Can a Smokey Eye Ever Be Easy? We Put 3 Hacks to the Test.

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Ah, the smokey eye. Equal parts alluring and mysterious, mastering this illusive shadow look will not only make your peepers pop no matter the color, it can render a man senseless with just one wink of your well-smoked lid.

Okay, maybe smokey eye shadow isn't that enticing but there's something that makes us feel fearless when we rock a look so bold and yet so stylish. Still, it's not an easy look to achieve. What shades of shadows should be using and how do you know when to use browns, blacks or grays? How do you prevent it from running underneath your eyes by the end of the night, making you look like a raccoon? And most important of all, how do you keep from looking like an all around hot mess?

For those who are just starting with the smokey eye effect, this shadow job can be daunting. That's why we simply had to test some of the most popular hacks out there to see if there was an easy way to achieve such a look. Lucky for all of us, they seemed to work!

1. Just Some Liner

For this Pinterest look which you can find here, the basic idea is to sketch out some lines of what you want the overall shadow shape to look like and them smudge the living daylights out of it to get that smoked effect. Simple, minimal and quick!
smokey eye hacksThis is what it looked like when I finished. I drew two lines going diagonally across my eye, one coming out of the very corner and one toward the center. Then I created an arching line around my crease and another right on top of where my lid ended. I used a very creamy chocolate brown pencil to do the job. On Pinterest the lines were a little sharper, but like I said you're just going to smudge everything together anyway.

After taking a small brush and blending all of the lines, whipping away any excess that got outside of my original borders, I was left with this! I also used some pencil right underneath my lashes.
Smokey EyeThis looked amazing! I was actually really surprised by how good it came out considering how simple the whole process was. I was so convinced that I would wind up looking like a hot mess who accidentally smudged her liner, but this was fierce. And it only took a matter of minutes! My one suggestion would be to pop a highlight shade right by your tear duct because that's where the liner will stop and needs additional color. Other than, totes approve!

2. A Little Bit of Shadow

Like the last look, this was a Pinterest tutorial that mostly involved some tracing and a bit of smudging. Unlike the picture from the tutorial, I opted for some black and gray shades to change things up. I wanted to experiment with as many smokey looks as I could.
Smokey EyeFor this, I took a creamy black pencil and basically traced the shape of my lid adding a little cat eye. I drew the line from the top of my lashes, out toward my crease, running it back down to the bottom of my lash line. Yes, I looked a bit like I had a strange disease but I knew it wouldn't look like this long.

I then smudged the inside of the lines throughout the shape I created so they were less defined and placed a sparkly shade of silver shadow in the middle. Adding little bit of liquid winged eyeliner, this was the final look I got.
Hot damn once again! Not only was this look super simple it was just the right amount of darkness around my eyes to make them pop. To add just a bit more to this look, I'd also add a highlighting color under my brow bone and a nude tan across my crease just to make the darker shades stand out. Hack number two is a total yes!

3. Liquid Liner? Are you Sure?

For my third smokey eye quickie, I went with Beauty Blogger Zukreat's video. In it, she uses a combo of black and brown shades to make her blue eyes look stunning.

Because I didn't have the exact shadows she used in her video, I used the best beauty dupes from my own palettes. The basic idea was to put three different shades of brown on top of thick, black liquid eyeliner in order to create layered, smokey effect.
Smokey EyeOnce I put the insanely thick amount of liner on my lids, I started to feel skeptical. Would I actually be able to cover those bold lines with a shadow? Would it really be that quick?

Nope, it most certainly wasn't. Unless you want to be blending for years, I wouldn't recommend using a liquid liner at all. If you want to try this look, try using a pencil on your lid with a liquid liner on the corners to create your wing. No matter how dark of a shadow I used, I couldn't make the liner blend in with the rest of my shadow. I was getting super frustrated, using more and more shadow and it was going everywhere. Needless to say, I had some bad dark circles.
smokey eyeWhen all was said and done, I looked like I was on some serious drugs. I am used to wearing a pretty heavy amount of makeup but this was way too much. Maybe Taylor Momsen would have been digging on this look, but I totes was not a fan.

Number three needed some intense adjustments.

What I learned from this whole experience was this: The simpler, the better for your smokey eye and be sure to smudge the crap out of it.


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