We try it!

We Try It! YouTube Makeup Tutorial: Smokey Eye Edition

For this edition of We Try It, I decided to tackle one of the numerous makeup tutorials found in the land of YouTube. Now, the smokey eye is something which has always eluded me, despite my makeup skills. Really, I can wield liquid eyeliner like nobody else, probably because my mom gave me her old Chanel eyeliners to practice with at the tender age of ten. Yeah, I know. Anyway, after some searching through all of the tutorials, and by all I mean the first hundred or so, I came across this lovely lady and her gorgeous smokey eyes.

How convenient that this makeup is specifically for Valentine’s Day, despite the lack of pink and red eyeshadow (that’s a good thing). Fortunately, I have the Urban Decay Naked palette used in the video already in my possession. I also used the recommended Urban Decay primer for my lids. In the interest of full disclosure, I put on my other makeup prior to the start of this, which included Lorac Double Feature in Light underneath my eyes, NARS The Multiple in Orgasm on my cheeks, L’oreal Voluminous Waterproof mascara in Brown on my eyebrows, and Makeup Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder all over my face.

Base makeup!

Following the video, I covered my eyelid in the Urban Decay Primer Potion. I’ve never used primer before, but what I did was just dab it all over my eyelid, then rub it in until everything was even. I let it set for a minute or two, and then covered my eyelid in black eyeliner. I didn’t have what the video recommends, so I went with my default Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Zero, which is black. I love this eyeliner because it doesn’t budge. Don’t worry if it looks a bit wonky, because the next step is to blend it out. I used a regular old eyeshadow stiff-tipped(ha, that sounds dirty!) brush to do this. Is it just me, or does this woman have a ton of brushes?!

Just use the brush to blend the liner outward and get rid of the harsh lines.

Using either the black from the Naked palette or whatever somewhat sparkly black shadow you have, dab it onto your lid with a flat brush. I normally sweep rather than dab, and the video is correct in saying that dabbing helps to not get shadow all over your cheeks. Once that’s done, use the brush to blend a little so that there are no harsh lines, and use the tip of the brush to line underneath your eyes.

Then dip another brush ( I used one with a fluffier head) into the Darkhorse shade or any shimmery brown-gold color. Using a back-and-forth potion, spread it over the crease of your lid. Then, go over that with a tan/nude matte shade. Make sure to blend, blend, blend! Harsh lines are not allowed!

Blend it, y'all!

Next, use a pale white or cream shade to highlight your browbone. I used the lightest color in the naked pallette, because I don’t have a matte shade like the video recommends. I also ran out of brushes, so I used my little finger,and it worked just as well. Make sure you’re blending! After you’re nice and blended, dab a little of the lightest Naked color or whatever shimmery white/cream you have into the corner of your lids. I used a little disposable apllicator and it worked just fine.

I've already highlighted, and now I'm opening up my eyes by dabbing shadow into the corners.

Now, line the inside of your bottom lid with black eyeliner until it looks adequately smokey. The video recommends that you use some falsies for your lashes, but the Contact Gods forbid me to have contact with eyelash glue or they revolt. You don’t want pictures of that, I promise. I simply coated my lashes in heaps of DiorShow Blackout Waterproof mascara, also known as the best mascara ever. The video recommends that you curl your lashes as well, but I don’t have a curler despite my short, straight lashes. And now, I present to you my completed smokey eyes!

Sultry? I think yes.


The video also recommends some bright lip gloss, but I skipped that on purpose. I feel that a strong eye such as this calls for a very subtle lip. I like to put just a bit of chapstick or clear gloss with bold eyes, or even a semi-matte nude lipstick. I like the NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in Belle du Jour for that task. I also recommend subtle cheeks, maybe just a touch of bronzer or, if you’re like me, a few blended dots of NARS Orgasm blush stick or powder blush. It’s a light, rosy shade with a bit of shimmer that looks good on just about everyone.

And there you have it! I survived trying out my first YouTube makeup tutorial, and I finally mastered the smokey eye! I honestly think the real trick here is to cover your lids with eyeliner first, then do shadow. I could never figure out how to get a nice, even base prior to this. The great think about this is that it can be done with tons of colors. I think I’m trying a dark, shimmery green-black  next, and then purple. The possibilities here are endless!

By Elfity

Elfity, so named for her tendency to be a bit uppity and her elf-like appearance, is a graduate student and professional Scary Feminist of Rage. She has a propensity for social justice, cheese, and Doctor Who. Favorite activities include making strange noises, napping with puppies and/or kitties, and engaging in political and philosophical debates.

18 replies on “We Try It! YouTube Makeup Tutorial: Smokey Eye Edition”

Love your eyes!

I tried another YouTube video about applying eyeliner in general, which I was an absolute dud at. I can’t link to it now because I’m at work, but it was very informative. I still look weird with eyeliner, but I don’t know if it is because I never wear it and am not used to it or if I’m genuinely doing something wrong. But I need to try the smoky eye sometime soon.

Thank you! Before I wore liner on a regular basis, I always thought I looked weird wearing it. Maybe it’s just something you get used to? I also suggest skipping liner on the bottom lids. I think smokey eyes look just as pretty when they’re only half smokey!

I second Slay Belle here! Purple and navy are both great and looks gorgeous with green eyes. You can always move away from black and try a brown and gold palette too. For something like that you could try a brown liner over your lid instead of the black in the tutorial. It’ll keep your eyes open and your face bright, and it’s really pretty for summer and fall!

Green Eyes- I’m a greenie too. Browns and golds are your friend for eyeshadows. Purples will work, but take a lot more practice.

As for the raccoon eyes thing- a couple things can help/hurt.

One might be to just dab mascara or be very light on the lower eyelashes. Your lower lids can get over burdened very easily especially with your coloring. Too much below is a big thing.

Next thing is shape. make sure that the end towards the bridge of your nose are toned down. See the contour of the outer side of your eye. is there an area where there’s a dipping or something? you can blend/feather out into that shape very lightly to emphasize it.

The lighter shadow. Having lighter shadow on your inner eyes is. . . Well, I don’t know if I can emphasize how important it is. It’s important.

Finally, blend blend blend! one of the biggest fails I see in raccoon eye is that the color doesn’t feather out enough, resulting in a near matte, Man I got punched at the pub last night look. not so cool.

A very excellent tutorial! I definitely learned a few tricks from this! Thanks so much for trying this out. Your photos were really good, the YouTube video is a nice inclusion, and the results are amazing! I’m sooo going to try this as soon as I can! Thanks a heap–I’ll be bookmarking this one for later!

Your eyes look amazing!

I have never been able to get a good smokey eye. It takes like seven different colors to even start to get the right feel. But maybe I’ll try her version of it instead of the ones I’ve been using. It looks pretty well done and easy to follow.

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