Easy on the Eyes: A Khaki and Gold Gateway Into Brighter Eye Colors

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

khaki eye makeup tutorial 0

If you’re not ready to dive headfirst into plummy pools of mulberry wine on your eyes, no worries, boo-boo. It can some time to get accustomed to wearing bolder colors like purple.


What’s say we dip our toes into the deep end with something a little less daring, like this uncomplicated eye look guest starring khaki and gold? πŸ™‚

khaki eye makeup tutorial side

Khakis are great gateway shades to ease the transition from neutrals to more colorful shadows.

In this look we’re about to do today (you’re ready, aren’t you?), you get a pinch of green — just enough to capture an onlooker’s attention. Don’t worry. We’re not talkin’ about a flashy disco shade like a kelly green or opulent emerald.

And with khakis, if you ever feel like you’ve gone overboard with color, you can always mix them with golds, bronzes and browns to tone them down, which is what we’re going to do now.

Okay now where the heck did I put my gold eyeliner…?

Aha! There it is. I’ll be using MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Handforged, as well as a light khaki eyeshadow, a darker khaki eyeshadow and a black eyeliner.

Today, I thought I’d draw from Dior’s All-In-One Palette in Khaki Design ($59), which is new for fall, for the shadows and liner.

dior khaki design

Now, it always pays to have the right tools for the job, and in this case I’ll be using a domed blending brush (the MAC 217), a tapered blending brush (the MAC 224), a flat eye shadow brush (the MAC 239) and an angled eye brush (the legendary MAC 266).

If you don’t have these exact same colors, shh…don’t tell anyone, but it doesn’t really matter. πŸ™‚ Use something similar from your makeup bag, or heck, something different if you aren’t a big fan of khaki and bronze.

Let’s get started!

Apply a gold base on your lids

khaki eye makeup tutorial 1

Guess what we’re going to do first? Here’s a hint: it has to do with oil.

If you have super oily lids, you might want to start with an eyeshadow primer, which should help keep our products in place. If not, then…


…right into applying the gold eyeliner all over your lids and just barely into the crease.

Here I’m using MAC Handforged from the Hey Sailor collection, and I’m not going to worry too much — scratch that, I’m not going to worry at all about being too neat on this step since we’ll be running a brush over it anyway.

Now, grab your domed blending brush (I recommend the MAC 217), and buff out the liner by running it over the entire lid.

The gold liner will serve as a base for the khaki shadows and begin to create the rough shape of our look.

Layer the lighter khaki shade on top

khaki eye makeup tutorial 2

For our lids, we want the shadows to slowly transition from light to dark as they move from in to out (that is, from the side closer to your nose to the side closer your ear), so here’s where we start our gradient.

Load the same domed blending brush you used earlier with your lighter khaki color, and apply along your lash lines, lids and just barely into the crease.

Aim a little more eyeshadow on the outer corner, which is the side closest to your ear, so that it’s darker on that outer end.

Grab a tapered blending brush (MAC 224) to smooth out all the edges.

You know…while we’re here, let’s do a little something to spice up our lower lash lines. Take a flat eyeshadow brush like the MAC 239, and run the light khaki shade along them.

Pat the darker khaki along the outer half of the lash line

khaki eye makeup tutorial 3

I hope you held on to that flat eyeshadow brush, because we’re going to need it to crank up the the contrast of that gradient on our lids. Just swipe it across the pan of your darker khaki shadow, and pat the shadow on the outer half of your lash line to give the look more depth.

Next, grab your tapered blending brush again (I’m using the MAC 224), and run it along the edges to blend everything together.

Line your eyes with a black liner

khaki eye makeup tutorial 4

I think we can turn up the dial a dash here, so let’s deepen that outer end of our gradient with some black eyeliner…

I’m using the cream liner in the Dior Khaki Design Palette, but any liner that smudges easily, like a pencil or gel, should work just fine, too.

Using an angled brush like the mighty MAC 266, run the liner along the outer half of the lash line, keeping it thin and close to the roots (don’t fret if it looks a little messy).

Feather out the edge with your flat eye shadow brush (I’m using the MAC 239) so that it moves seamlessly into the rest of the darker portion of your gradient.

