5 Great Brown MAC Eyeshadows

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Video

Hi, girls. I hope you had a good day today. Onward to Friday!


I enjoyed afternoon tea at Crown & Crumpet in the city. Did you know that a lot of fancy hotels offer afternoon tea service, where you get your choice of different teas, of course, and tasty hors d’oeuvres? It’s a great way to unwind when you’re in the mood for a treat.

Speaking of fun, how do you feel about brown eyeshadow? I’m a big fan, and MAC makes some of my favorites (click here for the video).

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Which crew do you think will go home tonight on America’s Best Dance Crew? I have a feeling it’ll be Fly Kicks.


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So far, 49 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Liz says:

    OMG, Karen, I love your makeup in this video (surprise, surprise ^^). What are you wearing?

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Liz,

    Let’s see… I’m wearing Benefit Samba-dy Loves Me on the lid and just into the crease and Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara (no liner today).

    On my cheeks I’ve got on Nars The Multiple Duo in Portofino topped with Nars Amour blush.

    On the lips I’m wearing Benefit Full Finish Lipstick in Thrillin’ Brazillian.

  3. Sarah says:

    Karen how do you feel about blue eyeshadows? I’m not adventurous. My skin is a little lighter than yours but almost the same shade. I usually stick to browns but I would not mind standing out in a crowd. Do you have any blue suggestions?

  4. Audrey says:

    I love these videos b/c I’m always curious about people’s favorite MAC eyeshadows. Of your five, I only have Cork for my brows. I also have Espresso but haven’t used it much.

    I haven’t watched ABDC yet but I hope it’s the Fly Chicks and I definitely want a Beat Freaks vs Quest showdown.

    And yes, I *love* going for tea! My friend introduced it to me when I visited her in London. Maybe you could do a tea meet up for your bay area readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Audreyยดs last blog post..More SYTYCD alums on Dancing with the Stars!

  5. tanya says:

    ooh I want have afternoon tea–you just gave me a great idea for tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the video..I def needed some guidance on some good basic browns. Also, your makeup in the vid looks amazing!! so pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

    tanyaยดs last blog post..you are my sunshine

  6. Hi Karen – I love all of these MAC Brown Eye Shadows too and I own Soba, Cork, Saddle and Folie (in fact all of those colors and about 12 more are in their very own MAC Palette I made a year or so ago). I don’t own Soft Brown and now feel I must run down to MAC right this minute – there is a void in my makeup kit!!!! I love these colors for professional work too and have used them on everyone from Bridget Fonda to Michael Duncan (yes! I said it – that boy got a little brown MAC shadow for a very fun shoot we did together)!!! Thanks again for the great video!

  7. Karen B says:

    Crown & Crumpet: as I said in my other comment:looks like the most fun place ever to have tea.

    Brown’s tanorexic cousin… hihi

    I think I’ll check out Soba ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Katrina says:

    Karen, you look so pretty in this video. I love your makeup, it’s very soft and spring like. Too bad it’s going to snow where I’m at tonight, no spring looks for me yet;(

  9. nai says:

    hi, karen!

    ditto what sarah asked re blue eyeshadows. i have moon’s reflection and contrast but i’m also wondering how to work in too dolly from the HK e/s set into my repetoire.

    as for browns, i recently acquired soba and have bamboo (i guess it’s more on the peachy side of brown?), kid, go (one of the starflashes) and handwritten, which is sometimes hard to work with if i’m not careful bcs it’s so matte but i love how chocolately it is.

    have a wonderful aloha friday! =D

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I used to be afraid of blue, but once I started experimenting I really started to like wearing the shade. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You can ease your way into by pairing it with a brown color. You could do something like Soft Brown in the crease, and then do Deep Truth or Freshwater on the lid.

    Another option is to use just liner on the top lash line for a subtle flash of color. I’d start by applying a brown on the lid and then add a dark blue navy liner on top (that way it isn’t so shocking). MAC Technakohls are easy-to-use, and they have a great dark blue called Auto-de-blu that you might want to check out.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Audrey,

    Espresso is a great one to have around. I use it for liner and for the outer V. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What are your favorite MAC shadows?

    OH — have you seen ABDC yet? Let me know when you do so we can DISH!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Tanya,

    I hope you fun at tea today! Sip some Darjeeling for me (hee!).

