How to: Everyday Smokey Eye (Steps with Photos!)

Watch this video and learn how to do a smokey eye makeup look that you can wear regularly. You are sure to love this smokey eye tutorial!

Easy Everyday Smokey Eye Tutorial
Easy Everyday Smokey Eye Tutorial
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At this point, the smokey eye is a truly classic look.

It's flawless for a night out, it's amazing when you need to look polished for work, and it's really a great look for almost anyone at any time.

Of course, one of the reasons it's so versatile is that there are several different ways to do a smokey eye. You can go for something sultry and dramatic, or you can opt for a look that's great for everyday wear.

Today, we're focused on the everyday smokey eye. This gorgeous look is neutral, polished, and perfect for just about any occasion.

One myth you might have heard about the smokey eye is that it can be difficult to create. But we've definitely busted that myth! Our easy video tutorial (and step-by-step photos, if video isn't your thing) makes creating a neutral smokey eye simple and stress free. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started!

Time to CompleteUnder an hour

Primary TechniqueBath and Beauty


Project TypeLearn a Technique

Materials List

  • Neutral colored eye shadow palette, this video features the Morphe 35O palette.
  • An assortment of eyeshadow brushes including, a blending brush, a smaller blending brush, a flat top brush, an eye contour brush, and a detail brush
  • Eye shadow primer or concealer
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner if desired (although not featured in this video).

How to Create an Everyday Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye Makeup Steps

  1. Prime your eyelid with either your primer color, or a concealer of your choice. 

  2. Set that primer with either a setting powder or a color in your eyeshadow palette that is closes to your skin tone. 

  3. Grab your fluffy blending brush and your lightest transition shade. Typically you can go for a very light brown or taupe color. Be sure to tap off the excess powder on your brush.

  4. Using windshield wiper motions blend that color in the crease of your eye with your blending brush. 

  5. Grabbing a smaller blending brush and a slightly darker brown eyeshadow color, apply that in the crease of your eye as well. Using windshield wiper motions continue to blend in the crease. 

  6. Grabbing your original fluffy blending brush, buff that slightly darker color in so that it blends with your original color. 

  7. Repeat this process with a slightly darker neutral color and slightly smaller blending brush.

    Tip: Start with a lighter hand is always better because it is easier to build up a color than to blend it out. 

  8. Using a tapered blending brush, I am using a Morphe R39 brush, and grab the darkest color you are going to use on this look. Focus this color only on the outer corner of your crease.

    Tip: The darker you go with these colors the smokier and more dramatic your eyeshadow will become. 

  9. Grabbing your original blending brush sweep back and forth over the color you just put on your lid until you have it built up to your desired affect. 

  10. Grab a shimmer eyeshadow and a flat oval brush and pat the shimmer shade onto your eyelid. 

  11. Using a flat top brush use either a very dark brown or a black color and line your lashline with the black powder. This creates a much softer lined affect on the eyes than an eyeliner can create. 

  12. Grab one of the medium shades you used in your crease and buff it underneath your eyes on your lower lashline. 

  13. Grab that deep dark brown or black and add a bit of it to the outer corner of your lower lashline. Then, use a tapered blending brush to blend out that lower lashline more. 

  14. Grab a very light or white matte color and use a clean fluffly blending brush, or a flat concealer brush, and apply that eyeshadow color below your brow bone. 

  15. Apply your mascara and you are all done! 

History of Eye Shadow

The first record of eyeshadow in history dates back to Ancient Egypt (around 10,000 B.C). These Egyptian eye shadows were made from a substance called "kohl". Kohl was made out of lead, oxidized copper, ochre, ash, malachite, crushed antimony, burnt almonds and chrysocolla ore. Eyeshadow was not always used for appearance, but rather as a medical remedy to reduce infections and glare. It was also used in religious ceremonies and, though favored by royalty to accentuate the eyes, it later became popular amongst commoners as well. The widespread use of kohl was reflected in the production of great numbers of small kohl pots.

