Similar to the way oval faces work with nearly any hairstyle or method of makeup application, brown eyes are easily complemented. In fact, the artists over at Alima Pure told us that brown eyes can wear virtually "every color of eye shadow." But before you close your browser and say, Well, that was inconclusive, there are definitely certain shades of eye shadow that bring out the otherwise concealed chestnut and honey undertones of brown eyes. Green, hazel, and blue eyes are always hailed as being the prettiest eye colors, but brown eyes are equally deserving of attention, in our opinion. And what better way to shine a spotlight on them than by playing them up with makeup?
Below, you'll find the shadows that transform brown eyes into multidimensional glimmering gems (we sound like we're embellishing, but just wait until you apply the pigments yourself). Keep scrolling to find out which shades are the most flattering.
Team Alima Pure says that since brown eyes can wear so many different hues, "if you're feeling festive and ready to try something new, we encourage you to go for it!" The brand suggests its pressed shadow in Luxe. "It will instantly brighten your eyes with a wearable golden tone."
For more warm golden tones, try a palette with a few different shades in that same color family. Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette ($27) offers gold, beige, reds, maroons, and rust colors to highlight your brown eyes.
"Volt is a carbon black that blends to a deep charcoal—it's a smoky-eye favorite for bringing out the warmth in brown eyes," the brand tells us. "To get the look, start with our amazing new Eye Primer. It maximizes color payoff and prevents any creasing or fading. Then, go for a monochrome finish: Just a swipe of color from lashline to crease with your fingertips creates an easy and chic holiday eye look."
For a budget-friendly option, Nyx is always a reliable pick. This shimmery slate gray eye shadow applies easily, blends properly, and amps up the intensity of your eyes.
Celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder loves using Charlotte Tilbury's chunky Color Chameleon pencil to play up brown eyes: "The cream texture is so versatile and easy to work with. It's a shimmery brown with specks of gold. The gold specks really enhance brown eyes, and the richness of the brown shadow adds the right amount of definition to the eyes to make them pop."
MAC's amber-colored eye shadow has a warming effect as well, brightening and calling attention to the deep, rich tones your eye color has to offer. It'll bring out those enviable flecks—whether their golden, green, or brown.
Celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo is all about rust hues for brown eyes, especially when they come by way of a prestige liquid shadow product. "I'm obsessed with Armani Eye Tints. They have several warm reddish brown shades that pair beautifully with brown eyes to warm them up and make them stand out. Also, a good thing to know about the Eye Tints is they don't budge. I just finished a job in the Bahamas, and I used them on my supermodels [Ed. note: You may have seen him on Instagram living his best life oceanside with Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, et al.], and they wore them all day, and they didn't bleed or smudge, even on the beach or in the water."
For more warm color combinations, this palette is our go-to. Its reddish, brick, coral, and brown shades will work with your complexion and skin tone to offer the most complementary eye look.
We saved this palette for last because it encapsulates the glimmering gold and rust tones discussed previously as well as a stunning plum, which is opposite the color wheel from brown and therefore perfect for brown-eyed beauties. It was created by vlogger Sona Gasparian to complement her own espresso eyes but is versatile enough to work for everyone.
For a bit more glamour, we're also huge fans of Tom Ford's shimmery quad—offering a spectrum of plums, pinks, and beigey bronze.