Since it’s not 1992 and this isn’t Tiger Beat (though, you know, no shade to Tiger Beat), we’re not about that whole matching-your-eyeshadow-to-your-eyes thing. Mainly because it’s total bullshit, but also because…oh, wait, no, it’s mainly just because it’s bullshit.
Listen, you can layer your lids with whatever colors your little heart desires, including those that aren’t, uh, made to “enhance” your eye color, because rules suck, and your eyes are already pretty. HOWEVER, color charts and complementary colors exist for a reason, and there technically are some hues that will automatically add depth and dimension to brown eyes—namely purples, bronzes, teals, and golds.
And if you’re a beginner in the shadow game and don’t know where to start, having a prescriptive-level guide for your makeup can be helpful, which is why we handpicked the very best eyeshadow palettes for brown eyes (read: any eyes), below. You may now dab, blend, and tap with aplomb.
Maybelline City Mini Palette x Shayla
Maybelline City Mini Palette x Shayla, $8
We hate to use the word “versatile,” because pretty much anything is versatile if you make it, but this tiny palette really does have it all: three mega-shimmer shades in gold, bronze, and magenta, plus three matte neutral shades in beige, black, and chocolate brown.
Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Eyeshadow Palette
Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Eyeshadow Palette, $36
With two iridescent purple shades (eggplant and royal), three copper-based browns, a matte mauve, and a blush and highlighter that double as base eyeshadows, this nine-shadow kit is your ultimate friend.
Makeup Revolution No Photos Please Palette
Makeup Revolution No Photos Please Palette, $4
We’re fully aware that teal will not be your immediate go-to shade, unless you’re already a makeup pro with an affinity for bright colors, but trust us when we say a sheer swipe of blue over just your lid, or smudged beneath your lashes, will look ridiculously good against your eyes. And, hey, if you hate it, there are nine other colors (plus a primer!) in this kit to play with, instead.
NYX The Natural Eyeshadow Palette
NYX The Natural Eyeshadow Palette, $5
“But I don’t want to play with color!” we hear you complain. “I just want something easy.” Okay, fine, we get it—here’s your most neutral, natural, easy-to-use palette of all palettes, thanks to its six semi-matte shades that all border on light brown and apricot, with just one espresso-brown hue to add definition.
Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Eyeshadow Trio
Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Eyeshadow Trio in Sunray, $11
Though not technically a palette, this trio of iridescent baked eyeshadows is basically fool-proof. Sweep the rusty brown over your lid, the apricot over your brow bone and inner eyes, and blend the gold across your lower lash line.