Neutral smokey eye tutorial

I think my favorite eye makeup is a smokey eye. It compliments all eye shapes and it can be both dressy or casual. In this photo tutorial, I am going to show you how to get a natural smokey eye using browns and tans and cream colors that you can either dress up or dress down.

Step 1:

I would start off with a clean face (no foundation, concealer, etc.) because you might make mistakes or have shadow fallout. You need to prime your eyelids so that the colors will appear more pigmented and will last longer. I use the e.l.f eyelid primer (only $1 at Target), but there are TONS of alternatives (urban decay primer potion, too faced shadow insurance, mac prep & prime, etc.). If you don’t have a primer, you can use a little bit of concealer instead. This gives the eyeshadow something to grab onto.

Step 2:

Wash your entire eyelid with a light, shimmery brown color. This color should go from your lid all the way to the crease and avoid the area near your tear duct (we are going to put a different color here). Depending on the occasion, you can make this a darker and more dramatic brown or a lighter, more tan brown. Don’t make it too dark, because this is going to be the lightest shade we use for the entire look.

Step 3:

Now you are going to take a slightly darker matte brown shade (I am using a tan/beige) and place that color in the crease. Wipe this color back and forth in a windshield wiper motion through your crease and blend outwards towards your eyebrow bone so there aren’t any harsh lines.I am using a MAC 37 brush, which has a tapered tip so it can get into my crease more easily.

Step 4:

This is where you are going to need your darkest brown color.  You are then going to use a smaller contour brush (a short, more pointed brush) and tap this shadow into the outer corners of your eyes, lightly pressing it on top of your other shadows. After you have pressed it onto the outer corners of your eyes, you can take the same brush or a slightly fluffier brush and blend this in to your crease (don’t go all the way across) and your lid. This color should remain just on the outer part of your eye.This is what creates that deep smokey effect.

You are then going to drag this color down to your lower lash line, right under your water line. There should be a smooth “path” of shadow going from your outer corner to the bottom of your lashes. Bring this to about half way across your bottom lash line.

Step 5:

Next you are going to take a light cream color with a different brush (any kind) and place this right underneath your brow bone and on the inner corners of your eyes around your tear duct. This is going to highlight your eyes by forcing your brow bone to appear more outward as it naturally would (if that makes sense). The lighter shade under your eyebrows is going to accentuate your eyebrows. The shade on the inner corners of your eyes is going to brighten your eyes and make them look more open.

Step 6:

Now you want to take an eyeliner, any kind will work (pencil, liquid liner, felt tip liner) and line your upper and lower lash lines (I am using Milani Liquif”Eye metallic eyeliner pencil in ‘black’). You can make this as dramatic as you want. The main purpose of this is to make your lashes look more full and add to the deep smoke that we have already created. Afterwards, curl your lashes and then apply mascara to both your upper and lower lashes (I am using Maybelline falsies volume express waterproof in ‘very black’).

Step 7:

Eyebrows aren’t a necessity so if you have really good strong eyebrows already, you can skip this step. Otherwise, fill in any sparse areas of your eyebrows and add more shape if you need to. You can use a pencil, gel, or powder. Just make sure you use light feathery strokes upwards to simulate tiny hairs for the most natural look.

Step 8:

Apply a thin layer of concealer underneath your eyes to cover up any imperfections you have created (fallout, mess-ups, etc.) for a more flawless finish. You can do this either before or after you do your foundation.

Step 9:

You have now completed your natural smokey eye look! All you need to do is apply your foundation, blush, bronzer, etc. to complete your makeup.

I hope you like this tutorial and comment below if you would like to see any other looks!


Featured products:

  • e.l.f eyelid primer
  • e.l.f. beauty book: neutral eye set
  • e.l.f. eyebrow kit: medium
  • jemma kidd smokey eye palette (Kate Moss version)- I don’t think they sell this anymore 😦
  • MAC 37 brush (discontinued, but MAC 224 is comparable)
  • Maybelline waterproof Falsies mascara (purple and silver container): Very black
  • Milani Liquif’Eye metallic eyeliner pencil: 01 Black

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