The Best Eye Shadow for Brown Eyes

Written by Emily McBride (last updated October 21, 2019)

We all want to feel beautiful, and makeup is a great way to help us enhance our natural beauty. Just because brown eyes are common doesn't mean they are any less beautiful than blue or green eyes. Whether your eyes are chocolate brown or almost black, you can find eye shadows to help make your eyes "pop."

One helpful tip for finding the right eye shadow colors is using the color wheel. Colors opposite on the color wheel complement each other, so blues and purples work well for brown eyes. However, many makeup experts especially think that bronze and green eye shadows look good on brown eyes. Brown and champagne shades can also be flattering. So, if you have brown eyes you are lucky because of the variety of colors of eye shadow that you are able to pull of. The main color to stay away from is the actual color of your eye. Instead, choose a brown that is a shade lighter or darker than your eye color. Here is a list of shades that you might want to try:

  • Tan, dark brown, beige, taupe, cream, chocolate brown
  • Copper, gold, amber, mahogany (for accents or highlights)
  • Forest green, khaki, smoky green
  • Coral, burgundy, plum, burnt orange
  • Charcoal, grey
  • Baby blue, crystal blue, turquoise, navy (but be careful to not overdo blue eye shadow)

Do not try to match your eye shadow with your clothing. It can come off as tacky, and you are better off focusing your attention on complementing your skin tone, eye color, and hair color instead. Another factor that plays into your eye shadow colors is the type of look you are going for—some prefer natural, neutral eye shadow and makeup, while others prefer more dramatic, bold colors. The occasion can also factor into what you choose. You may want to wear lighter, more natural eye shadow during the day, and more prominent colors like dark purple in the evening.

Whatever color of eye shadow you choose, it will stay on your eyes much better and look smoother throughout the day if you use a primer before you apply. You can find primers anywhere you can find makeup. Because most eye shadow colors work well with brown eyes, it may be better to focus your attention on your hair color and skin tone as well. The best way to decide what will look best on you is to experiment. Try out different colors and techniques for applying. Often at department store makeup counters, you can get assistance and makeup tips from a consultant.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...


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