For as basic a staple as smoky eyes are the realm of eye makeup looks, they’re surprisingly un-basic to create. If only it were as easy as swiping on a few dark shades and calling it a night. But if you’re reading this, you probably know that. That’s whereSir John comes in. As a celebrity makeup artist who caters to the biggest smoky eye queen of them all—that would be Queen B, Beyoncé—there’s literally no one better we could think of to break down the signature moves he uses to get a look with dimension, depth, and that, above all, isn’t overly complicated to do at home.

Read on for his advice.

First you want to start with a kohl eyeliner as a base for the shadow. “It anchors the eyeshadow and makes sure it stays on all day,” Sir John says. Concentrate it on the inner and out corners of your eye, leaving the space in the middle of your lid bare. Notice he’s not using black or gray like you might typically think of with a smoky eye. Instead, he recommends using something less harsh like a plum color or one of these other eyeshadow colors. We love The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder Inside Track Eye Kajal in Bold Bordeaux/Urban Nude. It’ll give your eye more dimension. Not sure exactly which color to pick? Here are the best eyeshadow shades for brown eyes, for blue eyes, and for green eyes.

After you apply the liner, take a synthetic brush and blend it out so there aren’t any harsh lines and it all looks like a seamless wash of color. This is what makes it really smoky and sexy, plus it keeps it from looking too intense.

Next comes the shadow. Take a matte shadow in a similar color to the liner you just used and apply it on the inner and outer corners, still leaving the center of your eye bare. We’re big fans of the NYX Cosmetics Nude Matte Eyeshadow in Skinny Dip  for layering on top of the liner. “Check it for symmetry, symmetry is key,” Sir John says. So take a step back and make sure each eye looks even and fully blended.

Now you want to take the same eye kohl you used as a base and apply it on your lower lash line. Blend it out with the same synthetic brush across the bottom of your eye. The plum color under your eyes helps keep the look soft and makes your eye color pop.

It’s finally time to fill in the center of your lid with a shimmery shadow. Try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Eyeshadow in Little Beige Dress  and blend it in to give your lid a metallic finish. Kendall Jenner uses this trick too to add some light to contrast with the dark shadows.

Finally, add as much or as little mascara as you please depending on how much extra smokiness you want. 100 layers aren’t necessary, but we won’t stop you.

And there you have it! The sexiest smoky eye ever. That wasn’t too hard, was it?

Still want more? Watch Sir John walk through this entire technique in the video below: