There are many variations of the popular “smokey eye,” but the basic theory is to cover the lower eyelid with a dark shadow and have it fade as it moves up toward the eyebrow—like smoke rising into the sky—to create a smoldering finished look.

For most, applying a smokey eye is difficult at best, but when you use the same technique with softer shades the result is a versatile daytime look that is quick and easy to apply.

We love the smokey technique for every day because it requires minimal products, time and skill level. And all you need to do is blend.

P.S. To further simplify, we recommend choosing a cream or stick formula for the daytime smokey or “dusky” eye because the formula blends easily over the eyelid without any shadow fallout.


The Right Shade

+Light skin tones: taupe, heathermuted graystone

+Medium skin tones: chocolateslate gray, mauve, olive green

+Dark skin tones: cocoa, purple gray, steelwalnut brown


The Technique

The simplest application is to use one eye shadow with two eye shadow brushes—one brush to apply and blend into lower lid and one brush to blend out the edges.

  1. Dip the tips of your base shadow brush into a cream shadow (or run a stick shadow along the lash line), then use back and forth strokes to blend up into crease. Buff out the edges with your pointed crease brush.
  2. Apply to lower lash line with your accent brush and blend out with your pointed crease brush.
  3. Add 2-3 layers of mascara.


The Add-Ons

  1. For a more defined look, select a powder eye shadow one shade deeper than the base shade and sweep along the lash line with your 203 tapered shadow brush and blend over the lower lid. Then, take a clean 203 tapered shadow brush to soften shadow up to the crease.
  2. For a long-lasting look, prime the eyelid with a shadow base or primer and continue with The Technique (above) steps 1-2. Take a matte or subtle sheen powder shadow (in the same hue) and press over the cream shadow with your base shadow brush to keep pigments in place all day.