Tutorial – Black Smokey Eye

Silver/gray smokey eyes video tutorial!

For a soft, gray smoky eye, check out this tutorial instead.

The following tutorial is for a very dramatic smokey eye that is basically black. It is considered sultry, sexy, and some might refer to it as the “Victoria Secret Model” look.


You will need the following products: a matte black base (Blacktrack fluidline), a matte black powder eyeshadow (Carbon eyeshadow), a matte highlight that’s similar to your skintone (Performance eyeshadow), another matte highlight that’s similar to your skintone, but darker than the one before (Malt eyeshadow), a black eye kohl (Graphblack technakohl, Blacktrack fluidline) and [optionally] a shimmery silver or black eyeshadow if you want a shimmery look (Silver Ring eyeshadow).

You will need the following tools: a separate brush or sponge-tip applicator to use with the black base (like the 252), a blending brush for the black shadow (cheap Target brush), and a blending brush for the highlight colors (Philosophy blending brush). To clean up fall-out, using a cosmetic remover wipe works best and is easiest to quickly eradicate the black fall out underneath the eyes.


Using a firm, flat brush, pick up just a dab of Blacktrack fluidline. This is all we are going to use for one entire eye, and yes, it will really be enough. A little goes a long way, and it is better to start small and add as required rather than deal with an overabundance of product!


Begin applying Blacktrack fluidline as your base on the inner portion of your lid. You want to place the brush as pictured and pull the color upwards and outwards to begin covering the lower part of your lid. You want to make sure you establish some sort of shape, whatever your preference in. I prefer something similar to the curvature of my natural eye. Do your best to make it fairly curved, but it does not have to be perfect – a few imperfections will disappear through the process.


You have applied most of the product initially on the brush, and you will spend the next few steps spreading it out by pulling the color upward and outward from the middle portion of your lower lid.


Continue covering your lid in Blacktrack fluidline by making sure to color your outer lid as well.


Pulling the color upwards and outwards will cause the color to look faded and streaky. This occurs and is expected, but is easily remedied by simply brushing downwards once you have pulled the color the appropriate height. You can also gently pat the color back into a smoother place.


This is the positioning of your brush when you are patting color into place or if you wanted to pull your brush downwards to ensure a flat surface, rather than a streaky one, as mentioned in the previous step.


This is what your finished product should look like.


Using a separate blending brush, pick up Carbon eyeshadow. You may need to return and pick up more of the black shadow as you work on the look.


In a similar fashion as applying the base, start packing on Carbon eyeshadow all over the black portion of your lid.


You want to make sure you get the shadow on all of your base, because it helps the eyeshadow and the base to set.


You want to go all the way to the edges, and if you go over, that’s perfectly okay!


Keep your brush at this angle as you apply Carbon eyeshadow to the outer edge of the base. This will help you be more precise with application and keep you in the same line as the base itself.


To help soften some of the line, gently swish your brush back and forth over the outer edge.


It will take a few times before you see the edge soften. Do not spend forever doing this, because we will help soften the edge further using our highlights.


Using a separate brush for the highlighter colors, pick up Performance eyeshadow with your brush.


Apply Performance eyeshadow directly underneath your brow onto your browbone. You want to place it towards the inner portion of your brow.


Gently slide your brush over the space beneath your eyebrow as you make your way towards the outer portion of the brow.


You can choose to continue using Performance eyeshadow, or you can use a slightly darker color like Malt eyeshadow. Keeping the brush at the pictured angle, cover the very outermost edge of black with Malt eyeshadow. Do not worry about all the fall out on the black eyeshadow – it is such a cinch to fix.


Gently brush the black shadow into the highlighter colors to help soften the harsh edge of black.


Using the brush you used to apply Carbon eyeshadow, hold it horizontally against your lid, along the outer portion of the black shadow and brush upwards and outwards, to help create a gray area that creates a gradient of black to highlight.


Gently swish the brush along the curve of the outermost edge of the black shadow.


This is what you should have when the eye is closed.


This is what you should have when the eye is open.


I prefer the shadow to go higher, so I am using my brush from applying Carbon to help heighten the black portion of the shadow by repeating the previous steps.


Similarly acting out the steps before, only this time increasing the amount of black space.


Using the brush you used to apply Carbon eyeshadow, pick up a touch of the black shadow and hold your brush horizontally against your outer lower lash line. Gently dab the brush against the outermost portion of your lower lash line and then carefully move it towards the inside of your lash line, but ensure that you stop one third to one half of the way.


This is what it should look like. You can clean up as you go, or you can clean up when you are finished (there is a fairly prominent stray black line underneath the lower lash line that will be cleaned up).


I find that kohl pencil liners are easy to use, but Blacktrack fluidline is fabulous for staying on the waterline. Both Graphblack technakohl and Blacktrack fluidline will give the same dark, black liner, though. I take my technakohl and dip the tip into Blacktrack fluidline, just to get a touch of the fluidline.


I apply the fluidline I had picked up with the technakohl liner by starting in the middle of my lower lash line and moving outwards in both directions, continually sliding back and forth over my lower lash line and lower waterline.

Add mascara of your choice, curl lashes if desired, and your eyes are finished. To complete the look, minimize focus on cheeks and lips by using a light-handed blush like Pearl Sunshine beauty powder and a deeper contouring color to dramatize features. Lips are best if left in either neutral or nude shades, but a slight pink or coral coloring will not destroy the look.

If you wanted a shimmery black shadow look, then read the following four steps.


Using your blending brush, pick up a shimmery black or silver eyeshadow like Black Tied eyeshadow or Silver Ring eyeshadow. Since I do not have Black Tied, I will be using Silver Ring. If you have a shimmery black shadow, you can simply apply that on top and you really do not need to do more.


This is what it looks like after you’ve applied Silver Ring shadow.


Using the brush you used to apply Carbon eyeshadow, pick up more of it and apply all over lid; make sure to cover the silver portions.


This is what it should look like – a bit more shimmery than before. Alternately, you can use a shimmery base and a matte black shadow to achieve the same effect. For my typical shimmery smokey eye, I use Silver pigment as my base, which has plenty of shimmer in it.