3 Steps to the Perfect Smokey Eye

by Haylee Westendorf on July 02, 2018

3 Steps to the Perfect Smokey Eye

You’ve seen the Instagram posts and the Youtube tutorials. You’ve tried to mimic the steps to an intricate smokey eye look, only to end up messy and disappointed. And how do you know if you even chose the right colors? The beauty gurus make it look effortless, when really… THIS IS HARD!

Well, you’re in luck: today you’ll learn how to get a polished, professional smokey eye in only THREE simple steps.

If you’re new to the eyeshadow game and you’re struggling to pick shades that work well together, an easy trick is to pick shades that share the same undertone. Depending on the undertone, a color will fall into one of three categories: warm, cool, or neutral. Warm colors will have undertones of yellow, orange, or peach. Cool colors will have undertones of blue, purple, or pink. Neutral colors will have no discernible undertone, instead it may invoke more of a gray, black, or white tone.

Easy Shades to Try for Your Skintone

Warm: If you have warm-tone skin, hair, and eyes, choosing warm eyeshadows will always be flattering. Root Shades to try: Tan Rose, Berry Matte, Dolce

Cool: If you have cool-tone hair, and eyes, creating an eye look using cool tones will compliment you nicely. Root Shades to try: Janessa, Tiramisu, Stardust

Neutral: If you have neutral-tone skin or a combination of features, neutral shadows are a safe bet for you! Root Shades to try: Midnight Mocha, Dunes, Cobblestone

A quick Root Pretty Tip: neutral tones look great on everyone. If you’re ever stumped between shades, go neutral. You can’t go wrong!

The Perfect Smokey Eye

You’ve probably seen dramatic smokey eye makeup on the runway or in a magazine and thought, I could never pull that off. But, smoky eyes are not only for date night! In fact, with the right colors, a smokey look is perfect for every day. So, now that we’ve got your shade figured out, let’s dive into these three simple steps.

The Tools:

  • Base shade - I’ve chosen Tiramisu Pressed Eyeshadow.
  • “Main Attraction” shade - Generally a deeper, bolder shade. I’ve chosen Pursuit Loose Mineral Eyeshadow.
  • Highlight - I’ve chosen Rose Glow Illuminator for a pop of sparkle!

The Tools


The Steps:

Step One

Step 1: With our #14 Fluffy Flat Eyeshadow Brush, apply your base shade (in this case, Tiramisu) all over the lid, stopping at the crease.


Step Two

 Step 2: Aligning the angle of the #18 Angled Eyeshadow Brush with the outer corner of your eye, blend your “main attraction” shade (Pursuit) into the crease, coming to an end near the outer corner. Enhance the outer corner with a bit heavier application. Blend the edges with the #14 Fluffy Flat Eyeshadow Brush. Don’t forget the bottom lash line! The key to a gorgeous smokey eye is blending the bottom lash line into the outer corner. I used the #18 Angled Eyeshadow Brush.


Step Three

Step 3: Make it pop! Apply the highlight shade (Rose Glow Illuminator) underneath the brow bone and in the inner corner of the eye with the #18 Angled Eyeshadow Brush. I like to drag my highlight slightly into my base color on the lid to give my eyes some extra shine. Apply your highlight wet for a stronger pigment and shine. Don’t be afraid of a little glow - apply to your cheekbones, or even bridge of your nose! Not sure where to highlight? We’ve got all your highlighting questions answered here.

Don’t forget to apply 100% Lash Mascara! (I used Black.)


Final Look

Final Look

There are no limits to makeup, and you don’t have to be an expert to achieve an amazing look. Try this smokey eye tutorial for yourself, either with the colors above or with colors of your choice.

Tag your photos with #RootSmokeyEyeTutorial for a chance to be featured on our Instagram @rootpretty

Co-Authored by Haylee Westendorf & Bailey Baack

by Stacey on October 10, 2019

Thank you for such easy to follow tutorials! I was especially happy to see my favorite Root shade, Pursuit, used here!

by Kristin Voto on August 06, 2018

Thanks for the help!!! Always trying to do this!

by Ashlee on August 06, 2018

Good to know I was on the right track when doing my smoky eye! Thanks!

by Callie on August 06, 2018

Still trying to perfect this! Thanks for the tips!

by Terri Blumer on August 06, 2018

That looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

by Heather Yeoman on August 06, 2018

Thank you so much for this! I’ve always wondered how to do this and appreciate the step-by-step.

by Katelynn on August 06, 2018

Love this! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.


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