Smokey Eyeliner Tutorial

The classic smokey eyeshadow technique has been around forever. It’s gorgeous, elegant, and appropriate for almost all occasions. But lately, I’ve been shifting my focus towards the smokey eyeliner instead. It’s just as flattering, yet requires less effort and products compared to a traditional smokey eye. Pair it with a bold red lip and there’s nothing better!

To start, I primed my eyes with my favorite Milani eyeshadow primer. Once that was dry, I used the matte cream colored eyeshadow from the Wet n Wild Rose in the Air palette. To get the most pigmentation possible, I packed this shadow on with my finger first and then blended the edges with a small shader brush.

Then I switched to the Wet n Wild My Glamour Squad palette and used the warm tan transition color to start adding some definition in the crease. This is a very easy shadow to work with because the formula is so smooth, it practically blends itself! It’s almost impossible to apply too much of this color.

To get the definition that I was looking for with my specific skin tone, I wasn’t happy with just one crease shade. So I went back into the Rose in the Air palette and added some of the cool-toned transition shade in the same area as the previous color. I also blended some of this shade on the outer third of the eye for more dimension.

Once the crease colors were applied, I went back to that first matte cream shade from the Rose in the Air palette. I placed that underneath my brow bone and on the very inner corner of my eye. This will help lift and brighten the eyes, making them appear bigger.

Now for the eyeliner! I took the matte black eyeshadow from the My Glamour Squad palette and packed that along my lash line. I applied it all across the top lashes, creating a slight wing at the end, and only halfway along the lower lashes in order to avoid the racoon effect. A kohl eyeliner would also work perfectly fine for this step, but shadows are much easier to work with.

To get the smokey effect, we need to blend another shadow at the edge of the black liner. I prefer to use brown because it looks softer on the eyes, but a gray shadow would be a good alternative. For my personal eye shape, I like to keep eyeliner on the thin side and Ecotools has a great angled brush that is perfect for precision work.

To finish up, I curled my lashes and added a few coats of the Tarte Big Ego mascara. It’s not my favorite mascara ever, but it’s better and more comfortable than wearing falsies. However, if false lashes are your preference, I’d recommend a more natural pair to keep the focus on all the eyeliner work.

Here’s a more condensed guide for easy reference:

This is such a basic eye look that can be worn all year round and paired with all different blush or lip colors. I chose to go with a classic red to keep with the traditional techniques. The specific lip combo I’m wearing is the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shade Cruella topped with the Tarte Glitter Lip Paint in the shade Insta-Famous. 

The main focus on this look is the eyeliner, so I kept the rest of the shadow on the lid very minimal. However, this technique could also be paired with a shimmer shadow or with more intense colors in the crease. You could also trade the red lip for a lighter pink or a more dramatic berry. The options are endless!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please feel free to share it using one of the buttons below. If you recreate this look, or get inspired to create something similar, don’t forget to tag me on social media -- all of my links are at the bottom of the post. I’d love to see what you come up with!

XO ♥ Christina ♥


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