8 Makeup Basics for Brown Eyes

by Wendy Rose Gould

Overview

Because brown is a neutral color that's comprised of all hues on the color wheel, brown-eyed women have it a little easier when it comes to wearing makeup. With that said, not every set of brown eyes is the same shade of brown. Some are lighter with hints of green, others evoke images of poured coffee, while others yet are so dark they nearly blend in with the pupil. To truly enhance your brown eyes, consider whether your eyes are light, medium or dark brown, and go from there.

Brighten Eyes

"First and foremost, make sure your eyes are white and bright," notes celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva. Getting enough sleep and taking care of your body helps with this, but for an instant pick-me-up, Silva suggests eye drops.

Match Iris Flecks

Not every brown-eyed woman was gifted with colorful flecks in her irises. If your eyes come with this enviable feature, play it up. Choose a shadow or eyeliner that matches the flecks, and watch as your brown eyes take center stage.

Subtle Colors That Enhance

If you're aiming for a more natural, modest makeup vibe, opt for charcoals, browns, coppers or bronzes on medium and dark brown eyes. Lighter brown eyes stand out in pale gray, bone and champagne eye makeup.

Dramatic Colors That Enhance

Brown-eyed women who want a dramatic makeup look will sparkle in shades of green, purple and blue. Cobalt and navy blues are particularly flattering to brown eyes of all shades, as are forest green, emerald green and deep purple. The more richly pigmented the color, the better.

The Right Eyeliner

"Always use one of two liners," says Silva. For nighttime, she suggests "a black rim liner around the inner rim of your whole eye to close it and make it look smokey and sensual." For daytime, she advocates a fleshy, brown-colored liner in the rim line. If you want to go a little more daring, try a green eyeliner.

The Right Mascara

Women with dark brown eyes are in luck: any shade of mascara works for you. Those with medium brown eyes look best in black, onyx or gray mascara. The same slate-like colors can make lighter eyes look dull, though, so if you're rocking paler brown eyes, opt for dark brown as your go-to mascara. For a pop of color, all brown-eyed ladies should try plum mascara.

Highlight Corners

To draw attention to your brown eyes and make them look slightly wider, apply a dab of highlighter on the inner corner of your eyes. Alternatively, line the inner corners with a white eyeliner. This also brightens eyes and instantly "wakes you up" (even if you're running low on sleep).

Minimize Other Features

Play down your other features if your goal is to accentuate your brown eyes. For example, a dark red lip competes with smokey, dramatic eyes, but a natural-colored lip will shift focus to your peepers.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to "Glamour" magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the "Indianapolis Business Journal," "Kiwanis International" and "NUVO Newsweekly," she earned BA degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in lifestyle topics.