Beauty How-To: Brown Smoky Eye Makeup

Get this subtle, stunning look using these easy steps from e.l.f. Creative Director Achelle Dunaway.

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Before You Get Started


Apply eye makeup before doing the rest of your face. If shadow falls on your cheek, no worries.

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Start with eye shadow primer from lashes to brow—it prevents color from smearing or creasing. Use a brown gel or pencil liner around the entire eye. On the upper lid, increase thickness as you go outward, extending just past your lashes. Smudge all over with a sponge-tip applicator to diffuse color.

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Sweep an ivory-colored shadow over the entire lid in an outward direction with a small shadow brush. Go all the way up to the brow and get as close as you can to the inner corner. Next, add depth and dimension—a key part of the look—by layering on a medium brown tone from the lash line up to the crease.

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Frame by using your darkest brown shadow around the entire eye—layering over the liner from step one—and extending outer corners past lashes. Next, sweep the ivory shade across the lid to blend all three shadows together, creating a soft, smoldering effect. Trace a brown liquid liner along the upper lash line. Curl lashes and finish with mascara.

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Smoky Eye Tools


Sonia Kashuk Crease Shadow Brush

The contoured shape gets into every crevice for an even application.

Available at Target stores and, $6.

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Maybelline New York Expert Wear Eye Shadow


With this fail-safe palette, you can be sure all four shades work perfectly together.

Available at drugstores, $6.

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Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner


Water- and smudge-proof, this eyeliner really does stay where you want it—no midday raccoon eyes.

Available at drugstores, $7.

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Watch a Video How-To!

Family Circle Beauty Assistant Amanda Flores gets a step-by-step makeup tutorial in creating a Brown Smoky Eye look from e.l.f. Cosmetics Creative Director Achelle Dunaway. The how-to walks you through three easy steps to get this smoky look, perfect for fall, day or night.

Originally published in the October 17, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.