look come from?

One of today's most popular looks is the Smokey Eye Look. You can trace influences for the look we know today all the way back to Cleopatra with her famous black and smudgy eyeliner. More recently Bridget Bardot redefined sexy in the 1960s with her sultry cat eye makeup.

The smoky eye makeup trend goes in and out of style, but it's definitely a classic eye makeup look that has true lasting power -- thanks to reinvention and creativity.

When to use this look

If you want to turn up the heat, smoky eye makeup can do the trick. The demure and blended technique of smoky eyes creates a sultry look. Once applied liberally and blended, the effect on the eyes is smoldering and mysterious. Consider using smoky eyes on the following occasions:

• Evening black tie events

• Stage performances

• Date and dance nights

• Summer beach parties

While this look certainly tops the charts as one of the sexier makeup looks (along with cat eye makeup), smoky eyes can be modified for daytime, too.

Description of the look

Smoky eye makeup is a makeup style used to create a dramatic and sophisticated look for the eyes. It is associated with a sexy, nighttime look and is often seen on celebrities at red carpet events and models in glossy magazine ads. Perfectly smudged and blended eyeliner and eyeshadow in deep, rich colors are used to achieve the smoky eye makeup style. Several coats of dark mascara finish the look.

To create the smoky eye look, first select makeup colors. Generally, two or three eye shadow colors are used: a neutral for the base, a dark color for contouring and sometimes a lighter contour color for blending with the main contour color. Popular smoky eye makeup colors include purples and plums, dark browns, grays and even blacks. Sometimes people will select deep blues or greens or other colors that complement their eye colors.

How to create this look

The key to the perfect smokey eye is proper blending. You want to make sure colors are blended together flawlessly.

Also, it's important to pair light base colors with rich dark colors.

Nice mixes include: Soft gold base with deep purple on top, champagne base with bright blue and peach base with green hue.

By following the next few steps you will be on your way to creating the perfect smokey eye look...

Prepare the skin

  1. Cleansing: Use warm water to loosen dirt and clogged pores. Use a dime-sized bit of cleanser, then rinse with cool  or lukewarm water. You'll also want to take off your makeup with a proper makeup remover.
  2. Moisturize: As important it is for a painter to have a smooth canvas to work on, it is just as important for a makeup artist. Moisturizer will help smooth the surface of the skin and help the application of other products to go on smoothly and achieve a flawless look. There are many different types of moisturizers in the market and choosing the correct formula according to skin type is essential.
Whatever concerns your client the most will guide you to what products you should use.

Before moisturizing ask your client “What skin type are you?”

Is it correct to use both moisturizing and oil-free products on a normal/combination skin type?

Yes, it is correct, and in doing so will help achieve not only a flawless look and easier application of products, but most importantly a comfortable feel to the persons skin you are applying to.


Application: Start with a clean face, (make sure to sanitize your hands).

(Optional) Apply a foundation primer.

Apply a foundation that matches your client's skin tone. Remember to do a color match first, to make sure the skin tone will be perfect.

Apply foundation to the eye lid area will help the color adhere to the foundation.

Use loose powder all over the face using a wide fluffy head or complexion powder brush to set the foundation.

Tip: If a liquid or any foundation has SPF in it, it is NOT good for taking flash photography.


  1. With a sponge, apply concealer to any red or discolored spots on the canvas, including the corner of the eyes, under the eyes and around the nostrils. (This can be done before or after applying the foundation).
  2. Blend in the concealer by patting very lightly with your finger or a sponge. You may also choose to use a small foundation brush, this is up to you and what gets you the best results.
Note: Only apply concealer to the areas that you want to conceal and always step back and look to see if they are effectively concealed.

Tip: To conceal blemishes and red spots you can use green, yellow or opaque blue concealer (Depending on the skin tone, certain colors reduce and calm redness). When finished, put a bit of foundation over top the concealer.


Prep the lid. The key to keeping eyeshadow from melting into your eyelid crease as the day goes on is to kept eyelids oil-free. To do this start with an eyeshadow base (also called "primer"). Simply swipe the primer across the eye and let it dry before you continue to the next step.