Next, around the 7th and 8th century B.C., eye shadow came to Greece and Rome where minerals and stones were crushed to create more colors and shimmer. Other areas of the world also embraced eyeshadow: kohl was common in India, in Iberia eyeshadows were used to enhance beauty and prevent diseases, and in Japan around the 11th century, crushed flower petals, bird droppings (!), and rice flours were used to adorn eyes

Modern day eyeshadow as we know it has been in existence since the 1920s when chemists made developments in improving the quality of eyeshadow (like making it easier to remove). Eye shadow has continued to evolve over time from the 1920s, Clara Bow dark, smokey makeup to Greta Garbo's soft pinks and green shades in the 1930s, and the rainbow shadows of the ’70s to the bold colors of the 80's to the neutral bronzes of the '90s.

Today, the smokey eye has become a go-to for an evening out, everyday style, and classic beauty look!

How to Get an Ombre Eye Shadow Look

  1. Once you've mastered a neutral smokey eye, get ready to experiment with color! Wearing colorful makeup is a great way to spice up your beauty routine. Try out this Fun Ombre Eye Shadow tutorial from Girl Loves Glam!

    Tip from the designer:
    "The trick to the ombré eye, or any eye makeup really, is to use a 2:1 ratio for the sheen of the shadows. You want two matte shadows for every shimmer. If you use too much shimmer, it will all mix together and won't give you any dimension!"  --- McKenzie Guymon, Girl Loves Glam

How to Make Your Own Eye Makeup

  1. The video makeup tutorial above features store bought makeup. But did you know you can make your own makeup? Check out these DIY cosmetics tutorials for eye makeup.

    Start with this DIY Natural Eye Makeup

How to Make Eye Shadow Sticks

  1. Tired of broken eyeshadow palettes? Learn how to make these awesome Easy DIY Cream Eyeshadow Sticks!

    Note from the designer:
    "These DIY Eyeshadow Sticks are a great way to re-use broken eyeshadows! Making your own makeup has many advantages. You can come up with your own bright, custom colors. And by using simple, effective ingredients your makeup is safe to use on sensitive skin." --- Ina from The Makeup Dummy

DIY Beauty Recipes for Your Eyes

  1. Once you become a fan of the everyday smokey eye, you are going to want to make sure that you take care of your eyes! The DIY tutorials below will help you protect, restore, and refresh your eyes and eyelids!

    Start with this Rosehip and Honey DIY Eye Cream!

  2. For puffy eyes: Coffee DIY Under Eye Mask

  3. For eye-makeup removal: Homemade Eye Makeup Remover

    Don't forget to clean your makeup brushes

Additional advice in this article provided by:

McKenzie Guymon from Girl Loves Glam

Ina from The Makeup Dummy

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My favorite look. I love watching new videos because am trying to perfect the smokey eye and I love the tips I found here today.

This is such a gorgeous makeup look! Smokey eye makeup can end up looking really dark and dramatic, but this tutorial shows a look that I could definitely see myself wearing for everyday.

I needed this tutorial and it is a great tutorial. I always mess up smokey eyes and end up looking like I slept with make-up on....not like they do in the movies though! Recently my friend gave me some make up and all the shades are for smokey eyes so I am very keen to use it. It's going to take some practice though.

This is a great tutorial for a special evening but it would be impossible to do every morning before work. It would make getting up an hour early necessary. I was also told by my eye doctor to go easy on eye make up. Evidently over the day you end up rubbing it into your eyes. I have been using very little since my best feature is my eyes and they are green and I don't want them buried in a dark background.

I am make-up challenged. My typical routine consists of eye liner, mascara, and chap stick. I probably wouldn't have time to attempt this before work, but it would be a great look for date night!

This is such a great tutorial! It can be hard to find a smoky eye tutorial that is subtle enough for every day wear. Maggie and Paddy both look fabulous in this video!

This LOOKS SO GOOD. Thanks for making it look so easy. Also, how cute is Paddy in this video? I'm Paddy's biggest fan.


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