If you’re over 50 this is the easiest smokey eye you can create in 5 minutes flat

Carine Roitfeld selfieA smokey eye makeup look is the epitome of cool, and being a Gen Xer I guess it makes sense that I feel that way. Many of my heroes rocked a smokey eye in the 80s and 90s: Kim Gordon, Carine Roitfeld, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson, Siouxie Sioux, the list is long and grungy.

Sadly, in all of my 53 years I have never figured out how to create a smokey eye myself. Not that I tried. It seemed so intimidating and requiring multiple colors, brushes, and mysterious techniques. (Little did I know that Ms. Roitfeld’s secret for the perfect eye makeup is to sleep in it.)

So I was giddy to learn Brigitte Caille’s easy, 5-minues (or les!) method. Brigette was recently on The Mean Show podcast where we chatted about makeup, gray hair, and what it means to get older in 2022. I recommend checking it out! Or, if you just want to learn her smokey eye technique, keep on reading for the step-by-step process!

Kim Gordon

Smokey Eye Tutorial


1. Eye crayon

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, $5.50

Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Pencil, $29

Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener, $24

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color, $29

2. Fluffy blending brush

e.l.f. Mint Melt eyeshadow brush set, $6.50

Laura Mercier Finishing Ponytail Brush, $32

Makeup by Mario EF1 Makeup Brush, $22

Fenty Beauty by Rhianna Tapered Blending Brush, $24

3. Small blending brush (or us a Q-tip)

e.l.f. Mint Melt eyeshadow brush set, $6.50

Laura Mercier Smudge Brush, $26

Sephora Collection Makeup Match Smudge Eyeshadow Brush, $8

4. Eyelash Curler

Sephora Collection eyelash curler, $14

Laura Mercier Artist eyelash curler, $22

Lash Star Stardust lash curler, $24

5. Mascara

Caliray tubing mascara, 24

Clinique Lash Power Long Wearing Mascara, $21

Wander Beauty tubing mascara, $24

Merit Clean Lash lengthening tubing mascara, $26

Blinc Ultravolume tubing mascara, $26

Jones Road The Mascara, $26

Garbage at The Greek Theatre L.A. Photo by Justin Higuchi.


1. Apply eye crayon color to eyelid in a half-moon shape, starting at your lash line and stopping before the crease.

2. Using your fluffy brush, blend the arc of the half moon into your crease until there are no definite lines visible.

3. Apply eye crayon to your lower lash line, joining the color at the outer corner of your eyes.

4. Using the smaller, firmer brush (or Q-tip), blend the color along the bottom lash line so the color looks even and soft.

5. Curl eyelashes.

6. Apply mascara.


1. Make sure the color goes all the way to your upper lash line. If you notice any white space between your lashes and lid, try gently nuzzling the crayon right into your lashes so the color covers all of you visible lid.

2. If your eyes are hooded, you may need to blend the color up higher above your crease. Keep blending until you can see the makeup while looking straight ahead in the mirror.

3. For a more intense look, line the upper and lower water line (carefully!).

4. If you don’t already have a crayon you like, Brigette suggests testing before you buy to find one that’s compatible with your skin type. If you have oilier skin, you’ll do better with a crayon that goes on drier so the color doesn’t easily melt off. If your skin is dry, you might want a creamier crayon that contains more moisturizing ingredients, otherwise the color might set too quickly and you’ll have trouble blending.

5. Don’t worry about it looking perfect. It shouldn’t! It should be a casual, stress-free, 5-minute (or lesss!) application.

That’s it!

I really had no idea a smokey eye could be so easy. A big gigantic thank you to Brigette Caille for this tutorial!

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