Wednesday, February 5, 2014

smokey eyeshadow: a step-by-step guide

One thing I get requests for? To do an eyeshadow tutorial. Makeup is my biggest passion and I am totally obsessed with a good smokey eye. (As you can probably tell from any of the makeup looks I post on this blog!) In fact, I wear one just about every single day. As much as I try to mix things up every now and then, smokey eye makeup is my go-to.

Since some of you requested a tutorial, I thought that I would do just that! Here is a step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect smokey eye.

1) Grab Your Tools

First thing is first - it's time to grab everything you need. That means an eyeshadow primer or base, eyeliner, mascara, and at least three eyeshadows. (Four is preferable but three will do just fine!) Things to keep in mind? Liquid eyeliner is great for a sharp and dramatic line. A kohl or gloss eyeliner is ideal if you want a look that is super smudgy and messy. When it comes to your eyeshadow shades, you'll need: one light shade, one medium shade, and one darker shade.

2) Put Down Your Base

The next step for a smokey eye? It's time to create a base. You can do this with an eyeshadow primer (the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is great, as is any of the primers from Urban Decay!) or a cream shadow, like the Maybelline Colour Tattoo, which is what I've used in the picture above. The key is to create a surface that your eyeshadows will stick to. It helps the colours look more vibrant and prevents creasing.

3) Apply Your Eyeshadow Shades

Now it's time to grab that shadow! For this look, I used a champagne shade from the Too Faced The Return of Sexy palette. All you have to do is use a fluffy brush to apply the colour all over the lid.
Then it's time to move onto your medium shade. Sticking with this quad, I used that grey colour and packed it on, starting from the center of the lid to the outer corner. When you do this, make sure you're blending the two colours together so it looks as natural as possible. 

Ready for a little extra drama? Grab a crease brush and use a dark shade, like black, deep brown, or maroon. The possibilities are endless! All you have to do is make sure this is the darkest shade you're using for the look. Put a little on your brush and apply it to the outer corner of your eye. Then blend it through the crease. You can build the colour up as much as you like to make the look super simple or super smokey. It is totally up to you. 

Take a medium brown shade on a large fluffy brush and blend out the shadow. You can also add a matte white shade underneath your brow bone and in the inner corner of your eye. Finish off the eyeshadow look by running the deepest shade along your lower lash line.

When the eyeshadow is finished, it should look something like this:

4) Add The Liner and Mascara

It's time to finish off the look! You can complete this smokey eye with some eyeliner and mascara. The type of eyeliner you use is totally up to you. As for myself, I love a good liquid liner with a bit of a cat-eye shape. It's a little bit bold but still totally sexy. For the mascara, make those lashes big and bold! My favourite mascara is the Benefit They're Real! but anything will do. Use two coats for the most impact or even add on some fake lashes if you'd prefer.

The rest of your makeup is totally up to you. A few tips? Make sure you have a good under eye concealer to offset the darkness of the eyes. Also, bronzed cheeks and a nude lip will really make those eyes pop!

5) The End Result....

After all is said and done, your smokey eyeshadow look should be dramatic and beautiful. Ready to see how mine turned out?

There you have it! That is my step-by-step smokey eyeshadow tutorial. Hopefully it can help some of you achieve your own smokey makeup look. If you happen to put this tutorial to use, be sure to post pictures or send me the link. I'd love to see how it turned out!

Do you love smokey eye makeup? What do you think of this tutorial?

xo Shannon


  1. So pretty! And such a nice how to! Love the colors.
    Kallie @ But First Coffee

  2. lovely! x

  3. Gorgeous smokey eyes, I love the colours you've chosen! You look very sexy indeed. <3

    Take care always, love Christine ~ xo
    Chriissydollxo Blog | BlogLovin'

  4. It looks great!

  5. Stunning! The shadow palette is great as well! Best, CD. ican'taffordmylifestyle

  6. Gorgeous smokey eye! The step-by-step was really helpful, too! :)

    Amy |

  7. Great job and perfect tutorial.... tnx for sharing it Shannon!!!!
    Have a nice day doll... kisses!!!!!

  8. Love your tutorial :)

    Check out my new post Here!!!

  9. You look gorgeous, seriously. I knew that you're a master of make-up but this look is truly amazing. love love love it!



  10. Beautiful smokey eye look!

    No matter how many times I experiment with different eyeshadows I can never find a good look :( haha

    Laura x

  11. Love this tutorial!
    I'll try! :D

  12. Great post dear, I love a smokey eye. Kisses from Kenya

  13. Secret to your beautiful eyes.

  14. Useful tutorial, I like smokey eye but I do rarely.

  15. Wow it looks so easy when you explain it, but it is so difficult when I try to do it :)) You look gorgeous and the makeup is very beautiful.

    Great tutorial my dear!

  16. ohhh cool o.o i'd love to try. thanks for tuto!

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  17. i really love the final effects of this smoky eye tutorial - very nice!

    Check out my latest blogpost and share your thoughts! :)
    AL xx
    RASSP blog

  18. Love this tutorial, end result is gorgeous! :)

  19. So gorge, perfect for a night out look!
    xo Annie
    New England Romance

  20. I do love the glittery aspect to it!

  21. I love smokey eye make up- You look wonderful.

    Thank you for the visit at mine.


  22. Loving this smokey eye!! You did an awesome job!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  23. Great photos <3
    Check out my latest outfit post?

    Your Princess is in Another Castle

    xx Sofie

  24. Love the make up look and that palette looks amazing, perfect mix of shades :) x S.

  25. Gorgeous look.. Wow ! Looks amazing on you.

  26. Lovely look & tutorial! Thank you for stopping by my blog Shannon!

    E from Helsinki, Finland