Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Makeup Tutorial: Cheap and Easy Smoky Eye

This easy version of the smoky eye is subtle enough to be worn everyday. With a little extra liner and shadow, it can be amped up for a dramatic special-occasion-only look. Click any of the photos to enlarge for more detail.

For this look you will need:

  • Concealer
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black eyeshadow
  • Silver/grey eyeshadow
  • Lighter colored eyeshadow
  • Black mascara
  • Black eye pencil
  • Lash curler
  • Sponge (optional)

1. Start by dabbing a bit of concealer onto clean eyelids. I like to use a sponge, but a brush or your fingertip will do. You want to create a smooth base. Let this dry for a few seconds before proceeding to the next step.

2. Apply a line of black liquid eyeliner to your upper lash line. Again, let this dry for a few seconds before continuing. Liquid eyeliner is very messy and will smudge easily. (As seen in my picture...) If it does smudge a little, don't worry. We'll fix it in step four. The picture below shows again where to apply the upper lid liner.

3. Apply a thin line of black liquid eyeliner to the lash line of the lower eyelid, stopping in line with the center of the pupil. (For a more dramatic look, draw the liner all the way to the inner corner of the eye)

4. Once the liner has had a few seconds to dry, apply black eyeshadow across the lower part of the lid next to the liner. (Click photo to enlarge) As you can see, the black eyeshadow is dark enough to cover most mistakes made with the liner.

5. Apply the silver or grey eyeshadow above the black eyeshadow.

6. Apply a lighter-colored eyeshadow across the very top of the lid, brushing just beneath the brow. I used a pale dusty rose color, but most light neutrals or pastels should work.

7. Carefully curl your eyelashes with the lash curler.

8. Apply 1-2 coats of black mascara to upper and lower lashes.

9. Gently line the water line with the black eye pencil. Now your look is complete!

Here's a side by side comparison- the naked eye and the smoky eye.

For everyday wear of the smoky eye, it's best to go with more subdued tones for your cheeks and lips. A pale pink blush and a clear lip gloss looks gorgeous. But if you're feeling a little wild, go ahead and paint on some cherry red lips!

The (cheap) products I used:

CoverGirl Smoothers Concealer, Fair. $6 (Walmart, Target, drugstores)

Elizabeth Arden Eye Pencil, Smoky Black. $11 (department stores)

Rimmel London The Max Volume Flash Mascara, 001 Black. $6-7 (Walmart, Target, drugstores)

Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eyeshadow, 09 Sterling Rose. $5 (Walmart, Target, drugstores) Sterling Rose is actually a pack of 4 colors, as pictured above. GREAT product!

Mary Kay MK Signature Liquid Eyeliner, Black. $7 (www.mary kay.com)


  1. This looks great! I love smokey eyes. But I like that yours isn't over the top. I'm totally going to share this on my blog later.


  2. Jenny,
    I featured this post and another Wink article in my Must-Read Monday blog haul. Hopefully some of my readers will click their way to this blog and read it. (: