How to do a smokey eye

How to do a smokey eye



Smokey eye look

Creating a perfect smokey eye look may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right products and a few expert techniques, mastering this failsafe, flattering look can be a lot simpler than it sounds. Four simple steps are all it takes to create your own smokey eye and our new eyeshadow innovation makes it even easier. Available in eight expertly curated shade pairs, our NEW High Impact Shadow Play™ Shadow + Definer is a dual-ended eyeshadow stick allowing you to create mistake-proof full looks in a flash.


Whether it’s for that wedding you have coming up, a big night out or you're simply looking to switch up your everyday eye shadow – you just can’t go wrong with a tonal smokey eye. Here’s our expert guide on creating a suits-all smokey eye look. 


Step 1: Shade & Smoke.

One stick. Two tricks. Limitless looks. Featuring a creamy satin-finish shadow and a defining powder in perfectly paired shades, our new High Impact Shadow Play™ Shadow + Definer is the secret to mastering a flawless smokey eye look every time. Our favourite shade for a neutral, softly smokey look is Café Au Lait, as the warm natural tones are flattering on all skin tones and eye colours. The luscious, long-wearing formulas are crease, settling and fade-resistant, plus they're ophthalmologist tested to deliver high-performance colour that's easy on the eyes. Start by sweeping the creamy crayon all over the lid from the lash to the brow bone. Next, lightly trace the darker powder definer shade along the upper and lower lashline, applying a little more on the outer corners of the upper lid to open up the eyes. You can play around with the placement and shades to make the look your own. Loved the latte makeup trend? Double Latte is the perfect coffee-inspired combo for you. For something more intense, Day + Night dials up the drama with a shimmering mink and midnight blue match, while Champagne + Caviar is as glamorous as the name suggests.

Shop NEW High Impact Shadow Play™ Shadow + Definer


Step 2: Line & Smudge.

Eyeliner is another key ingredient for smokey eyes. Our pick for that soft, smudgy, lived-in effect? High Impact™ Gel Tech Eyeliner. This ophthalmologist-tested, waterline-safe black liner glides on effortlessly without tugging delicate lids – making it a great eyeliner for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. The innovative gel eyeliner formula is also smudge-resistant and waterproof, with up to 24-hour wear on the lids and 12-hour wear on the waterline. For a smokey eyeliner look, trace the liner along your upper lash line from the inner to outer corners, staying as close to the lashes as possible, then fill in any gaps. Next, line from the outer corner of the lower lash line towards the inner corner – less is more under the eyes, so you may wish to stop just before the inner corners. Read our eyeliner application guide for more tips and tricks. Soften the line with clean fingertips or a cotton bud, then layer on a little more of the powder definer eyeshadow, blending well to ensure a seamless smokey eye look.

High Impact™ Gel Tech Eyeliner




Step 3: Line & Define.

For a more dramatic smokey eye look, you can add an optional layer of liquid liner for added definition and drama. This time, create a mini cat-eye flick using the High Impact™ Easy Liquid Liner. Glide the tapered, ultrafine pen tip along the upper lash line, extending it out at the outer corner to create a feline flick. Top tip: if you find it tricky to get a straight, smooth liquid line, keep an 'eyeliner eraser' on standby – aka a cotton bud dipped Take The Day Off™ Makeup Remover.

Shop High Impact™ Easy Liquid Liner




Step 4: Level up your lashes.

Finally, turn the volume to the max with two coats of new High Impact High-Fi™ Full Volume Mascara, which amps up lashes for 230% more volume instantly*. The lightweight formula is infused with a nourishing, strengthening blend of coconut, argan and moringa oils, alongside tiny dimensional fibres that are deposited throughout the lashes for max volume and intense colour. The innovative High-Def Wave Brush has wavy bristles to comb and coat every last lash, plus a precision tip to easily catch and define small corner lashes. Use the tip of the wand to elongate the outer lashes, enhancing the winged-out effect. The best part? This mascara has been ophthalmologist tested, making it safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

Shop High Impact High-Fi™ Full Volume Mascara



Need more help creating your Clinique makeup look? Book in for a complimentary bespoke Skin School consultation with one of our own beauty experts. Following your initial consultation, we'll also offer you 15% off** your next online order.


Want to get rewarded every time you shop with us? Join Clinique Smart Rewards today to unlock exclusive beauty perks including 10% off your first purchase** plus free standard delivery on every order.


* Testing on 31 women.

** Terms and conditions apply. 



Words by Shona Wallace, February 2024.


Shop smokey eye essentials: 

NEW High Impact Shadow Play™ Shadow + Definer, A dual-ended eyeshadow stick for full eye looks in a flash, with 12-hour wear.

Café Au Lait

High Impact High-Fi™ Full Volume Mascara, See 230% more volume, instantly, with an ultra-pigmented, fiber-infused mascara that amps up lash volume to the max.*

Intense Black