How to Create Smokey Eyes

Applying Mascara for Smokey Eyes

Now that you've applied your eye shadow and eyeliner, you're ready to put the finishing touches on your smokey eyes. Your mascara will not only complete the look but also will balance out your eye shadow and eyeliner.

Choosing the right mascara is important. First off, your mascara should complement your eyeliner choice. If you used black eyeliner, opt for black or onyx mascara. For dark brown eyeliner you can either go with a dark brown mascara or black brown mascara. Next, find a good water-soluble mascara for daily use that you can wash off at night. You don't want to pull out or break off your eyelashes just to remove your mascara at night [source: Prevention]. If you are blessed with dark, thick and long eyelashes, regular mascara will work fine. For thinner eyelashes, volumizing mascara is helpful. In fact, if your eyelashes are really sparse, don't be afraid to put on fake eyelashes before applying mascara. Eye-batting lashes are, in fact, a big part of smokey eyes.

Now it's time for the all important mascara application. Grab the tube of mascara and pull out the brush. If mascara is clumped on the tip of the brush, wipe the excess off on a tissue. Plopping a glob of mascara from the brush to your lashes is a recipe for disaster. If the mascara brush looks evenly coated, apply mascara from the roots to the tips in an even stoke. Another strategy is to use the mascara brush in a vertical manner and sweep across the eyelashes. Use a method that allows you to achieve clump-free coverage. After one coat, let your mascara dry completely before adding a second or third coat. This will help lengthen and thicken your lashes to balance out those smokey eyes.

Now that your eyes are glamorous, you're ready to head out on the town. For more information on smokey eyes and other makeup tips, look over the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Makeup Sense. "Smoky Eyes." (Aug. 11, 2009)
  • Marie Claire. "Get the Celebrity Look: Smokey Eyes." (Aug. 11, 2009)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Moisturizers: Options for softer skin." (Aug. 1, 2009)
  • Prevention. "Eyeliner." (Aug. 11, 2009)
  • Prevention. "Eye shadow." (Aug. 11, 2009) 2281eac____/
  • Prevention. "Mascara." (Aug. 11, 2009)
  • Seventeen. "Accentuate Your Eyes." (Aug. 19, 2009)
  • Shape. "Beauty How-To: Smoky Eyes Made Simple." (Aug. 11, 2009)
  • WebMD. "Have Your Beauty Products Gone Bad?" (Aug. 1, 2009)
  • WebMD. "How to Read a Label." (Aug. 11, 2009)