How to Do a Smoky Eye for Your Eye Shape

September 19, 2022
Jazmine A. Ortiz
By: Jazmine A. Ortiz | by L'Oréal
person applying makeup to eyelid

If you have yet to master the smoky eye look or just want to up your game, we suggest looking to your eye shape as a guide. Doing so can help inform where to apply light and dark eyeshadow shades and achieve a flattering, smoldering effect that makes your eyes pop. Read on to find our smoky eye tips for hooded eyes, monolids and other common eye shapes. 

A Smoky Eye Tutorial for Close-Set Eyes

If your eyes are close together, makeup is a great way to create the illusion of them being farther apart. The trick is to use light colors on the inside part of your eye and concentrate dark shades on the outside for maximum smoke effect.

Divide your eye into thirds and apply a base shade (the lightest) to your lid, concentrating on the inner corner. Then, blend your medium shade from the middle of your lid outward, and use the darkest color on the very outer corner of your eye, extending it outward. The Urban Decay Naked Half-Baked Mini Eyeshadow Palette contains plenty of options to create a bold or natural-looking smoky eye, depending on your mood.

Urban Decay Naked Half-Baked Mini Eyeshadow Palette

A Smoky Eye Tutorial for Deep-Set Eyes

Your eyes can give off the appearance of a prominent brow bone. The best way to balance your features is to pull your eyes forward. Avoid applying dark shadow over your entire lid. Instead, start with a warm beige or metallic peach shade just above your crease and up to your brow bone. Use a darker shade to contour your lid, working from the outer corner and up towards your brow bone. Finish by lining your lower lash line with a brown shade like the NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eye Pencil in French Fries.

A Smoky Eye Tutorial for Almond Eyes

Almond eyes have a natural lift at the outer corners, which is the ideal shape for a smoky eye (don’t tell anyone else!). You just need to emphasize that lift.

Apply a light shade to the inner half of the eye and a medium shade to the outer half, making sure to blend the colors in the center. Use a dark shade to line the outer corner of your upper and lower lash lines to enhance your eye shape.

A Smoky Eye Tutorial for Downturned Eyes

Because the outer corners of your eyes droop slightly, create an upturned appearance with a cat-eye. We recommend using an easy-to-apply liner like the IT Cosmetics Superhero No-Tug Gel Eyeliner. For your smoky eye, apply a light-colored highlight shade over the entire lid, inner corners and brow bone. Then brush a medium shade from the middle of your lid to the outer corner. Blend a deeper color at the outermost corner of your eye. Remember to always blend out and up.

IT Cosmetics Superhero No-Tug Gel Eyeliner

A Smoky Eye Tutorial for Hooded Eyes

Hooded eyes have an extra layer of skin that droops down over the natural crease. You want to avoid applying a dark shadow all over the lid as this could make it appear heavier. Instead, use a medium shade like the Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow in Ember (a cool-toned brown) and brush it on from the outer corner of the eye up over the hooded area. Brush the same shade over your lash line as well. Take a contour shade and layer it on top to accentuate the depth. Finish by highlighting the inner corner of the lower lash line and your brow bone to make your eyes appear wide open.

A Smoky Eye Tutorial for Monolid Eyes

Your lids tend to have more of a flat surface with little to no crease, but don’t let that stop you from creating a smoky eye! Because your brow bone is also less defined, the trick is to create dimension.

Choose a dark shadow (black or deep brown) and apply it close to your lash line. Using a medium tone, go over your eyelid and blend upwards. Follow with a light color at the top of the eyelid for a gradient effect.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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