Beauty Dictionary: Smokey eyes

by Kathy Saunders - Tuesday August 14, 2012 - 19h05

Smokey eyes are a make-up look that has been around for decades. Everybody seems to have them on the red carpet, but what exactly are they?

It's all smoke and mirrors...

It's a look that gives your eyes an intense, dramatic look. The blending of different shades of eyeshadows creates a smokey effect, hence the name.

Traditionally, the look calls for dark eyeshadows, such as brown and grey shades. However, you can use coloured eyeshadows if you're feeling adventurous. The key is always in the blending.

Finishing touches

A dark eyeshadow is often smudged beneath the lower lashline for the ultimate smokey effect. To complete the look, black eyeliner is applied around the lashlines and black mascara is applied to both upper and lower eyelashes.

There are a few ways of creating a smokey-eye look but ultimately the key to the "smokey" part is a transition from one shade of eyeshadow to another.

Everyone's doing it...

Stars such as Beyoncé, Jessica Alba, Florence Welch, Jessie J, Kiera Knightley and Kristen Stewart are all fans of the look.

Do it, too!

Take a look at our step-by-step guide to the perfect smokey eyes.

Show more : Makeup - Eyeshadow - Eyeliner - Celebrity red carpet

Keira Knightley looked great with the perfect smokey-eye look in January 2012.

Keira Knightley looked great with the perfect smokey-eye look in January 2012.

  1. Related Topics
  2. Cheryl Cole has virtually patented the smokey-eye look, but at Capital FM's Summertime Ball on Saturday 9 June, Jessie J proved she can...

    12 June
  3. It's not just Cheryl Cole who has a thing for smokey eyes. The Spiderman actress, Emma Stone, also showed her love for the look at "The...

    19 June
  4. "What on earth is "ombre hair"?" I hear you cry. "All the stars seem to doing it and it has something to do with roots..." Light in the...

    23 Aug.
  5. Dip-dyed hair is pretty much what you're expecting it to be. It's basically just a colourful variation of ombre hair. What's the...

    17 Sept.
  1. Make-up
  2. In case you hadn't noticed, Glastonbury Music Festival is in full swing. A headscarf is a festival essential but have you thought about...

    27 June
  3. Olivia Hallinan joined Prezzo creator and CEO Jonathon Kaye at the grand opening of the chain's 200th restaurant, on Wednesday 25 June,...

    27 June
  1. Hairstyle
  2. While Dolly Parton led the glamour and fun for the female acts at Glastonbury 2014, the guys were also showcasing their best rockstar...

    30 June
  3. We're always on the lookout for new and exciting hairstyles and we recently fell in love with this simple twisted chignon. We were so...

    29 June