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April 3, 2017updated Dec 20, 2023

Smokey Eye Essentials

By Olivia Cuccaro

By Olivia Cuccaro

Sultry and striking, the smokey eye is a makeup technique worth playing up. Whether you’re in need of a bold evening look or a softer daytime palette, the smokey eye can be modified to suit just about any outfit and eye color. Elite Traveler spoke with makeup artist William Murphy for his expert insight into this makeup trend and the products that perfect it.

“The best smokey eye gets more intense towards the lash line giving a beautifully strong frame to the eye,” said makeup artist William Murphy in speaking to Elite Traveler. “After applying a medium depth shadow to the eyelid, use a soft eyeliner in a coordinating color to line the eye working the color pencil into the lash line. Using a smudge brush to soften the edges of the eyeliner. If you have larger eyes or are partial to a more piercing gaze, feel free to line the top and bottom inner rims of the eye.  Always finish with a black mascara – two coats of course. Play with color!  Navy and slate grey are great for blue and green eyes, eggplant or charcoal for brown eyes.”

See below for our smokey eye essentials.

Use this shimmer eyeshadow from Surratt Beauty to create sheer color coverage for day or rich color for night. Infused with an exclusive Japanese slurry formula, the shadow can be applied wet or dry. The shades Truffe and Minuit will also do the trick.

Surratt Beauty Artistique Eyeshadow in Gray Gardens, $20,

The soft consistency of kohl liner makes it easy to achieve a smokey eye effect. Chanel’s pigmented formula glides gently over the eyelid and lower lash line and is available in classic Noir or subtler Marine.

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Chanel Le Crayon Khôl, $30,

After applying the Chanel liner, smudge it out with this dual-sided tool from Kevyn Aucoin. The angled brush can smooth liner into a wing, while the smudging tip mini brush head makes creating classic winged shapes fun and easy. On the opposite end, the handy smudging tip can be dampened for an intense smokey result.

Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeliner/Smudger brush, $38,

For ultimate volume, follow Murphy’s recommendation and double up on mascara – we love this one from Lancôme. The unique Swan Neck wand is designed to lift lashes while the long, dual bristles offer precise application for maximum length. Start with the outer lashes, then rotate the brush with the neck downward to coat the inner lash line.

Lancôme Grandiôse Extrême mascara, $32,

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