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Smokey eyes are always on trend, which makes them ideal for makeup beginners. They’re extremely versatile because they can look dramatic or natural. Having a natural-looking smokey eye in your arsenal of makeup looks is key, so knowing the steps is super important. Here are some tips for how to master the natural smokey eye look:

Tip 1. Know Your Color Palette

When it comes to a natural look, it’s important to consider the color palette. Color palettes can range from basic browns to warmer oranges and bronzes. It’s all about what looks best with your skin tone and eye color, so play around with various shades to see what works best for you. Typically brown is a good place to start, and it’s easy to find eyeshadow palettes or quads that come in neutral brown colors. I’m currently loving the Maybelline Nudes palette that features twelve colors. It includes browns and grays in warm and cool tones, and it’s a great deal at drugstores. If you’re looking for a great beginner neutral palette, this is one of the best. If you’re looking for colors that run a little more on the orange side, try Makeup Geek eyeshadows in Peach Smoothie or Chickadee. These colors may look bright and scary, but they can actually create beautiful warm-toned looks. For something versatile that can be used to create all kinds of color palettes, it may be worth the money to invest in the Lorac Pro Palette, which features eight matte and shimmery colors.

Tip 2. Know Your Tools

Your tools are just as important as your eyeshadows when it comes to creating a natural smokey eye look. You can’t create a good smokey eye using the sponge applicators that come with the eyeshadow palettes these days. You need brushes. If you don’t want to shell out almost $20 per brush, elf makes great brushes that start at $1 and are available at drugstores. Try their Blending Eye brush or the Defining Eye brush to create beautiful blended out smokey eyes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the key to a good smokey eye is blending. If you think you’ve blended enough, blend some more. Blend until the colors are smoked out so much that you can’t see where the color begins and where it ends. The easiest mistake to make when it comes to smokey eyes is not blending enough—don’t make that mistake! Blend, blend, blend!

Tip 3. Know Your Process

When I do smokey eyes, I follow a process. Start with a base color on the lid, and then blend it into a slightly darker color in the crease. Then, add a little bit of an even darker color into the outer v area to create dimension. Next, take the color you used in the crease and blend this color into your lower lash line. Finally, use a light shimmery color to highlight the inner corner and under the brows. That’s the easiest way to create a smokey eye! This process only needs four colors, so a simple quad is all that’s really necessary! However, the best part about a larger palette is that you can create tons of different looks. To take the smokey eye look even further, blend darker colors into the crease, and finish with the darkest color in the outer v. This creates a lot of dimension and depth, which makes the eyes look sultry and gorgeous. Try out either method!

Bring it All Together

To pull everything together, start with a light beige or bronze color and apply this color to the lid. Then, blend a taupe color or medium brown into the crease. Choose a darker color and blend this into the outer v. Using a flatter brush, use the medium brown or taupe color from the crease and blend it along the lower lash line. Use a blending brush to blend the color out. Finally, choose a light shimmery color and highlight the inner corner and brow bone. You’ll master the natural smokey eye technique in no time!


How do you create a natural smokey eye look? Post your looks in the comments!