3 Ways To Make Your Brown Eyes Pop

Makeup to intensify your gorgeous brown eye color.

I totally love my brown eyes. Yes, they are found on most people, but I still find brown eyes to be super striking and interesting. And did I mention the various shades of brown? Light brown or honey, brown with more red, brown with more yellow, black-brown--all get lumped together as brown yet all are uniquely beautiful.

Here, I present three looks to show off your gorgeous brown eyes.

Dramatic Eyes For A Night Out

An exaggerated purple cat-eye is a sweet alternative to a full-on smoky eye, which may make brown eyes appear like they’re receding.

Instead of using purple eye pencil, gel, or cream liner, use purple eye shadow to line; it provides a softer shape, thus making the exaggerated cat eye more wearable. Cool shades such as purple, green, and blue are known to help brown pop. If you’re wondering how brown fits in, it’s because brown is considered to be a deeper form of these warm colors. This look works on my dark brown eyes, but if you have lighter eyes, or eyes with more red or amber tones, you can adjust the shades you use accordingly, using lighter, redder, or yellower versions of the colors.


  1. Blend a light pink shadow on your mobile lid. I used Limit from the Urban Decay Naked3 Palette.
  2. Sweep a dark, pinky-mauve shadow on your crease and extend it to just below your brow bone. I worked with Nooner from the Urban Decay Naked3 palette.
  3. Apply a matte white shadow to your brow bone and tear ducts.
  4. Using a fluffy brush, blend the dark, pinky-mauve shade upward to fade into the white on your brow bone.
  5. With a flat brush loaded up with eggplant-colored eye shadow, draw an exaggerated cat-eye that almost reaches the end of your eyebrows. Build up the color, if necessary, by moving a crease brush that is loaded with the dark purple shadow in circular motions over the cat-eye. I applied Deep Purple from the Lorac PRO Palette.
  6. Add dark blue liner to your waterline. My liner was Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in BlackBlue.

Finish off by curling lashes and adding mascara.

Fake A Good Night’s Rest

Surrounding your eyes with light colors makes your eyes look more awake.

Work with a color palette of light and shimmery shadows, since they’ll reflect the light to give the appearance of larger, brighter, and more alert eyes. The light shades also contrast well the darkness of your eyes, so your eyes pop, not your makeup.


  1. Sweep a rosy gold cream shadow on your mobile lid. I used Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rosegold.
  2. Contour your crease with a matte brown shade and blend over it with a fluffy brush.
  3. Using a flat brush, apply a sparkly Champagne color only on the center of your mobile lid. This highlights your lid to make it appear rounder. I used Champagne from the Lorac PRO Palette.
  4. Add a white shadow to your brow bone and tear ducts.
  5. Darken the lower lash line with the matte brown shade.
  6. Line your waterline with a flesh-colored liner to open up your eyes (white liner looks too unnatural). I used a Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude.
  7. Finish off by curling your lashes and adding mascara or using falsies.

Whiten Your Whites & Diminish Redness

Blue does all the work: The blue shadow makes the whites of my eyes appear whiter, while the navy background of this photo makes my skin appear paler.

Bronze is like the sparkly, metallic cousin of brown, so naturally, it goes well with brown eyes. Blue, on the other hand, not only complements brown, it also has an instant brightening effect on the whites of your eyes. Eye drops might work too if the whites of your eyes are very red-tinged, but they don’t work on me, unfortunately. (Clear contact-lens-wearer, here.)


  1. Apply a medium brown shadow on your mobile lid and then blend upward right below the brow bone.
  2. Add a matte white shadow to the brow bone and tear ducts.
  3. Sweep a bronze shadow on the mobile lid and extend outward past the crease so the medium brown shadow peeks through. I used Unattainable from the Lorac Unzipped Palette.
  4. Use a bright blue shadow to line the top and bottom lashes. Make sure the top and bottom lines touch. I applied L’Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Midnight Blue with a wet liner brush.
  5. Apply a flesh-colored liner to the waterline.
  6. Finish off by curling lashes and adding a coat of dark brown mascara.
  • To my brown-eyed ladies out there: how do you play up your eyes?
  • And to everyone: what color combos and applications work best with your eye color? I'm so interested to know what works for green eyes, blue eyes, hazel eyes...