Hilary Duff, I’m not going to read your book—but I WILL listen to your advice about how to wear brown eyeshadow

Hilary Duff book tour Elixir

It’s a big week in the literary world, peoples! Both Hilary Duff AND Lauren Conrad are touring to promote their new books… and please note that I use the word “their” very loosely here. (Let’s just say that I hope the ghostwriters got paid handsomely. I wonder what the going rate will be for Snooki’s forthcoming tome. Yowza!)

But nevermind. Even though I write for a living and have yet to publish any books of my own, I’m not jealous of THAT, obviously. Just the fact that Hilary Duff has the raddest brown eyeshadow I’ve ever seen.

And for that reason—and also because I’ve tired of the winged-out eyeliner that LC ALWAYS does—I dedicate this post to you, Hilary. Because we have much to learn from your beauty wizardry.

Here’s a closer look at Hil (at Regis & Kelly yesterday):

Hilary Duff RegisKelly Hilary Duff, Im not going to read your book—but I WILL listen to your advice about how to wear brown eyeshadow

I think I stared at this photo for a good five minutes, just taking it all in. Her makeup—isn’t it absolutely masterful?

Obviously the focus is on the eyes, and as you can see, Hilary didn’t listen to that line about having to wear shades that compliment your eye colour. If you watched my video interview with Giorgio Armani’s Reza Zaimeche the other day, you will know that there are no rules anymore regarding colour. So basically, we can wear whatever we want! And what *I* want now are these shimmering browns. Don’t you?

The smoky brown eye is like the nude heel in your wardrobe. Goes with everything, instantly flattering and as sexy as black but without the harshness.

How it was done: After prepping with an eyeshadow primer and concealer at the inner and outer corners of the eyes (Pandora’s Makeup Box does both jobs with one product), you want to sweep a soft, sheer taupe (medium-to-light brown with a bit of pink in it) from the lash line right up to the crease. If you love browns, then you simply cannot live without a Bobbi Brown palette:

bobbi brown nude palette Hilary Duff, Im not going to read your book—but I WILL listen to your advice about how to wear brown eyeshadow

To get that soft, diffused effect that extends up above the crease, take your eyeshadow brush and rock it back and forth along the bone there. (A good-quality eyeshadow is also important, because the colours are usually more sheer and blendable than cheapie drugstore stuff. Sorry.)

Then, you’ll want to use a darker colour—either a dark brown shadow or eyeliner, or both, to line the upper and lower lashlines. Hilary kept it soft, soft, soft and didn’t do the waterline thing here. (When you use light browns, tightlining isn’t as necessary as when you use black liner, since there isn’t as much of a contrast between the liner and your inner eyelid colour.)

The finishing touch to the eye makeup—besides groomed brows and lots of black (not brown) mascara—is the highlighter. Some makeup artists say that adding highlighter to the brow bones is sort of dated, but when I see how it looks on our Hil, I don’t care. It’s pretty! Hers is QUITE shimmery, and the reason it works is because of the expert blending; it looks like a gradual, natural extension of the eye makeup. I always mention my fave Dior shimmery nude, waterproof shadow, so I’ll mention it here again, because it will definitely allow you to get this look:

Dior Ultra Shimmering Eyeshadow in Undressed Beige Hilary Duff, Im not going to read your book—but I WILL listen to your advice about how to wear brown eyeshadow

Other things to notice about Hil’s glorious makeup: The SKIN! It’s perfectly even, and more on the matte side (a good call when you have shimmer going on—a dewy look would be overkill). For this you will need a primer fo’ sho’… and consider trying Giorgio Armani’s matte foundation.

Also: the BLUSH! It’s not pink but peach—almost a flat bronzer-type colour, and it is applied high on the cheekbones sweeping up to the temples. Very pretty when your hair is up and off your face. And the LIPS! They are nude and glossy, which is smart because it balances the shimmer going on around the eyes. (But shimmery blush would’ve been wrong. Do you see?)

NOW. Obviously this is Hilary’s go-to book tour look because she rocked the very same thing at another book signing event the day before:

Hilary Duff book tour Hilary Duff, Im not going to read your book—but I WILL listen to your advice about how to wear brown eyeshadow

What she did differently here (besides the hair, which is an excellent example of the highly wearable Ombré 2.0):

She darkened her eyebrows. She defined her eyes some more by swapping the medium taupe shade with a darker brown one, which was applied with more emphasis on the outer corners. She skipped the shimmery highlighter and instead went for a tightlining effect all the way around the upper and lower lashlines. (If you need product recos for tightlining, this is the post for you.) And the lips are a nude lipstick, not gloss.

Little changes, yes, but see how they switched up the look so it’s more dramatic and edgy?

We can all do this. YES WE CAN!


Which book tour look do you prefer on Hilary?
Do you agree that her use of the brown colour family is simply masterful?
Will you be reading Elixir? Tee hee.


