Hannah Martin on the Foolproof Way to Create a Smoky Eye

Updated 01/08/19

Meet pro makeup artist Hannah Martin. Every month, she will be answering your makeup dilemmas as put forward in our Facebook group, The British Beauty Line. This month, she answered a question about achieving the perfect smoky eye.

“Hi, Hannah. Can you tell us the formula for the perfect smoky eye?”

A classic smoky eye will never go out of fashion and is the makeup look of choice for many throughout the festive season. The rule of thumb for creating the perfect smoky eye is that deep darker shades are applied over the entire lid, through the crease of the eye and along the lower lash line with perfectly blended edges and no hard lines.

Although impressive to look at, a smoky eye needn’t be difficult to create. Some might like to experiment with blending multiple shadows together but I really like the look of one seamlessly blended shade for minimum effort, maximum impact. For the easiest dark smoky eye, keep scrolling to follow my quick and easy how-to guide.

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

Step One

Get a black gel eyeliner. I’m using Delilah Gel Line in Ebony (£22).

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

Use your gel liner to roughly and generously line your lash line.

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

Step Two

Use a blending brush to buff the gel liner over the entire lid and up into the crease. 

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

Repeat on the other eye, and keep blending until there are no harsh lines.

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

Step Three

Line the lower lash line and buff again with a clean brush for a softer, smokier line before taking the gel liner along the water line.

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

Step Four

Curl your lashes and apply three to four coats of your favourite volumizing mascara. I’m using the Hourglass Caution Extreme Mascara (£26).

how to smokey eye: makeup artist hannah martin
Byrdie UK

And that’s it! The perfect formula for a super-quick, easy smoky eye. 

Hannah Martin's Top Smoky Eye Tips

If you have almond-shaped eyes you can take a lot of smoky liner all the way around your eyes. If your eyes are more round, you may wish to pull the liner out longer and higher in the outer corner of the eyes to elongate them.

If you think your eyes are a little close-set, don’t add too much smokiness to the inner corner of the eye. Instead, brighten the area with a light eye shadow or highlighter to bounce light away from the inner bridge of the nose.

If you think you might have small eyes, keep the smokiness to the top lash line only, and keep the lower lash line free of eye makeup. This will create the same smoky effect but with a brighter-eyed finish.  

Every month, we’ll be putting your makeup questions to Hannah. Head to our private Facebook group, The British Beauty Line, to submit your questions…

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