Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

A lot of people asked for a tutorial on smokey eyes, so that’s what I did for my first tutorial attempt. If the tutorial works out all right, and/or learn what I need to fix, I may make another tutorial for blending some bright colors together.

Skill Level: Beginner

You’re going to need the following supplies:

I’m using the following brushes: MAC 252, MAC 219, Philosophy Blending, Philosophy Shadow, and a craft store paint brush. I will be using the following products: mixing medium (water based), Silver pigment, Black Tied e/s, Say Yeah e/s, L’Oreal Ebony e/l, Maybelline Full ‘n Soft mascara, and Flash of Flesh l/g. The mixing medium I use is 3 parts water, 1 part glycerin (home made), but it is supposed to be the equivalent of MAC’s mixing medium available at stores. You could probably get away with using say Silver Ring e/s instead of Silver pigment, but you might need a base like Graphito paint or Bare Canvas might work for some people. Sharkskin s/s might be workable, too!

I took my craftstore paint brush, dipped it just a TINY bit into the mixing medium (you don’t want your brush to be too wet, just damp), and then dab on some Silver pigment. Press the brush flat against your lid, starting from the inside, and slowly making sweeping arches going just past your crease all the way to your outer corner. Go lightly when it’s above your crease, make it sort of heavy towards your lashline and fade as you get to your crease.

It should like the photo above.

And… like this one! See, the silver pigment comes a little above your lid.

Using my Philosophy shadow brush flat against my outer lid, I take Black Tied e/s and gently tap the color onto the lid.

It should get just a little darker on the outer lid. If the line is too harsh, gently fan the Black Tied e/s inwards towards the center of your lid with slow, sweeping strokes with the brush held sideways.

Using the same brush, take some more Black Tied e/s and gently press it into the middle of your crease. Slowly bring the brush from the middle to the left, and then middle to the right parts of your crease.

So now, your lid should look a little like the photo above.

I used the 252 brush to pick up Say Yeah e/s and pressing it flat against the area above my crease, sideways, on the outer portion, I slowly dragged the color across towards just above my inner crease. You want to apply the color similarly to how you applied the Silver pigment earlier. Bring it just to the brow bone. And, see, harsh line!

Using my Philosophy blending brush (sort of like a blush brush, but for your eyes!) and I’m pressing it against the harsh line and gently dragging color upwards so that the gray/black colors are gradually fading into the neutral color.

Then I go back to my Philosophy shadow brush and get some Say Yeah e/s on it and press it just above my crease to help soften that harsh line.

Using the 219 brush, I dip it into my Silver pigment (dry, not wet) and use it to brush a line of silver underneath my waterline.

See, now it’s coming together.

I’m applying my choice in black eyeliner, but whatever your preference will do just fine here.

Now, let’s go back to the Philosophy blending brush and pick up a little Black Tied e/s and tap it lightly against the outer edge of your waterline/just below it. Then carefully bring the Black Tied e/s a little under your lower lash line so that it helps create a gradient. Smudge it out a little towards the outer lid/corner of your eye, too.

And there you have it! The photos below are just my typical open/closed/side/full shots of tonight’s smokey eyes attempt.

Any questions or comments, PLEASE leave them. I’d love feedback on this as it’s my first time & it took awhile to do!

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301 thoughts on “Tutorial – Smokey Eye

  1. Great makeup! Love your site, and your MAC collection – I’m jealous!

  2. Thank you so much! I’m happy to hear you think my makeup is great :) Oh, but trust me, my wallet is jealous of yours! It’s not so happy with my collection, LOL!

  3. Stacey

    It looks beautiful! I love your tutorials. The detail you provide is so helpful. What order do you do your makeup? And how do you clean up the fallout when doing your eyes?

  4. Thank you so much! I do eyes first, brows second, foundation, contour, blush, and then lips last.

    I don’t get much fall out, actually :) I’ll dust it off with my fingers or else foundation helps cover any smidge of residue left!

  5. ms_lavendel

    hey christine!!!!….i must say…WOOOOOOOOW!!!…thnx for this tut or tuts!!..i love them!!!…hope 2 c more :) :) :) ..

  6. Thanks, doll! I’ll try to make a new tut someday… πŸ˜‰

  7. Maggie

    This is an amazing tutorial!! Do you mostly use MAC? I tried to find the mixing medium you mentioned and the Melon, but the girl at MAC was quite clueless and didn’t know what I was talking about. :\
    p.s. I would make the medium myself but uhm, I’m just not that talented.. something would go wrong! haha

  8. Jean

    WOW, you are certainly one talented lady! I just LOVE this smokey eye look and I’m already looking forward to my next formal evening (next month) to try it out. THANK YOU!


