Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Best Brown Eyeshadow?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so great?

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77 thoughts on “Hit List: Best Brown Eyeshadow

  1. Mariella

    Oh dear – I have SO many browns and I love them – it’s like asking “which is your favourite child?” – the one I’ve seen most recently (or least recently?) – with brown shadows, the answer would probably be “The one I just wore”.  For MAC Mineralized Eye Shadows, it would have to be the brown side of Illusionary/Burning Ambtion; for mattes, either MAC Brun or Too Faced Sexpresso; for something with shine, Too Faced Erotica or the brown from Tarina Tarantino’s Dreamy palette and then, for just wonderful loveliness all around, MAC Centre Stage and TF Cloves (which is more of a golden, bronze brown.  If I could add one more, it would be Mac Mulch (or Carbonized…).  See what I mean – can’t choose just one.  What makes them all great for me are the richness of their pigmentation/colours, the relative lack of red/orange (some consider Mulch red-based but, fortunately, it does work on me in spite of that) and just their rich complexity on my dark brown eyes.

  2. paneradfisk

    MAC Handwritten is a dark brown, very pigmented eyeshadow. Slightly red-toned so it’s not suitable for (most) eyebrows, but it’s really nice on the eyes

  3. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s suggestions — I’m thinking about diving into MAC’s neutrals and browns! The brown I like the best right now is the dark, shimmery brown in Smashbox’s palette for blue eyes. That’s all I’ve got for now! 

  4. Evelyn1

    Burberry’s Midnight Brown and also Guerlain’s L’Instant D’une Soupir.  Love them!

  5. I love urban decay’s buck. it’s great for filling in brows, using as a crease colour with naked on the lid for an everyday look, or you can even use it on the lid if you’re doing a darker look. it’s such a great versaitle colour with amazing pigmentation

  6. xamyx

    I’m loving NARS Mekong currently. Its smooth, no fall out, and the shimmer is apparent, but not obnoxious.

  7. I kind of feel like “brown”- even if you exclude taupe- is such a broad category. I adore Nars Mekong and use it all the time, but that’s for specific applications… I’m currently in love with Chanel’s “Sable Emouvante” duo and the brown from that is stunning… But there’s also softer browns, like a couple of the colours in Guerlain’s “Les Gris” quad… There are way too many browns, applicable to way too many looks to choose!

  8. My go-to brown is Urban Decay’s Twice Baked!  Blends smoothly, looks great as a dark, all over lid color or in the crease!

  9. GUSnail

    I quite like Soft Brown and Brown Down by MAC.  I tend to prefer the peachier browns, versus very cool or reddish tones.

  10. Monica

    I love Fez, by Nars. Metallic finish, no glitter, maybe not the most unique shade but it applies beautifully and it’s more wearable than say, Mekong  

  11. Daniellenm30

    I prefer browns that have gold tones. My favorites are Mac’s Bronze and Romp. I’m not a huge fan of more matte or satin browns; they tend to look bland on me.

  12. geauxgirl

    Laura Mercier Coffee Ground matte eyeshadow. It’s described as a cool charcoal brown. I have light skin and it’s just the right shade on me. It’s not too dark or too light. I can use it for contouring, or on my lids. It has great color payoff and it doesn’t fade all day.

  13. Nicola

    I love Urban Decay’s Smog, gives a really nice brown with some shimmer. For those days when I want to go more matte, I love Buck. Really great colour to blend out other shades or to give some definition to a natural eye.

  14. Lauren13

    I absolutely love Love LOVE Urban Decay’s Smog.  I like it on the lid as well as in the crease.  It’s just perfect.  Not TOO dark and dramatic for every day, but dark enough to really deepen the crease.  And not too dark to wear on the lid with the edges blended out with Naked for a different look.   Urban Decay Naked matches my NC30 skin tone, so I use it to blend the edges of my eye looks out – kind of like how you seem to use Burberry Trench Christine.  So that’s another favorite in the “brown” family.

  15. It’s so tough to pick just one, but if I really only had one to choose..  it would be NARS Mekong for sure.  The colour gives my eyes extra sparkle and probably as close to perfection as I can find for everything pigment/payoff/no fallout.

  16. Cat G

    I love so many browns and many of the ones already mentioned. Another one that I think is just great when you just want a great matte brown is Clinique’s Colour Surge Eye Shadow in Sable. It’s not too dark, the texture is to die for for and it’s so easy to blend!

  17. cydoniac

    if we’re talking brown brown (not bronze and the like), my favourite one is MAC’s Charcoal Brown…I like it (maybe a bit too much lol) for the outer corner and the crease and I love that it pairs beautifully with a variety of colours like yellow, beige and peach…!!!!

