The sultry smokey eye is not one-size-fits-all.
September 21, 2022
When it comes to eye makeup, there are a handful of key looks you probably find yourself going back to over and over again, but the one that reigns supreme has to be the smokey eye. The smokey eye is a classic for good reason — it amps up the drama, it’s day-to-night friendly and its sultry vibe is the ultimate upgrade for your go-to basic makeup.
What separates a good smokey eye from a great smokey eye is technique. Sure, you can replicate a gorgeous look that you come across on social media, but finding someone with a similar eye shape as yours is going to lead to the most flattering end result.
To achieve your best smokey eye, consider this round-up of tutorials for achieving the perfect smoky eye based on your eye shape. From hooded eyes to downturned eyes to monolid eyes, each eye shape is going to have a makeup technique that suits them best. Take notes as we share how to get the perfect smokey eye for each unique eye shape.
Does a Smokey Eye Look Good on Everyone?
A smokey eye can look good on everyone but it’s so important to highlight that a smokey eye is not one-size-fits-all. Dark, heavy eyeliner may work for round eyes but it will make hooded eyes appear heavy and tired.
Ultimately, rocking a gorgeous smokey eye makeup look comes down to making the right adjustments for your eye shape and that can take some practice. Once you learn what’s most flattering for your eye shape, your smokey eye and all your other eye makeup looks will instantly level up.
How to Create the Perfect Smokey Eye Look for Your Eye Shape
Once you start to do your eye makeup for your given eye shape, expect the results to look better, more flattering and customized to your face. It’s really not that much different than caring for your hair according to your hair type — which is a no-brainer.
Overall, it’s one of the best and easiest things you can do to upgrade your makeup routine and the results speak for themselves. So, get ready to amp up your eye makeup with our smokey eye makeup tutorials for each eye shape.
Smokey Eye Tutorial for Hooded Eyes
Hooded eyes lack visible lid space. You’ll know that you have hooded eyes if your eyelids are covered by skin on the brow bone — a key indicator will be if most of your eye makeup is hidden when your eyes are open. The lack of lid space can make it hard to apply eye makeup, but when you know the right way to go about doing your makeup, just a few, subtle tweaks that can make a big difference in the outcome.
To avoid making hooded eyes look heavier, stay away from harsh, dark eyeshadows. Swap out the black eye shadow for a medium brown shade, like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Pain Au Chocolat. Use a fluffy brush to blend it through the crease and extend it to the outer corner blending outwards and upwards. Layer a shimmer shade, like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Quartz Fume, slightly above your natural crease, blending upward for a subtle wash of color.
Continue with a highlighter shade, like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Paris Beach, in the inner corners of your lower lash line and brow bone. This little bit of light shadow can help to create a break between your eyes and eyebrows, which will make your eyes appear wider.
Once you’ve applied all your eyeshadow, use the L’Oréal Paris Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner to create a wing straight across the top lash line. Then, use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner to line the waterline. No smokey eye is complete without long, wispy lashes so top off the look with a coat of the L’Oréal Paris Air Wear Air Volume Mega Mascara Waterproof, Lightweight.
Smokey Eye Tutorial For Round Eyes
If you can see the whites around the top and bottom of your iris, then you likely have round eyes. This doe-eye shape is a gorgeous complement to any eye look, especially a smokey eye because you can use eyeshadow and eyeliner to lift and lengthen the eye.
Your goal for a smokey eye should be to lift the outer corners and elongate the shape of your eye. Using the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eyeshadow in Avenue Des Roses, take the lightest shade and blend it all over the lid with a small fluffy brush. Next, use the palette's brown shade on the middle of your lid and blend outwards in an upwards motion.
Dip an eyeliner brush into the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Matte-Ison Avenue and start lining your eye in the middle, moving outwards to create the shape of a wing. Take a clean eyeshadow brush and blend out the wing to create a softer shape. Opting for This subtle winged eyeliner and focusing the eyeshadow on the outer corners of your eyes will help to elongate the round shape. Top off the look with a coat of the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara.
Editor’s tip: If you have round eyes and like to wear false eyelashes, cut the lash in half and only apply it to the outer corners. This is an easy hack that will lift and elongate the shape of your round eyes, plus, it will speed up the application process.
Smokey Eye Tutorial for Small Eyes
If you think that a smokey eye is too harsh for your small eyes — we’re here to squash that notion. Small eyes can also be hooded eyes or almond eyes, what makes them considered small is their size in comparison to the rest of your features. If your eyes are smaller than your mouth and nose, you likely have small eyes and you can easily exaggerate their shape with your makeup. Your secret weapon is going to be a white or nude eyeliner.
Take a shade of nude eyeshadow like the L’Oréal Paris Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Acro-Matte and lightly sweep it all over the lid. Use a light hand and blend upwards to create a blended effect and a wash of color that coats the entire lid. Take your bronzer, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer, and blend it in the crease with the shadow you just applied all over the lid. This will help to make sure everything is seamless and cohesive with the rest of your makeup.
The most important step is to line the lower lash line with a white or neutral eyeliner to make the eye appear wider and more awake. The L’Oréal Paris Easy-Glide Mechanical Eyeliner, Waterproof in Gold Velvet is a great contender and the metallic, shimmer finish gives a gorgeous pop for nighttime looks.
Take the bronzer you applied to your crease and a fluffy brush to line the lower lash line, under the eyeliner you just applied to bring the look together. Using bronzer instead of a darker eyeshadow shade will continue to help fake the appearance of a wider eye shape. Top off the look with a baby wing using the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner. Curl your lashes and apply a few coats of the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Oversized Eye Washable Mascara Instant Volume to lift and lengthen your eyelashes for a wide-awake look.
Smokey Eye Tutorial for Downturned Eyes
Downturned eyes typically have an almond shape with a slight, downward tilt at the outer corners. This downward tilt can actually make your upper eyelids look much longer than the lower lids. For that reason, winged eyeliner and blending your eyeshadow upward does wonders to help lift the eye.
Start by applying the light highlighting shade in the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Boudoir Charme to your entire lid and the inner corners of your eyes. Then, using a fluffy eyeshadow brush, blend the medium brown shade from the middle of your lid all the way to the outer corner, sweeping it on in an upward motion to lift the eye. Take the dark brown shade and pack it onto the outer corner of your eyelid, continuing to blend upward and creating the shape of a wing.
Once you’ve finished applying your eyeshadow, continue to create the appearance of a lifted eye with eyeliner. Taking the L’Oréal Paris Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner in Brown, create a wing with an upward stroke that follows the shape of your eyeshadow. Lightly define your lower lash line with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner and finish off the look by highlighting your lashes with the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara.
Smokey Eye Tutorial for Almond Eyes
Almond eyes or upturned eyes have the same oval shape that downward eyes have. The key difference is that they have a natural upward lift at the outer corner and the lower lids are more prominent, appearing much longer than the top eyelids. Almond eyes are one of the most flattering eye shapes because they look good with virtually any makeup look, including a smokey eye.
Use the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Petite Perle and a small eyeshadow brush to highlight the brow bone and inner corner of the eyes. Next, take the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Silver Couture and use the matte gray shade to lightly blend color across the lid.
Then, blend the silver eyeshadow shade from the middle of your lid to the inner corner and connect it with the highlight shade you added first. Take one of the darker gray shimmery shades and use it to follow the shape of your eye, blending the shadow outwards and upwards. Take a clean eyeshadow brush and lightly blend the edges to make sure everything is seamless.
Line the upper lash line with the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Charcoal Shimmer. With the same liner, line the lower lash line to balance out the shape of the eye. Take the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara and use it to coat the upper and lower lashes for intense length to finish off the look.
Smokey Eye Tutorial for Monolid Eyes
Monolids don’t have a defined crease but the good thing is, that can easily be faked with makeup. A smokey eye is a great way to enhance monolid eyes because the blended shadows help to fake the appearance of a crease.
The best tip for achieving a smokey eye when you have monolid eyes is to use eyeliner, not eyeshadow. Use a waterproof eyeliner like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Aubergine or Bronze. Starting at the base of your lashes, use the pencil to fill the lid to create a half-moon shape, similar to the shadows of a natural crease. Once you have filled in the half moon shape, quickly take a fluffy eyeshadow brush and use it to blend the curved edges. It’s key to work quickly here because the waterproof eyeliner dries quickly and that can lead to blotchiness.
Once the edges are blended, take a neutral eyeshadow like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Matte It Up and a fluffy eyeshadow brush and use it to blend out the edges of the faux crease you just created with eyeliner. Blend the shadow outwards and in an upwards motion to create the subtle shape of a wing. Then, take the same brush and eyeshadow and use it to smoke out the lower lash line. Finish off the look with a coat of the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara.
Next: 5 Expert Tips for Wearing Eye Makeup When You Have Oily Eyelids
Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Alex, IG @/anywearwithalex, Design credit: Sarah Duvivier