The moment you lock eyes with your significant other at the altar is something you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. While everyone is looking at you, your eyes are fixated on your soon-to-be partner, and, for a moment, it’s like you’re the only two people in the room. Your wedding eye makeup look is an important piece of that vision, one that will soon be a cherished lifelong memory.
For the brown-eyed beauties out there, you're in luck. Brown eyes can pull off just about any eye look, from the most dramatic to the most demure. But being spoiled for choice doesn't necessarily make the process easier. If you’re not sure what look to go for, take a cue from the professionals and use your eye color as a guide.
"I suggest sticking to something that is comfortable and authentic for every bride—the wedding day isn’t necessarily the time to try a new trendy or bold makeup style," says makeup artist Alexandria Gilleo. "For your wedding, you want to stick to a classic, beautiful makeup look that will be forever seen as timeless and radiant when looking back on your photos. Take into consideration the time of year, your dress, the overall style you are going for, and have clear communication with your bridal makeup artist on how to best achieve your beauty goals."
Meet the Expert
- Alexandria Gilleo is a celebrity makeup artist with over a decade of experience in the industry. She is the founder, creative director, and lead makeup artist of Bridal by Alexandria.
For some brown-eyed bridal inspo, we've rounded up 27 wedding eye makeup looks from stunning real brides.
Your big day deserves an epic makeup look to match. Stunning silver eyeshadow makes brown eyes sparkle, while full, fat false lashes play up the look even more. Silvery hues shine extra bright on darker complexions, adding even more emphasis to the eyes.
Sweet and Smokey
Dark eyeshadow brings out the natural beauty of brown eyes, so don’t be afraid to dip into deep chocolate browns and charcoal black shades. Blown-out black shadow accentuates dark eyes without overpowering them. As long as the shadow doesn’t extend too far out toward the temples, dark eyeshadow can still look delicate and refined.
Elevate a more natural look by adding a deeper shadow into the outer corner. Skip the shimmer on the lid to keep the look soft and simple. This bride's luminous matte finish proves that shimmer isn't always needed for a bridal glow.
"Hair color can have an influence on eye makeup," says Gilleo. "Some brides choose a flattering shadow that mimics the tones of their hair (think soft brown with red and warm undertones). When you subtly create an eye with colors that match the undertones of the hair, the result can pop the eyes and look fabulously chic." We love how this bride complemented her blonde hair with the metallic pigments on the center of the eye for her woodland California wedding.
A dark waterline creates a dramatic frame for glittering eyes. While the look can often be overpowering for light eyes, brown eyes can hold up to the intensity of the moody aesthetic. To recreate, swipe a deep shadow or liner across the waterline and smoke out just under the lower lashes. For added drama, tightline the upper lash line as well.
If so much smoldering intensity isn't quite your thing, coat the waterline with a nude color instead. This will open up the eyes to give them a larger and more wide-eyed appearance while also brightening the area. Stick to a nude shade over stark white, which can appear too jarring against deeper eye colors.
A Pretty Cut Crease
Cut creases, with all their catwalk drama and intensity, rarely make it off the runways and into the bridal sphere. Bride Valerie's elegant plum-brown cut crease might be changing the tides. The elevated look fulfilled her desire to "balance romance and modernity" for the Austin wedding.
If you have naturally dark lashes that you want to accentuate, skip the liquid liner and create depth by smudging a black eyeshadow at the base of your lashes. This creates a more natural smokey effect without the harsh lines. But don't take our word for it, just check out this beaming bride.
Go for gold on your wedding day. A metallic golden eyeshadow makes amber eyes sparkle under the spotlight. The pigments in the gold will not only reflect light onto the eyes but also amplify any gold flecks in the iris.
A Fine Flick
This thin liner look adds depth and dimension to a natural eye composition without being overly dramatic. Coat a super-thin brush in black gel eyeliner and follow the shape of your lower lash line to get a refined flick.
The best eyeliner brushes can be found at your local art store, and they’re often cheaper than the brushes at most beauty stores. Look for a short, thin, natural-haired paintbrush.
Tones can make or break any makeup look, so take your natural complexion and hair color into consideration. This bride's golden radiance comes courtesy of the warm-toned browns in her eye makeup complementing her bronzed skin and blonde hair. Lighting also plays a huge role. "If you're getting ready in a hotel room, lights tend to have a yellow tone, and you can risk applying the wrong tones," explains Gilleo. "You want to make sure when you step outside, your makeup is on point. Setting up in front of a window or a ring light is best."
Matte neutral makeup feels fresh and natural—ideal for the unfussy bride. For a foolproof application, use eyeshadow primer to keep your soft matte shadow in place. "Remember to use a setting spray for your big day," adds Gilleo. "You want the makeup to set and stay seamlessly all day long."
