How to Ace the Smoky-Eye

Smoky, sexy eyes in no time!

Let’s face it: we’re not all make-up experts. And yet, we still want to go out looking our best. Most of us have the foundation, lip, and blush techniques down but what gets tricky is the eyes. You could keep it easy and go with a neutral shade for the summer but at night, you want something sexier – like the smoky-eye. Love Twenty will teach you how to ace it.

I’ve been working on my smoky-eye for years now. I’d like to think I’ve finally conquered the method so I’m here to share my secrets with you. Read on and decide if you want to take them or leave them, my lovely readers.

Step One: Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer: When heading out for the night, or any day for that matter, it’s important to make sure that the colors you’re applying to your lid stay there. I apply Smashbox’s Photo Finish Lid Primer, which glides on amazingly smooth, to my entire lid with a brush or just my middle finger, being sure to avoid any clumps as they’ll show up once you put the shadow on. Being light-skinned, I choose a light shade. Find the one that matches your skin tone best so you’re starting with an even canvas. Find it for $20 at

Step Two: Bobbi Brown Smoky Eye Palette: Instead of using four different shadows, I use a palette that I can take with me in case I need a touch up. Bobbi Brown’s Smoky Eye Palette has all of the colors for a dark smoky eye look and, once applied to the lid, creates a very sultry look. I always start with the darkest shade first and use my fingers for precision. Once the darkest shade has been applied to the corner of my eye, I pat on the next color and then blend. I repeat the process until I’ve reached the end of my eye. There, I use the lightest shade, typically a snowy white, at the corners of my eyes and below the arch of my eyebrow for a little highlight. Find it for $45 at

Step Three: bareMinerals Angled Liner Shadow Brush: When it comes to liner, I prefer to use one that comes out a jar. It creates a thicker, more dramatic line that’s sleek enough to be paired with even the least severe smoky eye. For that purpose, I use bareMinerals’ Angled Liner Shadow Brush. The bristles are angled for you, making appliance that much easier. It’s also quite stiff, making the line you’ll be drawing more defined. Find it for $12 at

Step Four: MAC Fluidline Eye Liner: I always say, “Save the liner for last.” If you apply before the shadow, the color becomes dull. To complete the look, I start by dampening the bristles of the angled brush. This allows the liner to cling, further creating a better line. I then dip my brush into the MAC Fluidline pot, extend my lid out to the side (as if to tighten it), and begin from the corner and work my way to the end. For a more dramatic look, I flick the liner at the end. The cat eye look is always a sexy winner. Find it for $15 at

Now that you’ve got the tools, try it out! Go product by product, step by step, and see what you come up with. And remember, just because you don’t get it down the first time, doesn’t mean you never will. Keep trying and you’ll get the hang of it eventually.

What’s your best tip for achieving a great smoky-eye look?


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