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One of the questions I’m frequently asked is: ‘How to do a natural smokey eye?’ Smokey eyes are always in style, and they’re probably the most versatile of any look. You can do them with color or with a neutral, you can make them dramatic or natural! Today we’ll be talking about how to do a natural smokey eye. I’ll be addressing the best palettes and the best techniques for application. I’ve got a few favorites so let’s jump right in!

First, let’s talk about application and color choice. I think the best natural smokey eyes are neutral, so we’ll be talking about that color selection today. When it comes to creating a natural look, choosing the best shade of brown depends on your skin tone. If your skin tone is cool, you’ll want to reach for a pretty taupe. If it’s warm, go for more of a bronze. If you’re neutral, you can pick whatever shade of brown you’d like (lucky you!). I’ll be talking about palettes for warm and cool tones today, so you’re sure to find something that works for you!


When it comes to application, I always recommend starting with the lightest colors and building to the darker ones. This helps create dimension and ensures successful blending. It’s also crucial to start with a base. I adore Maybelline Color Tattoos when it comes to an eyeshadow base. I love the shade Barely Branded to be a base for any eye look, but if you’re looking for a good brown tone, Bad to the Bronze is the way to go.

I always like to start with the lid color. I’ll be talking about various colors for the lid based on different palettes, but I like to choose a color that’s similar to the natural color of your skin. Begin with this color, then move on to choosing your transition color. This color will be a light brown that is only slightly, slightly darker than your skin. This will create a canvas for your darker colors that will be going on top. If you want to do a super natural look, you can stop here. Or, you can go further and blend some darker colors into the crease. Finally, be sure to highlight the inner corner and under the brow bone to finish the look.

If you want a simple smokey eye formula, here it is: 1 light lid color + 1 transition color + 1 crease/outer v color + 1 highlighting color. These four colors are all you need to make the best smokey eye!

Now let’s talk about palettes. I’ll be talking about three palettes today—the Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2 palettes, and the LORAC PRO palette. These are three of my favorite palettes to use, so I’m excited to be sharing them with you today!

Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette – $54

Naked 1

Naked 1

This palette is great for if you have warm skin and like bronze colors. The colors Smog and Darkhorse are some of the prettiest bronze shades in the palette. However, what I love the most about this palette are the colors Naked and Buck. These two matte shades are the prettiest transition colors you’ll ever use. When it comes to application of this palette, I would recommend starting with any of the following colors on the lid: Sidecar, Sin, or Naked. Sidecar is more of a sparkly taupe color, so if you have neutral skin, this color with some bronze shades would be beautiful. Sin is a light pink-toned color that looks beautiful on the lid, or as a highlight. While I love Naked as a transition color, it could also work well as a lid color if you have darker skin. For the transition color, try either Naked or Buck. Buck is a warm-toned brown that looks beautiful on warm skin tones. For a crease/outer v color, try out Smog for a little darker pop. To highlight, I definitely recommend Virgin. It’s a beautiful color that looks great as a highlight. It’s a cool hybrid between a matte and shimmery color, so it looks great as a highlight!

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – $54

Naked 2

Naked 2

This palette is great for girls that have cool colored skin. It’s a beautiful collection of taupes but looks beautiful on everyone! For this palette, start with Bootycall on the lid. This color is a great skin-toned color with a hint of shimmer. For the transition color, I like the color Tease. It’s a pretty taupe-mauve color that looks great in the crease. As a crease/outer v color, I suggest Snakebite. It is, in my opinion, the prettiest color in the palette. It’s a gorgeous neutral brown color that looks stunning on everyone. Finally, to highlight, I suggest mixing together Foxy and Verve. Verve is a nice cool-toned silver highlighting color, but I find that it has the shimmer that Foxy lacks. Mixing them together creates a great shimmery, neutral highlighting shade!

Lorac PRO Palette– $42

Lorac PRO

Lorac PRO

If you haven’t heard me rave about this palette yet, listen now. I adore this palette. It’s got the best pigmentation, the best color selection, at a really reasonable price for the quality. For this palette, you have so many choices for the lid color. Champagne, Light Bronze, Nude, even Pewter if your skin is darker. Use any of these as a lid color, then use Taupe as a transition color. Taupe is by far my favorite transition color ever. Then, use a color like Sable or Pewter depending on your skin tone (Sable for warmer, Pewter for cooler) as a crease/outer v color. As a highlight, you can either use just White or mix White and Cream to create more of a subtle highlight!

These three palettes are my favorite for creating a natural smokey eye. Try any of these out to create a look that’s natural and beautiful! Remember that forgoing makeup is never a bad thing either! What’s your favorite eyeshadow to use for smokey eyes?