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Easy and Simple Smoky Eye Make-Up

Updated on May 30, 2018
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Tina, known as "the singer nurse," is a law student and rule of law advocate hailing from the Philippines.

Before proceeding, please be guided with the following:

I am not a fashion or make-up expert. I don’t even have the fundamental training in make-up application or artistry. All pieces of information, which will be provided in the succeeding article were all just a product of imagination and repeated trials. My goal is to share my acquired knowledge on how to do smoky eye and eyebrow make-up, which I want to share with all, especially to all neophytes of make-up application. I can only hope that my insights here will be of help to those who may need this tutorial.

The Author Just Wants to Know...

For females: How Often Do You Wear Make-Up?

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Tina Siuagan. Grand Winner of the 2011 Rachell Allen Image Model Search
Tina Siuagan. Grand Winner of the 2011 Rachell Allen Image Model Search | Source

The Humble Beginning...

A couple of months ago, there has been a sudden twist in my career path. From being a nurse, whose life centered on patient care and clinical practice, I suddenly found myself becoming an image model for a certain nursing review center company.

Thriving in the fashion industry without knowledge of any beauty and make-up essentials made me struggle at the beginning and left me clueless most of the time. As compared to comfortable nursing uniforms I wear at work, there were times when I had to leave them hanging in my closet to fit in to designer clothes and apparels. The outfit changes were quite fun and exciting. However, the real challenge came in when I had to do my make-up as make up artists were not always around to do my make up for me.

During the image model competition, I had to undergo preparations and training such as walking the ramp in high heels, practicing leg and hip exercises, and mastering several catwalk routines. We were also given basic make-up sessions to be used in our own advantage though I wouldn’t say such short classes were enough to make me a pro. And I was equally terrible even thereafter. So can you imagine now how dreadful it was to stand out during the search?

Having experienced it the hard way, I learned that putting on make-up is something every young and grown-up woman ought to know. And when I say ‘know’, they should definitely have the basic knowledge on the proper techniques of make up product application. It must be noted that make up does not just involve the use of cosmetic products. It is something that should be done keenly and with utmost consideration.

A properly done make-up should complement your look, and highlight your façade and features. One of the important things a lady should consider is dealing with colors which properly and compatibly match her skin tone. In my personal opinion, applying make-up in the eye area is one of the most challenging tasks to do. It might just be the most difficult thing to learn for starters.

"The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.”

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Even with the absence of speech, a person’s eyes could do the talking. It has the capability to convey even the subtle of all messages, which are sometimes best left unspoken. To take advantage of such captivating power, people create different eye make up variations to provoke a desired look. Also, one of its goals is to accentuate beautiful eye features and hide undesirable ones. Doing your smoky eye make-up is indeed not a petty task to accomplish. But with careful and patient techniques of application, coupled with great eagerness to look stunning, it won’t be painstaking at all.

There are various ways in dealing with this, though it is important to develop a system of methods that work best for you. You will be able to fortify and incorporate more on those "methods" as you practice further.

Before beginning your creative endeavour, you have to be well prepared. First, it is advisable to wash your face first with cool water and mild soap in order to leave it oil-free and make up-ready. Some beauty experts say that taking a small block of ice and applying it to your face prior to doing your make-up would minimize the chances of having clogged skin pores since the cold ice would constrict them.

You should also prepare everything you need before you start doing your make up. Basically, you should have your brushes, foundation or base, eyeliner, and eye shadow make up products close at hand.

Make up brushes - what to use?

Just like painters, make up artists also have their own set of brushes, which aid them in blending colors and complete their "works of art". But unlike our usual painters, our canvas would be our face while our art media come straight from our make up palettes. Ideally, one should own a set of brushes of different types that may be used for various applications and purposes. For example, there are brushes used to apply concealer and foundation (or base) in place of traditional make up sponges that women commonly used in the past. Also, there are brushes, which are used mainly for applying eye shadows. Since eye make up is our focus here, we should familiarize ourselves with various kinds of eye make up brushes.

As previously mentioned, these brushes are vital in doing your smoky eye make-up. A dazzling eye make up is highly dependent on how well colors are applied and blended. The job of these brushes is supposedly to do just that. Properly blended colors would assure achievement of desired outcomes. Since each eye make up brush is used for a single and unique purpose, it would be very wise and practical to invest on them.

These are the brushes I use for my smoky eye look. (From left-right:) The first two brushes are the ones I use to blend colors and shades; next, the applicator brush; the fourth, smudge brush; and lastly, the eyeliner brush.
These are the brushes I use for my smoky eye look. (From left-right:) The first two brushes are the ones I use to blend colors and shades; next, the applicator brush; the fourth, smudge brush; and lastly, the eyeliner brush. | Source

The brushes I opt to use every time I create my smoky eye look are the following:

  • Smudge brush
  • Blending brush
  • Applicator brush
  • Eye liner brush

If you get the chance, it would be great to invest on a set of brushes to  do your over-all make-up!
If you get the chance, it would be great to invest on a set of brushes to do your over-all make-up! | Source

If you have enough financial resources, it would be better to invest on a brush set or kit. However, you could always take your time purchasing different kinds of brushes as you go. If you are a newbie, you may begin with those brushes mentioned above.

