Temptalia Logo
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • Giorgio Armani Beauty15% off sitewide, ends 10/16.
  • Lord & Taylor15% off beauty (30% off other categories) with code FRIENDS, ends 10/23.
  • Macy'sToo Faced Better than Sex mascara for $12, ends 10/16.
  • Ulta20% off orders (including prestige) codes out, check email/snail mail, ends 10/27.

Get Updates by Email

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the post above for information regarding pricing, availability, dupes, and availability, and keep discussion on-topic.

Please do not ask if/when a review will be posted as we cannot review everything and often change priorities from day-to-day. If you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us. Thank you!

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

Comments on this post are closed.

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.

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

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! 

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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…!!!!

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. 

@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.

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.

 @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.

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!

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 @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  @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. 

 @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.

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.

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.

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 🙁

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…

 @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!!!!

 @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.

@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!

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. 

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!

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.

If you don't see your comment yet, it's still in our moderation queue. We try our best to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind. Thank you for your patience!