With the power to instantly elevate any look from the boardroom to the bar, the smoky eye serves as a crucial cornerstone in the party girl’s arsenal. But there’s a fair amount of science involved in finding the right blend of pigments to highlight your peepers. Not all smoky eyes are created alike, and you’ll want to first take note of the canvas you’re working with—the shape of your eyes. In pursuit of answers, we looked to celebrity makeup artist Shraddha Naik, whose makeup brushes have worked on the faces of Bollywood’s best.
“The smoky eye is a tricky look to create, and understanding your eye shape plays a crucial role in the final result,” Naik explains. “The traditional smoky eye involves blending the right amount of pigment—often browns and blacks. While the technique is largely the same, the steps differ according to the shape of the eye. Here, she shares the smoky eye techniques you’ll want to follow for your precise eye shape.
If your eyes are set far apart, you can help you visually adjust the distance between your peepers the right eye makeup. For wide-set eyes, take the colour all the way in till the inner corner of the eye. Concentrating darker hues on the inner corner will give an illusion of closer eyes. Look towards intense pigments on the eyeshadow palette to achieve that smoky effect.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, close-set eyes have lesser distance between the inner corners. When doing a smoky eye on this eye shape, it’s very important to make the colour pop. You can use a lighter colour on one quarter of your eyes, starting from the inner corners, and then smoke it out with a darker shade. It also helps to dab some highlighter at the inner corners, and sweep some onto your brow bones too.
This shape is categorised by the presence of hood-like skin over the crease of the eyes, which often makes the upper eyelid look smaller. The key to creating a perfect smoky eye on hooded eyes is to build a new crease with a soft brown shadow. The blending on the crease plays an important role in creating the faded effect as you go from dark to light pigments. As a finishing touch, reach out for a highlighter to open up your peepers.
As monolid eyes do not have a crease of their own, you can create a false one with your eyeshadow palette. It’s crucial to use a good eye primer so that the pigments don’t crease on the lid. To make your eye looks bigger, smudge the eyeshadow on the lower lash line and amp it up with heavy mascara.
If you have droopy eyes, the key to lifting your smoky eye is to wing it upwards. Dab your chosen hue along the eyelid and bring it upwards as you reach the end. Lifting the eyeshadow with winged eyeliner will give an illusion of bigger, uplifted eyes.
Upturned eyes are quite common, and are very similar to almond-shaped eyes. This eye shape is usually categorised by the lower lid, which is more prominent than the upper eyelid and appears to be longer in length. The key here is to keep the lower lashline as intense as the upper lid to balance the look.