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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: How to Create the Hottest Smokey Eye Looks

The traditional smokey eye look is smoldering and dramatic with lots of deep gray and black tones, but there are many ways to achieve this classic blended look. Whether you’re after softer shades and diffused shaping for a dreamy vibe, a neutral color palette for everyday wear, or a bold style fit for the runway, there’s a smoked-out style just for you.

Smudged

If you want something subtle that says, “I woke up like this,” then a soft, smudged look is perfect. Look for barely there pink and nude shades to give your skin a natural, effortless glow. Our Venus XL and Greatest Hits Classics palettes have all the pretty blush tones that will have you looking and feeling fresh.

Pick up the latest additions to our Electric Slide Eyeshadow and Brush Stick collection for the perfect nude accents. BFF is the creamy neutral of your dreams, while the shimmery XOXO is made for highlighting.

Make this look pop by finishing it with a pink lipstick or gloss that reads like your lips but better.  

Classic Smokey

A classic smokey eye is like the perfect little black dress—you literally can’t go wrong with it. Use a fluffy brush to apply and blend shades of black and gray, lightly tapering the shape at the outer corners to enhance your eyes. Use a denser brush to pack pigment onto the lid, whether you’re going for a matte blackout or some can’t-miss sparkle.

Get your fill of deep, mysterious colors with our Venus Immortalis and Prelude Exposed eye and face palettes.

Deep Blue

For a bold smokey eye, look outside the box of grays and neutrals, and choose a bold blue. No, really! This might seem like an unusual color choice, but think of it as the makeup equivalent of having a great pair of jeans in your wardrobe.

Try OMG from our Electric Slide Eyeshadow and Brush Stick line for a pretty wash of sky blue, our Prelude Chroma eye and face palette for a touch of teal shimmer, or our Venus XS: Blue Opal holiday palette for some celestial glam.

Eye Color Match

Everyone’s eye color is unique, from vibrant greens and deep browns to sparkling blues and earthy hazel. Using a smokey eye technique that mirrors your eye color emphasizes their beauty and individuality.

Create a base layer using eyeshadow that matches your skin tone. Buff the color over your eyelid, into the crease, and around the inner and outer corners. Then, choose a shadow that’s similar to your eye color and pair it with shades that match its undertones:

  • Green eyes pop with emerald shadow against a plum or brown base
  • Baby blues shine with rosy tones and light champagne hues
  • Brown and hazel eyes glow when paired with everything from vibrant honey and yellow golds to mysterious grays

Use an angled brush to line the lower lashes with your base shade and a deeper outer corner shade and blend the area for a smokey effect.

Starry-Eyed Shimmer

What is any look without a little sparkle? The simplest way to up your smokey eye game is to add a metallic shadow. Create your base with matte shades to get your perfect shape and definition, then choose a sparkling accent for your lid, brow highlight, or inner corner.

Many of our eye and face palettes feature metallic and foil shades for every sparkling look. Try our Venus XL 2 palette for an earth-toned style or Prelude Chroma for a rich, mysterious vibe. Apply your shimmers with a light hand for a subtle glow or make them the main event with a heavier application. 

The smokey eye look is an iconic look, and it’s ripe for reinvention. Whether you’re into a traditional look or something more experimental, you can customize your color selection and shadow finishes for a signature style. Tag us in your latest creations on Instagram, and see what’s new on TikTok and Pinterest!

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