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42 shades of grey eyeshadow: the smoky eye look finally arrives

Grey eyeshadow, often dismissed as boring, is a versatile staple of the smoky eye look. Widely anticipated to trend last year, it is only now that we are seeing the release of palettes dedicated to the sultry theme. Often disregarded, grey is conversely elegant. Its diverse range of shades, from light and shimmery to deep and smoky, delivers endless creative possibilities.

As Beauty Bay takes the lead and launches its range of Smoky palettes, let’s explore five unique grey eyeshadow looks to suit a multitude of occasions and personal styles.

A woman wearing grey eyeshadow with an eyeshadow palette in the background

1. Grey eyeshadow: the everyday smoky eye

This classic look is banging for adding subtle definition and depth to your eyes. 

Start with a light grey shade as your base, blending it across your entire eyelid. Next, use a medium grey shade to deepen the crease and outer corner, blending seamlessly for a smooth transition. Finish with a dark grey shade to further emphasise the outer corner and lash line. Opt for a matte or satin finish for a sophisticated daytime look. 

Pair this with a natural lip colour and defined brows for a polished everyday appearance.

2. The shimmering silver star

This glamorous look exudes elegance and is perfect for evening events. 

Apply a light, shimmery silver shade all over your lid. Layer a deeper, metallic grey shade on the outer third and crease, blending it upwards and outwards. Use a highlighting shade on the inner corner of your eye and brow bone to enhance brightness. 

For added drama, apply a thin line of black eyeliner and finish with voluminous lashes and a bold red lip.

Silver eyeshadow look with grey base

3. Go edgy with grungy charcoal

Embrace the edgy side with this smoky charcoal look. 

Apply a dark charcoal grey shade all over your lid, blending it upwards and outwards to create a diffused, smoky effect. Use a black eyeliner pencil to smudge along the upper and lower lash lines for an extra dose of grunge. 

Keep the rest of your makeup minimal with nude lips and slightly messy brows for a cool and effortless vibe.

4. The all-out graphic grey

This playful and modern look is perfect for making a statement. 

Start with a light grey base and then use a darker grey shade to create a graphic design on your lid. This could be a simple winged liner, a geometric shape or even a bold cat-eye. For added drama, use a white or silver shade to define the design further. 

Keep your lips neutral or add a pop of colour with a bold lipstick to complete the look.

Grey eyeshadow pigments with a makeup brush

5. Softly, softly - the smoky taupe

This softer take on the smoky eye is perfect for work or casual outings. 

Apply a light taupe shade all over your lid, followed by a medium taupe shade to deepen the crease and outer corner. Blend thoroughly to create a seamless gradient. Define your lash line with a brown eyeliner pencil and apply mascara for added definition. 

This look pairs well with a natural lip gloss and groomed brows for a professional and effortless appearance.

Grey eyeshadow shades and trends

What captivated fashion followers watching catwalks over a year ago is only now finding its way into the mainstream. I waited all last year for grey to be the central theme of a quality eyeshadow palette and it just didn’t happen. It’s what trend watchers wanted, but brands simply didn’t deliver - until now.

It makes me wonder why that was. Were brands already committed to other collections? Did influencers’ suggestions take precedence? I would much rather follow the lead of global designers than a bedroom-based influencer on TikTok. 

Beauty Bay says it released its range of Smoky palettes after listening to customers. That’s great to know. There was a hint of what was to come in Reckless Romance, the brand’s Valentine’s palette.

The fact that it has taken so long to emerge as a stand-alone look doesn’t bode well for the latest influencer trend predictions. After all the hype from social media stars at the end of last year, I was expecting all peaches and nudes. In truth, not exactly themes that excited me. Instead I’ve seen a tidal wave of surprises - from sparkly pastels to dark and moody looks. Could Peach Fuzz actually trend as an eye look next year? So far, the biggest push in that direction has been in cheek and lip products. 

Grey is not boring. It’s versatile and exciting. A universal pleaser, it is suitable for just about everyone. Whether you want to channel your inner grunge or go all-out vixen, it does it all. With a distincly urban vibe, this is a colour that complements city life, nights out, career go-getters and so much more.

Smoky is available in a stand-out 42-pan eyeshadow palette as well as in 16-pan and nine-pan palettes. Come my next pay day, I will definitely be buying one. 

Silver eyeshadow look channelling the smoky eye

Remember, the 5 grey eyeshadow looks outlined above are just starting points to inspire your creativity. Experiment with different shades, finishes and techniques to find the perfect grey eyeshadow look for you. 

Don't be afraid to combine textures, like pairing a matte base with a shimmery highlight, or playing with different application methods, like using your fingers for a diffused effect or a brush for a more precise look. Embrace the versatility of grey eyeshadow and discover its endless potential for creating captivating eye looks.


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