Tips & Tricks for the Perfect, Not So Perfect Smokey Eye

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect, Not So Perfect Smokey Eye
Who wants all the smoke? The evolution of the Smokey Eye has not been completely lost in the beauty history books. It dates back all the way to the ancient Egyptians, with the use of kohl and powders incorporated into their everyday lives and looks. The Egyptians not only used this as a method of beautification, but also believed in its use for protection against entities like evil spirits. So if you’re trying to slay and keep the bad vibes away, that Smokey Eye look may just be it!
Fast forward a few centuries to the 1900s, smokey eye makeup started picking up and gaining popularity once more in the 1920s during the time of black and white films. Dramatic and dark eye makeup was critical at this time in order to be shown clearly on screen. Many created a smokey eye with just the use of their fingers, smudging black kohl liner. However, the look did begin to evolve quickly as time passed with the production of new beauty tools and products that would help achieve an even smokier and blended eye, but with less of the mess and hassle.
Celebrities in the industry began to be more creative with their smokey eyes and incorporated colors outside of the traditional black; a mix of the use of greys and browns were added to the equation to introduce and produce softer looks. Many adored this look as it gave a feeling of confidence and empowerment. The smokey eye has also been known to be a favorite for tying evening wear looks together due to its alluring and fierce nature.
Elizabeth Taylor's iconic portrayal in the 1963 film “Cleopatra” featured an ancient Egyptian-inspired smokey eye that captivated and inspired many. This look was soon replicated and incorporated into more shows and films, each with their own creative twists. By the 90s, the smokey eye evolved again as sharp lines were softened and more blending was introduced. Instead of relying solely on eyeliners, the use of eyeshadow palettes facilitated easier blending into other colors. The smokey eye expanded beyond the traditional black to include shades like blues, bronze, olives, and plums, making its way from the silver screen to the everyday looks of people everywhere.

Over the years, different techniques to achieve the smokey eye look have been born. It really all started with just grabbing a black eyeliner and developed into its own form of art. There’s a surplus of colors and tools that can be used to their advantage to achieve the look yourselves with only a few to name. Using dark colors can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, anyone can perfect a not so perfect, perfect smokey eye. A few tips to keep in mind when starting your smokey eye look is to keep the darkest color closest to your lash line, both top and bottom. This will give a clean look without making it seem like you had a wild night and forgot to take your eye makeup off. To keep it simple and sweet, a smokey eye is meant to look effortless. So pick your favorite 2-3 colors and let’s get this show started!

Step One: Get your hands on a smudge-free primer, this’ll ensure your shadow doesn’t budge and smear! We recommend grabbing our Rude Cosmetics vegan Prelude Eyeshadow Primer. This primer will prevent any creases, smears, and intensify shadows all-in-one.

Step Two: Blend, blend, blend! Make it easier on yourself by using the proper brushes. Deposit your crease shade with our Rude Silver Bullet Crease Brush. Easily blend and fan out your crease shade using our Rude Silver Bullet Blending Brush. Finish it off using our Rude Silver Bullet Packing Brush to pack the darkest shade onto your eyelid. Remember, it’s important to keep the darkest shade as close to your eyelid and feather out the rest!

Step Three: Use a warm neutral tone like brown to give depth and dimension to your eyes. Our Rude Cosmetics Rude Awakening - Book 5 eyeshadow palette from our book series is perfect with its selection of dark and neutral tones to choose from.

Step Four: Add on them layers! Layer the darkest shade you’re working with onto your lid, packing it until you get your desired look. Another technique you can use is smudging and eyeliner such as our Rude Eye Have A Secret Creamy Gel Liner. The creamy consistency of this pencil makes creating a soft edged smokey eye easier and it’s even waterproof!

Step Five: Finish off your sultry look with our Sultry Eyes Mascara. Adding the mascara will give that extra UNF and wow factor. Line your bottom waterline with a black eyeliner to accentuate and minimize your eye shape and size.

Now, if you don’t feel like Steps 1 and 2 are really your thing, instead of working with eyeshadow, you can most definitely substitute it with just eyeliner and blend! For this technique, try our Rude PeepShow Brow & Eyeliner Cream. Its soft formula makes it easy to blend out, but can be used to make sharp lines as well.


No matter what way you choose to find your perfect not so perfect smokey eye, the possibilities are endless! We wish you all the best on your journey to finding the smokey eye that suits you best and we can’t wait to see what you have to create. If you use any Rude products on your journey, make sure to let us know and tag us on Instagram @rudecosmetics! Be sure to follow us to get the latest on future Rude releases.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the key to a successful smokey eye look?

The key to a successful smokey eye look is blending. Use proper brushes to deposit and blend colors, ensuring that the darkest shade is closest to your lash line for a clean, smudged effect.

2. What tools and products are essential for creating a smokey eye?

Essential tools and products include a smudge-free primer, crease, blending, and packing brushes, a neutral tone eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, and mascara. Rude Cosmetics offers specific products like the Prelude Eyeshadow Primer, Silver Bullet Brushes, and Sultry Eyes Mascara.

3. How can I prevent my eyeshadow from creasing or smudging?

To prevent eyeshadow from creasing or smudging, use a high-quality eyeshadow primer like Rude Cosmetics' vegan Prelude Eyeshadow Primer. This will ensure your shadow stays in place and intensifies the colors.

4. Can I create a smokey eye look using only eyeliner?

Yes, you can create a smokey eye look using only eyeliner. Blend the eyeliner with a brush or your fingers to achieve a soft-edged smokey effect. Rude PeepShow Brow & Eyeliner Cream is ideal for this technique due to its soft, blendable formula.

5. What are some tips for layering eyeshadows in a smokey eye look?

When layering eyeshadows for a smokey eye:

  1. Start with a warm neutral tone in the crease for depth.
  2. Apply the darkest shade on the lid, packing it until you reach the desired intensity.
  3. Use eyeliner to define the lash line and waterline for added drama.
  4. Finish with mascara for extra volume and impact.

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