Beauty: How to do an Easy Smokey Black Eye


One thing I’ve learnt since becoming a freelance makeup artist is that you can never stop learning. You literally can never know enough (unless you’re the best celebrity makeup artist, or someone like Charlotte Tilbury I guess!).

One thing I’ve always been keen to have extra top-up lessons on is eye makeup, because trends change all the time. I know a lot of makeup artists out there have had many a skill brush-up on contouring, highlighting, face sculpting, strobing and all sorts due to the sudden rise in face shaping, a la the Kardashians.

But for me, I’m all about the eyes. So I booked myself onto a 3-hour one-to-one masterclass in perfecting the smokey eye look.

When I previously trained up almost 6 years ago, tutoring was different back then. This time around, I went to the KLMA in Bury, Greater Manchester, and was shown step by step a super easy way to create a striking smokey black eye on both myself and any clients.

How to do a Black Smokey Eye 

It’s harder to explain in words rather than video clips, but here’s an attempt!

1. Brush concealer over your entire eye lid, and set with a light dusting of setting powder to create a smooth, clear, matte base.

2. Go for it straight away: using a flat eyeshadow brush (the denser bristles for an intense application), tap a black/dark grey onto the eye lid, stopping before you get to the crease. Just tap it on – don’t worry about mess.

3. Select a fluffy eyeshadow brush, and dip your eyeshadow brush into a dark grey, one slightly lighter than your previous shade. Locate your crease, and starting at the end of your eye (where the crease meets the corner of your eye, away from your nose) swirl the colour into the crease in circular movements, moving up the eye and towards the inner corner. Remember to leave a little gap. You don’t want the colour going all the way to the corner.

4. Repeat until this shade has blended the edges of the first eyeshadow you used o the eyelid. Keep going in soft circular moments until it is all blended in.

5. Then take a silver/white/light grey – whichever shade you wish to use to add a touch of contrast. Using a flat eyeshadow brush as before (but make sure its clean!) tap your lighter colour into the nearest quarter of the eyelid (nearest to corner of the eyes). Keep tapping it in.

6. Take your fluffy eyeshadow brush and blend everything again in circular movements.

7. Take a shimmery white/highlighter pencil and lightly apply directly under the arch of the eyebrow, tailing off to the end of the brow, and lightly In the corners of the eye. Gently blend with your finger tip.

8. If you wish, line your upper lash with black eyeliner. Then take a black kohl pencil, and line your bottom lash line. Then, take a Q-tip, dip it into a grey eyeshadow (tapping off any excess) and lightly go over the bottom eyeliner with the Q-tip, starting from the inner corner and blending outwards. Keep sweeping it all along the eye and beyond. This creates a soft, smokey, blended look, removing any harsh lines.

9. Finish with mascara!


This step-by-step technique ensures that there are no strong blocky lines, and the smokey eye is perfectly blended.

Products used above:

  • MAC Face and Body Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Setting Powder
  • Eyeshadow palette by GOSH Cosmetics
  • MAC eyebrow pencil in Lingering
  • Illamasqua Sculpting Duo
  • Lancome Mascara
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up Liquid Concealer
  • NYX liquid Lipstick
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