  9. YAY! πŸ˜€ I hope you do use it for your formal & it goes spectacularly!

  10. Stephani

    I used this tutorial for my best friends wedding. I love your smokey eye and I love ALL your tutorials. Mine didnt come out identical to yours because I had to supplement a couple brushes and pigments, but it came out wonderful thanks to you.

    • Hey there Stephani,

      I am so happy to hear it! I’m so flattered you would choose one of my looks! I’m glad it turned out well for you :)

      Thanks so much,

  11. Taylor

    As old as this tutorial is, i’m wearing this look to the premiere of my school’s play ” American Idle” (not to be confused with the show) i’m not IN the play but i’m ushering and want to look good. i’m so excited!

  12. tee

    This is one of the BEST tuts I have seen done for a smokey eye. And I have been into makeup
    for years. You provided such good detail and pics. It was a pleasure and even gave me, a makeup veteran some extra tips! Thanks.

    • Thank you, Tee! I’m glad you found it useful, even as a veteran πŸ˜‰ I love sharing what I’ve learned through practice, because I feel like you could never learn too much!

  13. Meme

    Hi Christine,

    Can you recommend a good MAC blush for a dark grey/silvery smokey eye like you did above?
    Should the blush be more pinkish or peachy? My skintone is similiar to yours but with more yellow/olive undertones.


    • Hi Meme! Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you – went on vacation! I would say a peachy blush would be great on olive tones because it will give it a slight flush, but not over the top. You could use a blush like Margin, which I absolutely adore for dressing up cheeks without overdoing it.

  14. Simi

    Hi, thanks sooo much for this great tutorial! The way you do your makeup is really nice. Btw, if you dont mind my asking, what ethnicity are you? Because my friend’s eyes are exactly like yours (such a pretty color!) and she’s half Burmese and half German. Keep up the good work πŸ˜€

  15. Hi again Christine,

    You are stunning and all of your tutorials are so helpful!! My question is what color eyeshadow can I use insead of Say Yeah? I can’t find this color anywhere and it is hard to see exactly what color it is.


    • Thank you!

      You can try out ANY highlighter color that works with your skintone. It’s really just a flesh toned shadow with shimmer.

  16. Meme

    Hi Christine,

    I had a question about softwashed (asia excl.) and silver (original, not metal) pigments.

    Is softwashed a true medium grey (without other duochromes/tones like softwashed grey – which is actually blue/purplish)

    Is the original silver pigment a true smoky/dark gunmetal grey like in the tutorial above?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hey Meme!

      Softwashed is EXTREMELY close to Silver pigment. They both look pretty much like the photos. Softwashed is a touch lighter, maybe, but they’re awfully close. No blue tint at all!

  17. Alisha

    Hi, i really love this site. i’ve been looking for something like this for so long. i’m really greatful that u took the time to makeup yourself and put it online.
    I’ll continue visiting this site and i’ll tell all my friends about it.
    I really appreciate u for this.

    Bye :)

  18. Madeleine

    Hi Christine :)

    I want to tell that you are much better than MAC web site itself! Great job!!!AMAZING website.I learn from you every time I use this site(meaning…everyday),my makeup has become so enjoable and technicly better and so much more beautiful! Thank you,Christine!!!

    I also have a question about smokey eye.Last Christmas I purchased MAC (6e/s)called Smokey Eyes:Malt,Vex,Satin Taupe,Club,Gentle Fume and Black Tied.
    Can you acually tutor me how to smoke eyes using this partcular kit,please.
    Brushes I do have(all by MAC)FYI – 213,211,231,252,266,and 129SE,239SE,219SE,266SE,316SE.


    • Hey Madeleine!

      Oh, wow, what a compliment, thank you!!

      For a super dark smokey eye, use Black Tied on the lid, Club in the crease, Vex or Satin Taupe above crease, and Malt on the brow bone. For a lighter one, try Club or Gentle Fume on the lid instead.

      You can use the 239 to apply the entire look if you want!

  19. Desiree


    The silver pigment that you are using…is it the silver (metal) pigment that you get from the PRO store only?

    • Hey Desiree,

      The silver pigment I use is not the metal version, it is a discontinued version. However, Silver Ring eyeshadow is a great duplicate of the pigment :)

  20. Vanessa

    I’m 22, and plain clueless when it comes to makeup. I really, really, appreciate that you’ve made this tutorial. I was raised by my father, so I am unaware how to do makeup. Blending, glitter, shimmer? Agh!! I used to pull out my hair because I could never figure out how women did their eye makeup. I think most women prefer to keep it a secret.

