How To Make Smokey Eyes Work For Spring And Summer

Warmer weather is finally upon us, which can only mean one thing: It's time to freshen up our beauty routines. That said, warmer weather poses a bit of a challenge for fans of dramatic makeup looks. Take the smokey eye, for instance. This sultry look never goes out of style, but it's known to melt away under muggy conditions. Even the best eyeshadow primer, shadow, and setting spray can't contend with humidity and rain, and this is doubly true for those with oily skin. Raccoon eyes rarely work in our favor, and eyeshadow fallout is no one's idea of fun.


Fortunately, there are several ways you can rock smoldering smokey eyes for spring and summer — yes, even if you struggle with oily eyelids. By using brighter colors, delicate finishes, and a light-handed technique, you can ensure your runway-worthy eye makeup stays put. To help inspire you, we've compiled some of our favorite smokey eye styles for spring and summer. From butter-yellow lids to shimmery violet shades, you'll find plenty of ways to make these low-effort eye looks turn heads all day long.

A white smokey eye is brilliant for spring or summer

White graphic eyeliner is always a fun alternative to black, and the same can be said for its cousin, white eyeshadow. This brilliant eyeshadow shade is a unique way to update the traditional smokey eye — plus, it really draws attention to big, beautiful eyelashes and brows. If you don't have a bright white shadow, you can use off-white or pearl for a similar outcome.


To get this vintage vibe, dab on some eyeshadow primer or concealer, and use a dense brush to pack matte white eyeshadow along the center of your lids. Use a small, angled shadow brush to create an angled, cat-eye shape, and soften the edges by blending them out in small, circular motions with a fluffy brush. Finally, add extra drama by lining your upper lid with gray and black shadow, or pop on some false eyelashes for a '60s-style look.

Use gold glitter for a sparkling smokey effect

Take a page out of celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath's book and amp up your smokey eyes with some glitter for a change. This sparkling take on the classic smokey eye looks great in rain or shine, and it's easily customizable to work with whatever colors you have on hand. To keep everything nice and neat, apply a thin layer of eyeshadow primer or concealer, and build your base with a pastel shadow shade, like bubblegum pink.


Next, use an angled shadow brush to pack on a deep contrasting color, like brown, toward the outer edge of your eye for a crisp cat eye. If you have trouble getting your lines super sharp, try using a shadow guide like beauty tape or clean up afterward with an angled cotton swab. Last but not least, use a tiny brush or soft applicator to pat glitter along the inner corners of your lids.

Try the sleepy eye look for low-maintenance glam

Haven't you heard? Sleepy eyes are all the rage right now — well, smokey sleepy eyes, anyway. Instead of hiding your dark under-eye circles, emphasize them with this viral eyeshadow trend that's perfect for spring and summer. Best of all, you never have to worry about your eyeliner running underneath your eyes. Since you'll set it in place with shadow, it shouldn't go anywhere. What's more, a hint of shimmer or glitter on your lower eyelids will conceal any imperfections.


If you want to know how to do sleepy-eyed makeup, step right up. After applying a thin layer of concealer or eyeshadow primer, simply outline your lower lashline with a kohl eyeliner. Next, smudge it lightly with a small, fluffy shadow brush and dust on your shadow of choice to set it in place. Any color can work for this look, but red, maroon, and gray are especially trendy eyeshadow colors for spring sleepy eyes this year.

Step into spring with butter-yellow eyeshadow

In December 2023, astrologer Susan Miller exclusively gave Glam her forecast for spring 2024's biggest colors. As it turns out, she was spot on. Miller predicted that yellow would be a huge hit, and butter yellow — in manicures and makeup looks — seems to be sweeping everyone off their feet lately. Furthermore, this sunny hue makes for particularly stunning smokey eyes, especially when paired with a flick or two of jet-black eyeliner.


You can certainly use a single shade of yellow for this cheerful take on smokey eyes, but this style really pops with a touch of amber eyeshadow applied to the inner and outer corners of the lid. If you're feeling extra, you can even use a large fluffy blush to blend the lighter yellow hue along your cheekbones for some matching buttercup blush. Once you're satisfied with your base, use your best black eyeliner to create a thin stripe along your upper lash line.

Set things off with a smoky taupe shade

If you want your look to fall somewhere between au naturel and full-on glam, why not try some smoky topaz shadow on for size? A shimmery taupe eyeshadow is far more forgiving than solid matte brown and can brighten up your lids in seconds flat. Metallic shadows come in a variety of formulas, from liquids and creams to powders, and they blend super easily with other products. Perhaps best of all, they can help hide oily lids and makeup meltdowns thanks to their ultra-reflective properties.


To get this shimmery brown smoky eye, start by priming your lids with a cream shadow base or concealer. Before it fully dries, use a large eyeshadow brush to sweep on a generous amount of your favorite metallic taupe shadow. Add some definition with a chocolatey brown shade in the outer corners of each eye, and finish the look with a touch of black liquid liner and mascara.

Let your summer smokey eyes shine with a shimmery violet

April showers bring May flowers, and what better way to illustrate this old adage than with some violet-tinted smokey eyes? Royal purple looks stunning on everyone, and it's even better when you use an iridescent shadow or some barely-there glitter to make it pop. This look is very customizable, so try a pale lavender color for daytime wear, or slip on a darker purple shade for late spring and summer nights.


Begin by prepping each eye with your base of choice, and dust on a fine layer of dreamy lilac eyeshadow. Then, darken the center of both eyelids using an iridescent, or duo-chrome, purple shadow in a slightly deeper shade. Exaggerate your eyes by applying a rich violet shadow in a cat eye shape along the outer corners, or use black or purple eyeliner for a similar effect. For the finishing touches, use a fine eyeshadow brush or pencil liner to lightly smoke out the lower lash line, and swipe on a coat of black mascara.