A Real-Life Guide to Finding the Right Brow Color for You

by Meghan Carlson | 25 Comments

Happy Maven Reveal Day!

We’re so excited to finally release Don’t Leave Your Brows At Home, our new all-in-one brow tool: one part angled precision brush and one part tinted brow powder. (Learn more and see a tutorial here!)

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With four different shades to choose from—Taupe, Warm Brown, Cool Brown, and Rich BrownDon’t Leave Your Brows At Home is designed to complement the wide array of skin tone and hair color combinations out there, including yours.

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And to help you find the right shade for you, our product development team created this handy Brow Color Chart. Just find the row that best represents your skin tone, and cross-reference it with the row that best describes your hair color. Then, consider whether your undertones are cool, warm, or neutral. (Not sure? We’ve got a few tips for how to figure it out here.) BOOM—there’s your ideal arch shade.

BrowChart

A few things to know about this handy little chart:

1. Both shades in the square should work for you. The color suggestions in each square aren’t rules, they’re options. Either shade should work for you—it just depends on the look you’re going for. In most cases, the lighter shade in the box will give you a more natural brow, while the darker shade in the box will give you a more dramatic brow.

2. Factor in your undertones. For example, I am blonde with fair skin, so my suggested shades are Taupe and Warm Brown. My skin has cool undertones (I’m pink, pale, and burn easily), which tips the scales toward Taupe (the lightest shade).

3. Factor in the natural shade of your brows. In general, a lighter brow color will look more natural because it recedes, filling in the gaps between (but not overshadowing) your actual brow hairs. My eyebrows are naturally very light, which seals the deal for me + Taupe. But someone with fair skin, blonde hair, and naturally dark brows may be more suited for the Warm Brown shade. And if I wanted to rock a POWER BROW, I’d totally reach for Warm Brown. (Which is why, full disclosure, I’m ordering both.) Again, it all depends on YOU. (See #1.)

Want a few real-life examples? We gotchu. We asked five Julep staffers across the spectrum to try out the two brow shades recommended for them, to get a real side-by-side (or more like brow-by-brow) comparison. If you’re still not sure which Don’t Leave Your Brows At Home shade is for you, we hope these examples will help!

Cara

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Meet Cara. She has blonde hair and a fair complexion with neutral-warm undertones. She tried out Taupe and Warm Brown to see which shade suits her best. (She’s also wearing Shelly (It Girl) on her nails, if you’re curious.)

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Right brow (our left): Warm Brown. Left brow (our right): Taupe.

Though she appreciated the more dramatic definition of the Warm Brown brow, Cara decided to go with Taupe for everyday, because it gives her brows a slightly more natural look.

Kat

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Say hello to the lovely Kat! She tried out Cool Brown and Rich Brown to see which shade best complemented her dark brown hair and cocoa complexion.

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Right brow (our left): Rich Brown. Left brow (our right): Cool Brown.

Though the difference was actually quite subtle, Kat decided that she liked the look of the Cool Brown slightly more than the Rich Brown. “But if my hair was lighter,” she noted, “I think I would actually choose the Rich Brown to create more of a contrast.” Great tip!

Aileen

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This is Aileen! She has dark brown hair and medium skin with warm-leaning undertones, so she tested out Cool Brown versus Warm Brown to see which she liked best.

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Right brow (our left): Cool Brown. Left brow (our right): Warm Brown.

Again, it was almost a toss-up. Cool Brown created a slightly more dramatic look, which Aileen liked, but she ended up opting for Warm Brown as her everyday shade.

Ashley

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Ashley has beautiful auburn hair and a fair, freckled complexion, which made her the perfect candidate to test out which shade—Cool Brown or Warm Brown—might suit her fellow redheads best. (And she is wearing Danica (Boho Glam) on her nails, available now as part of the new Paradise Collection.)

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Right brow (our left): Cool Brown. Left brow (our right): Warm Brown.

Again, both shades worked. Ashley slightly preferred the Cool Brown, because she’s a fan of a darker, more defined brow, but she noted that the Warm Brown shade still worked, especially if you are looking for a subtler fill-in. I was impressed at the way both shades blended seamlessly and even seemed to bring out the red tones in her brows—so lovely!

Kate

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This is Kate! She has dark brown, almost black hair with a fair complexion, so she tested out Cool Brown and Rich Brown to see which would flatter her bold brows best.

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Right brow (our left): Cool Brown. Left brow (our right): Rich Brown.

Kate immediately opted for the Cool Brown shade, because her brows are already so defined, and she liked how that shade provided a more natural fill. But it should be noted that she got so many compliments on her left brow that she ended up filling in both eyebrows in Rich Brown. It took a little getting used to, but she eventually admitted a “power brow” totally suits her… at least for the occasional fun night out.

So there you have it! With eyebrows, as with life, it’s all about finding what makes you feel happy, confident, and beautiful, whether that means a natural brow, a power brow, or a brow that exists somewhere in between. No go forth and show off your best brows ever—whatever you do, just don’t leave ’em at home!