    Anyhow, I’m saving your tutorials on my computer, and plan to study them religiously.
    I’ll be telling my friends, but only the nice ones. Thank you.

    • Hey Vanessa! I am happy to be able to help you out :) I think there should be no beauty secrets! What’s the fun is hoarding them?

      Thank you!

  21. eileen

    I just finished doing my eyeshadow using your tutorial and I loved the results! Thanks for posting this up!

  22. JoJo


  23. Brenda

    Fabulous!! That’s all I can say!!

  24. Anna

    It is gorgeous. You should start your own line of products. you could be the next bobbie brown!!

  25. barra

    heya,love de site…man how technoligys heln us in soo many ways!!!jst wondern wat tips ye have under yer belt 4 tranny make up???like wats d best eye lashes 2 use etc????

    • Thanks, Barra! I would probably suggest using extremely full, dramatic lashes, elongated cat eye liner, and make sure to put mascara on lower lashes!

  26. Janis

    Love this smokey look! Hope you can include tutorials on smokey eyes where you use colored eyeshadows like purples, blues, greens, and browns :)

  27. yemi


    i’m writhing fr Nigeria, ‘so glad i bumped into yr site. i’ll recommend it to my bestfriend. shes undergoing a training to become a makeup Artiste. i’m sure she’ll love it.

    Thanks so much!!

  28. Lindsay


    I want to get that say yeah e/s.

    I see it on MakeupAlley and on Ebay. Ebay has one for $30. Is this worth it or should I get something else similar for cheaper?
    I have never swapped on makeup alley so I am not sure how that works. Will those people sell it?

    How often do you use this e/s?

    Thanks! Ive learned lots in the last few hrs!

    • Hey Lindsay!

      DO NOT PAY $30!!! Oh my goodness, no way! Say Yeah is just a neutral color I picked as a highlighter – you can use numerous others from the permanent line like Grain or Ricepaper.

  29. Kenya

    I stumbled upon your site while looking for the MAC website. I am a novice at applying eyeshadow but with your tutorials I won’t be for much longer. Your step-by- step approach was just what I needed to guide me along. I have learned more about application from reading your tutorials in one evening, than I did in going to bookstores and looking through make-up books. Thanks sooooo much your efforts are greatly appreciated Christine.

    • Hey Kenya! I’m so happy to learn that the tutorials will help you out. Just let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them!


  30. Schimone Charles

    Your tutorials are perfect!!!! Do you work fro MAC, if not, you really should……

  31. Hi!! I just came across your site and its the best thing since sliced bread!! at twnety i really should have learnt to do my make up properly so thank god for you and your tutorials!!

    now i can keep up with my friends who all have amazing make up!!


  32. Donna

    I love this look! I used similar colors b/c I didn’t have all the ones you used, and it still came out great! I never knew how to do a smokey eye, and this really helped! I LOVE your tutorials and I hope you keep them coming… Thank you! :o)

  33. Kena

    Love it! Your step by step picture helps alot. I love this look. Can’t wait for your next tutorials!!

  34. Marissa

    So I bought the silver pigment from a Pro store a few days ago, but the warning on the insert says it is not to be used in the eye area, so I’m scared to use it. Should I ignore the warning? I mean, you haven’t had any adverse effects from using it in the eye area, right?


    • Hey Marissa! I think you might have purchased Silver metal pigment, which isn’t safe on the eye area I believe. The silver pigment I have is a regular one, which is safe on the eyes.

      When it comes to the precautions, I generally follow them – there are a wide array of reasons why the precaution is there. This includes large glass particles as part of the formulation (which will really mess up your eyes with more long term use) or dyes that most consumers are allergic to. I know a lot of ladies throw caution to the wind and have had no problems. It’s really up to you, though.

      Might I suggest using Silver Ring eyeshadow instead of Silver pigment, though, as an eye-safe alternative.

  35. Anonymous


  36. Suzanne

    Hi! I just found your sight through the popsugar website and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your site. I am terrible at doing any type of dark eyeshadow on myself and your website is something that I’ve always been searching for. Thank you for all of your helpful tips and tutorials. I am asian and have no lids whatsoever and I was wondering if you had any tips on how to apply this smokey look or any dark look without looking like a drag queen raccoon.

    • Hey Suzanne! How’d you see us on Popsugar?

      I’m so glad that this tutorial is helpful you :) I hope you feel better about your makeup now that you know some new ways to apply it!

