Monochrome Brown


As much as I’m craving a bit more color for springtime, I still love the sophistication of a muted nude/monochrome makeup look. I think it gives off a vibe of confidence, like you aren’t trying too hard but you definitely wanted to wear some makeup.

I’m walking you through the steps I took to create this look today using all products that can be found at Nordstrom. I mix between shopping in store and ordering online, and I’m always pleased with my experience. Their return policy is amazing, and the selection of beauty products is pretty much endless!

To begin, I applied MAC paint pot in Soft Ochre all over my lids with my finger. This is eyeshadow primer and creates the perfect canvas.

Next I applied NARS Ashes to Ashes all over the lid, and used a deeper brown shade from a Charlotte Tilbury palette I have to create some depth in the outer corner. I wanted this look to be really soft, so I didn’t go too strong on the crease.

From there, I used a small angled brush (similar to this) and applied a bit of Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eyeshadow Stick as eyeliner in Rich Caviar along the lashes, and applied mascara.

Then I picked up the Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick and applied it all over my face. It comes with a cushion applicator, which made it really easy to use, and this is a true radiant finish. In other words, this will not wear matte or flat, this most definitely looks like real skin so if you love that look, you’d love this foundation!

I applied NARS Soft Matte concealer to my under eye area using my finger. I love that the warmth of my hand softens the product enough!

Then using a small smudge brush, like this, I applied NARS Ashes to Ashes along my lower lash line. I followed that with mascara for definition.

For my brows, I’ve been using Anastasia Brow Wiz in Blonde a bit more than my usual Hourglass Arch Eyebrow Pencil. I still love the latter, but the former has been a fun change up from the usual. It’s a much tighter and more precise size, and I like how clean it is to use.

I applied a contour shade from the Anastasia Contour Palette in light along my jawline, under my cheek bones, and along the edge of my temples.

And then mixed two light pink shades from the NARS Unfiltered 2 palette for a pop of pink on my cheeks.

I finished with Hourglass lip stylo in Influencer. This is as brown as I’ll get when it comes to lip colors!

Another reason why I love a monochrome look is that it can go with anything! It won’t compete with a bright color and it’s a natural way to kick up your features.

This post was created in partnership with Nordstrom. 

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Comments (24)

  1. Posted March 10, 2017

    I really like the finished look, it’s really subtle but there’s definitely a big change.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Beckie says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    This look looks so stunning on you! I love how it doesn’t look too much.

    Beckie xo // The Pale Tails

  3. Claire says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    This look is so pretty and classy. I really like it. Sometimes if i am in a rush, i just take an eyeshadow like the nars one and i draw a messy line along the upper lasline then i smudge it. It gives a nice smokey effect and some definition to the lashes.

  4. Amanda says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS LOOK!!!!! It seems so classic to me – and perfect for work!!!!!!!! Gorgeous as always 🙂

  5. Lo says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    those brown shades make your blue eyes really pop! it is so different than your normal everyday look but I love it on you!
    an another note, major *eye roll* to those mad about sponsored posts. in case y’all forgot this is her JOB.

    XO Lo

    • Kate says
      Posted March 10, 2017

      Thanks!! And right? I’ll never understand the angst about it. Never. Thanks for your support!

  6. Donna says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    I see such a resemblance to your sister in the last photo. This is a beautiful look. Thank you for sharing

    • Kate says
      Posted March 10, 2017

      what a compliment!

  7. Posted March 10, 2017

    I love how simple and beautiful your makeup always looks. I’ll have to check out these products especially the Nars palette.

  8. Jessica says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    Kate- I love your blog and have been reading it for awhile now. My BIG question is… why do you never fill in your upper waterline when doing eyeliner??? Just curious as your such a pro.

    • Jessica says
      Posted March 10, 2017

      *you’re (I can spell I swear)

    • Kate says
      Posted March 10, 2017

      I avoid putting eyeliner on my upper waterline as much as possible because it irritates my eyes. Also my lashes are thin so it’s easy to see through them.

  9. Posted March 10, 2017

    I love a monochrome makeup look, especially if it is a brown one! As you said, it just shows that you made an effort, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that you really thought about it! It also works really well at defining the face! Really love the skin like finish of the Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick. The Hourglass Lip Stylo in Influencer is really pretty as well, as you said, I love how subtle the brown tones are!

  10. Tammi says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    Love it!
    What mascara do you use?

  11. Holly says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    That lipstick is so beautiful on you! Your make-up looks stunning too, amazing job

    – Holly

  12. Samantha says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    If you love the Brow wiz you’ll love the angled brow liner from the same company its seriously a time saver! two swipes per brow and i’m done! which is seriously helpful at 430 am when i’m doing my makeup for the hospital.

  13. Posted March 10, 2017

    Whoa, whoa, whoa.
    All that brown makes your blue eyes POP! I guess that proves what people always tell me – that blue pops brown and brown pops blue. I’m often told to wear blue eye liner to enhance my dark brown eyes.
    But for real, I love the browns on you! I may need to get that lip color…

  14. Angela Jane Lomax says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    Gorgeous, love your hair colour too. Goes perfectly x

  15. Tammie Lovingood says
    Posted March 10, 2017

    I ordered the eyeshadow primer!

  16. Posted March 11, 2017

    The finished look is gorgeous, I love brown tones! xx

    Gemma Louise

  17. Roksana says
    Posted March 11, 2017

    I’m really in love with all-brown look as well. You have such beautiful eyes, the brown really makes them pop. Gorgeous! 🙂

  18. Sofia says
    Posted March 11, 2017

    A simple and beautiful everyday eye look! Love it!

    xo, Sofia

  19. Stephanie Morris says
    Posted March 16, 2017

    Hi Kate- Question for you. Why do you do your eyes before everything else? I do this the other way around. Wondering your thoughts? Thank you!!