Color Focus: Shimmery Brown Eyeshadows for Fall

September 12, 2011

Shimmery brown eyeshadows haven’t been the focus of fall this year but I still managed to find a few new ones and eagerly grabbed them up. I was recently at a Burberry counter where the artist suggested a few non-brown shades commenting that women often gravitate towards the safety zone of Rosewood, Golden Trench, and Midnight Brown and said he didn’t quite understand it. How many brown eyeshadows can one possibly need to own? I smiled and said “guilty” fessing up to owning way too many browns. Long story short, I still love shimmery brown neutrals. The new shades for fall that caught my eye (clockwise from the left) are Guerlain Les Cuirs 07, Laura Mercier Chocolate Lustre Eye Colour, MAC Take Root Cream Colour Base, Burberry Midnight Brown No. 21 and MAC Carbonized Veluxe Pearl.

Burberry Midnight Brown ($29 for 2.5 g/ 0.088 oz) is my favorite out of all the new browns (possibly my favorite brown of all time) being the coolest toned (or most neutral) with silver/taupe shimmer. It has full rich pigment with a buttery soft texture that is so easy to blend and layer. See it reviewed here, also compared on lighter skin at Cafe Makeup.

Laura Mercier Chocolate ($22 for 2.60 g/0.09 oz) has the most red/plum undertones out of the new shades for fall. I believe this was a repromote from a holiday palette from last year. This is one of the darker shades which has quite a bit of intense & complex shimmer making it unique. Pigment is excellent with a medium-soft texture making it fairly easy to layer. Applying over liners intensifies the color. I wouldn’t recommend applying wet since a damp brush will ruin the surface texture. A slightly damp brush might work (with an emphasis on very light) to apply wet.

MAC Carbonized ($15.00 for 1.3 g/0.04 oz) is the deepest shade with a neutral dark bark-like bark base and soft warm brown metallic shimmers. I find it on the neutral-warm side compared to the others but looking at it alone, it appears to be a full on neutral. It comes in the veluxe pearl formula. I find the texture a bit hard but there is no problem with the pigmentation.
MAC Take Root ($17.50 for 3.2 g/0.12 oz) is an intriguing warm tan fawn color that I think is perfect for contouring the cheeks or eyes. It sheers out to a subtle finish that I think is perfect to use as a base for layering other eyeshadows or blushes. I think on fair skintones this will be too brown almost borderline reddish/orange. For NC30s to NC35s and darker I highly recommend you give it a try at the counter. Even if this isn’t really your color, you might be surprised. See both reviewed & swatched on KarlaSugar and Temptalia.

Guerlain Les Cuirs 07 ($59 for 7.2 g/0.25 oz) is a gorgeous palette of warm neutral browns and beiges. The pigment is very soft on these shades with a slightly harder texture compared to the other quads I’ve tried. The shades do pick up well with a dense brush. For the colors to show up on my eyes without looking too dry, I needed a base that is more emollient and creamy. I haven’t worn this for a full day so I can’t assess the long-wearability of this. The colors are a rich warm chocolate brown (chalky in texture so this one needs layering), a soft beige cream, a soft warm beige tan with shimmer, and a soft neutral beige with shimmer. I find this palette very basic but lovely for a super natural softly contoured eye. It is on the warm side but easy to pull off on all skintones. See it on Karla Sugar, Rouge Deluxe and Best Things in Beauty.

Swatched with a few comparisons (two sets of each variation). Descriptions by comparison:

  • MAC Mulch is a warmer and lighter shimmery brown
  • Bobbi Brown Copper Cocoa is similar to Mulch but slightly more golden
  • NARS Fez is the most coppery and shimmery
  • NARS Galapagos is the most neutral brown like dark milk chocolate
  • NARS Mekong blackened brown with gold flecks
  • Chanel Le Bronze is the lightest bronze

Set 1 with MAC Mulch & Bobbi Brown Copper Cocoa

Set 2 with NARS Fez, Galapagos, Mekong & Chanel Le Bronze

Did you pick up any brown eyeshadows this season or are you maxed out on neutrals? What are your favorite shimmery browns?

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