Laura has been an online writer for 9 years, and she writes about topics as diverse as beauty, recipes, and holiday tips.
The Finished Look: Light Brown Smokey Eye
You can complete this look in nine easy steps, and with very reasonably priced products. You can easily change it up to go from daytime to nighttime. Follow along and you'll have a flawless, matte complexion in no time!
What You'll Need for a Simple Look
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Eyeshadow Palette (Covergirl)
Basic Blending Brush
1. Start With Foundation
Start off with some foundation. If you know foundation will look too heavy on you, then try using a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer.
One trick I like to use is to apply some Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to my face first especially where I have big pores, and then apply a small amount of foundation over that. Vaseline smooths down any tiny peach fuzz I have and just makes everything look more natural.
2. Don't Go Without Eye Primer
Since you will probably be wearing your everyday makeup, all day we need to start off with a good base. Since it's probably for a more casual day, chances are you will want it to last all day and not smudge. We will need just some simple products. Start with an eye primer and apply it all over the lid and below the eye close to the bottom lash line since you will be putting eyeshadow in both places.
Primer helps the colors appear more vibrant on the skin and helps your makeup to not crease, this is a must if you know you have oily eyelids because what eyeshadow may look good now, won't look so pretty five hours into your day.
3. Apply Some Eyeshadow
Next, you need some eyeshadow. Apply a slightly shimmery or matte brown all over the lid, making sure not to apply it into the crease of your eye. Whether the color is matte or shimmery, it doesn't matter as long as it's light. Then blend the eye shadow gently upward. Covergirl's Country Woods Palette has a nice light brown and is a palette you can get your money's worth from if you plan on using it often. Use the second color from the left as the base color all over your lid. Smudge some underneath your bottom lash line as well to give some illusion of a smokey eye later on.
4. Darken and Blend out Harsh Edges
Using the 4th color from the left in the same palette, a darker brown than what is on your lid, apply this eyeshadow in the crease of the eye (the hollow part that sinks into your socket) and blend out the makeup working in circular motions toward the outer side of your eye.
This should give you a simple smoky look, but without being too heavy for a natural look. Apply this eye shadow lightly to the middle of the crease of your eye and connect it with the color you just blended out. Make sure to blend where the two colors meet. Lightly line the bottom of your eyes with this color also, applying it on top of the lighter brown, but not blending downward so much.
5. Lightly Line Your Eyes
The next step is to line your eyes with eyeliner. You can opt for a dark brown eyeliner if black is too harsh for you.
For an everyday look, it's best to keep the eyeliner just on the top lash line. Here I apply black eyeliner, Scandal Eyes by Rimmel, only to the top outer third of the lash line. After you apply a small amount, take a sponge tip applicator and lightly dab and drag in small motions to smudge out the eyeliner.
You can also tightline your lashes to make them appear fuller. Just lightly apply eyeliner to your top waterline by lifting up the eyelashes.
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6. Apply a Hint of Mascara
In this step, apply your favorite mascara. Only apply it to the outer third of your top eyelashes to give a nice winged out effect. Dip your brush in again and wipe off excess mascara on a tissue, then go in an apply a hint of mascara to your bottom eye lashes as well.
You should not apply more than one coat for a natural look, but if you have particularly sparse lashes go ahead and apply a second coat as needed. I recommend using a spoolie then to separate out any clumps that may have formed in your eyelashes if your mascara did clump.
One mascara that doesn't clump on me is Smashbox's Full Exposure mascara. But you do need to wipe excess off the brush if you decide to use this mascara because the wand is large.
7. Add a Rosy Glow to Your Cheeks
Apply a blush that has a pinkish tint to it. A rosy blush is preferred over any orange toned blushes in a natural look because our skin turns a rosy-red-pink color naturally when we blush so it's easier to mimic that with a pink blush. Here, I used Maybelline's Dream Bouncy Blush.
If you have a darker skin tone, use a darker blush that has a red-pink tone to it.
8. Apply a Sheer Lipstick
You should apply a lipstick that looks natural on you—or a combination of colors. Here I use Revlon's Color Burst lipstick in Strawberry Shortcake and applied a nude lip gloss on top for a nice shine.
For me, for a natural look, I wouldn't opt for a dark color since my lips are normally a red-pinkish color, but anything lighter than my own lip shade, or the same color, is fair game.
You can also just apply a clear lip gloss if you are having trouble finding a good lipstick shade. There is technically nothing more natural than your own lip color.
9. Stay Shine Free and Matte
If you want to wear the look all day and know that you have oily or combination skin, it's best to top off the look with some powder so that everything stays in place all day. Powder can extend the wear of your foundation by about two hours so if you won't have time to touch up later in the day, apply your powder! A good way of making the powder appear natural is to use a buffing brush and just buff the powder into your skin in circular motions, the more you buff the more natural the powder will look.
Nighttime Makeup Tutorial
Favorite Look Poll
I have an irrational fear of wasting a perfect smokey eye on an insignificant day.
— Amanda Ensing via Twitter
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Abbicat .org on May 23, 2017:
Nice article it is very informanitive sorry about the spelling
Lydia McCarter from The Murder Mitten on December 08, 2010:
Ah! loved this one too! and with such easy products.
poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on September 06, 2010:
Wow! Finally someone gives directions on how to get a look. Love it. Can you do one on how to get the "smokey eye look"?
Thanks for a great, useful hub.