With brown eyes being the most popular hue in the world — over 50 percent of the population has them — it’s no wonder that nearly all eyeshadow shades complement them. And while brown eyes come in lots of variations (think gold flecks, green flecks and deep deep brown eyes), the same rules tend to apply across the board. There’s no eyeshadow color you shouldn’t add into your makeup routine, and you should spend time experimenting with a wide variety of shades and textures. The downside of having lots of options? It can be difficult to find a look you love — especially if you’re new to the eyeshadow game. With this in mind, we’re sharing a versatile brown eye tutorial we come back to time and time again and exactly how to get the look:

STEP 1: Prime and Color Correct

Prime the eye area — both the lid and underneath the eye — by applying a color-canceling concealer like Maybelline New York Master Camo Color Correcting Concealer Pen. A quick lesson in color correction: If you struggle with redness try green, it cancels out redness and works well on most skin tones. Blue is ideal for fair to light skin tones and helps to counteract sallowness. Pink brightens dullness for light skin tones (so it’s absolutely genius under the eyes to help you look like you got 8 hours of sleep), as does yellow. If you struggle with dark circles go for apricot or red, both of which neutralize dark undereye circles for light-to-medium and dark skin tones. The key to color correcting is precision — so apply small amounts and work your way out using a brush or beauty sponge. Swipe the concealer wherever you have discoloration and blend with your pinky, for the lightest touch on this fragile skin. Top with a bit of foundation to smooth out skin tone and help shadow adhere to the skin.

STEP 2: Fill in Your Brows

Create a strong, matte brow by filling in any bare areas of your brows and accentuating their shape with NYX Professional Makeup Micro-Brow Pencil. Pick a shade similar to your brow hair, try one shade darker for a bolder look. Start with short hair-like strokes to fill in brows, following their natural shape and arch. Stop there for a more natural brow or carve them out using concealer for a crisp look.


STEP 3: All About the Base
Apply a matte brown shade all over the lid as a base and work it into the crease using a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Reach for a neutral palette like NYX Professional Makeup Warm Neutrals Ultimate Shadow for this step and go for a shade close to or one shade lighter than your skin tone.

STEP 4: Transition is Key

Dip back into the palette and pick up a deeper brown shade. This time, look for a matte shade a few shades deeper than your skin tone and blend into the crease to define and create dimension.

STEP 5: Color It In

Next, use a shimmery warm-toned eyeshadow all over the lid, careful not to disturb or muddy the transition shade. To do this, start with the center of the lid and work your way out.

STEP 6: Brighten the Eye

Highlight the center of the lid by swiping on a light eyeshadow shade. Pat the color with your finger to blend it in without disrupting the other eyeshadows.

STEP 7:  A Pop of Glow

Apply a dot of highlighter on the inside corner of your eyes (against your nose) to brighten the eyes even more. Try Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter.

STEP 8: Finishing Touches

To finish of the look, apply two coats of black mascara to the top lashes only to create definition. Skipping bottom lashes also helps open up the eye. If you really want to open up the eye — try applying taupe eyeliner to your waterline, it’ll subtly brighten the eye while keeping the look soft.

BONUS: Lip Looks
Now that you have your eyes are Instagram-worthy, what to do with your lips? Try a matte nude that keeps the focus on your eyes. Try Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Loyalist (a saturated warm nude perfect for medium complexions), Dreamer (a dusty rose that’s gorgeous on fair skin) or Lover (a darker, plum-kissed shade perfect for dark skin).

Let's Stay in Touch

Get our top stories straight to your inbox!