How to Create a Classic Smokey Eye Effect

For centuries, women have been finding new and interesting ways to accentuate their eyes. Here's a classic, time-tested method.

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Go from Plain Jane to Sexy Siren with these Howcast makeup tutorials. You'll learn how to make brown eyes pop; how to do burlesque makeup; how to conceal blemishes and hide freckles; how to apply false eyelashes; how to create a classic smokey eye effect; how to fake a defined eye crease; and many other tricks of the makeup trade.

You Will Need

  • Some liquid foundation
  • A clean
  • damp makeup sponge
  • A large powder brush
  • A dark pencil eyeliner
  • A small smudge brush
  • A dome-shaped eye brush
  • A neutral eye shadow
  • A flat eye brush
  • A medium shade contour eye shadow
  • A dark eye shadow
  • An eyelash curler
  • And black mascara
  • Some translucent powder

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Apply foundation

    Apply foundation to your entire face with a damp makeup sponge. This gives you a clean, dry canvas to work on.

  2. For a quick cleanup, apply a "drop-cloth" of heavy translucent powder under both eyes. Once you're finished with your smoky eye, you can sweep the excess powder away, taking any stray eye shadow with it.

  3. Step 2

    Line one eye

    Line one entire eye with liner, building the liner up on the outer lid, and smudge it with a small smudge brush up and down into the lashes. Line the inside of the lash membrane.

  4. Ophthalmologists are divided whether lining the inside of the eye is safe, so skip this if you have sensitive eyes.

  5. Step 3

    Line other eye

    Repeat on the other eye, lining it entirely.

  6. Step 4

    Apply neutral shadow

    Use the dome-shaped brush to apply the neutral eye shadow over an entire lid all the way up to the brow bone.

  7. Step 5

    Repeat on other eye

    Repeat on the other eye, applying the neutral eye shadow to the entire lid.

  8. Step 6

    Apply medium shadow

    Use a flat brush to apply the medium shade contour eye shadow to a lower lid. Blend it up and into the crease of the eye so there is no discernible line between the medium and neutral eye shadows.

  9. Step 7

    Repeat on other eye

    Repeat on the other eye, applying the medium shade contour eye shadow to the lower lid and crease.

  10. Step 8

    Apply dark shadow

    With your small smudge brush, brush a line of the dark eye shadow across the lash line, on top of the eyeliner, and blend it up using small circular motions so there is no discernible line between the dark and medium eye shadows.

  11. Step 9

    Repeat on other eye

    Repeat on the other eye, applying the dark eye shadow across the lash line.

  12. Step 10

    Curl eyelashes

    Curl your eyelashes.

  13. Step 11

    Apply mascara

    Apply two coats of mascara, and do a slow, smoky burn.

  14. Silent movie star Theda Bara caused a stir in 1917 when she began wearing heavy eye makeup.

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