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Mar 24, 2012

Tutorial: Brown and Black Smoky Eye

For those of you who are looking for a different way to create a smoky eye and like this look I created, I will tell you step-by-step how to create it and the products that I used. 

  1. Prime your eyelids. I used Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, however any primer you          have will work. You may also use a concealer for this step.
  2. Take a matte black eye shadow such as Carbon from MAC or Perversion from Urban Decay and apply on your eyelid and stopping at the crease. I recommend using the smallest shader brush that you have since you are applying the strong black color in a smaller, thinner space. The inner 1/4th of the eye should remain untouched as you don't want too much darkness on the inside of the eye.
  3. Take a brown, bronze, or copper color with a crease brush and sweep gently over the entire crease, building color with each sweep steadily. I used the Makeup Geek shade in Glamorous  and a MAC 217 crease brush
  4. Use a fluffy crease brush that isn't quite as dense as the MAC 217, such as the MAC 224, to lightly blend the black shade on your eyelid upward to avoid any harsh lines between the black and brown colors. Keep blending! I did a lot and think it gives a smoother look even if the colors aren't quite as strong as they originally were.
  5. With a shimmery white, champagne, or ivory eye shadow, apply under the brow for a highlight as well as in the inner corner of the eye. I use either Maybelline eyeshadow in Champagne Fizz or MAC White Frost. You could also use a light yellow gold such as MAC Retrospeck or Urban Decay Half Baked. To intensify on the inner corner, you may use a creamy eyeshadow stick first such as the NYX jumbo pencil in milk.
  6. Use that same crease brush from step 4 and blend the highlight on the inner corner with the black on the lid. Make sure to sweep the brush towards the outer corner of the eye to avoid getting black mixed in with the inner corner highlight. This step will create a nice, almost gray color, of a transition on the inner 1/4th of the eye.
  7. Take a black eyeliner pencil, such as the Tarte Cashmere Waterproof Gliding Liner in Black Magic (which I used an is in the Miracle of Maracuja kit I blogged about prior to this post) or Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Zero or Perversion to line the upper and bottom waterline. I prefer a waterproof liner if you have watery eyes like I do!
  8. Take a black liquid eyeliner, liquid eyeliner pen, or gel liner to line the upper lash line, starting with a thin line towards the inner corner and gradually getting thicker towards the outer corner. Take your time with this step.
  9. Create a wing by following your bottom lash line upwards. Don't bring the wing out too far but enough to be able to see it when you are looking straight. Connect the wing to the upper lash line you created in step 8 and gently to the bottom lash line as well.
  10. Use the MAC 219 Pencil Brush to bring the highlight shade you used in step 5 to carry out the color about 1/3rd of the way in on your bottom lash line BELOW the waterline. Then take a copper shade (you can use the same shade as you did in your crease in step 3 or a different color...up to you) such as MAC Amber Lights to line the rest of your bottom lash line to the outer corner of the eye. For extra definition, you can take any dark brown or bronze color to line the outer 1/4th.
  11. Now the most important step to tie together the smoky eye- mascara! I used Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! and L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara together. Any lengthening, defining, or volumizing mascara will do the trick. False lashes would also work great.

The look is complete in just 11 simple steps! This look only really requires 3-5 eye shadow colors, eyeliner, and mascara....doesn't take too long either. I would recommend this for at night as it may be a little to harsh and smoky for day time. I think this is a great smoky eye for blue eyes too. The black brings out the white of the eye, and the brown brings out the blue. What is also unique about this look is how it's opposite from the typical smoky eye where the darker color is in the crease and the lighter color is on the lid. For more information on some of the products I mentioned in this post, go to My MAC Palettes post and Favorites: Eye Makeup.

Let me know if you like this look and would like to see more step-by-step tutorials! Feel free to ask me any questions about product or color suggestions, or to make any future requests. 

**BONUS: I'll follow your blog if you post a picture of you recreating this look! :)




  1. this cat eye look is amazing :)
    actually your eyes are perfect for this make up!
    great tutorial!

    1. Thank you so much! I agree- since I have smaller, hooded eyelids, this smoky actually does work for me unlike many of the other techniques! :)

  2. Great tutorial! It's so hard to master the smokey eye, but you made it seem easy! Thanks for the tips!

    Have a great week!

    1. Aw I'm glad you liked it :)! Thank you! Your blog is ADORABLE..perhaps I'm biased because I absolutely love anything Lilly Pulitzer or Lilly-esque/preppy. I'm from Palm Beach, FL so I was surrounded by Lilly dresses, Jack Rogers, name it...growing up :)

  3. k love love love this tutorial!

    1. Aw thank you!! Your blog is sooooo adorable! You have the cutest style too :)

  4. Absolutely beautiful. You have stunning eyes!! Thank you for the steps, I have hooded eyelids too! Following, can't wait for more xxxx

    1. Aw yay thank you!! My eyes are small and hooded so it's nice to find looks to emphasize those features rather than hide them. Do you have any requests for future posts? I'd be happy to do anything that interests you!