How To – Easy Cut Crease/ Dramatic Smokey

I’ve been asked by quite a few of you now about how to create this kind of look and it’s been a while since I did one of these step by step talk throughs, so thought I’d do one! Hopefully I’ve broken this down enough to be pretty easy to follow and recreate and take from it what you will…I’ve created this look with a cut crease in mind, but you could just do dramatic smokey and leave that bit out if you prefer. I’ve also gone pretty soft with the cut crease altogether, if you wanted a more ‘Insta makeup’ dramatic and precise cut crease, you could do that too, using the same principles and just keeping the cut itself cleaner.

What is a cut crease?

First thing’s first, if you’re unsure what a cut crease is…it’s basically an eyeshadow technique used to enhance the shape of the eye and definition of the socket/ crease (or even create one if you don’t have a natural crease to begin with!) and it allows light colours or glitter to show up better too. There’s different ways of doing it and this way might still take a bit of practice, but it’s probably the easiest/ more of a cheat way. Let’s get in to it!

So I start with a primed eye area (from lash to brow and a little under the eye) and my brows done, but this before any base. Doing your eyes before base, especially if you’re using darker shadows or potentially messy pigments or glitters, means you can just wipe away any fall out after and having your brows in place will help you map out your eye makeup better too! I used the new LA Splash Cosmetics UD Brow Mousse* through my brows, which I’ve been loving! I then used a large blending brush to buff on a skin tone eyeshadow from lash to brow, to set the primer (I used Urban Decay Primer Potion in Enigma) and then with the same brush, applied a light transition shade in to the crease.

Next, taking a slightly smaller medium sized blending brush, I worked a second transition shade which was a bit darker than the first over the top through the crease…just keeping it lower than the first shade for a smoother gradient.

Using a smaller blending brush again, keep going back in with gradually darker shades until you build up the intensity you want. As a general rule, the darker the shadow, the smaller the brush and the closer to the eye it will be. Once you have the depth you prefer, just use your largest blending brush clean to just make sure everything is properly blended. The matte eyeshadows I’ve used to create this look are all by Makeup Geek*.

Time to cut that crease! I like to use a flat, straight edged brush or angled brush when doing it this way. You can cut your crease using a light/ skin tone concealer or eye primer. Take your time, look straight on in to a mirror and etch out where you want your cut crease to be. I usually follow the natural crease or a little higher for more lid space. Once you have the basic shape, fill in the whole area of lid beneath it and here, I’ve gone for a half cut crease, but you could take it the whole way over if you wanted.

On your now naked eyelid (ha ha) you can pop on anything you like. Generally a lighter tone will show off your crease better with more of a contrast going on. You can go matte, one colour, anything you fancy. Here I used some Inglot Duraline (UK /  Ire) which is a mixing medium/ glitter glue to give them something to stick to and packed on 2 shades of Inglot AMC Pure Pigment (UK / Ire) in 118 and 86. I love how they look on the eye against a dark matte crease! Don’t worry about fall out at this stage, just get it on, we can clean up later. This is the time to clean up any edges if you want your cut crease to look more dramatic. I left mine pretty much as is and then packed some more darker matte shadow to the outside corner of my eye to smoke it up for more depth.

I like my smokey eyes grungy and intense, so line both my upper tightline and lower waterline (the inside rims of the eyes) with some Inglot AMC gel liner (UK / Ire) in 77 which is the blackest, most long wearing liner you will ever use! I also smudge it between my lower lashes for added intensity and then using the same technique you used on the upper lids eg. light shades going darker and also in turn, decreasing the size of your brush…smoke the liner out with eyeshadow. You might want to look up in to a hand mirror for this bit, so you can see exactly what you’re doing as well as having full access to the under eye area.

Now’s the time to add liner, mascara and lashes if you want to. I love a faux mink look silk lash, and always look out for cruelty free ones! I grab a face wipe and use it to clean up any fall out before applying the rest of my makeup, you can also use it to tidy if you want a clean edge. I’m all for making makeup life easier and if you find it easier, you do you…but I just can’t get on board with the using of tape to create eye looks, I just prefer to clean up and can get a clean line without harsh tape pulling. Personally not a fan!

I like to add an inner corner highlight when I’m going dark and smokey, totally optional, but it helps to widen and brighten your eyes. Here I used a small detail brush to apply more Duraline and then carefully placed some of the lighter Inglot pigment (118) over the top for a pop of highlight.

This is a close up of the finished look. I’m obsessed with these Inglot pigments and will definitely be picking up more! Remember this is a completely customisable look…if you don’t like shimmer, stay matte, if you’d prefer a softer finish, go for a nude liner on the waterline instead. Anything goes, have a play. If you try it, let me know how you get on!

Lyd x



I’m now based in Cork, Ireland. Although I do still take select bookings for North Wales/ Cheshire and Dublin (get in touch for more info) and am available to travel country wide…I’m mainly taking makeup bookings for Cork City and surrounding areas. 

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