Makeup Tips for Women with Black Hair and Dark Brown Eyes

Crystal Schwanke
Brown eyes and bright lips

When you have black hair and dark brown eyes, there's not too much you can't pull off with makeup. You can do the smokiest of smoky eyes since your eyes are so dark and your hair acts as a frame to tie it all together. Your eye and hair color will similarly add balance to a defined, bright or bold lip. In contrast, it's almost effortless to take your bare-faced look to stunning with a few tips that will play up your natural beauty. Nobody pulls off bold or bright shades like a lady with dark hair and eyes, either. Lucky girl!

Enhance Your Skin Color

Woman with brown eyes

Glowing, gorgeous skin is the best canvas for any hair and eye color combination, so you'll want to enhance your skin color whether you're going for a natural or dramatic makeup look.

  • Go to a makeup counter for help getting the perfect match for your skin. The goal is to even out your skin tone, hide blemishes, and make sure there's no obvious line where the makeup ends. Depending on your skin, you could achieve this with a BB cream, CC cream, or a sheer to medium coverage foundation.
  • Follow up by applying a highlighting product with a subtle golden sheen, like Benefit's Moon Beam, to the tops of your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, and Cupid's bow to accentuate your beautiful complexion.

Enhance Your Eye Color

The key to making your eyes look more intense is black eyeliner and mascara.

  • Use a pencil, kohl, gel, or even intense shadow to line your eyes.
  • Follow up with the blackest mascara you can find in the formula that fits your needs at the time (thickening, lengthening, etc.).
  • Always line the upper lid and the outer one-third to one-half of your lower lash line.
  • Depending on how dramatic you want your look to be, you can line the waterline, too.

Three Great Looks You Can Wear

There are several ways you can play up your gorgeous dark hair and eyes, regardless of skin tone. Try one of these three examples, but remember that you aren't limited to them. Your features can carry bolder shades very well, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Naturally Gorgeous

Natural look for brown eyes

Using just liner and mascara on your eyes will give your dark eyes a subtle definition, barely-there drama, and not only make your eyes stand out, but make the whites of your eyes look whiter.


  1. Smudge a little blackish-brown (if your skin is light-medium) or black (for medium to darker skin tones) eyeliner along your top lash line and the outer one-third of your lower lash line.
  2. Apply a pencil or kohl liner and then run over it with a cotton swab for a diffused, shadowy effect of naturally thick lashes.
  3. If your lids are oily, set the liner with a similar colored shadow.
  4. Put on a black lash-defining mascara to accent your eyes without looking overly made up.

Completing the Look

  • For blush, try a peachy-pink that looks gorgeous on almost everyone, like MAC's Springsheen or a copper-rose, like Ambering Rose
  • For your mouth, a neutral colored gloss that mimics the natural color of your lips is best. This allows the eyes to remain the focal point of your face and doesn't add any shocking color that would take this look from natural to bold. Try L'Oreal's Extraordinaire by Colour Riche® in Rose Melody or Nude Ballet.

Strong Eyes

Brown eyes look especially smoldering when paired up with a smoky eye. The deeper your skin tone, the easier you can make the deepest of colors work for you.

Smoky eyes

Smoky Eyes

  • If your skin is dark, you can sweep a black shadow from lash line almost all the way up to the crease, from inner corner to outer, then fade it out with a lighter brown, pink, or other color you want to incorporate into your look.
  • If your skin tone is lighter, try gray or taupe instead of black, then shade the lash line and outer corner with the black for extra drama. Other lid color options could be brown, navy blue, plum, or hunter green.

Completing a Bold Look

If you're looking for serious drama for a night out and have a bold personality, choose a burgundy gloss or lipstick and a browned-down pink or rose blush that will liven up your cheeks without looking obvious. If your eye shadows are mostly matte, you can go for a hint of sheen here; if your shadows reflect light with a shimmer or sheen, choose a matte blush.

Completing a More Subtle Look

The look of bold eyes and lips at once isn't for everyone. It can easily turn into a competition between eyes and lips for most skin tones (especially light to medium ones).

If you want something more understated or suitable for a wider range of occasions, look for a creamy nude lip shade (a 'your lips, but better' shade) to counteract the intensity of the eye shadow and a subtle pinkish blush. Stay away from lip shades with too much shimmer or gloss since you want the focal point of your face to be your eyes.

Strong Mouth

Regardless of your skin tone, your dark eyes and hair will balance out a bold lipstick shade and you won't require a lot of additional makeup to look like you spent a lot of time getting ready. You'll look polished, professional, or sexy with minimal effort.

Bold Lips

Bold lips

Choose your lipstick shade from deep berries, burgundy, or deep plums. Opaque true reds will also be flattering, too, and may be just what you need for the workplace (blot it down to a stain if it feels like too much color for the office).

Completing the Look

When going for this look, in addition to your bold lipstick shade, just apply a matte or semi-matte foundation, light blush, maybe a bit of bronzer for contouring, and your favorite mascara.

Colors to Wear and Colors to Avoid

There are really no colors you should always avoid based on your hair and eye color. Since both are very dark, nothing will clash with them. Focus on your undertones instead.

  • If you have cool undertones, stay away from the yellow-based or golden shadow shades and look for royal purple, deep turquoise, cobalt blue, burgundy, and cool chocolate browns.
  • If you have warm undertones, you may do best to avoid cool grays, blue-toned pinks, and purples, and instead look to shades like gold, deep rust-browns, and olive greens instead.
  • If your skin is dark, avoid matte pastels, which can look too chalky on deeper skin tones.

Putting It All Together

Having black hair and dark eyes means you have the perfect canvas to explore deep colors, bold shades, and neutrals. You can pull off any look from natural to dramatic. Eye shadow palettes are usually a fantastic bargain when you're able to wear almost any color. Have a neutral lip shade and your favorite bold one on hand at all times, and you'll always be set for any occasion.

Makeup Tips for Women with Black Hair and Dark Brown Eyes