Brown eyes can easily pull off a thicker liner look. Add a hint of shimmer on the brow bone to lift the eyebrow and make the eyes appear bigger. This will balance out the dramatic liner by not weighing down the composition.
Create a soft-glam smokey eye with earth-toned eyeshadows. "I notice some of the most popular bridal eye makeup for brown eyes are warm tones and golds as it contrasts brown eyes nicely," notes Gilleo. A matte aesthetic, like this bride did here, creates a more classic bridal look while a pop of shimmer in the center of the lid ups the glam factor.
False lashes can help you draw attention to your dark eyes and make them look even more voluminous and alluring. Keep the eyeshadow simple with a light-colored shade on the lids to brighten.
Wispy strip lashes add oomph to a more dramatic eye look, while a few individually placed lashes subtly enhance the eyes.
You can't go wrong with warm nude eyeshadow and a soft neutral lip. It makes for a timeless bridal look that you'll never regret wearing! Smudged-out liner softens the look, while a subtle contour shapes the cheeks.
Shine bright on your wedding day minus the sparkle. Glossy lids and lips are a stylish choice that feels alluringly effortless yet extremely high fashion. Bring the shine down to your collarbones to tie the whole look together.
Less Is More
Let brown eyes have their moment in the spotlight by keeping the eyeshadow to a minimum. A cool-toned contour shade in the crease adds just enough dimension. Curl and coat your lashes in several layers of mascara to make your eye color stand out even more. "Waterproof liner and mascara are a must on the wedding day," advises Gilleo.
A Youthful Look
For a barely there smokey eye, smudge out a black shadow across the lash line. Brush through the brows with a spoolie and brow gel to keep them in place. Keep the liner on just the top lid for a more lifted, youthful effect. Add a light layer of mascara to the bottom lashes to balance out the eyes.
A Coral Composition
Pinks and peachy tones are the perfect pop of color for brown eyes. This bright coral is perfect for the bride who’s bored of the classic brown smokey eye. Pair with a blush in the same color family for a monochromatic look. "We always recommend brides to create a mood board of inspiration photos," says Gilleo. "We suggest that the bride looks for makeup and hairstyle looks that are similar to their eye color, skin tone, and hair color."
We love the contrast of cool-toned silver eyeshadow with the warmth of brown eyes and hair. Perfect for a winter wedding, gorgeous grays and sultry silvers make brown eyes shine like never before. Fill in the brows with a brow pencil for a bold, distinguished look.
We can't get enough of this oh so romantic look. These subtle cocoa hues have a significantly pink undertone providing a subtler and softer composition. Rosy cheeks and lips add a natural flush that amplifies the sweet vibe for this bride's seaside nuptials in Florida.
"Kitten eyes are a subtler version of a cat-eye," explains Gilleo. "Think smaller lines that aren’t harsh but create a gentle softness around the eyes when using liner. The technique typically starts in the middle of the eye and uses a tiny stroke to create a small wing."
A Pop of Color
Colored eyeliner isn't only reserved for brides with light eyes. This vibrant teal hue does wonders for deep brown eyes, emphasizing their chocolaty depth. We love that the color was smudged out on the lower lash line of an otherwise neutral smokey eye instead of going for a colorful total look.
Wash of Champagne
Champagne is probably going to be a big part of your wedding day, so why not commemorate with a wash of the color all over your eyes? This bride's satiny champagne shade beautifully pops against her skin without adding too much warmth. "If you’re doing bridal makeup on yourself, take time out to practice before the big day," adds Gilleo. "This way you can test and try out different styles and tones to see what you love best and what you don’t love as much."
Rose gold and blush tones set brown eyes ablaze. This sunset-inspired look of gilded pink hues look positively divine. We can't think of a more appropriate look for a golden-hour Tuscan wedding.
Hey glitzy brides, this smokeshow of a look is for you. Va-va-voom lashes, glossy black liner, and a deep brown smoke with contrasting brightness on the inner corner create a deliciously dramatic aesthetic that doesn't sacrifice on elegance. “It was important to me that I felt the most glamorous I have ever felt in my life,” explains bride Jeanine of her black-tie NYC wedding. Mission accomplished!
What wedding makeup colors make brown eyes pop?
Blues and teals offer the greatest contrast to brown eyes. Jewel tones like deep purple or green shades are also complementary.
What makeup colors enhance brown eyes?
Copper and gold shades amplify any gold or green flecks in brown eyes, making them appear more vibrant. Shimmery finishes in these hues will further amplify the gold sparkle in brown eyes. Deep copper and bronze shades give a smokey look that creates a beautiful smolder effect on brown eyes.