Renee | Beauty Fool
Wednesday, October 13/2010 at 12:24 pm

She has a book? About what?! Oh these celebrities are funny. The first pic of her makeup is a masterpiece though, WOW. I love how the highlighter looks on her, it really makes the whole look ‘pop’. Her brows are also stunning…!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 15/2010 at 5:16 pm

I know, right? Honestly one of my favourite photos lately – she is just glowing. And I agree – great brows too. :-)


Wednesday, October 13/2010 at 1:13 pm

love! i rarely wear brown, but perhaps should try it…and i needs me some highlighter!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 15/2010 at 5:17 pm

Me neither, but this totally inspired me to wear brown the other day, and I really liked it! I think the key (if you’re not into the brown colour family) is wearing a pinky-brown and also using a bit of shimmer. It softens the look.


Wednesday, October 13/2010 at 10:54 pm

It’s a really good way of making your eyes look bigger naturally, too! I’ve had people try to do my makeup who just don’t know how to do Asian eyes…I also don’t like it when people try to draw things on my face that just aren’t there!

She has really beautiful eyes, but the brown shadows enhance her eyes in a classy way. I like the first one (second picture is a close second), it’s a nice natural look despite the shimmery-ness. I think I like her brows better in the second photo, though!

I got the Nars Orgasm glow illuminator this summer, and even though it doesn’t show up that well on my face, I like to use it under my brows for a subtle highlighter.

I haven’t been using eyeshadow recently…but this wants me to start again!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 15/2010 at 5:20 pm

Oh I TOTALLY know what you’re talking about re: Asian eyes. I really hate when makeup artists go crazy on the shading…why can’t they just accept that eye shape for what it is instead of making people look like drag queens? :-)

Now you’ve inspired me to pull out my NARS illuminator – I haven’t used it in a while. But I want skin like Hilary’s dammit!

And her brows… I would kill for those brows.


Thursday, October 14/2010 at 12:48 am

I prefer the first look, but only because I’ve been on a more soft neutral kick lately. Both looks are done very well, and highlight the versatility of brown eye shadow.

As for the book, I doubt it will make my reading list. :


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 15/2010 at 5:21 pm

Glad you agree! This made me reconsider brown eyeshadow too! I’m usually drawn to purples or charcoals… but you’re exactly right, brown is very versatile.


Thursday, October 14/2010 at 5:16 pm

Hey, I read somewhere a long time ago that she actually does her own makeup…in fact she said if she weren’t an actress she’s be a makeup artist. Quite obviously she’s very talented and knows her face very well.

Cheers, Lisa


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 15/2010 at 5:22 pm

OMG are you serious? Now THAT would be a book I would read. If she did this makeup here, she is super talented. Wow!


Sunday, October 17/2010 at 2:24 am

Yeah I read she did it herself too but it makes sense who else knows your face like you? she looks gorgeous @ Regis wow..
I like both girls but LC could change up her look. Ditto on tiring.
On the books, I don’t think all celebs have ghost writers. Why stereotype or paint with a wide brush when you don’t know they even have books out? I think both said they had help. but doubt they would take credit if they didn’t write it. Ghost writing means completely different. Now, Snooki I’m not going to say anything she has no ounce of creativity but maybe it will be a book on drinking.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, October 19/2010 at 4:15 pm

Glad you agree!

Ghostwriting is actually really common and the contract both parties sign gives the party whose name is on the book the right to take all the credit for it. The ghostwriter can be sued if he/she breaks that contract and reveals the truth…that’s why you don’t hear about this.

Who knows for sure if all celebs use them but I would definitely say that NOT using a ghostwriter is the exception not the rule. I mean, writing a book can take months—even for an established full-time writer who is working on it full-time—so I just do not buy that most celebs (who have other commitments and let’s face it, talents) are able to do this.

Here’s an interesting fact: it’s estimated that more than 80% of ALL published books are actually ghostwritten. http://daybydaywriter.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/answers-to-your-questions-about-ghostwriting/


jessica ireland
Monday, November 1/2010 at 1:24 pm

amazing! she always looks so put together. definitely inspired to try out this look (thanks for the great instructions!) because i’ve always loved brown shadow with my blue eyes.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 2:58 pm

You’re welcome! And yes, brown is a great colour to make blue eyes stand out!


Friday, November 12/2010 at 12:26 am

I love her makepu in both pictures, and I defineteley believe she wrote the book and I´ll be reading it myself.


Saturday, December 4/2010 at 2:01 pm

i like lc books im not a hilary fan but i guess i’ll read the book i wounder if its any good


Wednesday, January 5/2011 at 10:52 pm

Hi – so what is the name of the Dior waterproof highlighter that you recommend??? Thx


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, January 6/2011 at 11:53 am

It’s a cream eyeshadow called Eye Show – here’s a link: http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P177722&categoryId=B70
I wear the beige colour.


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