Easy on the Eyes: A Quick Eye Makeup Look Starring Bronze and Brown

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

A bronze and brown eye tutorial

Oh, did I tell you? Last weekend I did a marathon…text message session about makeup with my friend Jen. πŸ™‚


Jen’s a busy new mom with a full-time job. She hasn’t been too adventurous with her makeup for the past few years — mostly just mascara and gloss — but she wants to start playing a little more now and asked me for some easy eye makeup ideas. Nothing fancy, just simple looks she could wear to work or to dinner with her hubby.

When she described the overall look she was going for as, “natural with a kick,” that got me thinking… It might be fun to make a series out of this. Just some really easy eye makeup looks to get you pretty, polished and out the door.

If you’re a busy mom like Jen, a student heading back to school this fall, or anyone looking for a few more quick eye makeup ideas, hopefully the brief tutorials I’ll be sharing over the next few days can help.

So, what does “natural with a kick” mean? Well, for me it means a look that’s one step above a no-makeup makeup look, like something where you can definitely tell that you’re wearing makeup, but it doesn’t look anywhere near as done up as a full-blown Kim Kardashian smokey eye.

The colors I think of for looks like these are usually soft daytime neutrals, bronzes, browns and khakis with matte, sheen and shimmer finishes. Nothing too crazy at all. Just a simple, pretty look with very few products and a wee bit o’ blending.

Today’s eye look is super easy, too. It’s a soft and shimmery eye with bronze and brown, and it only takes about 10 minutes.

I’m mostly using MAC products here, but if you have any similar shades from different brands, feel free to substitute.

bronze and brown eye tutorial products
From the left: MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, MAC 266 Small Angle Brush, MAC 217 Blending Brush, MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy, MAC Eyeshadow in Concrete and MAC Paint Pot in Indianwood

First things first — if your lids are oily, as mine sometimes are — prime them first with a translucent primer (I like NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base). The primer gives the other products we’ll be using a better surface to adhere to.

If your lids are dry, on the other hand, in the interest of saving time, you can probably skip this step.

bronze and brown eye tutorial 1

Next, apply MAC Paint Pot in Indianwood on your lids with something like the MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, concentrating most of the color along the lash line.

(No need to worry about being too neat here, because we’ll be blending things out in a minute.)

Then, take the remaining product on your brush, and run it along your lower lash line.

Grab a MAC 217 Blending Brush (or something similar), and blend out the edges of the shadow on your lids.

Try to create a soft gradient/transition where the pigment is at its darkest along your lash lines, fading as it moves up toward your brows.

To further define the shape of your eyes, reach for MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy, and line the upper and lower lashes (you can also be a little messy with this step, too), and then use your MAC 239 to softly blend out the edges.

bronze and brown eye tutorial 2

Bonus: if you have a couple extra minutes to spare, or if you’re feeling adventurous, line the outer third of your upper lash line (the side closer to your ear), and softly blend the edges to create a second gradient, and to give even more depth to the look.

(Note: the pigment should appear darker on your outer lash line and lighten as you move toward your nose.)

Almost there! πŸ™‚

Finish the look by applying mascara to both your upper and lower lash lines (I’m wearing the new Senna Voluptuous Volumizing Mascara here) and filling in your brows with something that matches their color (in my case, I’m using MAC Eyeshadow in Concrete) using a 266 Small Angle Brush.

bronze and brown eye tutorial 3


bronze and brown eye tutorial 4

If you feel like turning things up a notch, you could also line your water lines with Teddy or your favorite black eyeliner.

I love that I don’t have to muss or fuss with fallout cleanup with this look. I also think it’s great for hooded eyes, as it doesn’t call for a lot of crease work, and most of the color is concentrated along the lash lines.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 54 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Joyce says:

    Looks so simple, but SEXY at the same time. LOVE it!!!
    Joyce recently posted … Ulta Coupon Code 2012: 20% OFF Sale Extended

  2. Abby says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series. I work from home, but I still like to try using a little makeup every day, just so I feel more polished. This look is perfect!

