Before applying any sort of eyeshadow, smokey or not, I think a primer is essential. I’ve heard great things about the MAC Pain Pots but I love either the Urban Decay Primer Potion or Nars Smudge Proof Base. I like to spend a little more on my primer as they really help get a great look, increase the longevity, make colours appear more vibrant and last a surprisingly long time.
The most essential product however is of course eyeshadow. You can go for powder or cream, whichever shades you like and drugstore or highend. A smokey eye doesn’t have to be black and greys and there are some great quality eyeshadows in the mass market brands. That said I think the Urban Decay palettes are great value for money, the quality is amazing and I love that they have so many wearable shades all in one place.
I personally love a bit of liner with a smokey eye (and without) but it isn’t essential. I find a little black liner along the waterline really helps define my eye and makes my lashes look instantly thicker and liquid eyeliner cat eye really helps elongate my rather round eyes. The Urban Decay 24/7 liners are beautifully creamy but I also love the Rimmel Exaggerate liners.
With a smokey eye you need a good blending brush which can do all the hard work for you, the Mac 217 is a beauty industry favourite and I think it’s worth investing in as it’s great for applying crease colour as well as blending. Alternatively the Kiko Eyes 200 is a beautiful blending brush and the Liz Earle Blend & Contour Brush do a similar job and are more affordable.
For added drama, I love a good pair of false lashes and a ridiculous amount of mascara.
What are your smokey eye essentials?