    • As for tips… try building it up gradually, staying more on the lid or try creating a crease by darkening the area where there would be a crease.

  37. Tammy

    Hey Christine,

    Just want to say that I’m so glad I found your site! I’m 23 and JUST starting to get into makeup, and your tips have been very helpful in my “awakening.” Your wonderful in-depth, detailed tutorials are what’s missing in so many beauty magazines and books these days. And even though I don’t own the same brands or products as you, I can still learn the technique. Like this smokey eye… love it! I haven’t a seen a lot of tutorials that use Asian eyes, which have the distinction of not being very deep-set. You’re very talented, and your work is an inspiration. Can’t wait to see more! :)

    • Thanks, Tammy! I’m happy you’re enjoying your visit. :) I definitely agree that tutorials in magazines can often be too glossed over and hurriedly done to be much help to anyone who isn’t already a makeup expert.


  39. Ana Ortiz

    Wow… this is wonderful. Please keep doing the tutorials. God Bless you for your talent!!!!
    I am a cosmetologist and I am starting but I have discover my true call is make up, I enjoy it so much. Your tut has so much information, beautiful photos and so professionalism and yet you explain the steps so simple that makes it feel so easy and enjoyable.
    You go girl.

  40. Rosie

    I just stumbled into this website and its Great!!! thanks much for the tutorial. Keep doing it iam sure lots of people out there are learning a greatdeal from you. You are good at your job keep up!!. Do you have anything on smokey eye with different colors like browns/bronze for a summer look.

    • Hey Rosie! I’m happy you found us! It’s my pleasure to help someone out :) If you go through my tutorials, you’ll see a brown smokey eye as well as a gold/bronzey one.

  41. silvia

    thank you so much for the tips it helps alot, i want to get into doing makeup more than doing hair, i’am currently a hairstylist and make-up is looking more and more appealing to me everyday. Don’t get me wrong i love hair and i’m good at what i do i just like make-up more now.

  42. Candice

    Wow, you would have never guessed this was your first time doing a tutorial. It turned out amazing, and it lookes exactly like it did in the picture!

  43. Tabby

    WOW! That looks amazing! I have deep blue/grey eyes and I find when I wear colors like that me eyes kinda get lost…what would be good alternate colors that I could use to really make my blue eyes pop?

  44. Rahen

    a round of applause for u….u hve explained it v.nicely..i m a beginner and i should say ur tutorial has made me understand v.well…Thanks a lot…for all your efforts and hardwork ..thank you.

  45. Nikki

    Hey Christine… ok i’ve been trying the smokey eye look for a while and i never can seem to quite get it. I love the way you did it, it looks beautiful and i want mine to look exactly like that. So where can i purchase the silver pigment or something close to it and not be too pricey?

    • Hey Nikki! Instead of Silver Pigment, you could try Silver Ring eyeshadow, which is VERY close. Just make sure you use some sort of base like UDPP or L’Oreal Decrease.

  46. Nikki

    Oh ok thank you, and do you know where i can purchase the Silver Ring eyeshadow, i’ve never even heard of it. Can i get it at a Sephora?

  47. Nikki

    Hey sorry i have another question lol… to make my own homemade mixing medium where can i purchase glycerin?? MAC doesnt have a mixing medium soo i guess i will have to be a bit crafty as well now lol

    • I found glycerin in the first aid aisle at my local drug store :)

      MAC has it, but it’s only at a PRO store location (there are less than 10 in the US). You can call a PRO store and place a phone order, though, if one isn’t close by.

      • Diana

        I’m so inspired by the way you do your make up it’s truely beautiful! I live in vegas and I was wondering if you know of a pro store located here or how can I find out

  48. Nikki

    Oh ok thank you very much you are very helpful I love your tutorial you did a fantastic job. Now if you dont mind i have one more question i promise lol… what exactly is the need for the glycerin what does it provide that it is better than using just water??

    • It’s my pleasure to answer your questions, Nikki!

      Glycerin is tacky, so it’s a form of glue, which is why pigments adhere so well when used with it. You’d never want to use 100% glycerin because it’s super thick, but by watering it down, you can maximize its effects.

      • Nikki

        Oh wow very cool thank you sooo much… your the best and truly talented!!!! I am going to try doing it all tonight for a Halloween party i hope it comes out as nice as yours or close to it lol.

  49. hannika

    hey christine. im just following with this whole substituting silver pigment with silver ring eyeshadow (with the UDPP as the base of course).

    so i bought it and ready to use it. i put silver ring with the base DRY and it didnt turn out like yours. do we mix it with the mixing medium? and if so, how much do we put?

    and i noticed that silver ring isn’t as ‘sparkly’ as the silver pigment…

    a penny for your comments pls : (

    desperate to copy this look with the silver ring e/s


    • Hey Hannika!

