How to master the smokey eye: a step-by-step guide

There's no doubt that smokey eye make-up is a beauty classic. Favoured by stars including Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Selena Gomez, it adds instant glamour to any hair and beauty style, working best as an evening look.

We take a look at how to master the smokey eye with a handy step-by-step guide


Smokey eye make-up is one of Victoria Beckham's trademark looks

Step one: Pick the shades you want to use. Black and dark blues make for a bold look, or you may want to complement a colourful outfit with matching eyeshadow. If you're after a softer finish, try shades of grey. You'll need three shades: light (preferably nude or white), medium (for the main colour) and dark (for the smokey effect).

Step two: To ensure the colour stays in place, start by applying primer to your eyelids and above the socket crease.

Step three: Take a nude eyeshadow and use a brush to sweep it across the eyelid, socket crease. Then blend it out towards the arch of your eyebrows for brighter eyes.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini often sports the glamorous look for the red carpet

Step four: Using a soft brush, begin to apply your medium colour eyeshadow, brushing along the base of your eyelid, above the lash. Slowly start to blend it into the eye socket crease, working outwards to the outer corner of your eye.

Step five: Now you'll need the darkest shade of your chosen look. Using an angled brush, start from the outercorner of your eye and work inwards closely to the edge of the lash line. When applying it's best to start off lightly – you can always go back and add more later.

Selena Gomez opted for bright colours at the AMAs

Step six: The key to any smokey eye look: blending. Take a brush and blend the three shades until the edges are no longer defined. At this stage if you want to add more colour, take the darkest shade and keep working from the outer corner inwards.

Step seven: When you're happy with your look, add eyeliner to your top and bottom lash lines. If you want a softer look opt for kohl which can blend easily, however for definition go for a liquid liner – and for ultimate wow factor, add a winged eyeliner look.

Step eight: Add a coat of mascara to your lashes for a full, voluminous finish to the look.