    It looks like I’ll have to post up an FOTD of this look! Good thing it’s easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Friday!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Yes, RUN! Soft Brown was literally the first brown I ever bought from MAC. It pairs well with everything and I love it in the crease for smokey eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Oh, it’s really cute and totally fun. They have so much fun stuff to look at inside, too. It’s a great, girly way to bond. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think Soba would look fantastic on you! You wouldn’t have to do much, either… probably even just on the lid with mascara would be really pretty for “dressed down” days.

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Katrina,

    Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will have to do an FOTD (it’s Benefit spring stuff) soon.

    I hope that it didn’t get too cold where you’re at. Stay warm and have a good Friday. Hang in there! Spring is right around the corner. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Nai,

    I would try layering the blues with browns. You could do Soba on the lid and up into the crease, and then layer Too Dolly right on top on the lid.

    If you have Vex around it might be pretty to do Soba on the lid (or lid and crease), Too Dolly in the outer half of the lid, Vex in the inner half. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I find that keeping the blue on the lid is an easy way to ease your way into the color. That way you just get a slice of it, and it’s not too overwhelming.

  17. p. potter says:

    i’m always looking for a grey-brown shadow…right now my fave is Benefit silky powder shadow in Bossy.

    love your vids!

    p. potterยดs last blog post..Uhh-uhh-uhh-uhh

  18. Daya says:

    Hey Karen!

    Thanks for the video!! My favorite MA actually suggested Saddle to me as one of those “must-have browns.” Soba is on my list to try as well.

    Have a great weekend!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Bella says:

    I had Cork, but I”m cool toned, and found Cork to be way too warm for me. I’m more of a taupe kinda girl. Although I do have Espresso.

  20. Sylvie says:

    Hi Karen,

    Nice spankin’ new layout!

  21. Jodee says:

    Hi Karen –
    Love your blog! It is FABULOUS! Mac is my favorite eyeshadow! I also want to try to wear more blue to accent my blue eyes…but I am afraid that it will look 70ish and not at all up to date. Do you have a how to video on applying blue eyeshadow?

  22. Amanda says:

    ooooh, ah, wow! new format!!!! looks great. ๐Ÿ™‚ you *and* tabs are both on the header now.

    as for browns, I don’t have any of those-I just have moth brown and satin taupe. (from mac-I do have some other browns….)

  23. Marisol says:

    Love the new layout!

    Soft Brown is my fave of the browns. I discovered it at a MAC seminar in CM a long time ago. The Senior MUA (Victor C) raved about it so I got it. Also Texture was my first MAC eyeshadow.

    Marisolร‚ยดs last blog post..Ramblings

  24. Hi Karen

    I am loving the new layout! I love super clean and minimal and it looks fabulous, especially with Tabs being front & center as he should be ๐Ÿ™‚

    Vampy Varnishร‚ยดs last blog post..Stage and Make Up Store Nail Polish Swatches

  25. cloudburst says:

    Girl, where’s the love for Espresso? This is one of my must haves for brown shadow – can be used on the eye or eyebrow. Sometimes I mix Espresso w/ cork for a slightly softer brow.

    Love the videos.

  26. Lauren says:

    What is a good brown eyeshadow for a fair skinned blonde with hazel eyes?

  27. Karen says:

    Hi P. Potter,

    Hmm, I might need Bossy just for the name. ๐Ÿ™‚

    How was your Friday? Got any exciting plans for the weekend?

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    Saddle is one sexy brown. Do you have Sable? It looks really pretty with it!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Sylvie,

    Thanks, hon!

    Have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Jodee,

    Sure, I’ll whip a quick one up.

    You can totally work the blue without having to look 70s! There is hope. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    LOL! Tabs wanted part of the action. You know how he’s a spotlight hog.

    I am so jealous of your pan of Moth Brown! I failed to pick that up when Barbie came out. *tears*

    Does Satin Taupe show up as brown on you? For some reason it turns kinda purplish pink on me.

  32. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Thank you!

    That’s so funny that you mention Victor. I met him at SF Fashion Week a few years ago and he raved about Soft Brown, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Vampy Varnish,

    Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tabs says thanks, too, and sends you kitty purrs.

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Cloudburst,

    It was hard to narrow it down to five, but yeah, Espresso is a good one. Probably top ten for me! Do you have any other fave MAC browns?

  35. Karen B says:

    Thanks. I’m going to make a list again for when I go to Stockholm… I might even pop over there a bit earlier just to check out mac ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. cloudburst says:

    Hi Karen

    Other faves – Era & Satin Taupe…I actually don’t own Soba, Soft Brown or Folie, but I’m going to be picking up Soft Brown & Soba today maybe.