      You could use it wet, but Silver Ring is a pretty close dupe of Silver pigment, I swear (I actually bought it so I could use less Silver pigment). Do you have any super shimmery base you could use? That might help add some shimmer to the Silver Ring e/s if it doesn’t have enough on its own. :)

      • hannika

        whoa. ok. that’s something ive never heard before lol. i used Fawntastic Frost Cream Colour Base before i add the Silvery Ring e/s…. i have yet to try UDPP – can you suggest a super shimmery base as you called it… omg.. IF I PULL THIS OFF.. u will be my hero!!


        • Hey Hannika! Okay, what bases do you have? Feel free to email me at temptalia[at] too with questions.

          • hannika

            i just use my paint pots as base – indianwood, bare study, rubenesque, constructivist

            i have … one paint tube. brownish colour for base

            i have the urban decay primer potion (in lavender colour)

            and i have the fawntastic cream colour base that i use for this look. but its not as shiny when you apply silver ring. any advices?

  50. jackie

    Wow!!! i got alot of help from this demonstration,i guess i have to keep up the practice,but one question i am having an issue with is my liner and shadow liner keeps running into the crease,what can i do to stop that,my color has faded and the liner is a part of the shadow,,UGGGHHHH,any tips?

  51. ANETTE


  52. Lucaant

    Came quite late to this tutorial but am glad I made it. It’s simply great. Clearly explained step-by-step with text, photos, brushes & colours used, appreciate the detail.

  53. xenia

    ummmmm what if you dont know what MAC is????
    what if you cant get ahold of that brand or watever it is?
    what else can you buy instead of that stuff?

  54. Mai

    hey chirstine
    i absolutely love all your tutorials. i’ve bought all i need for this tutorial so hopefully my results will be as spectacular as yours.
    im sure you probably have answered this many times but is your silver, silver fog? or just silver?
    thanks dear

  55. Kathleen

    I love your tutorial!! Thank you!! I started looking at your website a few days ago and it’s great! Really wish MAC weren’t so expensive here though (tax is also a pain). :( I’m in Canada…
    Btw, you have a really nice eye color!! =D Mixed people are so pretty!

  56. erica

    the entire eye including the inner corners and mucus of the eyelid need to be lined for a true smokey should be holding your eyelid up and pressing the eyeliner in between the lashes to give your lashes a fuller look..i can see a gap in the makeup right at the lash line..

  57. rana

    Everything was helpful but just one think i dont like it the nail of the make up artist .

  58. Amanda

    I was wondering if there is like a class or stencil that you can pay for to learn this …I have tried and tried but I feel as if I look ridicules ..I sometimes just go in and by a shadow from like ulta just so they will do my eyes…Your makeup looks awesome …I live in Dallas Tx..

    • Hey Amanda!

      I don’t know of any classes or stencil that you could use to get to this, but a lot of practice helps. I wish I could help you but I’m all the way in CA!

      Sephora has a smokey eye brush kit that gives you all the brushes you need for the smokey eye plus a drawing with numbers so you can kind of “paint by numbers”.

  59. Lindsey

    Hi! THanks so much for putting this up! I was wondering if this look would go well with a black sequined dress?
    Oh! And also, I have a bunch of makeup stores around where I live and I wanted to know what the basic colors you used were, (silver, black, etc) because I don’t wear makeup that often, and I’m trying this out for the first time, so i didn’t want to buy Mac makeup and waste it!
    And i don’t have that many makeup brushes, so if i just used a basic eyeshadow brush, would that be okay?

    • No problem, Lindsey! I’m happy to help :)

      Yes, it would definitely go nicely with a black sequined dress!

      You just need a silvery gray shadow and black shadow, plus a skin-like color for above your crease/on your brow. A basic eyeshadow brush would be fine!

  60. Patricia

    Hey Christine! I love this tutorial and it helped me a lot!
    I’m 3/4 asian and so i don’ t have the crease in my eye! Would the makeup work as well as it does on yours? DO i have to do anything different? Could you also explain to me what I could use as a base for my eyeshadow, because i don’t have a primer. And what would be a good color to use as a highlighter? If it’s neutral, does it have to be that noticeable? Sorry for all the questions!

