The Best Smokey Eye Looks You Haven't Tried

Updated 04/27/19

Smokey eye makeup is a true classic that’ll see you through everything from party season to weddings and days when a statement eye is just necessary. But if you’ve been sweeping your lids with the same blend of smokey shadows over and again, it’s time to mix things up. We’re talking pops of color from deliciously dark teal to bright orange, swapping greys for copper tones or a wash of rainbow shades, and changing up the shape or placement of your shadow so that even hooded eyes won’t hide your handiwork. Keep scrolling for 11 incredible smokey eye makeup ideas now.

The Classic

Curly-haired woman with smokey eye
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Take the classic smokey eye up a notch by maxing out the lighter shade with a high-shine metallic. The Urban Decay Heavy Metals Palette is packed with metallic powders perfect for party eyes—the Glamrock shade is ideal for re-creating this look from the Brandon Maxwell runway.

Bright Eyes

Woman with gold smokey eye
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Who says smokey eyes need to be dark? Brighten things up with a blend of gold and zesty orange, as seen at the Hermès shows, then add the smoke by smudging black or dark brown kohl around the outer corners and lower lashline. Try the By Terry Crayon Khol Terrybly Color Eye Pencil in Brown Secret ($30), a blendable pigment that’ll stay put.

Wing It

Woman with copper smokey eye
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If you have hooded eyes and rarely get a chance to show off your super smokey blending skills, take a tip from the Jill Stuart runway and sweep things up and out for a smokey wing. The brow’s the limit, so push it as boldly as you dare. For extra control try a soft precision eyeshadow brush like the Urban Decay E207 ($24).

Copper Tones

Woman with copper smokey eye
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If dark grey shades trend to leave you looking washed out, warm things up with copper tones instead. Blend russet reds with bronze, copper and gold for a seductive switch that’ll suit all skin tones. You’ll find the perfect collection of colors (and more besides) in the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette ($65).

Color Pop

Woman with red smokey eye
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The Alberta Ferretti A/W 17 show took smokey eye makeup to the next level by placing hot red smudges in the center of the lid and finishing up with a touch of gold in the inner corners. It’s fresh and fierce, and we love it. To re-create, use a wet applicator to press MAC Pigment Colour Powder in Copper ($22) onto your lids.

Rainbow Shades

Woman with rainbow smokey eye
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If a pop of color isn’t quite enough, go full rainbow. Swap the traditional light-into-dark blend for clashing shades, finishing up with a metallic third hue under the lower lashes. A highly pigmented palette like the Morphe 35 Colour Smokey Eye Shadow Palette (35S) will have everything you need to experiment.

Teal Smoke

Woman with teal smokey eye
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For a seriously cool edge, try smoking murky greens and shades of teal. They’re the perfect alternative to black and grey and promise a double-take. We love the offering in the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Rebel ($53), complete with a highlighting powder and three trend-led takes on teal.

Smoked Socket

Woman with smokey eye
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Why stop at the crease when you can smoke the whole eye socket? On the Armani Privé runway, models sported matte eyeshadow taken all the way up to the brow. If the look feels too harsh, soften things a little as the color creeps closer to the eyebrow, using a powder like Beauty Bakerie Flour Setting Powder in Translucent ($24).

Glitter Finish

Woman with glitter smokey eye
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This one is easy. After applying your smokey shadow as you please, give the look one final flourish with some glitter pressed at the outer corners. Try a glitter primer like the Nyx Professional Makeup Glitter Primer ($6.50) to give your sparkle all-night hold.

Lash Out

Blonde-haired woman with smokey eye and big lashes
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For a touch of the unexpected, skip mascara on your upper lashes and overload the bottom set instead. If you’re worried about a classic smoky eye looking dated, this is the fashion week-approved way to add a modern edge. For chunky lashes, try a full-throttle mascara like the Eyeko Rock Out & Lash Out Mascara ($26).

Negative Space

Woman with a smokey eye wearing a hat
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For a fresh take, try leaving the lid bare to create negative space, and concentrate your smokey efforts above the crease. A creamy formulation will make this easier as you’ll have more control over where it goes. We love Touch in Sol Metallist Liquid Foil & Glitter Shadow Duo in Talia ($25).

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