Between 55 to 79 percent of the worldwide population has brown eyes, making it the most common eye color in the world—but that doesn't mean it's boring in any sense. Brown is created from a mix of all primary colors, which means you have an endless palette to work with when it comes to choosing eyeshadows, lipsticks, and complexion products.
With so many makeup options, where do you even start? From neutrals to pops of bold color, getting creative with your makeup can really help brown eyes to shine in so many different ways, so we recommend experimenting with looks to match every situation and aesthetic. Ahead, find 40 of our favorite makeup ideas for brown eyes.
Neutrals All the Way
To recreate this neutral, monochromatic look, try using shades close to your skin tone and using the same product across your lids, cheeks, and lips.
Purple shades complement brown eyes really well, as they highlight the richness of your irises. Create the monochrome look by applying a plum to purple shade all around your eyes.
An easy way to introduce neon colors into your makeup look is to try adding it as a colored liquid liner. Consider using this look for a festival or party, or a day when you feel like being that extra glam.
Bold, electric shades and brown eyes are a real winning combination. Keep the rest of the makeup look simple and apply the shadow across your full eyelid as well as the lower lash line. Blend, blend, and blend a bit more for a seamless finish. Try Nars Single Eyeshadow in Showgirl ($19).
Extra Nude Lips
I've personally found that too many "nude" lipsticks are too light for my skin tone. Make the look work for you by using a darker lip liner and using the lighter lipstick in the center of the lips only. Top off with a lip gloss and you’re good to go.
Add the summer warmth to your skin by applying a lightly shaded bronzer across the highest points of your face. Use a similar shade on your eyes to add a radiant shadow, then complete the look with mascara and a warm nude lipstick.
Freckles have a way of adding fresh-faced allure to any look. If you already have freckles, embrace them by taking a lightweight approach to your makeup that celebrates your unique features rather than concealing them.
No natural freckles? Simply use an eyebrow pencil to draw them on over your foundation—freckled beauties who prefer a full-coverage base can also take this approach to redraw their natural look.
Embrace a dramatic glow with red lipstick, warm eyeshadow, and the perfect highlighter.
Bright yellow eyeshadow is a stunning makeup look that really pops with brown eyes. Keep the rest of your look relatively minimal to make your sunny color choice stand out.
Make classic eyeliner more interesting by embracing a more modern silhouette. Try black around the outer crease like Zendaya, then add rosy tones to the rest of your face for a fresh, romantic look.
Smoke it Out
Sultry and dark, a smoky eye is great for added drama on a night out. Smudge out the bottom lash line and extend the shadow beyond the eyelid to the outer edge, creating a soft wing. You can go as subtle or bold as you like, and the smoky chocolate tones here really help to show off your brown eyes. Defined brows and nude lips complete the look.
Light, pale shadows create an amazing contrast with brown eyes. Combined with fluttery lashes, a mint shade feels both nostalgic and modern.
Peach complements every skin tone and eye color, including brown eyes. Embrace a monochrome look by choosing similar shades for eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick.
Pops of Sparkle
A darker eye color allows for lots of play when it comes to your eyeshadow. Recreate this look by applying a shimmering shadow all over your top eyelids, a touch of neon liner in the same hue, and your favorite mascara. Keep the rest of your look simple and glowing, and you're sure to turn heads all night.
When I was a kid, bubblegum ice cream was my favorite flavor of all time. This makeup look seems very much inspired by it, and is most definitely worth a try. Matching cotton candy hair like Cardi B is not required, though it's certainly welcome.
Nicki Minaj has mastered the brown-eyed Barbie makeup look, which balances simplicity and glamour using pink shadow and blush, dramatic false lashes, and nude, glossy lips. While larger-than-life earrings and blonde and pink hair only add to the look, feel free to accessorize as you please to become the doll of your dreams.
Bring the drama by applying black liner all around your eye. Feel free to extend into a wing or add lipstick as you wish, or keep it simple for a Parisian feel.