    • Hi Patricia! I’m glad it helped you out :) It should work on you, though I would go a little lighter on the crease, and bring it up a touch higher. I think that should work :) A good base is Urban Decay’s Primer Potion or L’Oreal’s De-crease, which people both love. If it’s neutral, it just has to be similar to your skin – it’s basically flesh-toned or slightly lighter.

  61. Mayella

    Do we need to have a mixing medium? If we didn’t use it, will the makeup look bad?

  62. Paulina

    Hey! This is amazing, I thank you so much for taking your time and showing us all your skill! I hope you never delete any of your tutorials or looks, they are fantastic!

    Thank you , keep it up!

  63. nicolle

    this is the perfect site to just place a mirror right in front of your computer and just apply all the fondations acording to your stepps.
    it must have a taken a pretty long time just to take a picture of each stepp. well this site is very useful πŸ˜€
    i lovve you christinne!! ((:

  64. Bella

    Stupid question but what exactly is a mixing medium?? I love your site by the way!

    • Hey Bella!

      Mixing medium is a product carried at MAC PRO stores. It is a liquid with a glue base that helps loose pigments adhere to the lid. I make a homemade version, which is one part glycerin (liquid, found in drugstores in the first aid aisle usually) mixed with three parts water.

  65. Katherine

    I see above that you suggested grain or ricepaper as a replacement for say yeah…any other possibilities, especially for someone who is very, very fair ? I want to test this out so that I can wear it to an event, but if I can’t manage it with what I can get from the mac retail near me I might not bother. I’m a little makeup-dumb, comes of being someone used to doing performance makeup and not human being makeup.
    Regardless, this tut is fab and I appreciate all the time you take to educate the less talented masses.

    • Hey Katherine! I like Ricepaper as a replacement for Say Yeah, and I think it will go nicely for fair skin like yours. But if not those, Shroom is also a nice one!

      Thank you!

  66. lucy

    thats so beautiful!!!
    but could you suggest slightly lighter colours for me,as im dark blonde with blue/green eyes…and quite fair skin!!
    maybe more brown/copper colours instead of the silver?
    also my make-up collection is slightly in need of updating,as its all a bit of a mismatch of you use mac,im thinking of maybe changing to it…could you reccommend some basic colours and brushes to start me off?


    • Hi Lucy!

      I think you could totally rock this silver smoky eye with no problems! If you want to go for browns, try Soft Brown with Bronze. For basic brushes, try the 219, 239, and 224. For basic shadows, try Shroom, Bronze, Sumptuous Olive, Goldmine, and Expensive Pink.

  67. christine

    Hello Everyone
    I am jus lovin this site, so much i added it to my favorites. My question is can you show someone who has dark skin color like mine which is a snickers color using these same techniques and with other colors

    • Hi Christine! I’m glad you’re loving the site. You can use the same techniques even on darker skin. It’s really about getting the right base so that you can use that to bring out the shadow colors.

  68. Alisson

    Great Tutorial!!! I have a question, i have never heard about the mixing medium (water based). Could you explain this product for me, please? Where can i find it? Is it like a base for eyeshadow MAC Paint? Thank You

    • Hey Alisson! You can buy it at MAC PRO stores (or call them and place a phone order). It mixes with loose pigments to create something that goes on effortlessly and holds together all day. It makes a great base when combined with pigments or glitters.

  69. Deenz

    Thank you sooo much for all your helpful hints…can you please explain to me what you usually where before you apply your shadow and what products your recommend?

    Do you prefer UDPP or Mac Paint Pot as a primer? do you use this with the MIXING MEDIUM? Do you apply the MAC PIGMENT when your eyelid is dry or immediately while wet?

    I guess I do not understand what the difference is between the primer and the mixing medium and if you should wear them together or not?

    I would be forever greatful if you could inform me a little more and also tell me what you prefer as far as UDPP or MAC Paint Pot in a neutral color? Thanks a million πŸ˜‰

    • Mixing medium is something you add to your brush before you pick up the pigment. You dampen it with the mixing medium, then dip your brush into the loose pigment. Then you apply it to your eyelid, which makes it adhere flawlessly. I use this as my base (which is similar to a primer).

      I didn’t have good experience UDPP, actually. I prefer pigments + mixing medium as my base since they hold up beautifully AND I can have a wide range of colors to choose from. I have had Paint Pots work better for me than UDPP!

  70. Leah

    hi…love all this…but i live in uk and MAC is sooo expensive! u no of any good alternatives? thnxx


    ibtw your amazing @ this stuff!xx

  71. Leah

    hi me againn sorry :)

    basicly can u do EXACTLYY the same method w/ colours? sorry imean colors πŸ˜›
    if no wht dyu change?