  37. Audrey says:

    Hi Karen,

    RE: my fave MAC e/s, I’m more of a neutral person so my favorite combos at the moment are Shroom/Satin Taupe, All That Glitters/Sable, Woodwinked/Mulch, also Woodwinked/Expensive Pink/Sketch. For being more fun, I am really loving Contrast, Humid and my fave – the Spiced Chocolate Quad ๐Ÿ™‚

    Finally saw ABDC… LOVE Beat Freaks and Quest – OMG they are so amazing. BF is my fave, though. I was totally indifferent to the other two. I am surprised Fly Kicks are in the final 3, just like they were!

    By the way, where do you take hip hop dance? I used to do that down in the south bay and was part of a performing crew many years ago. We were totally amateur, though. You could see one of my performances here… I’m the first on the left in the first part.

    Audrey´s last blog post..Recreating Rihanna’s Look: Experimenting with cat eyes

    • Karen says:

      Hi Audrey,

      My friend just gave me a pan of Humid as a gift and I am so excited about it! It’s an amazing green. ๐Ÿ™‚ What do you like to pair it with?

      The Beat Freaks continue to inspire me week after week. Their choreography is so original and the girls have such a flexible style. I really want them to win. Like, you, I was shocked when the announced the Fly Khicks made it to the final three! I mean, they have the technical abilities but their routines rarely leave me speechless.

      Regarding dancing, I started doing hip hop at Dance Mission in SF years ago with Allan Frias. Now I take classes up here in Marin! I do it purely for exercise and fun. I think if I started when I was younger I would’ve loved the chance to perform with a group, though.

      Oh, and thank you for sharing that video with me! I really enjoyed it. You dance so well! I really liked the choreography — it’s a style that I like to do. There are some things that are super hard for me, like gliding (SOOO HARD) and popping and locking, and when I try it I look like a dork, LOL.

      Do you still continue to dance?

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Cloudburst,

    Oh, I don’t have Era! *writes it frantically down on list*

    Want to know something random? I just pulled out some MAC shadows and I looked at one and thought, “Oh, that’s pretty,” and when I turned it over it was Cloudburst. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Heidi says:

    I love brown eyeshadows-they’re my favorite! Soba sounds like my kind of brown because I’m on the prowl for something goldish-brown/bronze. I have to mix my browns to achieve that taupey gold look that I love, but hopefully soba will be just that!

  40. Audrey says:

    Hi Karen,

    Yes, I know Dance Mission! I think we did a performance there once, too, and I remember watching Allen on the first season of SYTYCD – he’s so cute ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t dance anymore… I got a little burned out, plus it’s kinda pricey and I prefer activities with a little more flexibility in the schedule. I run mostly (check out my other blog) and go to the gym.

    As for Humid, I haven’t played it with too much, but during Christmas time, I would wear it on the main part of my lid, Shroom in the inner third, and smoked it out with Carbon. My friends loved it!

    Audrey´s last blog post..Recreating Rihanna’s Look: Experimenting with cat eyes

    • Karen says:

      Hi Audrey,

      I used to be an avid runner, but I got burned out a few years ago after doing a half marathon. These days I rarely run as far and as hard as I used to. Now it’s just for maintenance rather than achievement, LOL. I hope to get to the place where I crave it again… How often do you run? Every day?

  41. NJ says:

    So many people have recommended Soft Brown as a fantastic shadow to merge other shades or soften harsh colours just below the brow highlight, so I was distraught to find out that they are discontinuing it here in the UK! I need to rush on down and grab one quick.

    I’m loving these videos Karen, they’re precise, to the point and choc full of tips and techniques. I’ve linked your blog to friends of mine who are only just getting into makeup for some lifesaving advice.

  42. wendy says:

    Missed this item! I love brown. I khave soba en saddle. My favourite brown color at the moment is Minaral from the MAC Ungaro collection. <3

  43. Lauren says:

    Does anyone have charcoal brown? I just bought it the other day and I figure i can wear it with shroom or stila kitten… Any suggestions?

  44. Ariel says:

    Hi Karen! I’m NC43 and trying to go for the pin-up eyeshadow look with a bare canvas base. Do you think Soft Brown would be good in the crease with my skin tone?

  45. Sarah says:

    Hi! I am about an NC 20 and I am trying to decide between soft brown and saddle. Which do you think I should get?

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