Women with darker skin tones tend to avoid brown eyeliner and with good reason – it will probably blend in with our skin! I have received and attempted to use brown eyeliner that simply didn’t show up on me, no matter how many layers I used and how hard I rubbed. Having said that, I also wear a brown eyeliner on a daily basis. How can this be? It is possible to find the right shade for you and it’s all about how you use it. Here are 4 ways for women with darker skin tones to use brown eyeliner.
As an eyeliner
Yes, it is possible to wear brown eyeliner for the intended purpose. I have found my ideal brown eyeliner pencil and I make sure I always have a spare in my make-up collection. It is a very dark, almost black shade of brown. It’s waterproof, so perfect on the waterline but I try to avoid that to reduce the risk of eye irritation. Instead, as it is my shade of dark grey-brown, I can wear it just underneath the lower lash line to define my eyes and on the upper lash line to define and create the illusion of thicker brows. The trick here is to find one that is dark enough and one that has a grey tone rather than a red one. If you can find one, it makes the perfect day-time alternative to black.
As an eyebrow pencil
We know that unless you have the darkest skin with the blackest hair to match, we should avoid using black to fill in and define our brows. That leaves us with brown. If you have a brown eyeliner pencil that just won’t define your eyes, try using it to fill in your brows. My perfect shade is a dark grey-brown but I have used lighter shades of brown, and even red-browns and these have worked too. Using a slightly lighter brown than I would usually wear gives my brows a different look and adds another dimension. It’s nice to have a choice of brow colour. This work best with a firm pencil so you can draw in each individual hair for a natural look and so it doesn’t wipe off if you accidently rub your face.
As an eyeshadow or eyeshadow base
If you have a pot of brown eyeliner gel which blends in rather than defines, do not despair! Use an angled eyeliner brush or firm eyeshadow brush (or even a clean finger) to apply it as an eyeshadow. If you can’t see it on you, simply use it as a base for your eyeshadow in the same way you would use a cream eyeshadow.
As a lip pencil
Just because the packaging might say “eye pencil” doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Break the rules! A brown eyeliner might not do much to define your eyes but it can help keep your lipstick in place. You can use it to line the outside of the lips only before applying lipstick to stop colour bleed. I personally like to cover the whole lip in liner before applying lipstick, to create a full base for my lip colour. If the eyeliner matches the shade of lipstick, you can then go over the outline of your lips after applying lipstick for a sharply defined pout. For those of you who are not into lipstick, shade in your lips with the eyeliner to wear it as your lip colour then dab a little balm or clear lipgloss on top so it doesn’t feel so dry.
For more make-up tips for women with darker skin tones, download our free guide “14 Makeup Mistakes Made By Women With Darker Skin Tones” here.