Reese Witherspoon’s Golden Globes Eye Makeup Proves Brown Is The New Black

For many years, we beauty editors have been trying to debunk the myths surrounding smoky eyes. Plenty of people believe that not everyone can pull off a smoky eye, they’re hard to DIY, they’re only for nights out, and that they must be created using black shadow. These are all patently untrue — and at the 2020 Golden Globes®, Reese Witherspoon proved the power of a smudgy bronze eye.

Celebrity makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan shared that Witherspoon and her glam team took inspiration from the star’s gown. “Reese was wearing a gorgeous, white custom Roland Mouret, so we wanted the look to be the same: sleek and powerful,” Deenihan shared in an email. “The makeup is a classic smoky eye with a hint of bronze to complement her eye color.” 


Warm brown shades famously complement blue eyes, and that’s because of color theory. A quick explanation: think back to your childhood art class, and the color wheel that likely hung on the wall. Shades across from each other — like red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple — are known as “complementary colors.” These hues pop when they’re next to each other. That’s why so many sports teams choose them for their uniforms — and why makeup artists select them for dramatic eye looks. 

If you look closely, you can see that Deenihan applied multiple shades of warm brown (the same color family as orange!), ranging from soft champagne and caramel to bronze and shimmering chestnut to enhance the hue of Witherspoon’s gorgeous blue eyes. If you want to tweak this look to most flatter your eye color, consider plummy, coppery shades for brown and hazel eyes, and peach and purple hues for green peepers — but trust us when we say that this particular bronze smoky eye would flatter nearly every eye color.

Deenihan made the star’s baby blues look even bigger by adding playful yet dramatic Lashify® Gossamer Lashes, the luxury lash extension system. She applied multiple different lengths, including  Amplify® Gossamer® Lashes in A8 ($20) on the inner corners, Fluffy® Gossamer Lashes in F10 ($25) on the outer two-thirds of the lash line for fullness, and then Fluffy Gossamer Lashes in F12 ($25) on the very outer corners to lift and open up the eyes. Deenihan finished her makeup masterpiece with a soft “your lips, but better” pink pout.


Just as important as Witherspoon’s gorgeous smoky eye was her deeply side-parted lob. Celebrity stylist Lona Vigi prepped the star’s strands with the new Virtue® Healing Oil ($42) to protect from heat damage, tame frizz, and add shine. She then blew out her hair using the Dyson Supersonic® Professional ($449), then flat-ironed for a super sleek, polished finish. The result was a look that was as sultry as it was sophisticated — and one we plan on recreating multiple times this year for everything from important meetings to date night.