Apply eyeliner. If you're going for a typical black, brown or gray smoky eye, apply liner in one of those colors above the upper lash line, drawing line thicker in the middle of eye. If you're opting for a jewel-toned eye (violet makes a gorgeous smokey eye), line eyes with a purple, blue or deep green liner.

Blend in color on bottom lashes For color on the bottom (a key smokey eye look) you'll want to use a eyeliner pencil because they're easiest to smudge.

Once the line is drawn, run your finger over it to smudge the line. You can also apply a bit of shadow to get full smudge effect.

Apply light base color Again, the key to a smokey eye is pairing a lighter base with the darker hue. I prefer a nice cream shade for my base. Sweep a light, shimmery shadow over the lids to your browbone. I love Stila's whipped eye shadows. The moist "mousse" consistency seems to stay on forever. My favorite colors are taupe and pearl.

Blend in darker color, but keep dark color below the crease. Now that you have the base and eyeliner on, it's time to get the smokey effect. You need a darker eyeshadow shade. Using an eyeshadow brush blend in color starting at your lash line, blending up. Make sure to blend color into the lash line so the eye liner disappears. Stop deep color at crease.

The key here is to blend, blend, blend.

Double check your work Make sure eyes match and blend color with a Q-tip if need be.

Finish with several coats of mascara. You'll want to apply a few coats of mascara so lashes are thick and dark. If you don't have naturally long, curled lashes, curl them with a lash curler first. See my list of best mascaras if you don't have one you love.

Curling Eyelashes

  1. Curling eyelashes make your clients eyes look wider & brighter.
  2. Eyelash curlers work best on clean eyelashes. Make sure eyelashes are free of mascara. If necessary, use eye makeup remover to remove old mascara.
  3. If your eyelash curler is non-heated, with your blow dryer on low heat, blow air on the eyelash-curler for no more than 5 seconds. Touch the metal. If it's hot, let it cool for a few seconds. You don't want to burn your client’s eyelid.


  1. Pick a Pencil and Powder Shade. Pencils and powders affix to skin, not to hair, so if you don't have a lot of hair to work with, you will want to shade in the skin where hair should grow.
  2. Select a soft pencil (hard pencils tend to be too impenetrable), which is a shade lighter than your brows and a powder, which matches the color of brows. If the brows are super neutral, choose a pencil that's a shade darker than brows.
  3. Prep the Brows; first, comb brows with a clean mascara wand or brow brush or even a toothbrush will work. Examine brows for any thin spots. Fill in With Pencil
  4. Use the pencil to fill in the sparse spots with short, delicate strokes. Apply in the direction of hair growth. The key here is not to construct a distinct line, but to create the facade of hair. Think twice not to pencil in the entire brow, which will subsequently turn out in an artificial look.
  5. Pencils should be soft and pliable so it goes on with little effort. Tip: If you have a pencil that's too hard, you can warm the tip up.
  6. Using eye shadow or brow powder. Dip an angled brush or a mascara wand in eye shadow. Brush the powder along the brows, blend in the color flawlessly. For a darker intense look, dampen the brush slightly before dipping it into color.
  7. Try using two various shades instead of a single shade.
  8. Working with two colors when filling in brows: A light powders where brows are thickest and a darker shade for the areas that are sparse.


Complete the application of foundation, powder and all eye makeup before applying blush. Put some natural looking blush on your cheeks. It will add some color to your complexion.

Consider the type of blush best suited to your skin type. Cream blush works very well for drier skin, as it can help to keep skin hydrated. Powder blush is better suited to oily skin.

Use a full, round brush for the application of your powder blush, as it will make for a softer and more professional look than the brush that comes with the blush.


If you want to go for a classic smoky eye look, lightly line lips with a natural color and add some sheer color in peach, caramel, or barely there pink.

You might try the Nude look on the lips with your smoky eyes.

If you want to add more drama to your look, line your lips with a darker lip liner and fill it in with a deep color to get that look.