  3. Christine says:

    Looks great, Karen! I may try this out this week πŸ™‚

    Quick question about your foundation…I know you’ve using a combination of the NARS tinted moisturizers (I love my St. Moritz!) and the Hourglass powder foundation…how do you apply each of these? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Christine. πŸ™‚ If you try it out, let me know how it goes.

      So, about that foundation…that’s a good question. I just might have to do a tutorial for that!

  4. Chelsea says:

    love this! I could definitely replicate this, looks like perfect everyday makeup (though my everyday makeup is much more no-makeup makeup some days!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      Glad you like it! The cool thing is you can use any sort of combination you’d like with this technique. πŸ™‚

      Hope you had a nice Monday!.

  5. Tracy says:

    Love it! Simple yet pretty! I’ve always wanted Indianwood! I think I should get it for fall, right?
    Are you going to watch The Almighty Johnsons? It sounds good!
    Tracy recently posted … Only Make Up Forever Aqua Cream #26 Could Make Me Like Purple

  6. Abby says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series! Even though I work from home, I try using a little makeup every day so I feel more polished, and this look is perfect.

  7. Satvi says:

    I love this look! I’m looking forward to the next post in this series πŸ™‚
    What are you wearing on your lips?

  8. Rachel says:

    I love it! So neat. πŸ™‚
    Rachel recently posted … Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Review

  9. Monika says:

    Hey, Karen! I wanted to let you know that I really love the way you do your eye makeup, and I especially enjoy your pointers when it comes to less fussy makeup. Even though you don’t specifically mention it a lot, I notice when you use only one or two colors on your eyes by doing a sheer wash/gradient from lash line to brow bone etc. technique. I really appreciate that you show what that kind of application can do for the eyes, and I’m even happier now since you just posted this tutorial.

    I started getting into makeup when the makeup blogging universe was just starting to grow a lot, and I’ve read a lot of tutorials that have at least one color in the crease. It’s awesome to see a break from that tried and true formula, and I enjoy that you offer something that’s simpler and requires less brushes/colors. Not having to do crease work is even better since sometimes I don’t feel like making my eyes even, which can take awhile for me at times since I’m a perfectionist. I also struggle with figuring out how to concentrate color at the lash line without making my eyes look beady, so this is a big help!

    My one request for this series would be for you to do a tutorial on how to do the really straight-style eyeliner you’ve got going on in the Dior Jungle post you did a few days ago. I freaking love that style of liner and have been preferring it over winged liner lately since it just seems so much sexier!

    Wow, this was a long post! Sorry about that!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monika,

      Thanks for this comment! I’ll make a note to do a tutorial with that style liner. It can take a while so it may not fit in with the easy eye looks series, but maybe for a series of posts with different types of cat eye liner…hmmm!

  10. Futuralon says:

    I will give this a try.
    Love your hair in these!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Futuralon,

      Thanks! I was having a good hair day…I put some leave-in conditioner and let it do it’s own thing. Thank goodness for Living Proof!

      Anywho, let me know how your look turns out. πŸ™‚

  11. Marian says:

    I do something very similar often! I love Teddy, don’t you?

  12. Rachel B. says:

    Hmmm, I have yet to perfect the art of applying eyeshadow. Thanks for the tips!

  13. Suzi says:

    I love this and have those products! Can’t wait to try this!

  14. Cassidy says:

    I agree with Monika, do a tutorial for the straight eyeliner from the Dior Jungle post. Loved it!!

  15. Karla Murray says:

    I like the name for this technique, ‘natural with a kick’. I love to experiment with different trends so I can share with my clients. Really is a fresh, clean look.
    Karla Murray recently posted … Summer Eye Makeup Ideas With Color

  16. breyerchic04 says:

    Fabulous eyes, but what is on your lips? Such a casual pretty shade.

  17. Gina says:

    Just what this busy mommy needs. Love this look!