  72. Arlene

    Love your makeup. are u wearing mac? and what colors please thank you

    • Hey Arlene :) Yes, it’s MAC.

      I will be using the following products: mixing medium (water based), Silver pigment, Black Tied e/s, Say Yeah e/s, L’Oreal Ebony e/l, Maybelline Full β€˜n Soft mascara, and Flash of Flesh l/g. The mixing medium I use is 3 parts water, 1 part glycerin (home made), but it is supposed to be the equivalent of MAC’s mixing medium available at stores. You could probably get away with using say Silver Ring e/s instead of Silver pigment, but you might need a base like Graphito paint or Bare Canvas might work for some people. Sharkskin s/s might be workable, too!

  73. diane

    wow i love your beautiful pics! They turned out amazing and extreamly helpful. keep posting!!

  74. Nina

    does it matter what colors you use depending on your skin tone? because sometimes a color that looks great on my friend who is a different skin color as me won’t look so great on me. how do u know what colors look good on your skin tone? By the way the eyeshadow looks great! <3

    • Hey Nina! Sure, it matters, but I think you can still work the look if you want to. Certain colors, e.g. golds, do seem to make me look better than say yellows.


  75. Jennifer

    Awsome tut! Would Charred e/s work as well as Black Tied e/s? I’m extremely fair, just for the record, and trying to get into doing my eyes darker.


  76. Carl

    Hello I am a Mac artist and would just like to say thank you. There is good and bad press about the company but seeing a site like this and having it available to a wide audience promoting the brand and giving tips is fantastic. Keep up the good work.

  77. Kayla

    Hi, can u use the dark and light shadow on the same brush? i’ve tried doing a smoky eye and always start off with dark shadow. but then when i want to blend in the light shadow and highlight it under the brow, i find that the remnants of the dark shadow ends up clouding it and just making the “highlighted” section look all messed up :( i was thinking that maybe i should buy another brush so that i have one for light shadow and one for dark. Do you have any advice for me please??

  78. ROxAna

    anche io la penso come voi… si!

  79. Priscilla

    Hi, Christine! I’m 27 and have never really known how to apply eyeshadow, so from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU! Showing my ignorance once more, what is base? Can you use a tiny bit of foundation on the entire lid? I’ve been told that that’ll work to hold the color…??? Will any type of eyeshadow brush do? I’m a fair-medium skinned latina, and have no idea what to do about blush or bronzer, either. HELP!!!

    Lost in Texas.

    • Hey Priscilla! I’m so happy to help you! A base is something that is put on first to help the rest of the makeup stay on better – it’s like a house, it needs a foundation before you can build on it.

      Foundation MAY work, but it’s not always the best. L’Oreal makes something called De-Crease which is nice, as is Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

      You can use a brush, the applicator that comes with the base/primer, or your finger (if you have to).

  80. m

    Thanks for the step-by-step guide, I love this look and was just trying to figure out how to get it after seeing a cool smoky eyes photo from fashion week. Thanks for the help!

  81. CISSAC


  82. jae

    This site is so awesome!
    And even if I don’t wear any make-up(since I don’t know how to apply the stuff and my skin is acne-prone) I still love reading about it and your blog made me want to try make-up right now.
    Any suggestion for a complete novice?
    Thanks and stay beautiful!(“,)

    • Thanks, Jae! Try neutrals, only because they are way easier to blend and you can’t make it look all that muddy when they’re already brown!

  83. Colleen

    I dont see Say Yea anymore. Is there a color that i can use that in stock? And wat does e/s mean?

    I would love to train with you. Like…seriously. Ur work and skills are too good to be locked away in buisness school. Teach them to me and let me spread them to the WORLD! (still…very serious despite the exclamation)

  84. Kirsten Campbell

    Great smokey eye! I stumbled onto your site and LOVE it! The new spring/summer collection is lovely and I want it to come to stores now.. sigh.. it’s the perfect pick me up for the dreary rain here.

  85. Julie

    Hi !!

    Really really nice !! Love the blending effect of the colours…I really want to know which numbers or names of the colours you use in each tutorials. So it will be easy for us to copy your lovely makeup look !!

    Thanks !!!


  86. Bre

    Thats so beautiful!!!! Excellent job..

  87. amber

    What MAC colors would you recommend for lip with this look? I’m going to practice it at home for my upcoming big night out with my husband for our 10th anniversary (!), but I’m not sure what lip to do with it. I usually wear a pretty strong color so I’m kind of afraid of neutrals washing me out (weird, I know).


