Here’s a guide for those willing to use makeup to make their brown eyes pop! Whether you’re looking for inspiration on go-to shades or shapes, we’ve got you covered. Our suggestions are based on creating flattering contrasts and harmonies of color, but they’re not the only way of dressing up your brown eyes. Remember that there are no rules in makeup, and you may create your own way of highlight your brown eyes!
What colors make brown eyes pop: neutral shades or contrasting colors?
We understand that you’d like to have a straight answer: one or the other. The truth is that both neutral shades and contrasting colors have a huge potential in highlighting brown eyes! Brownish tones create a beautiful unity between your makeup and your eye color; on the other hand, colors that contrast with brown unarguably make the brown pop. These two methods of directing the spotlight to your eyes work in different ways, having that brown makeup tends to look more subtle while contrasting shades create statement looks. Pick the lane that matches your personal style the best and just go for it! We’ll help you with some specific recommendations:
1. Use purple or blue eye makeup
Speaking of contrasting colors may be too vague, so let’s point out a few names: purple and blue. Both these colors contrast beautifully with your brown eyes! Creating contrast is the makeup way of making a certain feature stand out—and that’s exactly our goal here. You don’t need to go all in and embrace a purple smoky eye to make your eyes pop: a detail is all it takes to elevate your eye look. Try to create an accent of color close to the lashes and you’ll see how much it enhances your eyes. It’ll only take minimal effort for maximum impact!
2. Use bronze and copper tones
Moving on to less bright but shinier eye makeup, it’s time to see what bronzy and coppery tones can make for you. With their natural metallic finish, these shades highlight brown eyes in a subtle way. And the best part? They should work great with any outfit color or style! You can go in using a powder eyeshadow like L’Oréal Paris Color Queen Eyeshadow 32 Commander or a liquid shadow like Flormar Shimmer & Shine Liquid Shadow. Capturing and reflecting light like no other, coppers and bronze eye makeup is a no-brainer for brown eyes!
3. Use brown eyeshadows with shimmer
Fan of the neutral shades department? Then you should know that brown shimmery eyeshadows make your natural brown eyes sparkle! There are all kinds of brown shimmery palettes that you can take advantage of. You may use one shade across the lid or combine multiple browns to create a dimensional look. If you want to use brown and create some contrast at the same time, you may opt to use a brown that’s way darker or lighter than your natural eye color. For instance, if you have light brown eyes, you may like to accent them using the dark shimmery browns of the Makeup Revolution Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette Iconic Fever, and if your eyes are deep brown, you may turn to light caramel browns.
4. Use brown matte eyeshadows
Matte eyeshadows never go out of style and are a perfect way of making brown eyes pop! Keep in mind that without any reflective particles, the matte eye looks require an expert level of blending to look even. To get the look, you may opt for eye pencils like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Whiskey and then blend (we promise it looks like an eyeshadow!), or you may go for a powder shadow such as Flormar Matte Mono Eyeshadow 07 Chocolate Brown. For maximum impact, apply both on the top and bottom lashline!
5. Use colorful eyeliners
Eyeliners are a great way to make the eyes pop, no matter the eye or makeup color. But it’s only when you apply a graphic eye look—like the eyeliner—in a color that accents your eyes that you truly see the power of makeup! With color and shape working with the same purpose, you’ll make your brown eyes pop in a lovely way. To get the look, you’ll need a liner of your choice in brown, purple, or blue. Easy right? We’ll give you some tips for the perfect eyeliner: apply it as close as possible to the root of your lashes and start as thin as possible on the inner corner. If it all goes wrong, get a small pencil brush and blend it along the lashline!
6. Use colorful mascara
We saved the easiest makeup tip for last! If you get excited about applying makeup but everything seems too difficult, or if you like makeup but you can’t find the time you need to apply it all, then this is for you. Colorful mascara applies in seconds, adding drama and color to your eyes at the same time. The best colors to highlight your eyes are those we’ve discussed before: purple, blue, and brown. This writer can’t possibly finish a colorful mascara paragraph without also recommending her personal favorite: plum mascara! Give it a go and you’ll see how it’ll quickly conquer space on your makeup kit.
For more tips on how to highlight your eyes, take a look at our suggestions of stick eyeshadows!
Professional Makeup Artist & Beauty Writer