7 Eyeshadows That Make Your Brown Eyes Smolder

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Brown eyes shadow JPG

 Graphic by Cristina Cianci

Over 55% of the world has them, Van Morrison dedicated a song to them, and makeup artists love to work with them—proof that contrary to the ridiculous myths we grew up hearing, brown eyes are far from boring. They practically sparkle with flecks of gold, copper, and honey. With thoughtful eyeshadow choices, your brown eyes will smolder every time.

To help them realize their sultriest potential, we’ve gathered super-flattering eyeshadow palettes as recommended by Glamsquad's director of artistry and education, Kelli Bartlett. She offers up her favorite palettes with brown eyes in mind, explaining the textures, shades, and application tricks to best show off your peepers.

Keep scrolling for a handful of the best eyeshadows for brown eyes.

Best Overall: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Cocoa Mirage

"Rich cocoa and sandy brown allow brown eyes to be the stars of the show while giving a neutral polished appearance," Bartlett suggests. "This Tom Ford palette is really great for everyday—natural but chic."

Best for Light Brown Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette

"For light-brown eyes, or eyes that have a bit of hazel, adding a red undertone will contrast and bring out those eye highlights," Bartlett says. "This palette has the perfect arrow of warm, beautiful shades for just that."

Best for Dark Brown Eyes: RMS Beauty Luminizer x Quad Highlighter Palette

Rms Luminizer X Quad Highlighter Palette

"While it's not a traditional eyeshadow palette," Bartlett offers, "I love using these creamy highlighters on brown eyes because they give a light-reflective, glossy sheen that instantly brightens dark-brown eyes and gives a 'no makeup but I look amazing' look."

Best Purples: Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst

"Artists gravitate toward a range of purples for brown eyes because they're complementary colors," says Bartlett. "This means that, when applied, the shade next to your eye color creates a strong contrast, allowing your eyes to really pop," she adds.

Best Liquid: Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

STILA Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

If you're a fan of liquid eyeshadow, you can't go wrong with Stila's wide variety. First, there’s “Vivid Garnet,” a gorgeous pomegranate sure to make brown eyes pop. Then there’s “Vivid Labradorite,” a sensuous blend of charcoal and olive tones, and a definite favorite, “La Douce,” a gold-green shade that’s super unique.

The liquid shadows come in a rectangular tube, with the cap twisting off to reveal a doe-foot applicator. Application is easy, and they’re eye-catching on their own, ​but even better as part of a cut crease. ​​​

Best Single: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Lounge

urban decay eyeshadow in lounge

The magic of this eyeshadow is hard to catch on camera unless you pile it on (even then it still looks good). “Lounge,” an appropriately sultry name, is a duo-chrome dragon-scale green that shifts to red and brown, depending on which way you turn. The best way to describe the consistency is velvety, though, like other Urban Decay eyeshadow singles, it’s best applied with your finger or a wet shader brush. It’s a beautiful, unique shade that adds some mystery to brown eyes. Combine with a red shadow or other metallics for an even more majestic look. 

Best Matte: MAC Matte Eyeshadow

mac eye shadow

MAC eyeshadows are solid options, even if they’re not as showy as the latest palettes. Their eyeshadows, housed in a classic black compact, have always been richly pigmented, easy to blend, and long-lasting. The singles include both shimmers and mattes, as well as a good amount of statement colors.

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