Smokey eyes have been a big style for quite awhile and there’s no sign this particular trend is dying. Here we show you step-by-step instructions on how to get the perfect smokey eye (like Natalie Portman’s).
Time Required: 10 minutes
1. Prep the lid. The key to keeping eyeshadow from melting into your eyelid crease as the day goes on is to kept eyelids oil-free. To do this start with an eyeshadow base (also called “primer”). Simply swipe the primer across the eye and let it dry before you continue to the next step.
— Some great primers for a smokey eye include MAC’s ‘paint’ and Urban Decay’s ‘Primer Potion’.
2. Apply eyeliner. If you’re going for a typical black, brown or gray smoky eye, apply liner in one of those colors above the upper lash line, drawing line thicker in the middle of eye. If you’re opting for a jewel-toned eye (violet makes a gorgeous smokey eye), line eyes with a purple, blue or deep green liner.
3. Blend in color on bottom lashes. For color on the bottom (a key smokey eye look) you’ll want to use a eyeliner pencil because they’re easiest to smudge. Once the line is drawn, run your finger over it to smudge the line. You can also apply a bit of shadow to get full smudge effect.
4. Apply light base color. Again, the key to a smokey eye is pairing a lighter base with the darker hue. I prefer a nice cream shade for my base. Sweep a light, shimmery shadow over the lids to your browbone. I love Stila‘s whipped eye shadows. The moist “mousse” consistency seems to stay on forever. My favorite colors are taupe and pearl.
5. Blend in darker color, but keep dark color below the crease. Now that you have the base and eyeliner on, it’s time to get the smokey effect. You need a darker eyeshadow shade. Using an eyeshadow brush blend in color starting at your lash line, blending up. Make sure to blend color into the lash line so the eye liner disappears. Stop deep color at crease. The key here is to blend, blend, blend.
6. Double check your work to make sure eyes match and blend color with a Q-tip if need be.
7. Finish with several coats of mascara. You’ll want to apply a few coats of mascara so lashes are thick and dark. If you don’t have naturally long, curled lashes, curl them with a lash curler first. See my list of best mascaras if you don’t have one you love.