When it comes to smart beauty hacks, TikTok is the gift that keeps on giving. Recently we discovered the homemade BB cream that's so good it'll make you ditch your foundation, and brow mapping for the most symmetrical DIY eyebrows ever. This week, it's all about eye makeup — specifically the glamorous, summer smoky eye. It makes sense. With restrictions having been lifted across much of the UK and this summer set to be much more social than the last, makeup is trending in a big way. Lots of us are keen to make up for lost time and TikTok's beauty enthusiasts have come up with a way that'll help you achieve a flawless eye look in a matter of moments — and the speedy trick is taking the app by storm.
trying viral eyeshadow hack❤️🔥 i don’t hate it lol :) ib @i.an.ya.i <3 ##makeup ##makeuphacks ##makeuptutorial ##makeuptransformation♬ SHE IS THE MOMENT - haley
What is TikTok's summer smoky eye hack and why has it gone viral?
TikTok's smoky eye hack consists of using a flat brush to apply eyeshadow to your eyelid in stripes starting from the outer corner and working inwards. The second step joins all of the shades together with a fluffy brush and once blended out, creates a seamless smoky eye. There's a handful of mesmerising tutorials on TikTok but the most viewed is by TikToker @lenkalul, who uses a number of nude shades in matte and shimmer finishes to give the smoky look more of a summery vibe.
The reason the hack has gone viral? Because it's super fast. Aside from a flawless feline flick, a smoky eye is arguably one of the most difficult makeup looks to nail, especially as it combines various shades and brushes. But this makes it feel like much less of a chore.
How do you do TikTok's summer smoky eye hack?
I picked up Urban Decay Naked Wild West Eyeshadow Palette, £45, for this look as it includes lots of summery matte nudes and a couple of shimmery shades to give the smoky eye a little dimension. Using the Clè de Peau Concealer Brush, £30, I swiped on shades Whiskey, Laredo, Nudie and Hold 'Em from the outer corner to the inner corner of my eyelid. I then took the Spectrum Tall Shader Eye Brush, £5.99, and blended everything together, starting at the outer corner and working my way inwards in back and forth motions. If you want something dramatic, the trick is to layer on each shade twice.
Once blended, follow by curling your lashes and finishing off with a slick of mascara on top and bottom lashes. My current go-to for fluffy, sky-high lashes is Valentino Beauty's Magnificent Mascara, £28. Or you can make like @lenkalul and accentuate your inner corner with liquid eyeliner.
Does TikTok's summer smoky eye hack actually work?
I'll admit that I wanted to hate this. Like most things on TikTok (French tips hack, I'm looking at you), I was certain that it would be too good to be true and I'd end up with bruised-looking eyes. The finished result wasn't perfect but it does work and you don't have to be a professional artist to nail it. All together it took me under five minutes to dress both eyes, but I tweaked my blending technique to circular back and forth motions to get rid of the obvious lines. Thanks to the hot weather, the shadow clung to my sticky eyelids, so it needed a bit more work. Eyeshadow primer would definitely sort this, though, and all in all, it's a genius shortcut. Once blended, I tapped on a little more shadow to intensify the look, as it was a bit too subtle for my liking.
What I would recommend is perfecting your foundation base after doing your eyeshadow. If you don't want to do that, at least apply a little masking tape or hold a cotton pad directly underneath your eye to catch any fallout. No matter how great the eyeshadow, a couple of flecks of pigment are bound to drop onto your foundation base if you're blending in this way, especially if you're using glittery shades. I'd also suggest cleaning your brush between shades using MAC Brush Cleanser, £12.50, and a cotton pad for more of a perfect finish.
What are the best eyeshadows for summer and hot weather?
For a smoky, smudgy look like this, powder eyeshadow is best. It's also a lot easier to invest in a palette as you know the shades will work well together. I rate Lottie London's EyeShadow Palette The Rose Golds, £4.95, which includes mattes and shimmers and is a bargain for the excellent staying power it lends. Also try VIEVE's The Essentials Eye Palette, £43, as the buttery powders make light work of blending, and the NYX Professional Makeup Lid Lingerie Shadow Palette, £9, if you want to keep it matte.
Finally, a little setting spray will keep your smoky eye intact for longer — a must when the weather is this hot. Try the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Setting Spray, £30, or the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist, £16, and you'll be good to go.
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