{Beautirati} Smokey Eye Makeup Tutorial with Neutral Colours

Welcome to the return of Little Pink Blog‘s {Beautirati} series.

Yes, I know it’s been on hiatus for awhile, but I’d like to change that again.

First of all, I got a new product this week to try out. It’s from Benefit Cosmetics and it is their “Stay, Don’t Stray” primer for concealer and eye shadows.

I actually heard about this product through a new little promo that Benefit is running with Cake Plate Boutiques in Napa Valley, CA. For Summer 2011, Benefit  will have a Benefit Cosmetics Pop-up Shop inside of Cake Plate on #1000 Main Street. Sooooooo, if you are in the area, go check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Anyway, on to my tutorial…

A lot of people are scared of the “Smokey Eye” look because it uses a lot of black eye shadow and it’s very intense. Not only that, but you have to have control and confidence to rock that amount of black on your eyelids, especially, if you’re doing it yourself.

A look that I, personally, like to rock on a regular basis is the “Smokey Eye” look, but WITHOUT BLACK!

I tend to use relatively similar techniques but with a few short-cuts and wide variety of colours to create a more natural or fun look that isn’t as Oscar-awards daunting.

One of my favourite ways to do this is to use various shades of brown and other neutral tones to create a sassy, sexy and beauty-enhancing look perfect for day or night!

What you will need:-

My FAVOURITE eye shadow palette from MAC

Falsies, StudioFix BoldBlack Lash, Mascara X

HotHouse and Provocative Pink

Liquid eye liner brushes - Vera Bradley brush LEFT MAC Cosmetics brush RIGHT

Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again

MAC and Samantha Chapman makeup brushes

You don’t need to use my exact products, but I wanted you to have an idea of what is in my makeup bag and what I used to create this look.

For this particular tutorial I used:-

  1. Benefit STAY Don’t Stray Primer
  2. MAC Paint Pot “Chilled on Ice”
  3. Maybelline Falsies Mascara (this is the same one they use for Fashion Week on most runways!)
  4. MAC “Hot House” Lipglass
  5. Yves Saint Laurent “Provocative Pink” lipstick
  6. Concealer
  7. Face powder
  8. 3 eye shadow brushes — one to apply most of the shadow (angled), one for the inner corner (smaller for more precise application,) one fluffy for all-purpose blending
  9. 1 liquid eyeliner brush (angled)
  10. Variety of at least THREE neutral eye shadows — darkest brown (in palette far right), medium brown to blend (I used “BRONZE” in my palette – third from the right), one to highlight with (I used Urban Decay “Midnight Cowboy Rides Again“) — I believe NAKED from Urban Decay is a similar palette to mine or just use whatever eye shadows you have
  11. MAC Fluidline liquid gel eyeliner in “Blacktrack”
  12. MAC Eye Kohl eye liner pencil in “Smolder”
  13. MAC “Ambering Rose” blush
  14. MAC “Barbie Loves MAC” beauty powder/highlighter
  15. MAC pigment “Black Black”

*On that note, I’ll tell you that for all the “How To” example photos, they were taken without flash and in natural white lighting.

  • Step 1

Yellowish on brow is Chliled on Ice

Using the Benefit primer prime your eyelids, 3 small dots on the bottom and 3 small dots on the top should do it, blend with your finger.

I also took my “Chilled on Ice” paint pot from MAC and used it on the brow bone on top of the Benefit primer and the base for what will enhance my brow bone once eye shadow is applied.

  • Step 2

Taking the darkest brown shadow, I used my angled brush, and started applying shadow from the outer corner in towards the center of my eyelid.

I did not allow the shadow to touch anywhere above my crease.

As you blend, keep dipping your brush into the shadow for more product.

And as you blend and keep getting more product, blend and apply the shadow half-way across the entire bottom half of the top eyelid and start blending into your crease.

This should create a sort of “pop” look and make your crease appear deeper

  • Step 3

Take the medium brown of your choice — or in my case “Bronze” and apply from center where the deepest brown ended towards the inner corner of your eyelid WITHOUT actually applying shadow to the inner corner.

The picture above shows how near the brush should go towards the inner corner.

Blend accordingly and it should look like this:-

A little bit of the medium brown tone, might touch the crease and that’s okay.

I purposefully allowed my “Bronze” too, in order to soften the look and make it less dramatic.