Colored mascara paired with eyeliner in the same hue certainly draws attention to your beautiful brown eyes. Combine this deep blue with a little bit of gold shimmer and no one will be able to look away.
A punchy shade of lipstick can brighten any makeup look for brown eyes, especially in a warm orange tone. Try Hourglass's Confession Ultra Slim High-Intensity Refillable Lipstick in I Desire ($39).
Classic black liner, mascara, and red lipstick never get old, and we love how they bring out the rich drama in brown eyes.
Soft and Subtle
Nothing says post-vacation glow like this look. Try using a dewy primer under your foundation, then add a few drops of liquid highlighter on top. This is a surefire way to get that holiday radiance, even if you spent the weekend on your couch.
Natural brows are something to embrace, and using a clear brow gel (or wax) is a great way to enhance them. Fluff your eyebrows out with a spoolie brush, then apply a bit of added color with a tinted gel formula if you like the fuller look.
When monochromatic makeup looks made their debut on the runway, we fell in love immediately. A few years later, we're still seeing monochrome in every color.
A little liner is all you need—skip eyeshadow to keep this look clean, sharp, and minimal.
The Power of Bronzer
An allover sun-kissed look pairs well with brown eyes because of the way it warms the skin. Brush the same shade across your entire face, then finish with subtle eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick for a cohesive, glowing finish.
The '90s was a great era for makeup, giving us brown lipstick, shaped brows, and great eyeliner technique. All three were practically made for brown eyes.
Barely There Makeup
Let your brown eyes steal the show with this subtle makeup look. Creating it on yourself is all about sticking to the basics to enhance your natural features, giving you that "no-makeup makeup" glow.
Nothing says summer like a lightly stained lip that you can practically mistake for a bit of leftover popsicle. Flushed cheeks and precise liner add to the effortlessly chic look that you can repeat all year long.
Bold Lower Liner
If color makes you nervous, try using it on your lower lash line for a subtle pop. This gives you the illusion of a colored shadow without committing to a full eye look—and the unique color placement really stands out against brown eyes.
For an understated color with major impact, try a soft purple or mauve. Pair with light pink blush and glossed lips for an easy look that will certainly turn heads.
Play up the gold or hazel hues in your brown eyes with golden highlight and shimmering eyeshadow.
Warm eyeshadow tones and an allover glow are a foolproof way to make your brown eyes pop at golden hour.
Mix blue-green with a shimmery pink for a mermaid gradient that really shines against brown eyes. Finish things off with classic eyeliner and wispy lashes for a modern finish you can wear anywhere.
Sometimes, a futuristic contrast is just what you need to keep things interesting. Find a silver shadow as bright as your eyes are rich, create a unique bottom wing with a matching liner, and finish with lashes to the heavens for a truly magical look.
Rosy tones appear warmer against big brown eyes, and we're definitely not complaining. Choose a shade of blush that works well with your skin tone, and apply generously for an allover flushed glow.
Reds and Pinks
Cherry shades can bring out the warmth in your skin and work well for a variety of seasons. If you happen to have red hair like FKA Twigs did here, it can even create a bold monochromatic finish that will have everyone in your orbit.
Creating a watercolor eyeshadow moment adds a dose of joy to any look, and you can choose between traditional placement and more abstract strokes of color, as seen here. Try Natasha Denona's Pastel Eyeshadow Palette ($65) to get the look.
If there's one thing that lip gloss will always do, it's add volume to your lips. Clear gloss will allow for your natural lip color to show through, enhancing your complexion and eyes even more.
If subtle glam is your thing, we've got you covered. Use shades similar to your skin tone that add just enough contrast to notice.
White Hot Liner
Say hello to white eyeliner again, a trend of the early ‘60s that made its way back once more. This trick makes eyes appear bigger and brighter while still pulling the entire look together. Gently apply the eye pencil along your lower waterline from the outer corner in, or for a more abstract look, try it outside your lash line like Willow Smith.