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Learn Six Ways To Make Your Black Smokey Eyes Look More Natural

By Ewa Linsey

Black smokey eyes should be intense and make a statement. But too strong and too black can sometimes be just… too much. The question I often get asked is: how to get the drama, the sultry look but without it looking too harsh? Here is how you can apply black smokey eyes without looking over-made up.

Include these six secrets in your skills and you will gain complete control over how black and how strong your smokey eyes should be.

For starters, you might consider skipping a black eye pencil. I know. It is a smokey eye makeup classic. But a very dark eyepencil in brown might be as effective. It would still define and accentuate your eye while creating less contrast with your skin tone.

Instead of a black eyeshadow, choose an “almost-black” color like espresso brown or very deep plum. Creating black smokey eyes without a black eyeshadow? Precisely. Listen to the pro: Molly R. Stern (who has applied makeup on many celebrities) advises to use dark (as opposed to black) eyeshadow even when aiming for the smokey look: “These shades give you sexy shadow without being too overbearing or dark.” ( Emily Hebert, “Makeup Tip: Black Eye Shadow”, It is a really effective technique and very user-friendy. I saw it done recently on Ashley Olsen with aubergine-brown over a tough black liner. And the effect was just right: a really strong but earthy and flattering smokey eye.

Tip 3. A wash of lighter color used alongside your black shadow might create an illusion of softness. Find a shade that is close to the color of your skin. Beige with pinkish undertones for light skin and beige tinted with peach if your are darker.

A less publicized but very effective way of taking the edge off your black smokey eyes is to mix some bronze or brown eye shadow in. These warmer hues will help the eye design blend in better with your skin tone resulting in a more natural look. I see it quite often on celebrities. I especially liked a black and bronze smokey eye that Kate Moss wore last year in New York. It had attitude but was pretty and flattering too.

I will always be repeating this one: blending is key. And even more so when you are on a mission to soften your black smokey eyes. Making the edges less pronounced is the thing to do. To learn all about this essential skill read my detailed ebook on smokey eyes which has a chapter dedicated to blending.

What to do when you already did your black smokey eyes, including blending, and you still find that it is too much for you? Resort to powder. Dust a bit with someting soft like a cotton ball. Or, as Bobbi Brown suggests, opt for a powder puff. Keep in mind one thing: don’t powder under your eyes since it might make your fine lines appear deeper.

Now that you know your way to do wearable and muted black smokey eyes, don’t let anything stop you! Learn, apply, blend, improve and look sultry!

Before starting your eye makeup read Ewa Linsey’s illustrated ebook on smoky eyes : it’s complete with smokey eye formulas and techniques that work time and time again. Also grab more tips about black smokey eyes : the key look when you want to be noticed!

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Linsey, Ewa "Learn Six Ways To Make Your Black Smokey Eyes Look More Natural." Learn Six Ways To Make Your Black Smokey Eyes Look More Natural. 4 Jul. 2010. 6 Nov 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Linsey, E (2010, July 4). Learn Six Ways To Make Your Black Smokey Eyes Look More Natural. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Linsey, Ewa "Learn Six Ways To Make Your Black Smokey Eyes Look More Natural"

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