9 Key Products For A Foolproof Smokey Eye
9 Key Products For A Foolproof Smokey Eye

9 Key Products For A Foolproof Smokey Eye

No evening make-up look is complete without a smokey eye and while some may be a dab hand with a blending brush and a palette, others want a single product that does it all. Here, we’ve put together a list of the key products that will help you nail the look, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro.

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

BEST FOR: Colour Intensity

Mini Soft Glam Palette, AED 139 | Anastasia Beverly Hills

When it comes to colour pay-off and lasting power, the Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes are small but mighty. Offering a versatile collection of warm and cool nude tones perfect for the season ahead, complete with buttery textures and rich pigments, this one is top of our list. Just remember to use a light touch – use a flat brush for even application and a fluffy brush for blending. Even better, the light metallic shades can double as highlighters, while the warm mattes are perfect for defining and deepening the crease. 

Expert tip: “The Soft Glam II Mini Eyeshadow Palette houses some of my all-time favourite shades and is perfect for travel and on-the-go touch-ups. For daytime looks, I love to use a few of its neutral shades – like Dusty Rose and Dreamer – for just a touch of colour. It’s so easy to then transition that look for night, using the darker shades like Mulberry, Sultry, and Noir for a slightly deeper contour and smokier hues.” – Anastasia Soare, founder, Anastasia Beverly Hills

Visit Sephora.ae

BEST FOR: Warm Tones

Eye Elements, AED 130 | CTZN Cosmetics

Designed in collaboration with make-up master, Sir John, this collection comprises of seven dual-ended eyeshadow sticks featuring a range of cool-toned brown and burnt orange shades. Catering to various complexions and skin tones, the intention is to make it easier to find the right shade for you. Each stick comes with creamy matte shade on one end and a complementary shimmer on the other – we love ‘Deep Earth’ best.

Expert tip: "When it comes to sculpting the eyes, you want to use the darker side of a stick like this one to give the eyes more depth. Try using it to sculpt the side of the eyes with a little bit of a V-shape and then blending it out to create this deep vampy look. To make eye make-up pop on anyone with a darker complexion, use an eye kohl first, smudge it out and then pop shadow on so you can see it.” – Sir John, celebrity make-up artist & CTZN creative collaborator

Visit CtznCosmetics.com

BEST FOR: High Octane Shine

Labs Fetisheyes, AED 135 | Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is known for her smokey eye looks, and this liquid shadow is perfect for adding some high-octane shine to yours. The lightweight formula is creamy, blendable and designed to stay put for up to ten hours. From smouldering grey to golden green, the gem-inspired shades can either be worn on their own or layered with other eyeshadows. To apply, simply use the applicator to swipe the colour directly onto the eyelid and blend out with your finger or a brush. For intensified colour, try using the applicator tip directly along the lash line.

Expert tip: “For a more subtle smoky eye, try a cream-based product like my Metallic Eyeshadows. Dab a little onto the centre of your eyelid and buff it out to highlight the eye without overwhelming it. Limit the application to the key areas – that includes the centre of your lids, the inner corners of your eyes and the brow bone." – Pat McGrath, founder, Pat McGrath Labs

Visit CultBeauty.com

BEST FOR: On-The-Go Ease

Phyto Eye Twist, AED 190 | Sisley

This buildable, versatile product works best applied directly to the eyelids. For a subtle smokey smudge, simply blend it out with your fingertip or layer up for a bolder look. For something more graphic, use the eyeliner closer to the lash line – the waterproof formula means it will stay put, even in the most humid of conditions. 

Expert tip: “The Phyto eye twists are so creamy to apply and blend out with such ease, and once they set, they really stay put. I love how pigmented they are, making them perfect on their own or layered under powder shadow for real intensity.” – Zoë Taylor, make-up artist & beauty editor

Visit Sisley-Paris.com


BEST FOR: Smudging

Rock ‘N’ Kohl, AED 115 | Charlotte Tilbury

If you prefer a more rough and ready look, a soft kohl pencil is the way to go. Rich in pigment and containing crushed pearl powder for a lustrous effect, these pencils are best used at the inner corner of the upper eyelid before the line is extended upwards and outwards to create the illusion of almond-shaped eyes. Just remember to work quickly here – the formula sets in just 30 seconds, ensuring it stays in place until it's time to remove.

