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Perfect the smokey eye in 15 minutes with Clarence Lee

As boundaries blur between dressing for day and night, smokey eyes go from only-party to office-appropriate.

Perfect the smokey eye in 15 minutes with Clarence Lee

Clarence Lee's failsafe guide to nailing the smokey eye. (Photo: Aik Chen)

If the plethora of smokey eyes on the runway over the years proved anything, it was that you never can have too much of a good thing. The smokey eye – a favourite among women especially during the Twenties, Sixties and Eighties – never really went away.

They don’t just make a woman look cooler and hotter (yes, at the same time!) they are also technical feats by makeup gurus and companies to add dimension and draw attention. Tom Ford was one of the first who led the smoke-out soiree with gunmetal eyeshadow and mascara. This was followed closely by Erdem and Max Mara. Then, Marc Jacobs took bejewelled tones such as amethyst up, up and away with dramatic wings. Naeem Khan boosted the eye-catching effect of emerald with dashes of silver.

Women seeking to elevate this season’s smokey eye game can consider an eyeshadow in metallic finish – like Carolina Herrera’s classic and chic glittering blue, or Jill Stuart’s gold and bronze lids.

Here to help you keep the smokey eyes work-ready is celebrity makeup artist Clarence Lee. Watch the video for these easy tips.


Choose an eyeshadow palette with shades that you like. Using an angled brush, sweep on black eyeshadow on eyelid from inner to outer corner, building it upwards into the crease. Don’t just stick to browns and greys – consider other interesting hues like navy, plum or forest green. 


Line the lower lid as well for a more intense finish. (Photo: Aik Chen)

Apply black eyeliner on eyelid, and blend with fingertip for a softer effect. Then on the bottom waterline, apply black eyeliner.         

READ: Tired of the usual cat-eye look? Get playful with the eyeliner for the weekend


Add shimmer to the smokey eye for extra depth. (Photo: Aik Chen)

To frame the eye and open up the area, apply an eyeshadow with a shimmery finish on the ball of eye to build intensity. 


Contour the cheeks to bring out the eyes further. (Photo: Aik Chen)

Smokey eyes go best with sculpted cheekbones. For a sheer finish, lightly dust translucent contour powder on hollows of cheeks.  

READ: Clarence Lee's step-by-step guide to faking flawless skin

Photography by Aik Chen, hair by Edward Chong from Evolve Salon, model Sheryl from NU Models.

Source: CNA/yy