  18. Becca says:

    Love this idea! I’d love to see a simple daytime smokey eye that doesn’t involve 5 shades of brown and 17 different brushes (if such a thing exists!), or suggestions as to how to wear bright eyeshadow colours in a more laid-back kind of way. I have a problem where, if I try to wear coloured eyeshadow, I feel like it looks suuuuuuper overdone, like I’m trying way too hard, you know? I’d love to see you do more than just eye makeup with this series, too! It would be fun to see an entire 5-minute-face! Or a “bare minimum” look for those days when you’ve overslept and have to do your makeup quick, with no time to waste digging for various products. Man, this post is so inspirational, I might just have to start my own beauty blog, ha ha!

  19. Carla says:

    Ooh, pretty! Also, I’m stoked you’re doing quick tutorials again, that’s awesome!

  20. simple, sulty and easy look for beginners–or anyone! Love it!
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: NEW Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains Review & Swatches

  21. Jenna N. says:

    Applying and blending out eyeliner twice never occurred to me! I’ll have to give it a try. Would it work with gel eyeliners too or only pencils because gels dry too fast? Hm

  22. Jen says:

    You know, when I first got into makeup, I was all about color! I thought, if I’m going to wear makeup, people are going to be able to tell that I’m wearing makeup, damnit.

    But as I got older, I became more color shy. πŸ˜› Weird, huh? Also, I started having to get up early, and when I only have 10 minutes to run out the door, something fast and easy is definitely preferable to a complex purple green smokey eye.

    I look forward to this new series of yours!
    Jen recently posted … Hiatus

  23. Kejal says:

    Karen! This is surely very helpful!! I’d love to see such a series for everyday.. more wearable look.
    Kejal recently posted … Checkered Blue

  24. Kim says:

    Oh, this is nice! My droopy eyelid approves. πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to this series since I like my makeup to be pretty natural. I can never wear mascara on my bottom lashes, though. It makes me look like A Clockwork Orange.

    Btw, did you see Batman? What did you think? I haven’t seen it yet but definitely will!

  25. Nina says:

    So soft and pretty — and it uses Indianwood (my fave Paint Pot ever!!!) … I love this – and it is amped up too!

  26. Thanks for the super useful tutorial, Karen! I love cream shadows for saving time. Some formulas really do stay put and most of the time I use my pinky instead of a brush, so there’s no brush to wash afterwards!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Guest Post: BellaChique Reviews Fekkai Illuminating Cream!

  27. Ruby says:

    This look is gorgeous and useful for me who is so lazy! Will definitely give this a try πŸ™‚

  28. Katherine G says:

    Love the tutorial! Your eyes look amazing. I’ve gotten a lot better at applying makeup, but I am always looking for new things to learn and try! Thanks πŸ™‚

  29. Verena says:

    Great tutorial!
    Such a great look without spending hours on doing your makeup – I will certainly try this!!
    You look fabulous as usual, Karen!

  30. Soo Jin says:

    Love the look! So pretty! Can’t wait to see the rest of the series! πŸ˜€

  31. Julia says:

    I really love this post. I’m not good at applying eye make up, and I like the tutorials that tell me exactly what to do. More of these would be great!

  32. Great look. And you explain it very well.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review: five self-tanning products put to the test!

  33. DLAOKC says:

    AWESOME post, Karen. Thank you for helping those of us who are, ahem, “challenged”…!

  34. m says:

    Fabulous tutorial! I love the way you do your eyes and this simple look is something I might try. Now I’ll just need to figure out colors.

  35. Rachel says:

    Love this look a lot! Going to try something similar with products that I own already!

  36. Stephanie C says:

    thank you for posting this! some days i think I am in a rut with doing the same.thing.day.in.and.day.out. this is my idea of a neutral eye as well. same points as you. very pretty. will duplicate (kinda) tomorrow! Γ’β„’Β₯

  37. 80sChicwithglasses says:

    Can you sub the brown liner with black? I’m sure I could, but I just wanted to make sure since I’m deeper toned and brown dosen’t do too much for me. I love this look and want to try this with a grey…hmmm. I feel this could be a wear to work look for a while! Thanks πŸ™‚

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