From the runways to the red carpet, we’ve seen a new take on the smokey eye emerge that might even be dreamier than the classic black smudge. It’s the purple smokey eye — and it’s a trend we’re eager to get behind (oh, hey Lupita + Katie!!).


The question is (as it always is), how do you take the high-drama look — one like Lupita Nyong’o’s shimmering metallic version at this year’s Golden Globes — and tame it for everyday, real girl wear? That’s what we’re showing you today in this tutorial: how to rock the purple smokey eye any day or every day for that matter! With these six to-the-point steps, you’ll be fluttering your smoldering eyes in one of this season’s most-wanted hues.

Prep: Base Face + Deep Purple Lips


Our Creative Director Anj is prepped with a light layer of foundation, concealer, bronzer and highlighter. She’s wearing NARS Velvet Lip Pencil in Damned ($42) on her lips — it’s the perfect rich magenta to enhance her soon-to-be smoldering purple eyes.

Step 1: Highlight


Apply a slightly shimmering highlight shadow like Virgin from Urban Decay’s Naked Palette ($54) to your brow bones and inside corners of your eyes.

Step 2: Contour Crease


For a traditional smokey eye, you would apply a neutral brown slightly deeper than your skin tone to the full crease of your eyes. For our colorful take, grab a medium-neutral purple-based shadow instead, like Hustle form Urban Decay’s Naked Palette ($54).

Step 3: Color Accent Crease


Now to really bring out that punch of purple, deepen the outer crease with a more vibrant purple like Urban from the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette ($49). You also want to take a little of this shadow and smudge it gently under your lower lash line, fading the color as you get closer to the inside corner of your eyes.

Step 4: Pop of Purple Shimmer


To add even greater dimension, apply a shimmering light lavender shadow to the center of your eyelids and onto the inside corners of your eyes. Blend with the deep purple shadow you applied in the step before by smudging along the lower lash line.

Step 5: Subtle Liner


Instead of opting for a traditional black eyeliner, instead go with a deep purple liner like L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Eyeliner in Violet ($7). This will help accentuate the purple smokey eye without making it look too extreme. If you want a more dramatic look though, definitely go for the bold black liner!

Step 6: Mascara Up


Curl your lashes for extra volume and length before applying a few coats of your favorite mascara.


Because we picked lighter shades of purple, this colorful smokey eye is subtle — you could definitely wear this version to the office or a winter wedding — but not any less stunning. Besides being a generally dreamy hue, purple is one of those magic colors that will flatter any skin tone, so there’s no excuse to not get down with this purple haze.


What makeup trends are you wearing? Tell us how you rock purple makeup — from this purple smokey eye to plum lips to lavender polish — in the comments below.

(Top photos via Jason Merritt/Getty)