Crave Color? A Smoky Eye Look with Multiple Shades

Smoky Eye With Multiple Shades: Layering and Blending

Note how the different shades of gray are blended here for a smoky effect.
Note how the different shades of gray are blended here for a smoky effect.

The trick to getting the three shades you choose to come together in a smoky look, without looking too harsh, is to layer and blend.

There are plenty of methods for applying your shadow, but the most common method is to (1) apply contour all over lid from lash to crease, (2) apply midtone in the crease all the way out to the edge of your eye, and (3) apply highlight from crease to brow. Some people put on a cream concealer first to make the colors last longer.

As you apply each color, overlap into the area of the next color. Overlapping is pretty important here -- you can even go as far as applying highlight all over from lash to brow, then applying midtone from lash into the crease and applying contour on the lid. This will ensure a good mingling of colors.

Next, use your finger or a brush to blend the edges where the colors meet. This will smooth and soften the effect and ensure there aren't any hard lines between shades. Blend upward, gently, from the dark shade into the lighter shade.

Finally, apply a small amount of contour color along your lower lash line, smudging and blending the edge to give it a softened look. And don't forget the eyeliner and mascara! A smoky eye look isn't complete without a complementing shade of eyeliner and a thick coat of mascara to further darken up your eyes.

For more ways to kick your style up another notch, take a peek at some of our other makeup articles below.

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  • Beautylish. "Celebrity Trend: Smoky Blue Eyeshadow." Nov. 1, 2011. (May 17, 2012).
  • Carmindy. "Get Positively Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Looking and Feeling Gorgeous." Hachette Digital, 2008.
  • Jones, Robert. "Makeup Makeovers: Expert Secrets for Stunning Transformations." Fair Winds, 2005
  • Jones, Robert. "Makeup Makeovers - Weddings: Stunning Looks for the Entire Bridal Party." Fair Winds, 2006.
  • Marie Claire. "Get the Celebrity Look: Smoky Eyes." Sept. 10, 2011. (May 8, 2012).
  • Nika, Colleen. "Dirty Pretty Thing: Taylor Momsen." Interview, Aug. 23, 2010. (May 17, 2012).