In the world of makeup, there are few things more challenging than creating a soft and sultry smoky eye. Too overzealous and you can end up looking like a deranged raccoon; too timid and you might look like you’re sporting a bruised eye. The perfect, confident swipe is an art that seems as time-consuming as it is elusive.
But it doesn’t have to be, according to celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey. Mastering a smoky eye can be a super-simple process, she says.
Demonstrating her foolproof trick for creating this smoldering look, Dempsey begins by sketching a line along the lower lashes with an eye pencil. (She uses her own waterproof brand.)
“It doesn’t have to be completely accurate,” Dempsey says. “It’s very soft and really, really blend-able.”
Next, she uses the eye pencil to draw a line along the upper lashes, as close to the upper lash line as possible.
Then, in the crease of the eye, Dempsey draws what looks like an upside-down “V.”
Using a dark gray lid tint and a nylon brush, she focuses on the final step. “You’re going to blend these two lines together by moving back and forth, left to right,” Dempsey says.
The whole thing uses three tools and takes less than five minutes. “Pretty fast for your tutorial,” Dempsey says. “You’ve got a smoky eye now!”
Another makeup tip from Dempsey: