The Brown Smoky Eye. AKA a Fabulous Office-to-Out Makeup Idea for Party Season

Tue, 27 November 2012 12:21PM

Granted, brown eye shadow might not sound so festive (like, say, glitter dust and red lipstick do). But bear with me on this one for a bit, okay?

You might remember, Katy Perry took the brown smoky eye out one night recently. And she looked so sophisticated yet sexy (a tricky balance to achieve, really) that I’ve been considering copying her ever since.

But as of today I’m most definitely going to give the look a go. And it’s all because I’ve spotted these photos of Cara Delevingne


… and Jourdan Dunn …


Now, if these beauties don’t have you immediately reaching for your nearest brown shadow, I will hang up my beauty editor hat (I’d rather not though, it’s really pretty, it stops sun damage, and I don’t even get dreaded hat-hair).

As you can see from the above two photos, there’s a brown for every tone of skin – from Cara’s toffee shadow to Jourdan’s mocha take.

And while brown sounds boring in theory, in reality it can make a major makeup statement. Without being as heavy (nor as predictable) as the usual smoky black or grey. In fact, you could even wear a smoky brown eye in the daytime and look entirely appropriate.

Which all adds up to one thing: the brown smoky eye is an ideal makeup look for those days when you have to run direct from your desk to a party (or dinner or date, for that matter). With perhaps a quick pit-stop at the bathroom to oomph up the old mascara.

And possibly also use your dark brown shadow to fill in and amp up your brows, which Cara and Jourdan both appear to have done, to stunning effect.

Sold on the smoky brown idea? Then I just have one more thing to say: if you don’t already have your perfect hue back at home, you must buy yourself The Balm Nude’tude, $49.95, from selected David Jones stores. This fabulous palette features a brown for every girl, along with some lovely highlighting shades and a black cake liner.

Tell me, Primpers, are you sold on the smoky brown eye?

Do you already have a favourite brown shadow shade? Do share!

Kat x

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  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 12:30pm

    I used to find black shades were to “dark” to use on my eyes for a smokey effect as they made them appear really small. So in a gift box one day i received a loreal infallible chocolat shade (from memory i believe thats what it was called) and its a lovely chocolate brown thats more matte then shimmer. So i used to apply to my lid and then line my bottom lashes with it to achieve a light smokey eye suitable for day time wear. It actually suits my hazel eyes really well and makes then pop out more. So yeah, tots love a brown shadow!!

  • Posted by: cwingy83 Enthusiast // Tue, 27 November 2012 01:16pm

    I think it’s a great shades to go from day to night with a bit of touchup

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 01:18pm

    i never used brown shadow shade and i dont have favourite one. might try it though!

  • Posted by: melg Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 01:22pm

    Brown smoky eye is my everyday look. I love MAC’s Satin Taupe eyeshadow and the Maybelline colour tattoo in Bad To The Bronze

  • Posted by: Tina-1291133452 Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 01:28pm

    my go to smokey eye is with browns, definitely. it looks much softer and prettier and it brings out the colour of my eyes more!

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 01:31pm

    It does look great on them. Perhaps with a bit of brown/gold shimmer effect.

  • Posted by: misschris Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 03:16pm

    I love nudes and naturals, especially the ones in my naked palettes.

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 04:29pm

    At the moment I am loving Maybelline trio eye shadow that has a white, brown and black. I am loving the brown. I wear it as a uniform for work, so that when I do go out I always have a different look.

  • Posted by: Gloss_Geek Master Fan // Tue, 27 November 2012 06:03pm

    I love using brown and nude shadows. I think they suit all eye colours :)

  • Posted by: Caz // Wed, 28 November 2012 08:07am

    I’ve regularly wear a purple and brown lighter smokey eye for daytime for ages (not purple & brown together). Completely suitable for daytime office look. Get over the black smokey eye…it really does only work for catwalk.

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Wed, 28 November 2012 02:47pm

    yep, im sold! a chocolate smoky eye looks way better and softer than the traditional black, you could wear this look in the day time :)

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Wed, 28 November 2012 04:11pm

    woow i love brown smoky eye, it looks amazing, i’ll have to try it soon

  • Posted by: allybutler19 Enthusiast // Wed, 28 November 2012 05:30pm

    My smokey eye is always of the brown variety I feel blacks or grey make me look as if I have been punched

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Wed, 28 November 2012 06:21pm

    Cara definitely inspired me to do a smokey eye!

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 29 November 2012 02:18pm

    Not a huge fan of the brown, although it really looks great on the girls pictured. It kinda reminds me too much of the 90’s! Sorry.

  • Posted by: strawbsundae Master Fan // Thu, 29 November 2012 07:16pm

    I absolutely love the brown smoky eye look! Suits everyone’s eyes and looks gorgeous for any night out!

  • Posted by: Bantam Master Fan // Thu, 6 December 2012 01:24am

    I don’t have a favourite brown shade. I’m more keen on colour colours, not nude ones.

  • Posted by: karleymichelle Enthusiast // Thu, 6 December 2012 01:16pm

    I love the brown smokey eye.
    It’s perfect for that i want to make an effort but dont want to stand out look.
    Perfect for Christmas day!! :)
    & these ladies look goegeous

  • Posted by: FashionGuru Master Fan // Thu, 6 December 2012 08:25pm

    it looks really nice! love Cara’s one!
    and Jourdan

  • Posted by: bluebird Master Fan // Thu, 6 December 2012 10:24pm

    These are absolutely gorgeous women. I really love their eyes but are more taken with their perfect brows!

    I have the Revlon ColourStay quad in Coffee Bean, it has some pretty browns and nudes that work well for a brown smoky eye.

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Fri, 7 December 2012 02:08pm

    I’d love to try a shimmery brown eye look.

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Sat, 8 December 2012 03:45pm

    I like to mix some bronze or taupe with my browns rather than just a matte brown.

  • Posted by: nita01 Master Fan // Tue, 11 December 2012 10:53pm

    I love brown eye shadows and use browns every day. I have a few different shades of brown and mix them up with some nudes and I’m on my way.
    I want the The Balm Nude’Tude kit…looks amazing!

  • Posted by: GorgeousEmeralds Master Fan // Fri, 14 December 2012 01:05pm

    I actually prefer the browns since they are not as strong and are more wearable for my complexion

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 9 June 2013 02:51pm

    it looks really nice

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Thu, 13 March 2014 08:49pm

    I love the smoky brown and smoky grey eye, variety is the spice of life.

Gimme more


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