  • Tiffin Filion

    Thanks so much for the redhead representation!

  • Debbie

    THIS IS GREAT. I would much rather see real photos like this than photoshopped images any day. SO much more helpful for my decision! 🙂

    • Leisha11

      You are so right, Debbie! Now if only we could get real-life pics of the different polishes….

  • Susan Forest-Rode

    Awesome. I was hoping to see them compared. Great job Julep. One other tip: Slightly darker brows make one look younger (or so I’ve read). That’s why, even though my brows are super light and almost non-existent in some places I will choose either warm or cool brown instead of taupe. Thanks for the pics. Really helps.

  • taylorberman

    I currently use Urban Decay’s “tease” eyeshadow for my brows. I can’t tell which one of these would be best for me! I have neutral undertones… I think it would be between cool brown and warm brown for me, so I’m not sure which one to get! Help!

    • Meghan at Julep

      Hi Taylor! One interesting thing we noticed during our testing (including several of us not shown in the blog post) is that many people preferred the cool tone choice on themselves, but then other people looking at them would prefer the warm tone. Based on the shade you’re currently wearing, I would suggest the Warm Brown if you’re looking for a more natural fill-in color. Cool Brown would give you a slightly darker, more defined brow. Hope that helps!

  • Ttoria

    I’m stuck on which one to get. I have neutral undertones and I currently use Anastasia Beverley Hills products in the Brunette/Dark brown shade. My eyebrows are pretty dark, and I like a defined, bold “power” brow. Please help ;~;

    • Wendy Wilfong

      Rich Brown

  • Nicole Loomis

    I’m super excited to try this product out in April — I have green eyes and I like to use anything I can get my hands on to really make them pop! So my question is — do you think the warm brown or cool brown would help bring out the green better?

    • Meghan at Julep

      Hi Nicole! Do you have any more info about your skin tone/undertones/natural brow color that might sway your decision? The Warm Brown and Cool Brown can actually look quite similar on some people, but the Cool is slightly darker in the pot, and the Warm seems to bring out redder tones. I don’t want to lead you in the wrong direction, but to bring out green eyes, I would suggest the Warm Brown since the redder tones will provide the most contrast to green. Hope that helps!

  • Melinda Smith

    I have blue and black hair with fair cool skin. I tend to gravitate to taupe and grey undertones for brows Iike Benefit’s deep brown. I selected cool brown for this month’s Maven box. I’m also looking forward to trying the gel.

  • Tasha

    K… sooo I have blue/grey eyes, a warm light to medium complexion… But my hair is light ash blonde on the top half, and dark ash brown (which is my natural colour) on the bottom half. I’m so confused as to what colour to get?

    • Meghan at Julep

      Hi Tasha, that does sound a little tricky but it all depends on the look you want! From your description of your complexion, I would think the Warm Brown might be your best bet, but remember to also factor in the natural shade of your brows because that will strongly affect the end result. If you are looking for a darker brow that would complement the ash tones in your hair, Cool Brown might work better. Hope that helps!

  • april

    So it kind of looks like the colors are labelled wrong for aileen and ashley. Because the side that is labelled cool brown (right, her left) looks way more reddish than the warm brown side (left, her right). Please help! Im trying to figure out what color i would be and these photos are confusing

    • Tiffin Filion

      They do direct which one is which and explain why it looks more reddish.

      • april

        And why the cool brown looks more reddish than the warm brown? It doesn’t really make sense

  • Danee Kaplan

    I too agree that this is a terrific marketing tool for a product that we cannot see and touch in person and must mail-order. I love seeing the natural aka not Photoshopped faces and the product as applied by themselves vs. a MUA. This entire thread really did get me go from “No idea what color so NOPE” to “Yep”. I am planning on buying it with my next shipment.

  • Wow this helped me out so much! Sometimes I am right on when doing my brows and the BAG! for the longest I would just keep messing them up. Mostly I would make them too dark. Thanks for the help and my next buy will be the “Don’t Leave Your Brows At Home” Cool Brown. Love It! <3

  • Kaitlinroserobin

    What about for grey hair? you 4got that one?

  • tayriley

    kat should get someone to shape her brows or get a brow stencil…the way her brow is drawn now does not suit her face at all.

  • angie

    god..someone please rescue Kat’s brows lol like wwoooow..whyyyy?? !! lol

    • Shiru

      right?? They’re awful, you’d think they would have given her some tips on how to do them properly

  • Lindsay

    Why isn’t this on the product page anymore? My mom saw mine and wants her own, but didn’t know how to figure out which color to get!

  • Melissa

    The colour chart is a travesty and fails to take cool-toned brows into account. Apparently, if you have light skin and medium-dark ash brown eyebrows, your only choice is a warm-neutral taupe or a warm brown. Seriously?

  • Ygritte Snow

    what about for dyed jet black hair?