“I can’t do a smoky eye!” The number one problem I hear from my clients. I get why it can seem difficult. A pure black classic smoky eye especially. The possibilities for a messy outcome are endless and the ‘panda eye’ look is not a good look! It seems that most of the women I speak to don’t want to attempt a smokey eye themselves because the thoughts of winding up looking like a bamboo chewing bear are understandably less than desirable.

Because I hear about this problem so often, and understand exactly why and how things can go terribly wrong during a smoky eye application. I got to thinking about what it really takes (application aside) to perfect a smoky eye and have come up with 5 tips that will help you to nail it every single time.

1. Clean brushes

To avoid a muddy looking mess of a smoky eye and get a clean looking smouldering finish. Clean brushes are a must! Blending brushes and pencil brushes especially are a smoky eyes best friend. Have at least two clean, fluffy blending brushes and a pencil brush for smudging shadow under the lower lashes. My personal favourites are the MAC 217224 and 219 . I also love the Zoeva 228 luxe crease brush and the Bdellium pencil brush as fantastic affordable options.

smoky eye makeup, makeup brushes and palettes

2. Eyes first

We all know that regardless of what formula products you use, creating any kind of dark eye makeup look will more often than not result in some kind of a mess. Be it fall out from eyeshadow/pigments or smudging from eye crayons and Khol pencils. So it is pretty pointless applying base beforehand that will only get messed up.

This isn’t an exclusive tip but it will make your smoky eye life so much easier. Applying eye makeup first also allows whatever moisturiser or primer you use to settle into your skin which will also result in a better foundation application.Bonus!


3. It will always look a mess!

Having completely bare skin and full on smokey eye makeup can look quite jarring! It’s important to keep in mind that until you apply foundation and the rest of your makeup that this will always be the case. Don’t give up halfway through the eye makeup because of this. I know it sound’s a little strange but you have to be the boss when applying makeup, especially when doing a smoky eye. If you have total faith that it will go right then it will.



In my opinion, the key to great makeup is balance. This is especially the case when creating a smoky eye, as a true smoky, or so I was taught, is one that encompasses the whole eye. Be aware of keeping a good product balance. For example, applying minimal shadow on the lid and a heavy shadow under the lower lash line will drag the eye down and can give a droopy appearance which I’m sure nobody appreciates.

In the same vein, say you are creating a bronze/black smoky eye, adding some of the bronze eyeshadow used on the lid underneath the lower lash line along with black eyeshadow works great for adding uniformity and further balancing out the eye look. If you didn’t want to do this, no problem there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to colour placement.



5.The cleanup

This is as important as the application. Obviously, any fallout or smudging will need to be removed. The clean-up job afterwards can also lend a hand to finishing the look. Just take a face wipe, wrap around your index finger, place at the outer corner of the eye and pull upwards towards the end of the brow. This will neaten up the edge of the makeup and remove any fallout. The alternative to this would be to use tape at the outer corner while applying the eye makeup to keep the edge sharp and clean.

I hope these tips will come in handy the next time you fancy a smoky eye for a night out. What are your favourite smoky eye tips and tricks??