How to wear brown makeup from day to night

How to wear brown makeup from day to night

Getty Images Image by: Getty Images Author: Canadian Living


How to wear brown makeup from day to night

Coffee, umber, russet, burnt sienna: There are dozens of words for shades of brown, especially in eyeshadow palettes and lipstick tubes. This fall season in particular, brown is seeing a '90s-inspired resurgence—and we're loving every minute of it. But just because chocolate makeup is big doesn't mean every look works from morning to night. We spoke to makeup artists Veronica Chu (CoverGirl) and Genevieve Meneyan (Estée Lauder) about the best ways to wear brown makeup hues, whether you're at the office or on a date.

Kylie Jenner wearing brown lipstick
Kylie Jenner

For day:
Chu and Meneyan agree that a gorgeous daytime makeup look includes soft brown eyeshadow and medium-brown lipstick. Chu suggests brushing a "soft white on the brow bone, matte neutral brown on the lid and a darker neutral in the crease." She then suggests lining the top lash with a thin strip of black liquid or gel eyeliner and applying mascara to top and bottom lashes.

"It's such a basic, simple eye," says Meneyan, so feel free to play around on the lips. "Any colour goes with it because there is no competition whatsoever. I might go with a soft coppery beige brown, or a rich medium chocolate brown." A lip colour that is two shades darker than your skin tone will probably be a good match.

Brown makeup for day
Tool kit:
Cargo Essential Eye Shadow Palette in Dark/Neutral, $39, CoverGirl Super Sizer Mascara in Black, $10, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner in Black, $24, Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Intense Nude, $34,

Jennifer Lopez wearing brown eyeshadow
Jennifer Lopez

For night:
When it comes time to kick up your heels, Meneyan recommends a smoky eye with a mix of coppers and chocolate browns, and a metallic or shiny nude on the lips.

Chu, on the other hand, would leave her daytime eye makeup alone and simply darken her lips. "For evening, all I would do is take off my lip colour and go with a deeper brown—a brick or berry tone," she says. "It's a really easy transition for women—especially those who are at work and then need to go to an event. I think it's about time women embrace a deeper lip colour."

Camilla Belle wearing dark brown lipstick
Camilla Belle

If you're colour shy, stick to a lipstick that is three shades darker than your skin tone. If you're more comfortable with deep lips, try four or five shades darker (as seen above on Camilla Belle). "Remember, it's nighttime," says Chu. "Wherever you go will probably have dim lighting, so you can go a bit more dramatic."

Brown makeup for night
Tool kit: 
Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette, $26, Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Chocolate, $32,

Read more: 
Everything you need to know about facial essences
The 411 on pastel hair


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How to wear brown makeup from day to night