Why Brown Eyeshadow is Totally Underrated—Plus How to Use it Right

Victoria Moorhouse
Why Brown Eyeshadow is Totally Underrated—Plus How to Use it Right
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We’re guessing almost every eye palette you own has at least one or two browns in it. Sure, brown is a neutral—but as any minimalist will gladly tell you, that doesn’t make it boring. Less harsh than black and richer than grey, brown eyeshadow is a majorly underrated makeup staple. Think about it: it blends well with just about any color, makes every lipstick color pop, and is flattering on just about every skin tone.

Converted yet? We thought so. To help inspire you to greatness, we’ve rounded up some tutorials, tips and tricks to help you get the most gorgeous brown eyeshadow looks, along with product suggestions that won’t disappoint.

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If you really want people to tell you've committed to a brown eyeshadow, you might as well coat the entire lid. Use a cream metallic shade if you're a newbie to blending—you can even use two different shades to get a dual-toned effect. After using a cream primer, use your finger to apply a product like Bobbi Brown's Brown Metal Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow.

Photo: Imaxtree

Brown gives a softer approach than the "Gossip Girl" Little J raccoon-eye, but it's definitely not lacking in drama. Coat your lid with a matte brown shadow, using that color and lightly lining your bottom lash line as well. Brown and red work well together, so take a red liner (if you can find one) or a red shadow with a very thin eyeliner brush and trace the upper and lower lash lines, blending the two colors together. Try using NYX Cosmetics' Underneath It All shadow to begin the look.

Photo: Imaxtree

At the barrier of the lightest shade of brown lives darker tints of cream and gold metallics—both of which look amazing with a plum lip. After lightly brushing on a cream shadow as a base (that will also help your liner stick throughout the day) use a metallic gold shadow or liner to line your bottom lash line. Apply the same product to your top lash line but blend it into the shadow a bit—stila's Magnificent Metals Foil collection is a winning option. When it comes to the lipstick, you have room to REALLY go for the vampy hue.

A light brown shadow with a opalescent finish looks gorgeous with a rosy cheek. Leave the lashes bare and skip the liner for a super natural, low-maintenance vibe.

Photo: Imaxtree

Use two or three shadow colors—a brown, a gold, and something with a brick red tint—to create an ombred effect across your eyelid. Keep the gold color on the inner half and corner of the lid for a little glow and to really draw attention to your eyes. Try hues from the Laura Geller The Wearables Color Story palette.

Oranges and browns give red lipstick an extra oomph (yes, it's possible for that stuff to get even bolder) because they're complimentary. Use a taupe-like shade of brown, like MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Omega, to cover your lid. Go minimal with the mascara and skip your liner routine, finishing off your look with a swipe of cherry red lipstick.

Photo: Imaxtree

Your classic sultry look? Brown eyeshadow, a nude lip, a little highlighter, and smudged black eyeliner. Try using a kajal pencil instead of liquid liner so you can blend the liner and the shadow seamlessly and without a lot of mess.

Photo: Imaxtree

A smokey eye à la brown metallic liner is a favorite on the red carpet and off. Because the shadow colors are a little less "hey, look at me" it's a perfect option for day or night. Of course, you can dress it up with a ton of mascara or falsies for a smear-less look.

Photo: Imaxtree

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