Watching a make-up tutorial can be like watching a beautiful painting come to life, but thinking of trying to replicate a stunning eye look on yourself can feel more like starring in a fail video. If that’s you, have no fear, we’re here to take the guesswork out of the glam and teach you how to apply eyeshadow (and lashes) for an elegant look you can do yourself in no time.
If you are wondering how to choose the right shadow shades for your skin tone, how to know which brushes are best, and how to get the most out of your eye palette, read along, and we’ll show you exactly how to engage with those eyeliners, master that mascara, and become a shadow sensei, no matter your previous experience. Follow this simply smokey eye guide to look ready, set, gorgeous:
Begin With Brushes
Painters don’t use the same brush for every stroke, and when creating a makeup masterpiece, you shouldn’t either. Luckily, finding a solid set of brushes without breaking the bank is possible.
In fact, you may be thinking that you’ll need expensive brushes made of natural fibers, but synthetic brushes may actually out-perform when it comes to eyeshadow, as they are easier to clean and less allergenic. Take our word for it, or make your own brush comparison to select the right brush type for you.
A good set of brushes should be labeled to help you decipher which brush to use where in your eye routine and take out the mystery of makeup application.
Prime Your Eyelids
In order to keep your eyeshadow going all day, you should always prime your eyelids for shadow. This step is especially important if your eyelids become oily throughout the day, or you want to prevent sweating off your shadow, as the primer will keep your eyeshadow in place.
Pat your primer in gently with your ring finger to ensure that it’s totally covering your eyelid. You want a thin, even layer all over the lid. It may feel a little tacky, but that’s ok! That’s how you know that shadow is going to stick.
Apply A Base Eyeshadow To The Lid
Using a flat shading brush, sweep a neutral base color all across your eyelid. This will help other colors to pop and blend more easily. Ok, we said neutral, but since this is your smoky eye, you can go for anything from a shimmery silver to a grey so dark that it’s almost black, or even a deep purple tone for a little extra flair. If you’re worried about losing some of the color while you’re blending out your other shades, you can always go back in and pack on some more color at the end.
To really amp up the drama on your smoky eye, you can bring your base color from the lash line all the way up to your brow bone, instead of stopping at your crease.
On a smaller blending brush, smoke out your lower lashline with your base shade, taking it about halfway over. This will ensure that both the top and bottom of your eye is defined.
Concentrate Darker Shadow In The Eye Crease
Use a darker shadow color to contour your eyelid, creating depth and dimension while also allowing your eye to pop. For a smoky eye, we suggest a deep pewter or bronze color. It helps to choose a color that’s in the same family as your lid shade but in a darker tone.
Grab a fluffy blending brush and tap it into your dark shade. Starting at the outer corner of your crease, gently blend the color in using small circular motions all the way along your crease. Follow the natural shape of your eye between the brow bone and lid. If you’re using a particularly dark shade, you may even want to go in with a clean blending brush after you’ve deposited the color down to really soften the edges of the color and avoid any harsh lines.
For those with hooded eyes, filling in the natural crease may close off the look of your eye. You can still achieve this look by playing with different shadow placement, specifically by applying your darker color slightly higher than your natural crease line. This will prevent the color from disappearing when you open your eyes fully.
Highlight Above The Crease
To prevent the look from getting too dark, choose the lightest color in your eyeshadow palette (ideally one with a bit of shimmer) and add just a smidge onto your browbone with a small packing brush. Using a light shade will brighten your eyes and make your eyelids look larger and more open.
Don’t Cut The Corners
Using that same small packing brush and light shade, press a bit of shadow into the inside corner of your eyes. For some extra glam in your smoky eye, take the color slightly under your eye as well. This will make your eyes appear wider and your entire face to seem more awake.
This is a great trick for when you are tired, and coffee just isn’t cutting it. Use a light and delicate shade here rather than a bright color, as gentle tones are all you need for brightening the eye.
Finish Strong With Liner And Lashes
Lash but not least, define your eyes. If you want your eyes to really pop, a precisely applied eyeliner will give you all the definition a girl could want and give you a finished look. One magic trick here is to apply MoxieLash Magnetic Liquid Eyeliner. Not only will this give you a defined line to help frame your beautiful eyes, but it also pulls double duty by locking your lashes into place. You can also play with a fun colored liner to look cosmic chic.
Rather than risking it with a set of adhesive lashes, your best bet is to go with a set of MoxieLash Magnetic Eyelash Extensions. With their ease of placement, and the ability to adjust them as needed, you can play with several different lash looks without compromising the eyeshadow masterpiece you just worked to achieve. These lashes also don’t call for the use of messy glue that may ruin your shadow.
Favorite Lash Looks
A gorgeous set of magnetic lashes can do wonders for your eye, with or without eyeshadow. Putting on lashes is one of the quickest ways to make your eyes the focus, enhance your natural beauty, or even dial in on the drama. Here are some of our favorite lashes to help elevate your eyeshadow.
Favorite Lashes For A Natural Look
If a natural look is what you're aiming for, accent your eye makeup with a partial lash like the Cheeky Lash. This sweet little set will draw attention to the outer corner of your eyes in an adorable almond shape.
Best Lashes For Va Va Volume
Turn up the volume a bit by putting on the Moody Lash. Whatever your eye-shape, this lash will look stellar on you. With a gentle curl and enough volume for any girl, this lash will give your eyeshadow a little extra energy.
Our Pick For Dialing Up The Drama
For big drama, try on our Sexy Lash, mama! Our largest set of silky lashes is sure to turn heads with its major curl for even the boldest girl. Wear these lashes anytime you want to add seduction to your style.
Favorite Lashes For Colorful Fun
We’ve got colors so fun, we couldn’t just pick one! Here are a few of our ultra-exciting colored lash picks to bring out the vivacious vixen in us all.
Our Frilly Lash gives a soft and surprising touch of color that will enhance any eyelid or outfit. Take your look up a notch in these awesome ombre lashes and wear them whenever you feel frilly and fun.
Whether you are going for a winter wonderland or festival fantasy look, you’ll give chills in these gorgeous white lashes. Our Icy Lash is a snowy set that will set you apart with its full and evenly-spaced lashes.
How To Compliment Your Natural Eye Color With Shadow
Now that you know how to apply make-up to your eyes, let’s talk color. Here are the most complimentary pallets for every eye color.
Naturally bright eyes don’t require vivid color. Muted plums and shimmery browns are perfect ways to enhance green eyes.
Baby blues look best in neutral tones. In this case, a smokey eye may be overpowering to your cool hues. Instead, go for warm tones like coral and champagne as they will highlight your eyes without distracting from your natural eye color.
Gray eyes shine in dark tones. You can play up this rare eye color by using a palette that includes misty grays or cool blue tones.
If you’re a brown-eyed girl, amp up your eyes with a strong violet. Your dark eyes can handle highly pigmented eyeshadows that others may not, so accentuate your eyes with dark colors or by even adding a black liner to your waterline.
You can highlight the natural hints of green and gold in hazel eyes by using metallic shadows and soft pink tones, as their warmth balances your multi-tonal eyes.
Go Get ‘Em
No matter your experience, you can layer, line, and lash your eyes in no time, making your eye makeup application oh, so easy! Now you’ve got all the tools you need to put on a smoky eye that will stop traffic. So throw away those doubts and let your inner make-up artist out! You’ve got this, girl.