Pencil eyeliner vs. Liquid eyeliner

In eye make up application, you may use either pencil or liquid eyeliner to shape up and trace the contours of your eyelids. However, it is more advisable to utilize pencil eyeliner in doing a smoky eye make up for starters. This is because pencil eyeliners are easy to smudge and blend unlike liquid eyeliners. Also, pencil eyeliners are much easier to manipulate and work with.

Pencil eyeliners come in various colors and shades. However, black is much preferrable among the rest. Brown shades would do as long as they come in darker tones.

Basically, black is the ideal color to use because the principle behind smoky eye make-up lies with the interplay of various neutral shades. And black is proven best to blend with browns, greys, and other neutral hues.

Applying your eye make up base

Eye make-up bases is gaining popularity these days. Even make up experts advise consumers to invest on one. They come in cream or powder forms, which are primarily used to hold the eye shadow longer. Also, they prevent your eye make-up from getting smudged elsewhere or being scattered beneath your eyelids.

If you don't have this yet in your make up stash, don't fret! You could still proceed to doing your smoky eye make up even if you still haven’t got one. However, it would be ideal to to purchase your own from local cosmetic shops in your area. And oh, don’t forget to apply it after you’re done doing your eyebrow fixes and make up. Such measure would ensure that you won’t mess up the area with the eye make up base.

When choosing the eye make-up base for you, always consider your options carefully. The perfect base for you is something which goes well and matches your skin tone. Upon application, it should brighten your eye area instead of discoloring it.

Also, be cautious in choosing a product for you. If you have allergies to cosmetic articles such as this, it would be nice to consult a sales person first for cosmetic products that have been proven mild or hypoallergenic. Most shops provide free trials, which aide the consumers to make right choices.


In smoky eye make-up, using neutral colors and shades is the rule of thumb, the principle, and the universal standard. It is one of the basic techniques which had been used for years, even until now. However, some go for bright colors or other eccentric shades that suit their preferences. Usually, those who do are professional make-up artists. For starters, you may initially stick to your greys, browns, and blacks while you practice how to blend them altogether, before you move on trying out different colors. You could also use whites or silvers for accentuation and better mixes.

Stick to your neutrals.
Stick to your neutrals. | Source


Don’t proceed to doing your smoky eye make-up just yet. It is important to groom and fix your eyebrows first. Doing such would give it a sleek and sexy look. The eyebrows are one of the most important features in your face which are often taken for granted. Make sure you had plucked or waxed them before moving on. In case you are kind of scared to do this yourself, you could always go to the salon to have them done by artists. Try to observe carefully while they do it so you would eventually know how to groom your eyebrows, on your own, the next time you might need to. Just so you know, properly done eyebrows would help emphasize the smoky eyes a little bit more.

There are so many shades to choose from. Pretty sure, you've been wondering where to start.
There are so many shades to choose from. Pretty sure, you've been wondering where to start. | Source

Apply make-up to your eyebrows before anything else. You wouldn’t want to look like someone who has small bushes on his brows, so you have to make sure that you don’t overdo it. In order to accomplish your eyebrow make-up neatly, you will need your eyebrow brush tools, black or dark brown pencil eyeliner, and a dark brown eye shadow. First, brush your eyebrows towards the direction of hair growth. Brushing it in an opposite direction would scatter the hair shafts which would make it look grungy. You could use an eyebrow brush (those which look a lot like miniature combs and brushes built in one small head piece) or a clean and dry mascara brush in doing such. Then for applying the actual eyebrow make-up, you should use your angled brush. This brush is specially designed to do the job. When it comes to picking colors, pick the one which matches the darkest shade in your hair though sometimes, it really depends on what looks good for your brows. Most often, women choose and use black or darkest shades of brown. Dab the angled brush on the chosen color then tap it off a bit before coloring your eyebrows. The angled brush should be directed upward while following the natural contour of your eyebrows. Then after doing so, grab your pencil liner to trace your brows lightly and neatly so as to define their contours more. A properly done eyebrow make-up should start from the inner corner of the eye and end at the outer corner of the eye.

Here's an angled brush for your eyebrows.
Here's an angled brush for your eyebrows. | Source


Smoky eye make-up aims to emphasize your eyes. Therefore, let it be the sole focus of people’s attention. Make sure to apply just the adequate amount of light lipstick (baby or rosy pink) and always avoid reds or other hot colors. As for the cheeks, apply just enough amount of blush-on which corresponds to your skin tone to achieve pleasant facial contouring. Getting wrong with your lips and cheeks would spoil the entire look. For sure, you wouldn’t want to look like a clown.

Don't fret. There's always an easy way to do smoky eyes. Watch and learn!

Remember that true beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Stay beautiful!


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