18 Ways To Embrace Brown Eyeliner For A More Natural Look

Black eyeliner will always be a classic, but if you're looking to rock a softer and more unexpected look, we encourage you to try brown eyeliner — which is especially perfect for natural-makeup lovers and anyone who wants to go for a less contrasty aesthetic.

"I'll also gravitate to a brown if I have a client that isn't used to liner but wants to try it out," makeup artist Isabel Y Rosado reveals to Marie Claire. "I will typically suggest a brown option as it mimics a shadow but will still define without feeling stark."

And while you might think that there isn't plenty of variety when it comes to brown eyeliner, we're here to prove you wrong. Whether you like a dramatic eye look or a soft, barely-there liner that slightly elongates your eyes, a pencil or liquid eyeliner in a brown shade that suits your skin tone will take that look to the next level!

Classic sharp brown winged eyeliner

If you are someone who already loves that classic winged eyeliner, doing the same style in brown will give you a fun spin on the timeless makeup look. For this one, we recommend using a brown liquid eyeliner to create a precise, sharp line on the upper eyelid and extend it slightly at the outer corner to create that classic winged effect.

Subtle brown winged eyeliner

People often think a winged eyeliner needs to be dramatic and the focal point of the makeup look — but that couldn't be further from the truth. A subtle winged eyeliner in brown will enhance your eyes and lashes without overwhelming the rest of your face, which makes it perfect for a no-makeup makeup look. To create it, draw a thin line as close to the lash line as possible. Once you reach the outer corner, draw a small, subtle flick angled upwards and outward to give that illusion of a lifted eye.

Light brown, hazel-like eyeliner

When it comes to brown eyeliners, there are different shades you can choose from. While a dark brown liner can give you the depth of a black one without looking so harsh, a slightly lighter shade of brown is also a fun option. Depending on your preference, you can go for a cool ashy brown or a warmer one with red undertones.

Brown fox-eye liner

Fox eye makeup is a TikTok eyeliner trend that is a sleek reimagining of the siren eye look. It is known for elongating your eyes and giving them a fox-like appearance, hence the name. To create a softer version, use your favorite brown eyeliner to draw a line along the upper lash line, extending it outwards towards the temple, following the natural shape of your eye. What sets a fox eye apart from a classic winged eyeliner is that subtle extension in your inner corner that elongates your eyes even more.

Brown eyeliner with a pop of color in the inner corner

A fun way to spice up brown eyeliner is to add an inner corner pop of color. This makeup technique involves adding a small amount of colorful eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye while keeping the rest of your eyelid in a neutral shade. Even though an inner corner should be blended and there should be no harsh line, ensure you don't over-blend, as you still want that pop of color to be very vibrant. 

Thick brown eyeliner with a short wing

Even though most of us tend to believe that eyeliner should be thin on the upper lash line and thicker the closer it gets to your wings, unless you have hooded eyes, you can actually pull off thicker eyeliner with a shorter wing. In fact, this style looks stunning on those with almond-shaped or round eyes, as it gives them a doe-like appearance.

Graphic brown eyeliner

If you prefer a more unique approach to makeup, consider doing a fun graphic eyeliner look in brown. For an intricate design with plenty of curvy lines, liquid eyeliner is best as it will give you the cleanest lines. However, you can use a pencil liner underneath to map out just where you want your design to go.

Grungy brown eyeliner and a white waterline

Grungy '90s makeup is currently very on-trend, but often times it can make your eyes feel small and a bit too dark. To bring some lightness and open your eyes up, combine a classic smudged-out brown eyeliner with a white or light beige pencil liner in your waterline. This will create an illusion of a larger eye by brightening up the area and making your eye look more open and awake.

Brown eyeliner and a glossy brown lip

If you're wondering just what to pair a brown eyeliner with when it comes to your lips, may we recommend a brown lip pencil with a lipstick or lipgloss of your choice? Yes, brown on your eyes and brown on your lips will look stunning as long as you pick the right shades. If your eyeliner is on the warmer side, opt for a warm, caramel-toned lipstick, and if you choose a cooler, taupe-colored eyeliner, then pick a mauve or dusty rose lip color.

Brown winged eyeliner with fun face stickers

Since brown eyeliner is neutral and looks great on any skin tone, it serves as an excellent base for a more fun makeup look. If you've always wanted to try out face jewels or fun face stickers, combine them with a classic brown winged liner to ensure the face gems and stickers remain the star of the show.

Brown undereye liner

Underlining is having a major comeback. Essentially, it involves applying eyeliner to the lower lash line instead of the upper lashline and blending it out for a more deep and defined look. A brown pencil liner is a perfect option for those who want to try this trend out, as it looks great on everyone.

Smudged, barely there brown eyeliner

What's so great about brown eyeliner is that it can be as dramatic or as subtle as you want it to be. With black, most subtly-blended techniques can often look like a mistake or a mascara smear. To create a barely-there brown eyeliner that will give you that lift without any of the drama, gently blend the edge of your liner upwards into a muted and faint wing.

Brown winged eyeliner and glitter on the eyelid

A soft brown winged eyeliner is the perfect look to build upon — and what better way to spice it up than to go for glitter? For a softer approach, try the K-beauty trend that gives the glittery eye a mature update. Once satisfied with your winged eyeliner, pick up some of your favorite eye glitter and dab it all over your eyelid, mostly focusing on the center. If you're worried about the glitter not lasting, make sure you use a glitter primer and a setting spray in the end.

Brown cut-crease eyeliner

If you're looking for a fun way to create the illusion of a more defined eye shape with a deeper crease and a more pronounced lid, a cut crease liner is the way to go. To create it, draw a line just slightly above the outer half of your natural crease line and connect it to the end of your winged eyeliner. With this look, you can keep the lines sharp and dramatic or blend them slightly for a softer look. You can pair this technique with a light eyeshadow all over the eyelid, or you can keep the lid shadow-free. 

Ultra-long brown winged eyeliner

Using brown eyeliner instead of black can be a great way to create a dramatic winged look during the daytime. The softer hue of brown makes it easier to achieve a bold, elongated eye shape without looking too harsh. To achieve this look, start by tightlining your lashes with a brown pencil. Next, use either the pencil or a brown liquid liner to create a sharp wing that follows the line of your lower lashline, extending as far out towards your temple as your eyebrows go. This technique will help to elongate your eyes and create a bold, eye-catching look that's perfect for any occasion.

Dramatic brown eyeliner with green and brown eyeshadow

Since brown is soft and neutral, it pairs perfectly with a fun color like bright green. If you have the patience and time to create a more intricate eye look, may we suggest something like this stunning inverted cut-crease design that is bound to put you in the spotlight?

Brown eyeliner and super fluffy eyebrows

While black eyeliner is dramatic and always a safe choice, since brown eyeliner is much softer, it also has that dash of youthfulness to it. To enhance that even more, pair the brown eyeliner with fluffy and slightly messy brows. And if you want to take things to an even more youthful level, how about some faux freckles?

Dainty brown wing and some underwing glitter

Makeup is always supposed to be fun and a safe space where you can experiment with colors and styles. An unexpected way to rock a soft brown wing is to pair it with a subtle baby blue eyeshadow in the inner half of your eyelid and an eye-catching glitter underliner. And if you're feeling extra brave, add a hint of that same glitter to your eyebrows too.