Using gray eye-shadow can sometimes be tricky, but when you stick to these basic guidelines, it can also be a great colour to create a smouldering smoky eye look!


  • As with any makeup application, it is important to first create the perfect canvas. Make sure your eyelids are clean, apply your primer making sure you cover your eyes from your lash line to your brow bone and leave a minute or two for it to dry/be absorbed. Then apply your foundation and loose powder to set. Prepping your lids will help your eye shadow last longer, resist creasing and fading, and appear more vivid against your skin.
  • Loosely dab on some of your loose powder on the area underneath your eyes and at the top of your cheekbone, to ‘catch’ any stray pigment that may fall onto that area during your eyeshadow application on your eyelids. This will help to remove these pigments easier after you are done with your eyes, and prevent that dreaded ‘raccoon eye’ effect.
  • Look for gray eye-shadows that have a highly pigmented formula, as the more sheer options will make your skin look dull & lifeless.
  • Apply a ‘medium’ shade of gray to your eyelid from the lash line to just above the ‘fold’ of your eye, and then use a darker shade of gray on the outside corners in a C-shape (see the images above and below).

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  • Use a highlighting eye-shadow on the inner corners of your eyes and on your brow bones to add a 3rd dimension and light to your eye makeup.
  • Be sure to blend away any hard edges in your eye-shadow application with an eye-shadow blending brush to create that sensual smoky effect.
  • Give your eye-shadow some structure by working a creamy eyeliner into the base of your lash lines to emphasize the shape of your eyes. The idea is not so much to line your eyes, as to make your lashes/lash line appear denser, and to blend into the rest of your eye makeup.
  • Finish by cleaning up any gray eye-shadow fallout under your eyes. Brush eye-shadow particles and the excess loose powder away by swiftly flicking your wrist as you sweep under your eyes with a mid-size fluffy face brush. Pat on some more of your under-eye concealer if necessary to brighten the area.


Another tip when it comes to shades of gray, is to add a little colour to your gray eye-shadow, using hues that flatter your eye colour:

Blue Eyes

The right kind of blue, can actually bring out the more natural blue tones in blue eyes, which will create a brighter and more vibrant look.

Try using a deeper shade of blue (navy or midnight blue), which will make the blue of your eyes appear lighter and brighter.

Or turquoise and teal shades can also work for blue eyes, especially if you have a touch of green or hazel in your blue, the teal shades can bring out that green tint for a fresh look. Just be sure to keep it simple when using these bright hues – less is definitely more 😉

Hints of bronze with your gray will make blue eyes sparkle.


Green Eyes

A touch of purple with your gray will make green eyes come alive.

The plum and purple families work really well with darker green eyes, lavender or violet eye-shadow (with a hint of red or pink) will bring out the yellow-gold tint in lighter green eyes, while a purple eye-shadow with a bit of brown or bronze will draw attention to the blue in green eyes.

For a more flashy evening look, try a metallic or deep violet.

Silver doesn’t always work well on some with green eyes, so make sure that the gray eye-shadow shade you select is a bit more on the “steel” side of the spectrum.


Brown Eyes

Brown eyes are the most versatile when it comes to colours.

Green tones will make hazel eyes more vibrant, while an infusion of blue will enhance darker brown eyes.

Purple also looks great with brown eyes, and will bring out any possible tones of green in your eyes.

When you have a darker skin, metallic shades of gray work really well, but be careful of the lighter (whiter) silvery shades. Also avoid the matt textured medium coloured gray shades, which will not show nicely on your skin and will just look dull and ‘dirty’ (and we ain’t talking about the good kind of dirty.. lol).

Or if you’re a bit more adventurous, why not try this bold look, with red and a touch of purple, which I lovingly christened ‘Twilight Vampire eyes’… 😉


Bobbi Brown actually has a collection inspired by “Fifty Shades of Grey” with an assortment of smoky gray shades. The limited-edition collection is called “Come Hither”, and includes sexy eye shadows in dark shimmering hues, a long-wear cream shadow, and gel liner.

I also love to use the 001 Black Cab Glam’eyes quad eyeshadow palette by Rimmel London.

Now go practice your looks and knock his socks (among other items..) with your sultry smoky shades of gray ‘come hither’ eyes!!

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