How To Rock A Smoky Eye On Monolids

Whether you're after the bold sultry look, the edgy grungy look, or even the dewy dreamy look, the smoky eye delivers impact in a big way. It's an easy, basic makeup look that anyone can master, but the process can be tricky for those of us with monolids. Monolids, or lids with the absence of a crease, need a little extra work when it comes to achieving that smoky eye look. With good practice and the proper technique, it's totally possible to achieve — and the end result is definitely going to be worth it.


You can emphasize the absence of your eyelid crease or give the illusion of a crease with your smoky eye look. You can also choose any color palette you love, a smoky eye doesn't have to be black. When it comes to eye makeup on monolids, specifically the smoky eye, there are certain do's and don'ts, and we are here to break down the process for you.

Prime your lids

Those of us with monolids have to face the common problem of oily eyelids, but not having a crease is the culprit for us. This is why it's important to start with an eye primer and to prep your eyes before diving into your eyeshadow palette. Not only will the primer help with the oily situation, but it will also provide you with an even canvas to lay out your smoky eye. Adding a touch of translucent powder, especially on the area closest to your brow line where oil ducts are more prevalent, can also help to soak up some of that extra grease.


To prevent your eyeshadow from caking and to avoid product build-up, use lightweight products in small amounts. A little goes a long way — especially when it comes to setting the base. Once you're prepped your lids, you've got the perfect foundation for layering on your smoky look.

Create the illusion of eye sockets

When it comes to monolids, the appearance of eye sockets is very subtle compared to other eye shapes. A prominent eye socket adds more depth and personality to a smoky eye, but there are ways for the monolid crowd to mimic this depth. By defining your eye socket, you'll add the dimension that makes a smoky eye intriguing. 


To define your eye sockets, select an eyeshadow that complements the color of your smoky eye. For example, if you're doing a black smoky eye, you might choose a darker brown tone for this part. After selecting the appropriate shade, take a brush and start applying the eyeshadow under your brow bone, where it looks like a crease would be. Make a back-and-forth motion with your brush until you see a more defined eye socket. Think of this process as contouring your eyelids to give them a sunken-in look.

Deepen the color on the outer corners

One of the most important parts of a smoky eye look is the deep color on the outer corners of the eyelids. Get yourself a darker shade, and start applying the eyeshadow on the outer corners of your eyelids. 


To do this, apply the dark eyeshadow in a sideways V shape, meaning the pointy part of the V should point away from your eye and toward your temple. Make sure to apply the eyeshadow in a motion that feels like tracing that V shape over and over. You want to start with a light touch, but make sure the outermost corner ends up as the darkest part. The outer corners should look more defined, so to show a clear contrast, lighten your touch when you're moving to the center of your lid. 

Keep in mind that you don't want to cover your entire eyelid with eyeshadow. There should be a clear V-shape of this color shadow that starts below your faux crease.

Line your eyes

To line your eyelids and achieve that seamless smoky eye on your monolids, celebrity makeup artist Thuy Pham recommends using a black waterproof pencil as "they have more wax in them and don't move as much as the regular kind, which is crucial for monolids" (via Glamour).


For a good smoky eye, the eyeshadow should simply melt into the liner. If you can distinguish the liner from the shadow, you haven't quite achieved a smoky eye. In order to avoid this, Pham suggests using the side of your pencil and pressing down on your lash line.

When applying eyeliner and eyeshadow to monolids, be extra careful not to raise your eyebrows — this will stretch out the eyelid skin, which will create an unbalanced effect. This means exercising caution and maintaining a relaxed brow position will also help you achieve a harmonious and flattering look for your monolids.

Blend it all in

Blending it all in is a crucial step when it comes to the smoky eye. It doesn't matter if you have monolids or deep-set eyes: If you don't blend your eyeshadow, your smoky eye will end up looking like a puzzle of different colors.


Using a fluffy brush and a lighter shade that complements your skin tone, blend out all the harsh edges and the eyeshadow in and around the corners of your eyes. Make sure it looks seamless, as if all the shades are flowing into one another, and get rid of any sharp lines.

Though certain eye makeup looks can get tricky for those of us with monolids, the smoky eye is a highly achievable look. All you have to do is prep your lids with the right products, use the proper techniques and brushes, line in your lash line, and master the art of blending it all.