Following a few simple guidelines, you can create a simple smokey eye and tweak the various steps to create a look that is truly unique and beautiful; truly you.
First you will want to, as always when applying eye makeup, prime your eyelid with concealer or a primer, in my case I used MAC's NC20 concealer to create a flat surface to which the eyeshadow can adhere. Then take your favorite black pencil eyeliner, in my case Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner in 'Zero', and draw a line overtop of your lashes. Continue this line and smudge it up over your eyelid and even in the crease. Use a brush to smujdge it out and create this 'smoked' effect, don't worry about being too clean about it, the fabulous thing about a smokey eye is that it's supposed to look uncontrolled and sultry. Make sure to color in between your lashes so you don't have patches of skin that show underneath the smokey eye; fill in your lashes. Then use a black eyeshadow or a dark eyeshadow (in my case it is MAC's 'beauty marked') and apply it liberally over top of the smudged black liner. I suggest that if you have lighter skin like I do, you stick to a darker shade of a color rather than going with black. This is simply because you will have huge contrast between your eye makeup and your skin and might end up looking like a raccoon if you overdo it! That being said, you can truly use any eyeshadow for this as long as you blend, blend, blend it in!!!
The next step consists of taking a shade lighter than the shade used to cover the eyelid and contour the shape of the eye, I used Urban Decay's 'Last Call' eyeshadow also available as 'Queen' from the Alice in Wonderland palette. Accentuate the arch of your eye, this is where you can play with scale and shape and give yourself the desired shape you want. Some people choose to not blend in their shadow here but, as you can see, the color will look very potent and this may not be appropriate for wear during the day or at work. I choose to continue blending it in. I also apply a highlighter, usually just a white eyeshadow or a very light neutral, lighter than my skin-tone. I blend the contour color and the highlighter together thoroughly until no edge can be seen. The final step is an application of liquid liner, I used Stila's liquid liner and some black mascara to give it that polished look. Finally, you can line your waterline (underneath your eye, above your lower lashes) with one of the colors used and apply an eye pencil on top just to make the colors pop. This last part is entirely optional in the look, some people prefer not to do it because their eyes are too sensitive.
I chose to go in a purple/plum direction with this smokey eye look, particularly because purple makes brown eyes pop really nicely as it is a complementary color. However, this same look can be done using any color, or any neutral you'd like, just remember that the base color should be the darkest and anything you apply on the contour should be a shade or two lighter. Experiment with your looks and let me know what creative ideas you've come up with!