Tutorial: How to Make Brown Eyes Pop

Updated 01/31/18

Brown-eyed ladies are pretty lucky, not only do they have a song written about them, but they also can get away with wearing just about any eye shadow color. While most shades suit chocolate-colored irises, makeup artist Afton Williams tells us the perfect makeup for brown eyes. Williams says, “Someone with brown eyes can really benefit from metallic tones like copper, bronze, gold, and rust.” Since brown eyes often have specks of auburn, gold, and or green in the iris, “The fine particle metals pick up on the variations of brown in the iris to really make the eyes pop,” Williams says.

Want to learn how to create the optimum brown eye makeup look? We’ve provided step-by-step instructions from shadow application to blending as well as the best way to line your eyes. Watch the video tutorial below to learn how to get the look, and keep reading for her expert tips.

1. Apply a warm base: Choose a neutral-toned shadow, Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Neutral Mattes ($80) has a plethora of shades that compliment brown eyes. Apply your color of choice with Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush ($16) all over your lid stopping at the crease.

2. Add red to the crease: With Sigma E25 Blending Brush ($16), apply a red-hued shadow from Viseart’s Warm Neutral Mattes Palette to your crease.

3. Darken the crease: Now that your base is set, go back in with your red shadow and darken your crease as well as the outer corner of your eyes with Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush.

4. Apply metallic shadow: Dab a metallic shadow from Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in Vintage Vamp ($53) in the center or ball of your eyelid. You can simply apply via your finger, or, if you want a more vibrant look, Williams suggests spritzing a brush with MAC Prep and Prime Fix+ ($28), and applying your shadow to the center of your lid, as she says this “really makes those metals shine.”

5. Highlight the inner corner: With Sigma E30 Pencil Brush ($10), lightly apply a highlighter like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($38) to the inner corner of your eyes.

6. Blend: Williams recommends “going in with a clean blending brush to blend out the concentrated pigment that has already been laid.” If you have any harsh lines or uneven pigment that you don’t like, she says to sweep Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush ($17) over problem areas until they blend out.

7. Add eyeliner: Apply a neutral brown liner, like MAC Eye Pencil in Costa Riche ($17) to both your upper lash line and lower waterline. To do this, Williams suggests getting “your liner in place with a pencil, and don’t worry about whether it’s perfect.” Once you’ve drawn your line, she recommends going back in with Sigma E30 Pencil Brush and buffing out the line to blur any imperfections.

8. Finish with mascara: Add a volumizing mascara like L’Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara ($9) to make your eyes pop. For volumized, separated, and evenly coated lashes, Williams recommends using “the tip of the applicator to deposit product to the ends and middle of the lashes.” She then says to “sweep down over the tops of the lashes with the length of the brush.” To finish off the look, she recommends “wiggling the brush into the base of the lashes and pushing them up as you sweep to the ends.”

Next up: Check out our tutorial on how to make your eyes look bigger.

Credits: Director: Clarence Fuller; Model: Aubrey C w/ Industry Model Management; Producer: Adam Hammer; Videography: Eric Foster; Editor: Kathria Tizon; Makeup: Afton Williams; Hair: Justine Marjan; Styling: Morgan Bogle; Nails: Destinee Handly.

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