Smudge Shadow Along Your Lower Lash Lines for More Balanced Smoky Eyes

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

smoky lower lash line

Before and after

Next time you do a smoky eye look, if you’re not doing it already, try smudging a little shadow along that lower lash line, babe. It’s a revelation! — especially when you do it with smoky eye looks.

If I were forced by a sorcerer stylist/cosmetics conjurer queen to wear just one type of eye look every day this winter and fall, I choose smoky eyes (but winged liner would come in a close second).


They’re my favorite eye look of all. You can go messy and grungy, super polished and perfect, soft and subtle, or dramatically diva with them, and they range from simple (a cream shadow with a smudgy kohl) to complicated (with hella shades in the crease and on the lid).

They’re very versatile and pulsate with personality, and I think they’re fun to do.

There’s usually a lot of stuff going on when it comes to smoky eyes, but some of the biggest bang comes from the subtlest touches. They’re the little things that can take your look from “pretty good” to “DAMN, GURL! Did you get your makeup done at the counter today!?” 🙂

One of those high-impact subtle touches: smudging shadow along your lower lash line.

In the before picture at the top, my lower lash line is bare. There is a little liner on my lower water line, but that’s it, other than concealer, and I think the eye looks slightly top heavy and unbalanced.

Not a lot though. It’s not a big deal, and I don’t think anybody is going to stop me on the street to shake the living daylights out of me and yell, “Excuse me, miss, but you need to fix that top smoky situation!!”

At least I hope not.

But compared to the after eye on the right, where I’ve smudged shadow under my lower lash line, I think that eye looks more balanced. The smoky effect envelopes the eyes, making it look larger, better balanced and more dramatic.

smoky lower lash line

All I did was apply the shadow on my lower lash line, right up next to the lash roots, with a flat eyeliner brush (also called a “push brush”). Then I gently smudged the shadow out with a pencil brush and blended, blended and blended some more. And then some more. And a little more.

No, really, when you do this, you want to hang out in Blend-ville for a while to get that super diffused lower lash line look.

Apply as many layers as you like. For this look here, I started with a matte brown down there, then a shimmery brown, and then a shimmery gunmetal in the outer corner to mirror what I have on my lids.


How far you draw the shadows down is up to you, but the further you go, the more dramatic the look. I tend draw my shadow pretty far down because I love ze drama for yo’ mama, but keeping the shadow close to the lashes works too. You can also go with lighter colors and use fewer layers. Totally up to you. The goal is just to work until the top and bottom of the eye seem balanced.

If you haven’t tried this before and aren’t comfortable with the idea of color along your lower lash line, try it first with a very light shade that complements what you’re wearing on your lids. Sometimes it also helps to go with a brown or taupe that are about one shade darker than your skin tone.

Blend well, my friend, and have fun. 🙂

Makeup worn in this look

Lids and lower lash lines — Urban Decay Naked Palette (Naked and Buck in the crease and lower lash lines, Creep in the outer corner and lower lash line, and Virgin on the brow bone and inner corner) and Urban Decay Urban Spectrum Palette (West on the lids)
Lashes — Chanel Le Volume de Chanel
Liner — Chanel Waterproof Liner in 914 Feuilles
Cheeks — Guerlain Ebony Bronzer and Dolce & Gabbana Apricot Blush
Highlight — Hourglass Luminous Light Ambient Powder
Foundation and powder — YSL Fusion Ink in Warm Honey and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Tan
Lipstick — Dolce & Gabbana Gentle Monica Lipstick

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 11 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jane says:

    The look sounds so simple, but I am always afraid to put anything on my lower lids because I have , dry, dark circles. I may just have to try it though with a taupe color and see how it looks. Thanks for the tips.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane,

      You’re welcome. You can also try popping a light highlight in the inner corner when you do this — I find that helps to add some brightness and make the dark circles less dark. Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  2. sarahc says:

    Wow that’s a huge difference! I’m definitely giving this a try. Great tip! Have a great weekend Karen and Tabs! 🙂

  3. Alex says:

    Karen, thank you for this. Do you think you can do a tutorial? I am always afraid that I will make it look as if I was in a fight!

  4. I never did this until I watched Melissa do her smokey eyes and tried it earlier this year. What a revelation!
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Getting back into shape Part II – My post-baby body: Success and a setback

  5. Rachel R. says:

    I always thought smudging shadow on the lower lashline was a requirement for a smokey eye look, and part of what made it “smokey.”

  6. Erin says:

    I like the effect!
    Erin recently posted … Early Fall Style

  7. Jenny says:

    I haven’t done a smoky eye in so loooong. I often forget to add shadow to my lower lash line when I do a smoky eye, but if I look at it long enough that little light bulb goes off in my head telling me exactly why my smoky eye doesn’t look complete! Great post, Karen! Hope you enjoy the holiday weekend!
    Jenny recently posted … Paula’s Choice Empties

  8. Carla Dalla Nora says:

    Dear Karen. Your are completely right. And you look gorgeous on this pics. Thank you for sharing your passion. Xx

  9. Michaela says:

    Hi Karen! Thanks for the tutorial on the smoky eye. Sure wish I can see you do a YouTube video on it as well! Although when I try to put eyeshadow on my lower eyeline, I always end up looking like a tired zombie at the end of the day.

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