The finished look!

khaki eye makeup tutorial 5

A couple layers of mascara along the upper and lower lashes, and we’re done! Et Voilà!

khaki eye makeup tutorial 6


This might be a fun look to wear with a bolder lipstick, like maybe one of the new Opaque Rouge Lipsticks from Hourglass, or perhaps with matching tips and lips.

khaki eye makeup tutorial final

So what do ya think? I hope you decide to give this a try. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Additional makeup worn in this look…


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 27 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. KPrice says:

    That is so pretty on you. I totally want to go try it now. It’s funny but whenever I shop for green eyeshadow I end up getting purple. I’ll need to get some more green.

    • Karen says:

      Hi KPrice,

      Let me know how this look turns out!

      Oh, and I bet you could also do it with your purple shades. Maybe use a shimmery gold, beige or a pink with a darker and lighter purple. πŸ™‚

  2. This look is perfect, Karen! *flails* My sister is completely hooked on your tutorials, so I’ll have to make sure she sees this one — I’ve been trying to teach her how to do a neutral + vaguely green lid for ages, but to no avail! πŸ˜›
    Rae // theNotice recently posted … The ingredient breakdown | Tatcha Radiant Deep Brightening Serum

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rae,

      I’m glad you and your sis are enjoying the tutorials. Let me know how this one goes…she can even send me a pic if she wants!

      Hope you both are having a nice week. Almost to Friday (THANK GOODNESS!).

  3. You are seriously amazing at doing eye looks–I have a pretty difficult time creating such perfectly blended looks. I always tell everyone: I like to play with makeup but it doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. πŸ˜› I really want to recreate this look though–you know I’m OBSESSED with khaki shades on my eyes!!!

  4. Jula says:

    Such a stunning look! Will deff be trying it out when fall comes around. I’m thinking Naked Lunch + Sumptuous Olive… :DD

  5. Tracy says:

    Love it! Next to plums khakis are my fave for fall for sure!
    Tracy recently posted … Yves Rocher Tribal Attitude Makeup Collection Part 2!

  6. Lulle says:

    It looks really lovely on you πŸ™‚
    For those who don’t own a gold gel eyeliner (like me!) you can also use a cream shadow, like a Color Tattoo from Maybelline, I know there’s a gold shade in the range.

    Where did you find your bee ring? It looks fun!
    Lulle recently posted … Sale Alert: Cargo (US)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulle,

      Thanks for the idea! I’ll have to try that sometime. πŸ™‚

      Also, just want to throw this out there for the MAC gals…Rubenesque Paint Pot, Indianwood Paint Pot or Powersurge Eye Kohl would be good too.

      As for the ring, I got it a while back at Nordstrom. It’s by Cara Accessories.

  7. Angel says:

    Gorgeous look! I’ll have to try it when it’s fall time! Which mean I need to get myself some khaki shades! What are you wearing on your lips? I’m loving it!

  8. Phyrra says:

    Love your tutorial!

  9. I like khakis alot, so I like this look. And I just love your ring!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review & look: Sigma Dare Bare Flare eyeshadow

  10. Pretty!!! Gold and khaki are one of my favorite color combinations. I’ve done similar looks with Hourglass Dune πŸ™‚
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil Review

  11. Alison M says:

    I love how classy yet trendy gold and khaki are. Your choice of lip color is fantastic πŸ™‚

  12. Nina says:

    I love this look – soooo sultry!

    I went a tad insane today w/ the Call Me Bubbles quad. πŸ™‚

  13. Kim says:

    You are a blending genius! πŸ™‚ You just know that if I do this, it will be with brown, lighter brown and even lighter brown (and just one brush).

  14. Chelsea says:

    Love the subtlety of this! I think I have some similar colors I could try this with.

  15. Katrina says:

    Beautiful! I love this Dior pallet. Have to put it on my wishlist.

  16. I love Khaki though I don’t wear it enough. Love your lip color here!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Weekly Roundup : Shiseido, Lakme Absolute, Skin care essentials, Purple Smokey eyes, Natural pink lips & more..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge