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 always stays on top has to be the smoky eye. The smoky 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 makeup look.
What separates a good smoky eye from a great smoky 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 result.
To achieve your best smoky 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 smoky eye for each unique eye shape.
Does a Smoky Eye Look Good on Everyone?
A smoky eye can look good on everyone but it’s so important to note that smoky eye application is not one-size-fits-all. Dark, heavy eyeliner may work for round eyes but it will make hooded eyes appear heavy and tired-looking.
Ultimately, rocking a gorgeous smoky 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 smoky eye and all your other eye makeup looks will instantly level up.
How to Create the Perfect Smoky 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 smoky eye makeup tutorials for each eye shape.
Smoky 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 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 shimmery 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 Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner to line the waterline. No smoky eye is complete without long, wispy lashes so top off the look with a coat of the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara.
Smoky 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 smoky eye because you can use eyeshadow and eyeliner to lift and lengthen the eye.
Your goal for a smoky 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.
Smoky Eye Tutorial for Small Eyes
If you think that a smoky 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.
Take a shade of brown 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 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.
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.
Smoky 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 do wonders to help lift the look of 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.
Smoky Eye Tutorial for Almond Eyes
Almond 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 smoky 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.
Smoky 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 smoky 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 smoky 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 blending it once it has dried 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, 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 Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara.
Smoky Eye Tutorial for Upturned Eyes
Upturned eyes have a similar shape to almond eyes with a noticeable upward pull at the outer corners. Because of this, upturned eyes create a gorgeous canvas for many different makeup looks, including the smoky eye. Use a gel pencil eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in a deep shade, like brown, gray or black. Drag it across your upper lashes, starting at the inner corner and going outwards, making a slight wing in the outer corner that follows the shape of your upturned eyes. Turn the pencil over and use the built-in smudger to smoke out the line and the wing.
Next, take the pencil and line your lower lash line from the inner corner to the outer corner. Turn the pencil over and use the built-in smudger to smoke out the line. Grab an eyeshadow palette with a mix of dark tones, like the aforementioned Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Boudoir Charme and use the darker shades and a blending brush to emphasize the lines you just drew. With a clean eyeshadow brush, use the lighter shade in the palette to highlight the inner corner of your lid. Finish everything off with a few coats of the Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara.
Smoky Eye Tutorial for Close Set Eyes
Close set eyes are close together, which means you can use your smoky eye makeup to create the illusion that your eyes are further apart. To achieve this, a gradient blending of light to dark shadows is a must and the dark shadows need to begin at the outer corner, moving outwards and the lighter shades need to be kept in the inner corners.
Use an eyeshadow palette, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude because it has a mix of light and dark shades. With a clean eyeshadow brush, blend the light shades across your lid, focusing on the inner corner. With a new clean brush, dip into one of the darker matte shades and focus the eyeshadow in the outer corner, blending it outwards and upwards to create a subtle lift. Finish with pencil eyeliner in the lash line and waterline and apply a few coats of Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara to define your lashes.
Smoky Eye Tutorial for Wide Set Eyes
Following the opposite of the advice we gave for close set eyes, when you have wide set eyes, take the dark shadows across your entire lid to make your eyes appear closer together. Take an eyeshadow palette, like the aforementioned Colour Riche La Palette Nude and dust one of the dark matte shades all over your lid and onto the lower lash line.
The next step is optional but it will help to add some dimension to your dark eyeshadow — take the L’Oréal Paris Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup in Royal Onyx and apply it to your lids. For a light coat, use your finger to lightly dab it onto the lid and for a heavy layer of shimmer, use the doe foot applicator to apply it directly to your lid. Finish the look with a few coats of the L’Oréal Paris Air Wear Air Volume Mega Mascara, Lightweight Mega Volume Washable.
Smoky Eye Tutorial for Deep Set Eyes
As the name suggests, deep set eyes are set deeper in the eye sockets, creating the illusion of a more prominent brow bone. When you have deep set eyes, stick to matte eyeshadows as they draw less attention to your eye placement.
Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Matte-Ison Avenue and apply it only to the lid, then, use your bronzer to blend the edges of the shadow, taking it outwards. Next, use the Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner and draw a wing in the outer corner. Start at your brow bone and drag the liner inwards — this will help to create the right shape for your deep set eyes.
If you have hooded, deep set eyes, draw a batwing shape to create the illusion of a perfect wing when your eyes are open. Finish the makeup look with a few coats of the Telescopic Original Mascara.
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