I’ve seen them a million times before—mostly on red carpets or on people whose lifestyles are nothing like mine. They’ve all got the best pro makeup artists, and since I’m so far away from that life, I avoided attempts at applying a smokey eye to myself. It always felt like using such dark shadow left little room for error, and I usually don’t have time to start over when I’m doing my date night makeup.
I’ve always loved that come-hither look, that dramatic interpretation of makeup, and the way it instantly transforms anyone into a sexy siren, though and I thought it was about time that I seriously tried to apply a smokey eye to myself. Surprisingly, with the right video tutorials (thanks, YouTube!), it wasn’t that hard to master the look.
You don’t have to be a makeup pro to rock this look, thanks to my favorite smokey eye tutorials that take you through the process, step by step, in surprisingly easy fashion.
1. The Everyday Smokey Eye
The traditional smokey eye—one that’s quite dark and dramatic—can be tough to pull off if it’s your first time. Keep it simple with this look that uses some surprisingly light hues to pull off a dark, yet completely everyday-appropriate, look.
2. The Brown Smokey Eye
If you’ve mastered the natural smokey eye, you’re definitely ready for the next step—one that is dominated by brown. This look is relatively quick and easy to achieve, and it gives your eyes a smoldering look that’s not too overwhelming for a casual night out.
3. The Single-Brush Smokey Eye
Starting with the lightest shade and moving up to the darkest, this tutorial shows that it’s entirely possible to achieve a killer smokey eye using just one brush. Yes, it’s possible—and it looks fabulous.
4. The Rose Gold Smokey Eye
Smokey eyes are inherently sultry, but using a color in lieu of black takes the look in an entirely different direction. Rose gold, a shade that’s somehow crossed over from trendy to traditional, is a soft pink with dazzling metallic undertones. It also serves as a sparkling superstar for a smokey eye.
5. The Classic Smokey Eye
Of course, we’re all about dark, dramatic eyes, too—and this look delivers a classic smokey eye fairly easily. With a base, eyeliner, and shadows, you can achieve this high-impact look, too.
6. The Blue Smokey Eye
If you’re stuck in a smokey eye rut after spending years committed to the same ol’, same ol’, it’s time to shake things up with this fabulous blue variation. The star of this show is a vibrant oceanic hue that will instantly play up your peepers.
7. The One-Minute Smokey Eye
There’s no dearth of complex smokey eye looks out there, but busy moms know the last thing they want to do is plant themselves in front of the mirror and spend twenty minutes on each eye to look hot. Nope—what we want is this amazing look that’s created in just one minute. Easy peasy.
8. The Subtle Smokey Eye
Who knew a smokey eye could be daytime appropriate? This look is not only suitable for happy hour after work but also for actual work. Yep—you can rock this at the office, because it utilizes softer shades that play up your eyes without dramatizing your entire face.
9. The Intense Smokey Eye
Amazing what a little masking tape can do to help you achieve a crazy-intense smokey eye. This look has it all: thick black liner, winged sides, and plenty of mascara. It’s the natural next step after you’ve mastered the easier styles—and you’ll find it comes a lot simpler than you originally thought.
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