  18. makeupmatters3

    Urban Decay Secret Service. This is my absolute favorite eyeshadow. It’s a matte shade, and really makes my blue eyes stand out. If I could only have 1 eyeshadow of any color/brand, this would be it. I am so worried about running out, that I always keep several backups in my makeup case. It can be used as a lid color, a crease color, brow powder, or as a liner.  It’s highly pigmented and you can really create a natural or smokey look with it depending on how heavy handed you are with your application. It is truly the perfect matte brown, and because of the many uses, a good value. 

    •  @makeupmatters3 Ooh, definitely  going to have to check this out now! I love anything that makes blue eyes pop.

      • xamyx

        @annedreshfield Check out NARS Fez and/or Galapagos. I don’t have them personally, but they both swatch beautifully, and from reviews I’ve read, people with blue eyes *love* them. Surabaya may be a good duo, as well.

        •  @xamyx  @annedreshfield *writes names down furiously* LOL! Thanks for the suggestions! 

        • Lenee

          My favorite brown is NARS Galapagos. I can attest to what xamyx stated, as I have blue eyes. I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOVE Galapagos. It’s a golden milk-chocolatey-bronzey brown. The way it looks when it blends out is truly beautiful (similar to the way MAC Woodwinked may be coppery gold on the lid but then a beautiful orange when blended out through the crease).  It truly DOES do something magical for my dark blue eyes.

    • beachgal

       @makeupmatters3 I like Secret Service too. I wrote Naked is my fav because I can use it every day without getting too heavy on my eye makeup and still have like the name says – a naked look.

    • Machostage

       @makeupmatters3 It really is an outstanding eyeshadow!  One of my all-time faves!

  19. beachgal

    Naked by Urban Decay – my go to eye shadow since the mattes were released and thank heaven it’s one of the FEW UD still has kept in the line. I HATE that UD took out almost all of the mattes in the reg. line-up. I rarely go through a full eye shadow – I am on my 3 pot of this shade!

  20. Julesmond

    NARS Coconut Grove – perfect dark brown matte eyeshadow. Gorgeous as smoky liner or in the brows!

  21. xXx Char xXx

    MAC’s EMBARK is a surefire brown and pairs up beautifully with PHLOOF as a highlight and MALT as a lid color. Guerlain’s OMBRE ECLAT quad is also stunning… seldom do I hit pan on anything but I’ve almost hit pan on all four of the shades – Absolutely Beautiful!!!

    • Joannie

      @xXx Char xXx I tried this combo over the weekend and LOVED IT. Thanks for sharing!

      • xXx Char xXx

         @Joannie  @xXx @Joannie I’m so glad you tried and liked it … Wayne Goss, the fabulous makeup artist has actually done a video on You Tube using these three exact shades but with a twist on laying down the color. Its very good and very beautiful, If you haven’t seen it and would be interested just let me know and I will find the link and post it for you – Glad you liked!!!

        • Joannie

          @xXx Char xXx @xXx I would love that link. I’m totally open to new looks & techniques. That would be awesome. Thanks!

        • xXx Char xXx

           @Joannie  @xXx  @xXx @Joannie – It doesn’t want to link direct so all you need to do is go to YouTube and the artist is: gossmakeupartist and the name of the video is: MAKEUP FOR MATURE EYES. If your not familiar with Wayne Goss the makeup artist I can tell you – you won’t be able to stop watching his videos!!! I was in the beauty business for a long time and Wayne is one of the very few people I respect, he’s very talented, tells it like it is, and has a wicked sense of humor!!! This video is one of his early ones so please check it out along with some newer ones and let me know your thoughts. If your up for a good laugh watch some of his videos where he does his friend Mandy’s makeup. 

        • Leticia

           @xXx Char xXx  @Joannie  @xXx  @Joannie I agree Wayne is great and his videos are really addictive! I just watched the one recommended by xXxCharxXx and it´s so helpful.

        • Joannie

          @xXx Char xXx @xXx Yay, I found it. I was also able to enjoy some of Wayne’s other makeup tutorials and loved them. Thanks a $Mil

  22. Mel

    I love Urban Decay eyeshadows, specially the ones without glitter. MIA is probably on top of my list.

  23. Pilar

    Love Mac charcoal brown!

  24. makeupmatters3

    Buck by UD is a close second for me because it can also be used as a contour powder in other areas of the face or body. I love beauty items that do double duty.

  25. Olivette

    my absolute favorite is Urban Decay’s Deeper in the 15th anniversary palette! It has the most ridiculous pigmentation of all time and is all over just gorgeous.

  26. eltscott

    Brown is my favorite eyeshadow color, but my favorite is probably MAC’s Mulch for shimmer and UD’s Buck for matte. 

