You Can Do a Smoky Eye in, Like, One Minute with a Single Pencil

No guessing about which colors to use when there's only one, right?
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Allison
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No guessing about which colors to use when there's only one, right?

I like a smoky eye for nighttime, and usually when I do a smoky eye, I'll spend a half-hour on it, and it'll be a neutral brown because of that good ol' comfort zone. But when I'm short on time and want to whip something up, I need an all-in-one package. No guessing about which colors to use when there's only one, right? 

So here comes the quick-and-dirty smoky eye done with just three simple things: eyeliner, an eyeshadow brush, and mascara.

You want a liner that is very creamy and easy to blend, pigmented enough to withstand blending, and something that will set and not budge. This last one in particular is important for us oily people, I'm not saying that if you use a liner made specifically for a smoky look — aka formulated to smudge — that it will end up all over your face, but I'm not saying it won't.

My favorite liner that checks all these marks is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil, but there are other drugstore options as well that come with smaller shade ranges. L'Oreal Silkissime in particular comes to mind.

Middle school flashbacks

Middle school flashbacks

First thing we're going to do is enter into a time machine and go back to when we wore nothing but heavy bottom liner. Stripe on your liner pretty heavily under your lower lash line and apply it to your waterline, too, while you're at it.

Much better.

Much better.

Now quickly blend out that eyeliner. You can use a brush or a finger for this one; just concentrate on blending it down slightly and out to the edges of your eyes.

Like this!

Like this!

Now take the liner and heavily line your upper lash line all the way up till you are almost but not quite at your crease.

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This part you will need to do one eye at a time so it doesn't accidentally set down on one eye looking like this. You won't recover from that.

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I find blending at this step much easier with a brush, but you can do it with a finger if you so choose. You will need to blend up and out. I find it's easiest to start where the liner ends in the middle of the lid and blend up then work my way down until it's nicely blended out.

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All that blending can kill even the best of pigments so re-apply a little more of the eyeliner into the roots and blend just a little so there isn't a harsh line.

Repeat all of that on your other eye and you'll look like this! Except with your face.

Repeat all of that on your other eye and you'll look like this! Except with your face.

Finish up with a good few coats of mascara and your look for the evening is done in about five minutes flat.

It's kind of spider lash-y but not too spider lash-y, you know?

It's kind of spider lash-y but not too spider lash-y, you know?

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  • How do you do a fast smoky eye?
  • Are you someone who primps for hours before a night out or do you slap it on and go?
  • What color liner would you choose for this look?