5 Smoky Eye Looks We Love and the Products You Need to Achieve Them

February 17, 2023
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Picture of a blonde model with a smoky eye look

Many of us have a go-to makeup look that makes us feel like our most confident and beautiful selves, whether that be a signature lipstick shade, fluttery false eyelashes or immaculately groomed brows. For me, it’s a smoky eye. Whether I’m getting ready for a party or a night out with friends, I know a smoky eye is a reliable way to power up my self-esteem and make me feel ready to take on whatever the night has in store for me. Plus, with the revival of indie sleaze and grunge beauty looks, the smoky eye is becoming increasingly on-trend. Below, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite takes on the smoky eye, from the dark and hazy to the colorful and dramatic. 

Simple Smoky Eye

A smoky eye like this is perfect for beginners — it requires no more than two shades of eyeshadow, and the messier it is, the cooler it looks. To start, prime your lids and set them with powder. Next, pick up a matte gray or black eyeshadow and pack it on to your lid using a flat eyeshadow brush. Blend the eyeshadow into your crease using a clean blending brush, or a small amount of the lid shade mixed with a light, neutral brown. Keep blending until the color is sufficiently smoky. Don't be afraid of eyeshadow fallout — you can clean it up with a fluffy brush and translucent powder. For even more drama, try tightlining your eyes with a waterproof eyeliner, like the Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil

Glittery Smoky Eye

Once you’ve mastered the simple smoky eye, you can start adding fun touches like pops of glitter to the center of your lid. The Valentino Beauty Dreamdust Glitter Eyeshadow in Silver Spark catches the light in the most mesmerizing way and is easy to pack onto your lid using your finger or a flat eyeshadow brush.

Winged Smoky Eye

Use a thin angled brush to wing your black eyeshadow at the outer corners of your eyes for a sultry, smoldering take on a cat-eye. A cream or liquid eyeshadow, like the Giorgio Armani Beauty Eye Tint Long-Lasting Liquid Eyeshadow in Ebony, will give you maximum pigment and blendability.

Colorful Smoky Eye

Stray from classic gray and black with a colorful smoky eye. Go for shades of purple and burgundy, as creator Frankie Darling does here, or switch up the color palette to match your mood. The Maybelline New York Shadow Block in West 4th & Perry Street is full of deep, rusty hues, while 26th & Madison Ave contains a striking emerald green that would look gorgeous blended all over the lid.

Warm Smoky Eye

Warm-toned shadows can be just as grunge-y as a cool-toned smoky eye. For a similar look to the one makeup artist David Razzano created below, try using shadows from the NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Color Palette in Ultimate Queen.
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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