10 quick steps to a smoky eye

The smoky eye may be the most common makeup look for nights out in a little black dress. It creates drama, definition, and plays up the eyes beautifully. 

It’s my go-to when I have an event to attend and want more impact with my eye makeup.

I created this smoky eye with a handful of CoverGirl products. I really enjoyed playing around with the shadows and shadow pencils, and could not be more pleased with the final look!

The eyeshadow pots are a perfect size for filling up your brush with product. They are really pigmented, so you won’t have to keep reapplying for color. The Flamed Out Shadow pencils are a gel formula (and actually feel a little cool as you apply them), and go on like a dream. 
I’ve been using a few Cover Girl products for ages. Lash Blast is my favorite mascara of all time, and their Tapestry Taupe eyeshadow is probably the most universally flattering shade I’ve ever tried. I’m a big Cover Girl fan.

I created two different kinds of tutorials so you can learn how to create this look on yourself! 
1. Start with a bit of lid primer to make sure your smoky eye lasts all night.
3. Apply CoverGirl Flamed Out shadow Molten Black to crease and outer corners. Be generous as you apply this dark shadow as this is what is going to give you the depth and darkness!
4. Using liquid liner, draw a dramatic cat eye.
6. Line lower lash line with CoverGirl Flamed Out Shadow Pencil in Ashen Glow Flame.
7. Highlight brow bone (and blend with finger) with CoverGirl Flamed Out Shadow Pencil in Crystal Flame.
8. Generously apply CoverGirl Flamed Out mascara in Very Black to lashes.
9. Apply the same mascara to lower lashes.
10. For extra impact, line inner waterline with black eyeliner.

If you have an Ulta Beauty near you, that is the best place to stock up on these products! I always save the coupons I get the Ulta Beauty catalog so I can get the products on sale!
For a limited time, CoverGirl Eye is Buy One get one 50% Off at Ulta Beauty. This offer is valid from Sunday, June 9ththrough Friday, June 28th.

If you are more of a video type of gal, you can watch me create this look below!

If you are feeling extra brave, you can try out some of the other shades included in the line. Pink, who may be the perfect model for this look, is rocking some dramatic eyes!

Have you mastered the smoky eye? I’d say the hardest part of this tutorial may be the cat eye, but with a steady arm and practice, I’m sure you can master it eventually. The trick is making small strokes and starting very thin. You can always build on it, but it’s pretty much impossible to take liquid liner “away”. 

I received these Cover Girl products for free. The tutorial (photo and video) were created by me.


  1. says

    Thank you Kate! You’re so awesome…This tutorial is great, I always feel like I get the smokey eye wrong because I always apply too much makeup. Thanks for the great tutorial. Oh and congrats on the baby! :)

  2. says

    Thank you for the picture and video tutorials! It is SO helpful to have instructions both ways! Especially when I’m using my phone in the bathroom to follow along :)

  3. says

    I have a question, but first, LOVE that you did a video too. I am better at watching and following along than pictures. Which is why my husband puts together anything I buy from Ikea. 😉 I have never used liner on the water line…how do you keep it from wearing off over the course of the night? It seems that if you blink a lot or your eyes get watery, it would all dissolve into a pile of eye goo.

    • says

      sometimes using waterproof liner than help that issue, but it’s hard for it to look “perfect” all night. You may need to reapply!

  4. says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. Seeing with pictures and video as well as written instructions is SO helpful!! I will definitely be trying this!!

  5. says

    I love reading tutorials on smokey eyes because they’re always a little different and I can pick up something each time! I love how you put the photos together in this tutorial. I used to love CoverGirl when I was younger but I haven’t bought anything from them in ages! This post has made me rethink that though, I may have to reintroduce CoverGirl to my collection.
    xx Amber

  6. says

    Thanks for the so very helpful tutorial! Which liquid eyeliner do you recommend for this look (it looks like yours has an uber-thin applicator, which I love!)!

  7. says


    Why is it that you never take your eyeliner all the way to your inner eye? Each time you do a tutorial with liner, I notice it and it looks very strange, almost like your forgot to finish?

    Thanks for the review, might go out and try these!

  8. says

    Thank you for posting both the video and just images so I can sneak a break at work and read your blog :) Curious – what is the lip color you have on in this? I am just now getting into lip colors and trying out different ones, but still subtle and love the color you have on. Thanks!!

  9. says

    Nice! I always feel like I put way too much on, so it’s a look I don’t do often. However, it’s also one of those things that I’ll only get better the more I do it! Nice to know it’s achievable with simple drugstore palettes.

  10. says

    Beautiful! I, too, am a Tapestry Taupe groupie! I’ve been using that shade for as long as I can remember. It’s so versatile; I wear it alone with just some powder and blush, with liner and mascara for casual and then layer on other shades to build up for a more dramatic/specific look. You may have mentioned this along the way, but have you ever tried Cover Girl’s liquid eyeliner? I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when it comes to liquid liner. It’s got a spongey marker-like tip that you can do thin or thick. I have both brown and brown black and it’s great for cat eye. I also like liquid eyeshadow for lining, like Cover Girl Shadowblast (I use a shimmery brown shade often or a green), or eyeshadow crayon. I’ve never liked pencil liner…pulls too much. The liquid eyeshadow and crayons give a much softer line than a liner does. Not to mention it goes on quick and can be easily blended onto the lid if you goof!

  11. says

    I echo the woes of so many ladies who feel like the smokey eye makes me look like I just smeared on some black! These are great tips though!

    I will say “boo” to the Covergirl though. I stopped using Proctor and Gamble products several years ago because of the cruel testing they do on animals. There are plenty of cosmetic companies that do not test. Many of the animals that are tested on live in cages their entire lives and experience nothing but pain from these tests.

    Consider checking out companies that do not perform these cruel tests on rabbits, cats, and dogs!

    • says

      YIKES! Thank you SO MUCH for the info! I had no idea Cover Girl was doing the animal testing like that. I have switched most of my beauty products over to those that are more organic/natural and don’t do any testing on animals, as well as spend money on promoting the no-animal-testing philosophy. I’m really bummed I never caught on to Cover Girl yet. I’m officially – and immediately – on the hunt for new products!

  12. says

    It would be great if you could do a smokey eye on someone in the 35-45 age group. It seems like most of the Smokey Eye Demos are for 20 somethings. Thanks!

    • says

      It’s a technique to make close set eyes look wider apart. You’re supposed to stop the liner about a third of the way from the inner corner. At least that’s why I do it! 😉

    • says

      Okay that was SUPPOSED to be a reply to the person that thought the liner looked strange because it wasn’t going to the corner of the eye. LOL

  13. says

    I know I am late to the game on this post but hopefully you see this! I tried this last night in preperation for a ball I am going to tomorrow. I am having trouble with all of the glitter. It is getting everywhere. Am I just putting too much shadow on my brush at a time? Any help would be great. I want to do this type of smokey eye but I also don’t want to look like I got crazy with the body glitter. Thank you!

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