Summer-Friendly Smoky Eye

Sometimes you just want to jazz it up for date night, a wedding, or whatever else your warm-weather plans have in store. I’ve found that an all-black or dark gray smoky eye can be a bit too heavy in summer months, but you can still achieve the same punch from color cousins brown or purple. The trick to the proper smoky eye is in the application and combination of hues, and less in the actual colors you choose. And I promise, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Below are some easy summer smoky eye tips from my vanity to yours. Have fun!


Subtle, yet sexy. Image via Pinterest.

I live for a palette that keeps things simple. Generally speaking, your smoky eye will require three colors — one very light hue with a hint of shimmer to be spread all over the lid area, one very dark hue concentrated right at the lash line and fanned out slightly toward the exterior corner of the eye, and one medium hue used in the middle to blend it all together. I apply them in that order, yielding great results each time.


Estee Lauder’s Pure Color three-color eyeshadow palettes are perfect for the method described above. Your ideal summer smoky eye can be found in whichever ones appeal to you, of course, but I especially love the purple pictured here (Steel Lilacs) and the brown trio (Amber Alloy), both of which offer plenty of shimmer for a multidimensional look. $36 each,

If you want to get really fancy, you can up the ante with a liquid liner before applying the finishing touch — mascara. Yes, it’s okay to put a little black in the mix here. If liquid liner scares you like it does many, use a marker-style product instead. Applying regular pencil on top of all this shadow is a recipe for smudgy disappointment. The liquid composition of the marker will sit on top of what you’ve already done for perfect definition.


Laura Geller’s Beauty Eye Calligraphy Liquid Liners are fail-proof and extra pretty. They offer fine, classic, and slanted tips. I’d probably opt for the classic if you want a little drama but nothing major — cateye gals, go for the slanted. Apply close to the lash line in as few strokes as possible, thickening the line as you reach the outer edge. The no-mess application and quick-dry formula will have you instantly wondering what took you so long to treat yourself to this great product. $20 each,

Follow up with your favorite mascara, and go get ’em, gorgeous!

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About Jenny

Jenny Studenroth is a cosmetics junkie and bridal blogger from New York City. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2007 with a creative writing degree, she went on to the beauty departments at Elle and the Wall Street Journal magazines, before becoming a freelance writer. Her wedding blog is Jenny and her husband Josh split their time between Brooklyn and Washington, DC along with their cat Dolce and pup Harry. The family is expecting their first human baby in the fall.