What Are the Best Colors for Brunettes?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Brunettes, whether natural or not, may want to play up the lovely shades and tones of their hair by accenting with appropriate colors. Since there are so many variations of color within the brunette range, picking the best colors for brunettes may depend on other factors, such as eye color and skin tone. Hair, makeup, and fashion decisions can all be enhanced by considering the best colors for brunettes.

A brunette woman applies lipstick.
A brunette woman applies lipstick.

One of the easiest ways to narrow the color range is to first determine whether a brunette tends toward warm or cool tones. Warm brunettes tend to have gold or copper highlights, and often feature yellow-toned skin as well. Cool brunettes may have ash-blond or black tones in their hair, and often have pink-tinged skin. As a general rule, warm brunettes tend to look best in colors that feature the same yellow or warm undertones as their hair, while cool brunettes may look better in cooler, more blue-hued tones.

A brunette woman with dramatic eye makeup.
A brunette woman with dramatic eye makeup.

Adding additional layers of color to already brunette hair can help it appear multi-toned and exotic, rather than mousey or dull. When choosing highlight or lowlight colors for brunettes, it is important to look for colors that will enhance natural skin tone and existing hair color. To warm up a natural brown, consider adding caramel, copper, or golden highlights. For those with pale, cool skin, natural facial features may be enhanced by adding cocoa, ash, or even maroon highlights.

Warm earth tones often go well with brunettes.
Warm earth tones often go well with brunettes.

Makeup colors for brunettes will also depend on skin tone and eye color. Warm brunettes with brown, green, or hazel eyes may look best with champagne, moss green, or bronze eyeshadows and liners. Cooler-toned brunettes with light eyes may look fantastic with slate, silver, lavender, or pale green eye shadows. Many brunettes look fantastic with clear-toned red lipstick or gloss, which can contrast nicely with dark brown hair.

Jewel tone colors such as amethyst and emerald are excellent color choices for brunettes.
Jewel tone colors such as amethyst and emerald are excellent color choices for brunettes.

Clothing colors for brunettes depend as much on personal taste as any specific formula. As a rule, brunettes may want to avoid black clothing, as the strong color can make hair look dull and washed out. Both cool and warm brunettes often look fantastic in jewel-toned clothing colors, such as amethyst, emerald, sapphire, and ruby. As with makeup and hair color choices, it can help to determine the color undertones of a piece of clothing to decide if it will enhance or detract from hair. Warm brunettes may want to choose clothing that has orange, yellow, or tan undertones, while cool brunettes may want to look for blue and grey shades.

Jewel-toned colors like sapphire are great choices for brunettes.
Jewel-toned colors like sapphire are great choices for brunettes.
Cool and jewel-toned clothing colors can look good on brunettes.
Cool and jewel-toned clothing colors can look good on brunettes.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

@simrin-- I think brunettes can rock most lip colors, but I personally prefer darker shades. If a brunette wears a very light lip shade, similar to or lighter than her skin color, I think it makes the lips disappear.

The lip color has to be slightly dark in order to become apparent, especially since brunettes grab attention with their hair, eyebrows and eyes.

The lightest lip color I go with is a rose-brown tone. I also like light orange tones but my favorite lip color is a dark, matte red.

When it comes to red lipstick, you also have to consider skin color and tone but I think a matte red will suit most brunettes.

SteamLouis

What are the best lip colors for brunettes?

How do I pick the right shade of red lipstick?

ZipLine

I take my skin undertone as a base when I'm picking a hair color. I'm a natural brunette and I have a cool skin undertone. When I want to make a change with my hair, I make sure to avoid warm colors.

I once made the mistake of coloring my hair a red tone and it looked terrible on me. My face looked flushed all the time, it just didn't suit me.

I have no problem with cool colors though. For example, I love a cool toned light brown as a base color and ash blonde as highlights in my hair. It looks great and suits my skin perfectly.

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