  88. andie

    I work at Merle Norman here in Texas. we always have people wanting the smokey effect… which I know how to do but this has shown a few short cuts thanks

  89. Leanne

    Hi where can you buy the glycerin from, does it come under another name when purchasing this? I’ve checked pharmacys with no joy. Thankyou for your help, your page is wonderful i have learnt a lot of tips : )

  90. amber

    I practiced this look over the weekend with Smut, Electra and Mylar and it looked great, using a paint pot in Bare Study as a shadow base. I did Viva Glam V with Honey B liner and Big Baby Plushglass — totally worked.

    Thank you for this tutorial! I am guaranteed to be SMOKIN’ for my anniversary now. :-)

  91. Amanda

    Hi there, i’m a professional make-up artist in ontario, and i was just wanting to give you a pointer as i stumbled upon your tutorials and ur comments and questions, the best thing to do when your applying make-up is to use a matte highlight palette as well as a contour underneath your foundation and then you use your foundation on top of that highlight and contour, you use 3 different colours of foundation, one tone lighter then your natural skin tone goes on the highlighted area’s, which are right on your cheek bones, eye crease, ext. and your contour areas has a one tone darker foundation, then you use your normal colour foundation and do the rest, you brush your foundation brush into where you used the highlight and contoured colours. then you use a powedered translucent powderover your whole face, and feel to touch whether your face feels oily or smooth if it’s oily you do not have enough powder on if it’s smooth you did good. then you apply blush you normally use 2 different colours of blush, one lighter colour on where you applied to highlight and a darker colour where you applied the contour, then you apply pixie dust over both, making sure you dont apply pixie dust all over your face to make yourself look like a fairy. haha. next you apply your lip liner, normally for highfashion you apply highlight and contouring to everything meaning lips nose eyes chin cheeks neck forehead wherever your client needs it. now the lip liner depends on the lips. if you want smaller lips you apply it just below your lip line, if you want fuller lips you apply it just above, now pick your colours you’ll use 3. apply your selected colour of lip liner on your lips, then you apply your darker colour in the corner of your lips only 1/3 of the way to the middle of your lips. then you will apply your lighter shade in the center of your lips making that pout look shaped and pouty. last you apply a gloss over all to make it stand out. then you will apply your eye shadow as eyes always come last! to finish your look you may use your technique but you may be more daring and use 7 colours or more.. as you may not see it but in every picture of models or celebrities they have atleast 7 colours on their eyes. it’s a rule so to speak to use that many colours or more. then you apply your eyeliner which i find i love the creme matte liner . it looks like a little circle palette and it’s a oily touch and works wonders! then you apply mascara to top and bottom or have eye lash extensions. i hope this helps you to have fun and be more creative good work.

  92. Brittany

    I LOOOOOOOVE this smokey eye!!!!! It is amazingly gorgeous! I’m definitely gonna need to try to duplicate this with what I have!

  93. elayne

    nice methods! didnt know about the glycerin water thing.
    but i do think u need to line your upper lid though. just a thin line to finish the look off.

  94. Thanks for the great tutorial. Its the best one I’ve seen yet, and I think I finally “get it” now! And I love your great makeup collection. :-)

  95. Lyn

    Absolutly fabulous! Please do more – your instructions are wonderful. Thanks so much!

  96. D.

    …is there anything similar to MAC Say Yeah e/s now? I don’t see it anywhere anymore…

  97. rick

    i have the same brushes you have but nine are differnt well they look differnt why? is that fro a colection?

  98. +*Vanessa*+

    wow! your so good :)
    I LOVE getting temptalia news letter LOL.
    Thank Goodness for this awesome Site!
    Never stop making Tutorial’s ok??

  99. Cee

    I love how you patiently take it step by step. This is the MOST informative how-to that I’ve ever come across.
    Makeup is so much more fun when you actually understand it.

  100. susie

    i love the way you make it so easy by putting it step by step and well i love the look… but couple of questions. i know i read down there somewhere that you apply the foundation after you’ve done the eyeshadow.. well doesnt foundation help with your eyeshadow staying fresh and help blend it all.. and also if you’ve ever heard of that loose powder that you apply under your eyes (if you were to apply foundation first this really does help) and any shadow that falls you just sweep it right off……. ahhh and lastly ha are you a mac make up artist??

    • Thanks, Susie!

      I apply foundation before or after – I don’t feel it makes a difference really. When I do a really dark eye, I might do it afterwards, because I feel it gets rid of fall otu even better than just putting loose powder on (and then dusting it off, which primarily wastes powder moreso than anything!).

      Nope, I’m not a MAC makeup artist!