Notice the crease and where the darkest brown eyeshadow is placed

  • Step 4

Switch brushes and take your tiny brush, and using the darkest colour, line the bottom eyelid with the eye shadow as if it’s eye liner.

This is to achieve a softer look than using regular eyeliner and then blending it and this technique will create that “smokey” look, but more natural and delicate.

Use a smaller brush and apply with caution because if you use too much, it will look like you have a black eye!

!!! BE CAREFUL !!!

Do the same with the medium brown eyeshadow so that it mimics the positioning of the shadows on the upper eyelid.

  • Step 5

Using your highlighter shadow, or in my case “Midnight Cowboy Rides Again,” apply to the brow bone using the fluffy brush.

This will help blend the harsh lines created by applying the darkest brown to the crease of your eyelid as well.

Then take your smallest brush that you used to “eye line” the bottom lid and use the highlighter eyeshadow to apply some product to the inner corner of the eye at the top and at the bottom.

Should look like this:

  • Step 6

Using an angled brush used specifically for liquid eyeliner applications, apply a thin line of BLACK liner to the top eyelid.

If you are uncomfortable with liquid liner, use a pencil, but make sure it is properly sharpened. I personally, and strongly suggest, using one of MAC’s Eye Kohl pencils because they are highly pigmented and extremely soft.

A good brown pencil of choice is called “Teddy” from this line of eyeliner pencils and the other that I used a lot is their black called “Smolder.”

THEN, take your pencil eyeliner (if you used gel/liquid), and apply some product to the bottom waterline.

Should look like the above.

  • Step 7

LEFT non-blend -- RIGHT blend

Using the same smallest brush that you used  to apply eye shadow delicately to the inner corner of the eye, take the same brush and using black eye shadow, in my case MAC pigment “Black Black,” and apply it LIGHTLY OVER the eyeliner line you created in order to “blend” it more.

If you do it delicately and correctly, it should look like the below:

both eyes blended

  • Step 8

Apply the mascara of your choice, and your eyes should look like mine!

*wheee* 🙂

  • Step 9

Apply your concealer, powder and blush.

muuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh xx

Lipstick of your choice.

As you know, I’m obsessed with my YSL “Provocative Pink,” but I also got “Hot House” from MAC earlier this year and I always look for opportunities to wear it because it’s so outrageously bright.

I put “Provocative Pink: on the bottom, mushed my lips together, then applied “Hot House” on top.

I did not use lip liner.

So of course, I used them together, but you don’t have too 🙂

A lot of typical “Smokey” looks pair lips with light neutral tones.

For example, NARS “Orgasm” lip gloss, any shiny clear lip gloss, or nude lipstick.

From a side angle, notice, again, the contrast between crease, brow bone and lid

  • Step 11

Another photo of CONTRAST

In the image above, you can see a DISTINCT contrast in the crease, brow bone and lids.

Apply any extra touch-ups you want to your taste and VIOLA!

You. Are. Finished.

You can make this look as INTENSE or as SOFT as you want.

It’s easier than a traditional “Smokey Eye” look, does not irritate the eye as much and does, in fact, cheat, to give you the desired effect!

Most of all when you do this look, HAVE FUN!!!

Say hieeeee to Ankelita! 🙂


Sasha H. Muradali runs the Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR). She holds a B.S. Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. International Administration with a concentration in Communication from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter (@SashaHalima), Harry Potter and the colour pink. Get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and find us on Facebook.

Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR are federally registered trademarks of Little Pink Book PR, LLC. © 2009-2011 Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Wow, I must say of all the “how-to” apply make-up articles I’ve read, this is by far the best! And now that I’ve seen the Provacative Pink on a few of your posts, I think I need to go out and get some of my own. Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to do both eyes? I assume for a pro like you, it doesn’t take long, but I always go for a routine that is simple and quick because I don’t have much patience for make-up.

  2. *yay!* I’m so glad you found it useful! AND using neutral colours you can dress this look up or down too!

    Thank you so much! 🙂

    Hmmm, because I was taking photographs it took longer than it would normally.

    I think once you ‘get the hang of it’ it shouldn’t take more than 15-25 minutes at the MOST to apply, and that’s adding in extra cushion time to deal with liquid gel eyeliner which you always have to be careful with.

    hahaha, I love Provocative Pink. I look for excuses to wear it, because it’s literally like Barbie pink! 🙂

    Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.