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. Mari

    I love it, it looks sort of grey to me, which is different, I really wanna try it!
    I like how the eyeliner is soft (I’m not sure if you used any).

  2. tiera

    I was wondering how long this look takes.
    I know that I am for sure going to attempt it but is it easy to do when your in a hurry? Or is it just one of those looks that you need time to create?

  3. Wow, great tutorial! :)

  4. Cecilia

    what is the mixing medium?

  5. Cecilia

    Is the Silver pigment a mac product?

  6. where can i buy mac products in iran?

  7. susie

    question.. how do you get such a clear close up of the shadow. im putting together my portfolio and i cant seem to get that good of pictures no matter what light i use.. do you photo shop?

  8. gloria

    hey i’m clueless about the different kinds of eyeshadow i should get and brushes… where should I go to purchase these that you used and make it easier for me?

  9. Your site in # 1 in my squidoo for learning eye totally deserve it. I love your tutorials and the ones i’ve tried are black smokey eye and cat eye looks.

  10. Sarah

    This is georgeous and you have AMAZING eyes!


  11. Natalie

    Hello! I love your eye tutorial. Keep up the good work ! Can you email a list of the products used in this tutorial?

    Thank you !

  12. Gul

    Hi,thats really great.very helpful.really nice Thanks :)

  13. gul

    Love your tutorial.its great.i have a could we clean our dark circuls and i have a problem that i cant do my eye makeup perfectly.Kindly help me.

  14. Jojo


    First, thank you for taking the time to make these tutorials. Two of my best friends weddings are coming up, back to back no less! I am totally clueless about makeup, I break out into a cold sweat about my hair and make up. So I wanted to know, would this be a good choice for a burgundy dress? Would you suggest any other tutorials for a beginner I should take a look at?

    I did read your “Prom dresses and Makeup?” thread but none of the suggested eye shadows have tutorials, and I did like a few I saw.

    Though I am still not sure I can pull this off, since I lack a few of the tools and don’t have the time or money to get them, I really just have the basics. So I m just going to wing it more or less.^^

    Thanks ever so much

  15. Annie

    I am addicted to your website. Haha. I love this smokey eye look. I tried it out today, but I still can’t get the blending right. I think the next time I go makeup shopping, I will buy better brushes since the tools are as important as the makeup.

    I found that Gleam looks very, very similar to Say Yeah, almost a dead ringer. So I use that for this look.

    And one question, what do you use to remove your makeup? I found that hair conditioner works the best for me. It doesn’t make me break out like oil-based makeup removers and it conditions my eyelashes. Now they spread out naturally and I don’t have to use an eyelash comb to seperate my lashes. :)

    Thank you again for this website. I know that MANY, MANY women are thankful for these helpful tutorials. :)

    • Aww! Well, I am flattered and happy you like it here :)

      Practice really does work wonders! It’s pretty much all I do to get better! Thanks for letting me know about the Gleam dupe. So good to know for when I run out of Say Yeah!

      I use Lancome Bi-Facil for eyes (and lips if they’re bold/pigmented), otherwise my cleanser does the job for the face.

      Thank you so much, Annie!

  16. GUL

    Thats great i had tried that but i cant do like this .tell me what to do for better results.
    you are superb dear.really Gud

  17. GUL

    Yeah m facing problem in blending silver and black.

  18. Chelsea

    OMG….thats amazing….. i hope i can dothat for my school dance
    looks awsome good job

  19. Hannah

    Hey Christine!
    I loved your tutorial! I have been trying to find a step by step smokey eye tutorial with pictures for FOREVER!
    My problem is im kind of on a student budget here and I cant afford MAC at the moment. Do you know of any drug store type brands that would have the kind of brushes and shadows that I would need to create this look?

    Could you please email them to me at [email protected]?


  20. Stefani

    soooooo pretty!!

  21. Linh

    I bought silver pigment and tried to do this smokey eyes on me and it was so nice that my boy friend said i should always make it this way.
    Thank you so much.

