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How to Wear Brown Makeup

Yes, it’s a thing, and it might make you look like Cindy Crawford circa 1990. Just saying.

How to Wear Brown Makeup

ALERT: there’s a new makeup trend crowding our Pinterest boards. We first got clued into it back when Sir John copped doing Chrissy Teigen in bronze and brown shades for her turn hosting the Billboard Music Awards. And then we started noticing it everywhere: brown lipstick on Rihanna and Karlie Kloss; brown eye shadow on Georgia May Jagger and Bella Hadid. It was kind of like Cindy Crawford circa 1990, only reborn on the faces of all our favorite beauty muses.

From there it took us no time to start experimenting, and just because she’s such a sport, we roped model Geo Burke into offering up a palette in the form of her close-to-perfect face (maybe you missed part one in which we persuaded her to give blue eyeshadow a try?). So while we let the makeup artist from Vênsette, our favorite on-call beauty gurus, go wild with every brown, tawny and bronze-colored product in her arsenal in a suite at The Standard, High Line, we quizzed Burke on her own makeup obsessions. (We mean, what else are you to talk about in this particular situation?)

“My makeup bag isn’t exactly a bag… It’s more like an industrial-size container filled with every possible eye cream, bronzer, highlighters, you name it,” laughed Burke. We totally feel you. “I love makeup and I’m always buying too much of it! But the products I can’t live without are my La Mer Treatment Lotion for instant hydration, Sisley nutritive lip balm, which feels incredible and stays on longer than most lip treatments, and of course my Aussie Lucas Papaw lip ointment. You can use it for a hundred different things—it’s amazing. Also, a great nude lipstick is a must!” We mean, we’d say a brown lip at this point, but different strokes…

But what we really wanted to know was what she’s leaned since she started spending most mornings in a make-up chair. “I never used to wear sunscreen before coming to the States, which scares me to think how damaged my skin would be if I were still in the Australian sun without a little sunblock! Moisturizer has also played a key role in my routine, and you can fool anyone using eye drops to whiten your eyes after a redeye flight or sleepless night before a shoot.” Noted. Now, make notes of your own on how to do this brown makeup situation.


Brown Eyeshadow:




“For this look we looked for the perfect combination of shadows: a dark brown shadow with a red base shade such as Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Duo in Evocative was the perfect pick. Apply softly to the eye focusing on depositing color in the inner and outer corners and purposely skipping the center. Using the rose-colored shadow in the palette, press and brush it into the center, lightly blending it out to both corners.  This creates depth in tone without looking flat; the rosy shadow keeps the look fresh.”




"To keep the lashes coated but clean, use a light mascara such as Laura Mercier’s Long Lash Mascara.”




“The eyebrows were key to perfecting this look. Anastasia’s Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown is fantastic when changing the fullness of your brows; this look called for a less neat and clean brow, brushing out the color so the brows look full. You can achieve this by taking a clean mascara wand and combing out the eyebrow upwards till the eyebrow shading looks airy at the base up.  Seal it with a clear brow mascara (Anastasia, too), combing the hairs up and letting them spike out; the less groomed the better.”




“The main focus on the face was contouring and highlighting the cheekbones, the brim of the nose and the arch of the brow using YSL’s Touche Éclat in Luminous Ivory.  The look was finished off with a bronzy lip gloss by Urban Decay called Freestyle.”


Shot on location at The Standard, High Line

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