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When you want to feel sultry & glamorous, there are a few things you can always rely on — a deep, red lip & a smokey eye. You could be sipping evening cocktails at a rooftop bar, walking the red carpet at your company’s launch party or enjoying a romantic dinner for two at one of the most exclusive eateries in town. Wherever the evening takes you, these fashion & beauty staples will never lead you astray.

A smokey eye look, in particular, is the quintessential makeup style for those wanting to strike the perfect balance between seduction & sophistication. It’s bold & blazing yet also chic & current. A look that truly adds to your entire ensemble.

But what’s the secret to spectacular smokey eye makeup? Is it possible to achieve the perfect sultry eye on your own? What tricks can you use to take your smudged look to the next level?

We’ll be answering these questions today during our step-by-step smokey eye tutorial. Keep scrolling!

What do you need for a smokey eye makeup look?

  1. primer

    Every great makeup look starts with primer. It creates a smooth, poreless base for your makeup, eliminating the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles & giving you a final result that’s silky soft.

    We recommend trying our timeless™ smoothing primer. It’s formulated with innovative blurring & filling technology to make your skin as even & texture-free as possible.

  2. eyeshadow palette

    To create a showstopping smokey eyeshadow look you’ll need an eyeshadow palette with an equal balance of medium & dark tones. You’ll also want to look for a palette that offers a selection of shimmering, satin, matte & metallic finishes.

    Our tartelette™ Amazonian clay matte palette is a great example. It offers a full spectrum of colors & tones to choose from, making it versatile enough for every look.

  3. tapered blending eyeshadow brush

    Blending is arguably the most critical part of creating any eyeshadow look, but it’s particularly important for smokey eyes. You want your final look to be seamless & subtle rather than blunt or overly defined. The best way to achieve this is to use a tapered blending brush that can easily get into the crease & buffer out your shadow.

  4. flat shader eyeshadow brush

    In addition to a tapered brush, a flat eyeshadow brush will also come in handy. These brushes are ideal for applying base tones to the eyelid & for creating a sultry smudge below your bottom waterline.

  5. mascara

    No makeup look is complete without long, voluminous lashes. When aiming for a dramatic makeup smokey eye look, we recommend finishing with a volumizing formula, like the one in our maneater™ mascara, for a flawlessly flirty vibe that’ll get you noticed in all the right ways.

our step-by-step smokey eye tutorial

  1. priming the lid

    Start by applying a pea-sized amount of makeup primer to your eyelids, so avoid getting the product in your eyes. Use your fingers or a small concealer brush to buffer the primer until it absorbs gently.

  2. lid & brow bone eyeshadow

    Choose a light, matte tone for your lid & browbone, like whipped cream from our sweet tarte™ double shot eyeshadow palette or whisper from our tartelette™ tease clay palette. Use your flat eyeshadow brush & apply using quick, short brushstrokes for maximum coverage.

  3. crease eyeshadow

    You’ll need a medium tone eyeshadow for the crease of your eye. For a more classic look, we recommend a warm brown like dreamer from our tartelette™ Amazonian clay matte palette. But if you prefer a little color, you can also try a purple mauve (whimsical in our love trust & fairy dust eye palette), or a copper shimmer (onyx in our clay play eye & cheek palette vol. II).

    Use your tapered blending brush to buffer using circular sweeping motions.

  4. outer corner eyeshadow

    This is where you’ll want to apply your darkest tone. Think deep espressos (multitasker from our tartelette™ Amazonian clay matte palette), or even black shades (cat call from our maneater™ eyeshadow palette vol. 2). Use the tip of your tapered blending brush to apply a small amount of your chosen shadow to the outer corner of the eye & blend using a soft, circular motion. The key here is not to use too much pressure while blending.

  5. lower lashline

    You have two options with for your lower lashline. The first is to use the same shade you used on your crease. The second is to use a new tone that’s slightly darker than your crease shade but lighter than the one used on your outer corner. Either option will work wonderfully, so it’s completely up to your preference.

    Using your flat shader eyeshadow brush, apply a light amount of the shadow along the bottom of your lower lashline. This is the key to mastering a smokey eyeshadow look. Remember, you can always add more if you prefer a more dramatic look, but it’s best to start off with a small amount. Buffer it out using short, staccato strokes.

  6. mascara

    To give your lashes an extra boost, start by coating the base of your lashes & then work your way out to the tips. We recommend doing two full coats for dreamy definition others will envy!

  7. metallic pop (optional)

    We love a little extra glimmer, so we encourage trying a pop of sparkle on the inner corner of your eye. Shades like sugar-coated from our sweet tarte™ frosted eyeshadow palette are the perfect choice here. The luminous metallic sheen reflects sunlight, adding a radiance that will have you confidently stepping into the spotlight!

    Use your flat shader eyeshadow brush to apply, as it will pick up the most amount of pigment & simply dab into the inner corner. Voila!

tips to perfecting your smokey eye makeup

  • If you can’t find a pale metallic shade for the inner corner of your eye, you can use your favorite cream highlighter. A tiny dab is all you need!

  • For an ultra-glam eye makeup smokey look try curling your lashes with our maneater™ lash curler before applying mascara.

  • Bring alllll the drama with a defined brow. With our big ego DIY brow™ detailing pen, it’s never been easier to create fuller, more precise brows in minutes.

Are you ready to create your signature smokey eye makeup look? We’ve got everything you’ll need to produce a result that’s uniquely & gorgeously you! Shop online today.