Dramatic Eye Makeup Tutorial for the Red Carpet or a Night Out


With the Oscar's last weekend and our upcoming getaway to see Maroon 5, I thought it would be fun to share a dressed up makeup look with you. I've been trying to put together more makeup tutorials so today I'm sharing a dramatic, smokey eye that you can recreate for any upcoming night out or fun event. This is my husband's favorite makeup that I wear and definitely my go-to if I am dressing up for an evening out.

To start- you'll need to gather your tools and supplies. For this look I used my favorite brow pencil, brow power, shimmery eye palette, eyeliner and eyelid primer. You'll also need a base shadow brush, crease brush, brow brush and Q-tips Precision Tips. These new Q-tip cotton swabs have tapered ends which make them a great tool for eye makeup application and touch ups. They are also soft and flexible which is perfect for eye makeup application.

(Fair warning- this tutorial is picture heavy. I feel like with a photo tutorial, more is more, so bare with me.)

This tutorial starts after you have applied your base- foundation, bronzer, concealer and blush. (Next week I'll share all about how I apply my base so stay tuned.) After you have applied your base, apply your primer to your eyelid. I always spread a little on my brows as well. Less than a pea sizes amount will do.

Next you'll draw in your brows. You may only need to fill yours in a little, but I need to add quite a bit to make a substantial eyebrow. I start with a well sharpened pencil and carefully draw my arches and fill them in lightly.

As you can see filling in sparce brows can make quite a difference! Afterwards I'll go back with my brow brush and a light brown brow powder to really fill in my brows and set them.

Sometimes my pencil or my powder will wander a bit when I am doing my eyebrow makeup. Precision Q-tips are a great tool for going back in to remove any excess and clean up the arches. The tapered end allows for a really nice clean line on the arch of my eyebrow.

After you draw and fill in your eyebrows, you'll be moving onto the shadow. I love a light, shimmery highlighting shadow for everyday and evening wear. You can see below that I chose the lightest in my palette and I apply it to my brow bone as well as the inner corner of my eyes. This highlight really brightens up the eye and the whole face.

Next I need a mid-tone shadow for the base of my eyelids. I chose this gray/brown shadow and used my base brush to apply it across the entire lid.

Next you'll be using the black shadow. I like to use the crease brush to apply this dark color to only the outer crease and outer third of my eyelid in a 'C' shape.  I also use a smaller brush to lightly smudge the black shadow under my eye on the outer half of my lower lash line.

Next you'll want to go back to the lighter side of the palette to apply a ligher, shimmery powder to the inner third of your eyelid. This adds dimension and really makes your lids pop. You can see all of the shadows on the lids below.

Next it's time for the most important part- blending! Grab a clean brush to blend your eye shadow. You don't want any harsh patches or lines or uneven color. Just use your clean brush to blend those away for a flawless eyelid.

You could stop here- but when I go for a dramatic eye- I really go for it. Pull out your eyeliner and line your upper and the outer half of your lower lashes. Also, fill in your waterline with liner. I told you this is dramatic!

Below you can see the left eye has eyeliner and the right does not.

Next it's clean up time. With all of that dark shadow there is bound to be fall out under your eyes. Use a fresh Q-tip cotton swap to clean up the excess powder. Use the other end of the Q-tip cotton swap to smudge your lower liner for a slightly smokey eye effect and to finish off the look.

Almost done! Now add 2-3 coats of your favorite mascara, allowing time for each coat to dry in between. This will allow the lashes to build- you want them to be long!

And the look wouldn't be complete without some lipstick. I grabbed my hubby's favorite coral lipstick and swiped some subtle color across those lips.

And that's it! You've got a dark, smokey eye that is dramatic as you want it to be. 

After using the Q-tips Precision tips for this tutorial, I was really impressed with how easy and useful they were. Get more ideas for how to use them for nails, eyes, lips and more on Q-tips Pinterest Boards.

Let me know in the comments or email me if you have any questions about the tutorial. I can't wait to see your red carpet, hot date, GNO makeup!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. such a cutie-patootie! i am loving your hair and the eyes are on point!

  2. Love this look! I like how you included so many pictures in the tutorial. I've been looking for a nice springtime blush and love your color!


  3. Looking great Kilee! I am such an amateur when it comes to makeup. I can't get the smokey eye look down, it always looks like I have black eyes. Sigh...
    You've got it down!

  4. Looking great Kilee! I am such an amateur when it comes to makeup. I can't get the smokey eye look down, it always looks like I have black eyes. Sigh...
    You've got it down!

  5. You are so incredibly stunning! Love your beauty tips! xx

  6. I'm also a makeup armature and never have ever blended my make up. I'm guessing to have a clean brush every time you go to do this would require, ahem...cleaning my brushes? How do you do that and what eyeliner do you use? I'm not loving trying to do a cat eye with Clinique or They're Real. I'm a big (if quiet) fan of yours. <3

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