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Brown Smokey Eye Tutorial

picture of eye with brown smokey eye makeup

A brown smokey eye is one of the most versatile eye makeup styles as it can be worn during the day at work or at a club in the evening, depending on the shades and styles used. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a classic brown smokey eye and how to transform it from neutral day to dazzling night.


To begin, I simply fixed any blemishes on my face with a transparent foundation and concealer. I also applied chap stick and filled in my eyebrows with a light brow powder.

Picture of face primed for Brown Smokey Eye

Step 1 – Primer, Highlighter, and Base Shadow

To prime my eyelids for the smokey eye look, I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Priming Potion in Sin on my eyelids from lashline to eyebrow and in the inner corner of my eye.

picture of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion bottle

When creating a smokey eye, I like to use cream eye shadow because it is easy to blend the colors to create the look that you want. For this brown smokey eye, I used two palettes of Revlon Illuminance Créme Shadow in Seashells and Not Just Nudes. In the picture below, Seashells is the palette on the top and Not Just Nudes is on the bottom.

picture of Revlon Illuminance Créme Shadow in Seashells and Not Just Nudes

To highlight the eye, I used the pale pink, shimmery color in the far right section of the Seashells palette. I used my finger to lightly apply the shadow in the inner corner of my eye and on my brow bone. To create the base for my look, I used the matte nude color in the far right section of the Not Just Nudes palette on my lid from the lashline to the crease.

picture showing step one for brown smokey eye

Step 2 – Adding Darker Shades

To create dimension, I used my finger to apply the light, shimmering brown color, second to the right in the Not Just Nudes palette, in the crease of my eye.

picture of brown smokey eye step 2

To add a little bit of drama to the look, I applied the the matte brown color, found second from the left in the Not Just Nudes palette, to the outer third of my eyelid and crease. To determine where to start to apply this color, hold your finger or a makeup brush to the arch of your eyebrow. Apply the darker color to the lid from the start of the arch to the end of your eye. To find where to stop, hold a makeup brush or finger diagonally from the end of your eyebrow to the outer corner of your eye. To create a mistake-proof look, you can even apply a piece of tape along this line. However, do not do this if you have sensitive skin as it can cause breakouts. This look on its own is a great brown smokey eye for day. Simply apply mascara and you are ready to go!

Step 3 – Transforming the Look for Night

To create a brown smokey eye look for night, I blended the dark brown shimmery shadow, found on the far left side of the Not Just Nudes palette, with the matte brown shadow on my eyelid, extending it slightly above my crease in the outer corner of the eye.To create the illusion of a thicker lashline, I applied Clinique’s Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black with a flat angled makeup brush. Just brush the color close to the lashline, starting in the inner corner, and create a thicker line as you move to the outer edge.

brown smokey eye with liner

picture of Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner

picture of eye with primer, light brown base, brown definition, dark brown accent, eyeliner, and mascara

To vamp up this look for a night on the town, I used the same brush and liner and applied it to the inner area of my lower lash line. To do this, gently place your index finger under your eye and pull down slightly. Apply the liner to the small, flat area that is at the top of your lower lash line. Be careful when doing this as it is easy to accidentally poke your eye. This last step is optional, but it creates a more dramatic look.

picture of final look for brown smokey eye

To finish the look, I applied Covergirl Lash Blast Volume in Very Black to both my upper and lower lashes. I also used makeup remover and a Q-Tip to remove any errors I made. While I like to use cream shadow for a blended look, you can easily use powdered shadows in the colors described. This brown smokey eye is a great classic look that can transform from casual to glam with a few easy steps and is universally flattering for all eye shapes and colors.



Jessica May

Jessica May

Jessica May is a college student and blogger who is always looking for new ways to stand out in the crowd. She started experimenting with cosmetics at a young age and has continued to be passionate about the subject throughout the years.

Jessica May

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