  22. kylie

    hi i need some real help!!
    ok im sort of young and im afraid that if i do this makeup then it wouldnt look right on me. and i have very blue eyes and im always looking for things to help make them “pop”. help!!!!

  23. Lauren

    this helps alot!! i tried searching for hours on all these makeup website for something like this! and i finally found it! but i have a question! is there a way to do a smokey eye without the glitter? i like it! but im looking for a little more settle smokey eye!

    • I am REALLY happy this is working out so well for you.

      I would just for a more neutral base – say Urban Decay Primer Potion – and use matte shades (like grays/blacks) in the same way they’re used here, just not with shimmer.

  24. Karin

    Thanks for your tuts; they’re great! I’ll be 42 in July – nobody believes it since I look twenty years younger – and only recently began learning about make up. πŸ˜€ I enjoy your instructions and pictures. This smokey eye is one I’ll definitely try (albeit without MAC colors). Greetings from Amsterdam (the Netherlands)!

    • My pleasure, Karin! Enjoy your new found makeup hobby πŸ˜€ I’m so glad you’ve discovered it! (And lucky you for looking so young!)

  25. jessica

    Hey I love your tutoria! Can you please tell me how I can do a navy blue smokey eye as well as a brown smokey eye? And which MAC products to use with it. Please and thank you!

    • Thanks, Jessica! :) I’d just take out the black and use a blue as the lid color – maybe just a little black in the crease to darken it up. Same idea with brown :)

      I like Prussian for blue. For brown, I like Bronze!

  26. purity

    thanks i will try make it

  27. Ashlee

    its very helpful, but where would i get the brushes and the make up? how do i know wat to get?

  28. Audrey

    Bad Ass! Very well explained! I love it!

  29. Thanks so much i know do it Every day thnx again

  30. I LOVE IT!!!! i wish i had enough money to buy Mac makeup brands and brushes but all i can do is go to Ulta could i use that?

  31. Ms Fabulous

    I LOve LOve Love this tutorial – it’s simply FABULOUS!

  32. Jessica

    Christine, Thank you very much for posting these detailed instructions! I’m half Chinese and half German and always wondered how to create a smokey eye with very little eye lid. Thanks so much!

  33. Brittany

    This is a greattt tutorial!! It looks reallyyy good.

  34. Shalini

    Too Good! and surely the best tutorial

  35. have you ever done a tutorial with a different brand of make up and with other colors? I really wanna know how would you coordinate the colors so it looks right. My main color is like almost a dark pink

  36. Liz

    Love this look – now to try for myself – thanks for the great tutorial!

  37. Mani

    This is so pretty!

  38. Hey christine , you have done a great job. It shows your makeup sense. Can u give any tutorial for lips with their fuller look that they seem to be bit round or oval look.? and any good pink lipstick to wear that gives fresh but natural look.? I’ll wait for ur reply….

  39. miley

    thanks darl for this tutorial.
    i love ur makeup’s set.
    i have share ur link and ur photos in my blog.
    hope u’ll share other tutorial with us.
    thanks once more.

  40. Tori

    This was not as easy as I thought it would be. You should make it more simpler

  41. kavya

    Amazing..could you give us a tutorial on make up for a wedding

  42. Angel

    Your Eyes Are REALLY beautiful ! *_*

  43. Daniella

    BEST SMOKEY EYE I have ever found!

  44. this is beautiful but i still dont think i can do it =[

  45. this is amazing!! i really love how t turned out really pretty now i understand how too do to do it thanks gurly :)

  46. Saralou25

    Thank You so much! This really helped me alot! Mine wasn’t as good as yours because I ws using another brand but it still looked great following these steps.
    Thanks x

  47. Riri

    This is perhaps one of the best tutorials i’ve seen! I love the smokey eye look! Question: Do you have on 3 colours or just the colour on the lid and one under the brow bone? What’s in the centre?

  48. Ariel

    I used some ideas from this for my sister’s eye makeup for a formal air force event. It was beautiful!