The smoky eye look has been on the rise for some time now, and there is no other form of eye makeup that produces such a sexy, compelling look, yet while at the same time, looking sophisticated. Is sophistisexy a word? It ought to be, with all the cool techniques that makeup artists have perfected for women everywhere. While at first glance (or without a lot of study,) the smokey eye look may appear to be a bit randomly applied, and without a whole lot of forethought and planning, when actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that there’s a right way to create those luscious smoky eyes you see on models and celebrities these days, and there’s a wrong way. The good news is that, with a little instruction, a little patience and the right technique, you can create your own smoky eye allure yourself, without hiring your own private cosmetologist or makeup artist.

Start With a “Clean Canvas”
The way any makeup ultimately looks and performs depends greatly on the state of the surface to which it is applied. If your eyes are oily or even have moisturizer on them, any shadow you apply will end up looking splotchy, and in time, will be more prone to smudging and fading. It’s not as important to even apply very much eye wrinkle cream right at the lash line, as it will create an impossible situation for your eye shadow. If you find, for whatever reason, that your eyes (from cream or makeup) are still at all oily or greasy, start with your concealer, then next brush some translucent powder over your lids and directly under your eyes. Next, you are ready for color.

Where to Stop and Start
The former technique of concentrating the darkest color where the eye’s crease is located is passe. Now, the color is applied heaviest at the lash line, and then blended up and out from there. Make sure you apply a waterproof, dark black pencil eyeliner to the upper and lower inner rims of your eye. You will want to use a thicker black liquid eyeliner for lining the root area of the upper lashes.

Next, Add the Shadow
Mattes and some metallics are the way to go. Unlike the effect that shadows with shimmery effects produces, what you see is the color, not the shine, and that’s the impact you want. Look for shadows that are heavily pigmented. Soft grays are good, too. Wrap the color all the way around your eye, even on the inner and outer corners, although a bit narrower there. Using a good, small, rounded brush of natural hair, keep applying the color in the same pattern, over and over, until you begin to see the color appear intense. Next, blend the color upward on your upper lid. You might extend the effect by using a sheer grey shadow in powder form to begin at the crease and blending it up to the brow.