How Do I Choose the Best Eye Makeup for Brown Eyes?

B. Miller

Many different types of eye makeup look good with brown eyes, and what you choose will largely depend on the look you're going for, and whether you want a more dramatic appearance for evening, or a casual look for daytime. When trying to choose the best eye makeup for brown eyes, it is a good idea to try colors that are on a different side of the color spectrum. Rather than trying brown or green eye shadows, which can make the face look plain, try violet or navy blue, for example. These can make the eyes look much brighter.

A woman with brown eyes applies lipstick.
A woman with brown eyes applies lipstick.

When choosing eye makeup for brown eyes, however, most people begin with eyeliner. Though people with darker eyes and lashes can get away with very dark eyeliner, this can be a pretty severe look for daytime. Experimenting instead with colors such as dark grey or navy blue can add visual interest to the face without making it really obvious. Dark brown eyeliner may look fine, but some people do not like the way it matches the eyes. Grey eyeliner can give the eyes a nice smokey look, though, which is great for evening.

Eye shadow should be lighter or darker than the color of the eye iris.
Eye shadow should be lighter or darker than the color of the eye iris.

Eyeshadow is one of the best ways to change the look of brown eyes. Many people start with a neutral base color on the eyelid to give it a smoother look, and will then experiment with colors. As a general rule, applying darker colors closer to the lash line, and lighter colors on the lid, will be the most flattering. Deep violet or plum are great choices for brown eyes, as well as dark blue or even a deep pink. As a general rule, it is a good idea to avoid eye makeup with yellow undertones. Applying a light shimmery shade on the brow bone and on the inner corners of the eyes can make them look much brighter; some people also find that bronze eyeshadows really helps make brown eyes light up.

Mascara is another important component of eye makeup for brown eyes. Black mascara applied to curled eyelashes can really help to define the eyes, as can very dark brown mascara. It is a good idea to select mascara that is darker than the eyes, otherwise it can make the lashes simply blend in with the face. It may take some experimentation to find the makeup combinations that work best for your eyes, but it can be fun to try new things to see how they look.

Smokey eye makeup perfectly compliments brown eyes.
Smokey eye makeup perfectly compliments brown eyes.

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Discussion Comments


Blue eyeshadow should be banned. It's a Class A fashion felony! Especially bright blue. I actually like brown or taupe shades for brown eyes, particularly when paired with a plum on the lid, or a pink on the brow, to highlight.

In fact, most women with brown eyes can wear almost any shades they like since brown is, after all, a neutral color. I love the color peach, but do not wear it since it makes my skin look gray. However, i have brown eyes and can wear a peach eyeshadow very successfully.


I don't wear mascara. I'm allergic to it. Every single brand makes my eyes itch and water. Fortunately, I do have dark lashes, so I don't have to wear mascara.

Actually, I think the smoky eye look can hide more than it emphasizes. If a woman isn't careful, she can end up with raccoon eyes, which aren't attractive on anything but raccoons.

I usually use a coffee-brown liner, which doesn't hide my eyes at all. I usually choose my eyeshadow based on what I'm wearing, but I prefer to keep a more neutral eye, since I love red lipstick. Actually, the best make up for brown eyes is a good, red lipstick! The man's eyes focus on your lips and then move up to your eyes.

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