A Cheat's Guide to the Perfect Smokey Eye

By Miriam Nichterlein, Beauty Editor

The Smokey Eye: Never has a make-up technique been so revered and yet such a mystery to women.

As a professional make-up artist, I am often asked about the steps to achieving the perfect smokey eye., The simple truth is that it’s all about blending, using the right products, and creating the perfect eye shape for your face.

There are many ways to achieve a smokey eye; the classic method uses numerous products and powders. However, this technique can leave a rookie frustrated, and quite frankly, in a bit of a mess!

I have a few tricks that will not only eliminate the mess, but also make this sought-after look versatile, quick and simple to accomplish:.

1. Start with a clean base. Use your foundation in the ‘T’ area of your face blending outwards, ensuring you cover your eyelids. Creating an even canvas to work on is key to a flawless professional finish.

2. Apply translucent, or a sheer, powder to the T zone to set your foundation, once again ensuring you cover the eye area.

3. Using the warmth of your hands, gently press the powder into your skin. This trick helps the skin to appear naturally flawless, rather than powdered and ‘made-up’.

4. Curl your lashes using a good quality eyelash curler such as MAC, Shu Uemura or Kevyn Aucoin. A good eyelash curler makes a real difference to your lashes!

5. Next - the trick for achieving a clean smokey eye - use a cream shadow and apply with a make-up brush from the base of the lashes to the top of your lid (the bony area just where your eye socket ends).. Don't be afraid to experiment with colour here: think navy blue, warm browns, violet, emerald green, or black for a classic look.

6. Take a blending brush (MAC #217 is perfect) and literally blend the shadow around the edges. At this point, you can create any shape you like - the key is to blend, blend, blend!

7. When using a cream eye shadow work on one eye at a time to avoid the cream setting on the lids before you have properly blended.

8. If you have made a mistake in the application off your make-up based on the steps above or are not happy with the shape, simply take a clean sponge and wipe away the excess. Then, use your blending brush and buff away any sharp edges.

9. Apply another layer of cream shadow or eyeliner if necessary to turn-up the intensity after blending.

10. Depending on the cream you use, you can either leave it as is, or apply a similar shade of powder eye shadow over the top to set the look and create longevity.  Creams I have found to work best and wear the longest are Chanel Illusion D’ombres, MAC cream eyeshadows, and Shiseido shimmering cream eye colour. These products can be purchased from either Myer or David Jones, or try Strawberry Net for online.

11. When done, finish the look with lashings of mascara, a touch of blush, lip-gloss, and your favourite dress!

It really is that simple!