Does TikTok’s viral smoky eye hack actually work? Here’s what happened when we tried it

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Hanna Ibraheem
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TikTok eyeshadow hack

A smoky eye has never been easier, thanks to this viral TikTok hack. Here’s what happened when Stylist’s senior beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem tried it.

I love a smoky eye. From intense inky black eyeshadow forming a puff of black smoke around the eyes to simply buffing my bronzer all over my eyelids for a uniform look, there are so many ways to wear a smoky eye. My favourite is something a bit deeper, dramatic and more noticeable – the only problem? Creating a smoky eye can take ages and it’s easy for things to quickly get messy.

For that reason, it’s fair that a smoky eye can seem off-putting and even intimidating to some. But now, a viral eyeshadow hack may have changed all that.

The trick in question is currently doing the rounds on TikTok (where else?) and is being hailed a “game changer” for achieving a smoky eye. Traditionally, it involves layering heaps of eyeshadow colours on top of each other for depth and endlessly blending for diffused edges. But according to countless TikTok videos, all you have to do it draw horizontal lines with your eyeshadow down your eyelid – and it seems to work:

Swayed by all of the impressive results, I decided to give the smoky eye hack a go myself. The most important thing to note is that you have to start with the darkest shade on the outer part of your eyelid and make your eyeshadows get progressively lighter as you move inwards.

I picked up Givenchy’s Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Le 9.05, £61, as it has a nice mix of deep and light browns, oranges and reds. 

As smoky eyes can be so intense, I always prefer to wing mine outwards and pair it with winged liner. So, I drew my first line at a slight angle rather than straight. This meant that when it came to blending, it could easily take on a winged shape. I applied the rest of my eyeshadow lines, taking a lighter shade each time, before finishing with the palette’s glittery white.

TikTok eyeshadow hack during
After applying the eyeshadow in stripes, going from dark to light.

Then, it was time to blend. Any time you begin blending a smoky eye look, it’s important to always begin with a clean, fluffy brush. I started blending from the inner edge of my eye – this prevented the darker shades from taking over. As I got to the darkest eyeshadow on the outer edge, I buffed out the edges into a wing. In a matter of seconds, I was done when I inspected my eyeshadow in the mirror properly, I was so impressed.

TikTok eyeshadow hack after blending
After blending the eyeshadow.
TikTok eyeshadow hack result
After applying eyeliner and mascara (left) and after applying eyeshadow on the lower lash line (right).

I drew on some winged liner and applied a few layers of mascara to help make my eyeshadow pop. It’s also a good idea to take some eyeshadow along your lower lash line for a more balanced look.

It’s honestly the easiest and quickest smoky eye I’ve ever done. Thank you, TikTok – never again will I spend hours blending.

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Main image: Hanna Ibraheem