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Add Warmth to Your Makeup Routine With a Brown Smoky Eye

This classic makeup look is sure to become one of your favorites.
September 13, 2023

When it comes to creating stunning makeup looks, you can never go wrong with a classic. Search for any celebrity or beauty influencer, and you’ll probably find images of them rocking this go-to look: a smoky eye. Smoky eye makeup is one of those trends that has stood the test of time for good reason: It’s super flattering on all skin tones and eye colors, and is an easy way to add a touch of glam to any look. 

A black smoky eye may be the most obvious choice, but there’s a warmer more-neutral toned version that deserves the spotlight here. The cocoa hues of a brown smoky eye give latte makeup vibes, and it’s subtler and softer than black. A brown smoky eye is also more beginner-friendly for makeup newbies who aren’t quite ready for an intense black smoky eye. Ready to create some brown smoky eye magic? Below, learn what a smoky eye is along with the products you’ll need for a step-by-step tutorial on a brown smoky eye makeup look that anyone can pull off.

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How to Do a Brown Smoky Eye

Since a smoky eye (even a brown smoky eye) requires a lot of blending and dark shadows, it’s best to do your eye makeup before you apply foundation, blush or contour. Of course, there are a lot of people who always do their foundation first, and if that works for you, go for it. Just keep in mind you’ll want to use concealer to clean up any eyeshadow areas that look too rounded. You’ll learn how to create the perfect brown smoky eye with this step-by-step guide. 

Step 1. Prime Your Lids

Before you start creating a brown smoky eye, or any makeup look for that matter, you should always kick things off with primer. Makeup primer helps to give your face and eyelids a smooth base for an even application that goes the distance. Prime your eyelids with an eye-safe primer or concealer to create an even base for vibrant and long-lasting eyeshadow pigment. 

Step 2. Grab the Right Eyeshadows

One of the easiest ways to create a smoky eye with brown shadow is to use an eyeshadow palette to ensure you have all of the shades you need in one place. For your brown smoky eye, reach for L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Boudoir Charme, which comes with four complementary brown eye shadow shades. 

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Step 3. Apply Your Eyeshadow

Start by applying a light eyeshadow all over your eyelid to create an even layer of pigment for the base of your smoky eye. For those with light complexions, the light shade should be close to your natural skin tone and for darker complexions, a pale beige like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Little Beige Dress will do the trick. Then, apply a light-brown shade to your crease and gently buff the pigment from the center of your eyelid to the outer corner to add definition.   

Next, pick up a little bit of a medium brown shade on your brush to build on the light brown color on your entire eyelid while blending to the outer corner of your eye. As you add the pigment, switch between a dark brown shade like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Quartz Fume to continue adding definition while adding a shimmery pigment for a more glamorous brown smoky eye. Finish off by adding a highlight of shimmery eyeshadow to the brow bone.

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Step 4. Add Eyeliner and Mascara

Amp up the drama by using eyeliner on your lower waterline and upper waterline. This makeup technique is known as tightlining, and it’s perfect for any smoked-out look. To coordinate with your smoky eye stick with a brown eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner Brown Denim, and glide it across your lower and upper waterline before using the pointed sponge on the other side of the eye pencil. If you’re looking for a full-glam smoky eye, use black liquid eyeliner to draw a sharp cat eye or bat wing to your upper eyelid. 

Don't forget to complete your brown smoky eye makeup look with a coat (or three) of mascara. Complete your glamorous look with the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Waterproof Mascara to score curled and lifted lashes for an attention-grabbing gaze.
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Step 5. Finish Your Face Makeup

Now you can apply the rest of your makeup — foundation, blush, brows and so forth. As you’re applying your face makeup, use a concealer like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage to clean up any areas that have eyeshadow fallout or were blended out too far. This full-coverage concealer will cover any dark color without smearing around or mixing excess eyeshadow with the liquid concealer.
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Step 6. Lock It All In

Now that your brown smoky eye makeup look is in place, you’ll want your fabulous look to last. Spritz the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray in ‘X’ and ‘T’ motions over your face to lock in all the makeup on your face. After you let your setting spray sit on your face, you’re all set. Now you can enjoy your brown smoky eye with minimal steps and products. Be prepared to do this look often because once you start wearing a smoky eye you’ll never stop. 

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