The smokey eye look is surprisingly easy to do! In this five-minute tutorial, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury shows us how to do a smokey eye look that can be either subtle for day or dramatic for a night out.
No matter your age—18 or 80—smokey eyes are flattering. "When you smoke and wing your makeup, your eyes appear wider and you lift the entire area," says Charlotte Tilbury, a London-based makeup artist and the founder of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, whose clients include Alicia Vikander, Kate Moss, and Martha Hunt. "Once you learn the basics, you can dial the look up or down depending on the occasion." Even better, you don't have to stick to black. It can be green or any other shade; the technique stays the same. Here, Tilbury shares her best tips for mastering an easy smokey eye look for day or night in just five minutes.
Start with the right tools
The Charlotte Tilbury Quick 'N' Easy Smoky Eye Evening Kit has everything you need to achieve a quick smokey eye in one bag, including liner, shadow stick, mascara, and a universally flattering nude lipstick.
As you're applying the products in the kit, Tilbury explains that order matters: "Do your eyes first, then lips, and blush last," she says. "This helps you see how much color you have on and whether you even need blush."
Up the glamour for an evening look
For more drama, Tilbury suggests going 360 degrees around the eyes with a shadow stick, then tracing your top lashes with black liner. "Start from the inner corner," she says. "When you get three-quarters of the way across, wing the liner slightly up and out to create what I call the feline flick." Popping a shimmery shadow in the center of your lids will give eyes extra sparkle for nighttime.
Curl your lashes
Whether you're going for a daytime or evening look, curling your lashes is key: "Always use an eyelash curler before applying mascara," says Tilbury. "It's like an instant push-up for the eyes." Her fave: the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler.
Have Q-tips on hand
Don't have tons of beauty brushes? No problem: Your fingers can do the same job in a pinch. "I prefer to use an eye brush to smudge and blend out shadow, but guess what: You can absolutely get away with using your fingers and still look great," Tilbury says.
And to perfect that "feline flick," Tilbury relies on drugstore favorite Q-tips Precision Tips. If you mess up the technique, she explains, you can simply dip a pointed cotton bud in a bit of face cream and blend any mistakes away.