Expert tip: “When using the Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Bedroom Black Liner, ensure the pencil is sharp before you line the top lid. It doesn’t have to be neat because the liner looks best when blended out with a small smudge brush. I also love applying this to the waterline – it lasts all day and makes the eye look sultry and seductive.” – Rafeeka

Visit CultBeauty.com

BEST FOR: Creating Sleek Lines

Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, AED 57 | Maybelline

This oil-free gel liner is enriched with highly concentrated pigments and comes with an applicator brush to help you create several looks. Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, this gel eyeliner has also been ophthalmologist-tested. Apply it using small strokes along the lash line, working from the inner to the outer corner for maximum definition. For a more intense look, extend the line from the outer corner up toward the brow bone to add a cat-eye wing.

Expert tip: "To intensify your smoky eye, make sure you line your eyes with plenty of eyeliner. A gel liner, like this one from Maybelline, is best if you want something that won’t transfer – it can also be used in the waterline and is longer lasting. Apply the liner, then use a small brush to buff it out for a smokier effect, working quickly so the gel liner doesn’t set. You can add even more depth by gently buffing a dark black or brown powder shadow over the liner." – Adeola Gboyega, SheerLuxe beauty contributor

Visit Lookfantastic.ae

BEST FOR: Effortless Glamour

Beauty Lid Lustre, AED 130 | Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham’s pigmented eye pots are the easy way to add a bit of drama to your smokey eye. The ultimate finishing touch, they’re infused with ground crystal and use a soft-press powder technology that contains more than 60% pearlescent pigments to achieve that high-fashion wet look. Infused with kind-to-skin squalane and collagen-stimulating guava leaf extract, as well as anti-inflammatory magnolia bark extract, there are six lustrous shades to choose from. Application is effortless – simply dab onto the centre of the lid or use a flat eyeshadow brush for an all-over effect.

Expert tip: “If I’m doing a detailed smoky eye this is the final step in my routine to make the eye pop. I prefer applying this with my finger directly patting it onto my eyelid, the pigment transfers more richly.” – Rafeeka Khan, make-up artist

Visit VictoriaBeckhamBeauty.com

BEST FOR: Lash Volume

Legit Lashes Mascara, AED 100 | Huda Beauty

Everyone needs a dramatic set of lashes to complete their smokey eye look and this mascara is dual-ended to offer clump-free volume, curl and length with an ultra-black pigment. The 'Volume' side delivers instant fullness, while the other enhances definition and length. Both can be used independently or one after the other for best results. We recommend starting with the 'Volume' side, before layering up with the other end for a fluttery, flawless finish. 

Expert tip: "My cardinal rules when it comes to lash drama, is to curl your lashes for at least ten seconds to create that fluttery, elongated effect. Select the wand end that suits your desired look and start at the lash root. Zig-zag the mascara wand back and forth, focusing on building volume at the base before extending to the tips. This technique ensures an even coat on each lash, and leaves the tips looking wispy. If you're aiming for a curled effect, gently roll the brush as you move through your lashes.” – Huda Kattan

Visit CultBeauty.com

BEST FOR: Blending

Everything Eye Brush, AED 137.50 | RÓEN

This dual-ended brush is the ultimate tool for blending and defining shadows. Crafted from soft synthetic fibres, use it to apply base colours and pack on pigment for more intense looks. Vegan and cruelty-free, the versatile wand can smudge, blend and line, offering myriad ways to create your smokey eye. Even if you prefer to apply the majority of colour with your fingers, you can still use this brush to diffuse any harsh lines through the crease.

Expert tip: "Having the right brushes is essential if you want to nail a smokey eye. A fluffy brush like this is ideal for blending out your eyeshadow, while the smaller, definer brush the other side helps with detailed application at the lash line." – Adeola

Visit CultBeauty.com

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