  27. Lacey J.

    I cant pick just one. Urban Decay’s Naked, Urban Decays Buck, Mac Swiss Chocolate and Mac Soft Brown for Matte. I am still looking for my holy grail shimmering brown :(

  28. Lacey J.

    Someone suggest me a great shimmery brown that leans a slight peachy!

  29. Peg

    I also have to say UD Buck and I have to add Laura Mercier Chocolate, these two are definitely my favorites!

  30. I like to mix UD Buck and Naked to get a nice soft brown that is great for blending.

  31. Michele H

    I was surprised at how much I like Maybelline’s Urban Brown. It’s cheap and goes with absolutely everything.

  32. nacacijin

    Browns are my absolute favorite, so I have WAY too many. How about my top…10? Haha
    Nars Mekong
    Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #15
    MAC Charcoal Brown
    MAC Carbonized
    Urban Decay Lost
    Bare Escentuals Foreshadow
    MAC Groundwork Paint Pot
    Urban Decay Naked
    Urban Decay Buck
    aand the brown from Wet & Wild “Silent Treatment” trio
    I think that’s sufficient…

    • Mariella

       @nacacijin HA!!!  Another fan of Carbonized!  I almost left it off my list simply because the question was “what’s your favourite brown eyeSHADOW” (singular) and I had already listed about SIX!!!!

      • nacacijin

         @Mariella Oh I fell in absolute LOVE with Carbonized the second that I read the shade description! I didn’t even need to see it. I’d wear it everyday if it wasn’t limited edition…there’s nothing quite like it out there.

        • Joannie

          @nacacijin @Mariella I love carbonized from the MAC ME OVER collection. I didn’t purchase a backup which is most unfortunate because mine is now nearly gone!

  33. TheresaKlijn

    The browns that get the most use in my collection are MAC moleskin, sable and brown down. I also love Too Faced Teddy.

  34. Christine-Temptalia

    The browns that get the most use in my collection are MAC moleskin, sable and brown down. I also love Too Faced Teddy.

  35. meitai333777

    I love so many brown eyeshadows!  Some faves –
    -MAC Embark
    -Ben Nye Black Brown
    -MAC Espresso
    -MAC Brown Script

  36. Christine-Temptalia

    I love so many brown eyeshadows!  Some faves –
    -MAC Embark
    -Ben Nye Black Brown
    -MAC Espresso
    -MAC Brown Script

  37. I love
    MAC Mineral
    Napoleon Perdis Private Noir
    and the Too Faced Pixie Perfect Quad

  38. Nou Xiong


  39. Zainab Shamsuddin

    Nars Lola lola.

  40. Jenny Ramone

    To me, MAC Blackberry looks like a purplish brown. If it can be lumped in with browns, then I pick that.

  41. Jenny Ramone

    To me, MAC Blackberry looks like a purplish brown. If it can be lumped in with browns, then I pick that.

  42. melaniejhnsn168

    I find myself reaching for MAC Brown Down and Inglot #329 most often.

  43. Sandy

    I recently purchased MAC’s Corduroy eyeshadow and it’s a wonderful medium brown crease color. 

    • Reasoner_

      That is one of my favorites as well. I liked that I was also able to use it as a brow color when my hair was its natural color. 

  44. emolsen

    Too Faced Teddy Bear. Great matte brown! I don’t have a worst

  45. yellowlantern

    I’m always open to finding more great browns. Now I really want to check out NARS Mekong after all these comments about it. 
    For now I’m using UD YDK and MAC Wedge the most. 

  46. Emma Norman

    MAC Swiss Chocolate

  47. amandacooleman_1

    I love mixing Urban Decay’s buck and naked together. :)

  48. jdr77

    Urban Decay Lost, Too Faced Teddy Bear, and the darkest shade in Maybelline Give Me Gold

  49. Ruby

    MAC Tempting is just so insanely flattering against my yellowish skintone and dark brown eyes. I love UD Snakebite a lot, too. 

  50. Erica2

    If I want a matte one I go for Too Faced – Teddy Bear. Otherwise it’s Urban Decay – Lost.

  51. Ellie

    For matte colors I like MAC Wedge and Handwritten… for a shimmer finish, UD Smog and YDK. 

  52. diamond_8806

    Browns eye shadows are my favorite because I love to rock a neutral eye with a bold lip!  My current faves are NYX Single Eye Shadows in Brown and Dark Brown for matte colors, and I am loving NYX Iced Mocha for a shimmery brown!

  53. ingerasata

    Well… My favorite brown in my entire eye shadows collection is by far Burberry’s Midnight Brown. The shadow is just perfection. Anybody who has it understands exactly what I mean.