3 simple ways to fix a ruined smoky eye

Go from sooty to sultry in an instant

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / January 11 2017

There’s no denying the popularity of a classic smoky eye. Whether you opt for a soft daytime look or tend to lean more towards the dramatic and sultry style, the eye makeup look is one we all turn to time and time again.

That being said however, we (and we’re sure many of you) don’t always manage to create the perfectly blended smoky eye look each and every time, with some of our efforts turning out decidedly sooty, rather than sultry.

To find out how to redeem a ruined smoky eye without having to start from scratch, we spoke to two makeup artists who revealed their industry secrets.


Have cotton buds on standby

Cotton buds and smoky eyes go hand in hand. They’re the ideal tool for toning down a look that has ended up a touch too dark and for removing unwanted shadow in an instant. For best results makeup artist, Elsa Morgan suggests using a cotton bud dipped in micellar water to clear up unwanted shadow around the eye area. By using a wet cotton bud, excess pigment will be removed without ruining the base layer of eyeshadow, enabling you to easily achieve the perfect level of smoky eye intensity.


Opt for a pencil eyeliner

If eyeshadows are giving you grief, Morgan suggests starting off your smoky eye by smudging “a black or brown eye kohl pencil along the top and bottom lash line to redefine, adding a swipe of the pencil along the waterline to add a level of intensity.” For this, we'd recommend trying Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal as it will glide smoothly onto to skin and allow for easy blending, before setting into place. From that point, eyeshadows can be used to add extra depth by gently buffing a taupe shade with a small, soft eyeshadow brush “along the bottom lash line and into the eye socket to refresh the smoky eye,” adds Morgan.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner


Grab a fluffy brush

If you’ve created your ideal smoky eye but you just can’t seem to blend your look correctly, makeup artist Nicola Burford suggests grabbing “a clean fluffy blending brush and dabbing a little colourless loose powder onto it. Then start blending over the top of the problem area – soon your smoky eye will be seamless!” The MAC 217 Blending Brush will work wonders for this.

MAC 217 Blending Brush

If you’re looking to go back to basics, check out our easy guide for nailing the perfect smoky eye.

Main image credit: Sevak Babakhani

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.