8 Fall Eyeshadow Ideas That Look Vibrant Against Dark Skin

Fall is the time to pack away your pastel eyeshadow palettes, and put richer earth tones and sultry smoky eye shades into rotation. But as a woman with rich brown skin, I’ve found that some of the shadows that look vibrant in the packaging fade to blah when I apply (womp womp).

If you have a deeper skin tone and want to determine which pigments are right for you, NYC-based makeup artist Jonet Williamson says pay attention to the formula more than the shade. “Metallic eyeshadows and pigments used wet are my favorite,” she tells Refinery29. “If you want a matte finish, go with a bright cream eyeshadow. You can also pack a powder shadow in a similar color over it to intensify the color payoff.”

The lesson here: If there is a color you really love, go for it! Don’t pass up an interesting shade, like green or blue, just because it seems like it’s not for you. NYC-based makeup artist Fatimot Isadare says, “Just to be open, and try new things. You’ll be surprised at what works that you initially thought wouldn’t.”

Ahead, get inspiration for your next fall eyeshadow look. Plus, tips and product picks from makeup artists who work with dark skin on the regular.

This glossy rouge look will give the perfect pop to any fall makeup look. Williamson used the Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette to get this warm, red color. At home, you can top the powder with an eye gloss to get the same high-shine effect.

You can’t go wrong with gold. If you want to recreate this makeup that mimics fall leaves, reach for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glow palette. Nyma Tang used a brush dampened with setting spray to apply the shimmery Bronze and Sultry shades.

As the weather gets a little cooler, so can your eyeshadow shades. A soft smoky eye like this one is never a bad idea on brown skin. Celebrity makeup artist Camara Aunique says if you don’t have a shadow on hand, you can “take your favorite eyeliner and use it as a base.”

Blues can transcend all seasons. “If blue is your favorite color but you feel like you can’t wear blue [on your eyes], try a sapphire blue pencil liner or navy blue shadow,” celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff tells R29. “I guarantee it will look amazing.”

Keep the shimmery highlighter you’ve been wearing all summer in your makeup kit to use on your eyes through fall. You can tone down the glimmer with an earthy brick shadow. The effect will be similar to this eye makeup look by Ellarie.

A smoked out grey eyeshadow is all you need for fall nights out with your girls or your boo. Shayla Mitchell used the Colourpop Perception palette topped with Fenty’s silver highlighter to get this gunmetal eye look.


This mesmerizing mix of purples paired with a bold red lipstick looks absolutely dreamy on deeper skin tones.

Courtesy of Fatimot Isadare

Here’s a smoky eye remix with a dash of color at the tear ducts. Jasmine Airdelle used Makeup Geek’s Autumn Breeze shadow to get the pop of teal. Altogether this eye makeup is equal parts sweet and sassy.

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