11 Smoky Eye Makeup Looks

There’s no denying it – a smoky eye may seem like a hard look to master. However, when executed properly, it can instantly upgrade any look and draw attention to the eyes like no other. Luckily, there are many variations of smoky eye makeup, which can be as complicated or as quick as you want to make it. From dark, night-time inspired looks to a light and natural smoky vibe, there really is no bounds to where you can take this sultry eyeshadow style. Whether you want to create a multi-dimensional look with multiple shades, blend out an eyeliner, or you simply want to stick to one shade and smoke it out at the edges, a smoky eye is a sure-fire way to elevate your eyeshadow game. 

Still sceptical of trying out a smoky eye for yourself? We’re here to inspire you with an edit of our favourite smoky eye looks for beginners and eyeshadow experts, in a range of matte and metallic shimmer finishes. Scroll on to meet your next smoky vibe and learn how to nail it every time. 

How to do a smoky eye makeup look

When it comes to creating a smoky eye, there is no right or wrong. While we love a grungy shadow look applied by the fingers, we’re here to talk you through how to apply a more classic, dramatic smoky look. Here at BEAUTY BAY, we are firm believers that perfect makeup starts with a perfect base, and the same applies to eyeshadow. Begin by priming your eyelids to give your eyeshadow the best chance at lasting all day without creasing. Next, apply a mid-tone eyeshadow all over the lid, blending it slightly above the crease. Follow this by applying a darker eyeshadow colour (we recommend the shade Onyx for those of you using our Smoky palette) into the crease of the eye, buffing in circular motions until you see a gradient of colour starting to take shape. If it begins to look too heavy, take a clean fluffy brush and blend the existing product further. Follow this by patting a lighter shade on the inner corner of your eye to create the effect of bigger, brighter eyes. Complete your look by adding an eyeliner to the outer corner of your eyes and pair with your favourite lashes for the ultimate smoky glam.

1. Classic smoky cut crease

@comfort.oaa has absolutely killed this smoky cut crease. Contrasting dark shades with a lighter inner corner, we can’t get enough of this smoked out shadow look.

2. Halo smoky eye

This angelic, halo-effect smoky eye is the perfect balance between sultry and sophisticated. @be_youtifilx has layered a light shimmer over a dark lid to create a glowing, defined lid.

3. 90s inspired smoky eye

@abb.stractx is taking us back to the 90s with this light, cool-toned smoky eye. Using dark shades closer to the lash line and blending out with lighter grey tones, we’re obsessed with this nostalgic, effortless cool-girl look.

4. Experimental smoky eye

Taking smoky eyes to a whole new dimension, @kanchatbmakeup has put an abstract twist on the classic smoky eye look. Featuring light and dark grey shapes blended with sparkling white shimmers, this bold look is definitely one to recreate.

5. Light smoky eye with liner

Think light grey shimmer tones, grey winged liner, and full lashes, and you’ve got a recipe for a flawless smoky eye look. Ideal if you prefer a less dramatic eye that is still super glam, you need to give this look from @afroglory_ a go.

6. Smoky eye with design

If you’re after a smoky eye that’s sure to turn heads, look no further than this this stunning design from @klaudialichmanmakeup. Featuring a blend of light and dark grey tones, bold lines, hearts, and rectangular shapes, this graphic eyeshadow look is one to look out for.

7. Metallic smoky eye

Add an intense glow to your eyes with this look from @kadi.kamara. Contrasting a dark crease and black winged liner with an illuminated silver shimmer finish, this look is ideal for your next night out.

8. Contrasting smoky eye

This statement look from @itsevasmu instantly and effortlessly draws attention to the eyes. Using only two shades, we love how the dark shadow around the lash line contrasts with the shimmering light silver shade on the outer lid. 

9. Double-winged smoky eye

Double the winged eyeliner, double the impact. We love how @nikitamakesitup has elevated a simple, light eyeshadow look by including a smoky, double-ended liner style, a defined crease, and a sharp inner corner. 

10. Bold smoky eye

This dark black cut crease from @_aidamakeup features a swirl pattern, a light inner corner, and even gems to create a dazzling smoky effect. Bold eyeshadow has never looked so good.

11. Cosmic smoky eye

Embrace an out-of-this-world smoky eye with this starlit design from @beckii_jx. Cosmic shapes are created with a variety of different grey tones in matte and shimmer finishes, while gems add the perfect finishing touch. We’re obsessed. 

Smoky eye essentials: