The ‘smoky eye’ is a modern beauty classic – and with good reason.
The perfect shade of eyeshadow, expertly applied and blended can transform your look, giving the illusion of bigger eyes and really making your peepers pop.
But with ‘how to apply eyeshadow’ in the top ten most googled questions last year, it’s clear a lot of us still need some guidance when it comes to adorning our eyelids.
Help is at hand, however, and it’s all thanks to the autumn/winter catwalks, where make-up artists deployed a host of beautiful smoky eye looks in natural brown tones, from soft fawn to bold chocolate.
So, whether you want a subtle daytime look or statement eye for party season, we’ve got the inside scoop on how to create four easy but effective smoky eye looks…
1. Super soft
At Max Mara, the MAC Pro Team created a monochrome make-up look, choosing a single tone of soft brown to accentuate the shape of each model’s eye, and matching it with powder contour under the cheekbones and brown matte lipstick.
Eyeshadow primer is key to create a smooth base for any smoky eye look and to even out skin tone. Smooth it across the lids and up to the brows.
For this simple smoky look, use a short eyeshadow brush to apply the shadow across the lid and underneath your bottom lashes, extending the colour slightly at the corner.
Then use a soft brush to blend into your eye crease and soften the edges. Finish with brown or black mascara.
Zoeva Eyeshadow Fix in Pearl, £9, Cult Beauty
MAC Eyeshadow X 9 Semi Sweet Times Nine, €33.50 in Brown Thomas
2. Shimmer shadow
At Elie Saab AW19, make-up legend Val Garland created a slightly shimmery smoky eye, using the L’Oreal Paris Maximalist palette which she paired with a soft pink lip.
Start with a wash of the lightest shade across your lids, then use the copper shade to define your crease and create a warm base.
Next, apply the chocolate brown shade across your lids and under your lower lashes, then blend upwards into the crease.
Finally, use your fingertip to apply a small dab of pearlescent highlighter at the inner eye corner and blend towards the middle of the eyelid to give a shimmery finish.
L’Oreal Paris Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Maximalist, €11.05 on ASOS
L’Oreal Paris Glow Mon Amour Highlighting Drops, €13.99, Boots
3. The big smoke
Tom Ford AW19 delivered major glamour (as you would expect from the king of the catwalk) by way of a bold matte brown smoky eye and a nude lip.
Using the Tom Ford Eye Quad in Nude Dip, rather than starting at the crease, the look was created by outlining an almond shape around the eye with the dark brown shade.
Next, a soft brush and the paler shades were used to blend upwards, stopping just below the brow.
To intensify the look, add black eyeliner close to the lashline and smudge it in slightly, then finish with black mascara.
Tom Ford Eye Quad in 03 Nude Dip, £68
4. Subtle sparkle
While this look hasn’t been seen on the catwalk yet, Victoria Beckham’s long-awaited beauty brand arrived just in time for autumn, and the first collection is all about eyes.
The pop star-turned-fashion and beauty mogul has come up with a foolproof way to create a gorgeous sparkly smoky eye, by combining her matte eyeshadow palette with a touch of Lid Lustre.
Start with a wash of the palest shade in the Tuxedo Smoky Eye Brick, before applying the medium shade and blending into the eye crease.
Choose one of the darker shades to brush across the lid and under the lower lashes in a slightly winged shape.
Finish by dabbing Lid Lustre in Onyx in the middle of the eyelid, to create the metallic finish.
Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Tuxedo, $54
Victoria Beckham Beauty Lid Lustre in Onyx, $36