Why Dark Brown Eyes Probably Won’t “POP” With The Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner Chocolate Shimmer Ink


The Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink is one of my greatest guilt and regret purchases. From the day I bought it, I’ve never liked it.

There, I just said it.

I just said something that very few people would say about Chocolate Shimmer Ink, or for that matter, the whole dynasty of Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliners.

I am always interested to know what other people think about products, especially those I don’t fancy. Imagine my initial confusion and gradual forced acceptance with the fact that almost every beauty blog I visited RAVED about Chocolate Shimmer Ink.


“The chocolate shimmer is perfect!”

“So impressed with this product.”

“Would definitely rebuy this when it is finished”

“I much prefer Bobbi’s shimmer inks to the normal inks, which can look a bit flat.”

“Lovely shimmer effect and really rich, gorgeous effect for winter”

“Choc Shimmer Ink goes great with just about every eyeshadow color.”


On my eyes, it is just a flat and boring brown with shimmers so subtle I can hardly see. I have tried to look from all angles to pick out some dimension-giving, but found nothing but a straight brown that does nothing to brighten or define my eyes.

Chocolate Color Does Not Work On Chocolate Eyes

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink has been described as a shimmery dark chocolate color.

People who have green or blue eyes absolutely adore Chocolate Shimmer Ink. Brown brings out the best in green or blue shades because they’re complementary colors.

With my brown-almost-black eyes however, the warm brownish color fades into an ashy brown-grey that makes me look sad! And tired! And boring! This color that everyone loves is a total fail on me.

I always read about people saying that whenever they want a natural makeup look, they reach out for brown eyeliners. Well if natural means brown, and brown means tired and sullen-looking, then BROWN = ME NO LIKEY!

Such a sexy-looking brown with understated bronze shimmer in the pot, so flattering a shade on many people, yet performs nothing on me. What a pity!

Chalky Texture

No, I’m not done with my dislike rant of the Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer Ink yet. I’m not sure if it’s just mine, like I got a bad batch, but mine was chalky from the very first day I got my hands on it.

Somebody said “The product goes on smoothly and slightly more wet than Mac gel liners.”


Are you kidding me?!

I got it just a few weeks after I got MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack and compared to the creamy Blacktrack, BB Chocolate Shimmer Ink looked like a frozen chocolate brick and applied almost like so.

At least MAC Fluidline dried out to where it is now after 6 months of use. Chocolate Shimmer Ink really had no reason to be that dry!

Even with my Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner Brush, I have a hard time getting product on the brush every time. It’s like trying to scrape wax off a very old candle.


Granted, like most gel eyeliners, this Bobbi Brown Gel Liner has far superior staying power than pencil or liquid eyeliners. It is not hard to remove though, just make sure to use a good oil-based makeup remover.

Eye Makeup Tips For Brown Eyes

Does Brown Eyeliner Work For Dark Brown (Almost Black) Eyes?

Given that most Asians have dark brown eyes, I find it important to share what I know and have experienced with brown eyeliners. I might as well touch a bit on color theory too.

It dawned on me after a long while that it wasn’t the color of Chocolate Shimmer that was ugly – it most certainly wasn’t – but that this particular shade of brown simply doesn’t work with my dark shade of brown eyes. I’ve used other shades of brown eyeliners – I don’t use brown much though – and they didn’t seem half as bad as Chocolate Shimmer on me.

Chocolate Shimmer Ink is truly a lovely change from the regular monotone dark brown, light brown liners. However, this particular dark brown is quite a disappointment on dark brown eyes.

This brown sort of blends in with the eyes. Outlining the eyes with the same eyeliner color hides away the eyes instead of making them stand out. Chocolate Shimmer Ink also makes my eyes look dull because it is just not dark enough for my very dark brown eyes.

As mentioned, blue and green eyes look best with brown because they complement one another. Just imagine a person with blue eyes wearing blue eyeshadow and blue eyeliner. Everything blue will make a blue-eyed person look dull (besides looking really funny!).

For blue eyes, a bright orange or rich brown with bronzey highlights (Ah, I’m talking about Chocolate Shimmer Ink, aren’t I?) will make the eyes pop like popcorn. There are no hard and fast rules  though – blue eyes can also look awesome in shades of blue like turqoise, violet or dark blue. Just not the exact blue hue as the eyes.

What Eyeliner Color Works For Dark Brown Eyes?

I am a big fan of deep, dark, black eyeliner.

Black dramatizes the eyes, makes my dark brown eyes pop, and takes me from looking sleepy to awake with a simple black line. I like that it is intense, and black truly makes brown eyes shine. That’s why a huge majority of Asian girls love sporting black eyeliner, and they look good in it.

If black seems too harsh for a natural day look, you can always apply a soft line and smudge it out. This will make the line appear more smokey charcoal-grey than harsh black.

From my research and personal experience, the darker your eyes, the darker your eyeliner should be to make them really stand out. Navy blue makes dark brown eyes pop – forest green, plum, eggplant, charcoal and purple too!

If you want bold eyeliner colors, keep it to the lower lashline, or apply black eyeliner on the upper lashline first and then apply a thin layer of bold eyeliner color over it. Brown under the eyes works amazing on dark brown eyes.

There is more to matching the color of an eyeliner with just the color of the eye – skin tone, hair color, color of your clothes matter too. Black and navy blue pop in comparison to dark brown eyes, but these wash out light brown eyes. But let’s leave color theory to another post some other time, shall we?

So… yup, it’s not that Chocolate Shimmer Ink is a bad product, this brown just doesn’t work on my dark brown eyes.


 Get Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner Chocolate Shimmer Ink

What Bun Bun thinks of Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner Chocolate Shimmer Ink for her dark brown eyes:

What color are your eyes?

What eyeliner colors make your eyes really stand out?


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  • a!kO

    Love this post!! I will have to agree I do not like dark brown liners or mascara. I have one of each and it doesn’t do anything to my eyes. I love colored liners and mascara tho, and black :D I guess brown is just not flattering with dark brown eyes. At least we get to choose between black, navy, dark green, plum, charcoal and other colorful choices :D Hehehe ^^,

    • Bun Bun

      Yay! Glad to have you onboard with me! It’s like the eyes suddenly disappear, yea? Colored liners are awesome. Which brands of colored liners have you tried before?

      • a!k0

        Hehe yeah I don’t find it very flattering. I’d rather pick
        black over brown. I only have one brown liner and I’ve used it only once. I guess my dark skin does not show the color of the liner. My fave color liner is green and plum. I think it looks the best :D I have been using mostly drugstore liners. Maybelline, Avon, E.L.F, NYX, Elianto – my cousin loves the black one I think it’s the only color they have. Some other brands – I love to buy liner and I think I have too much :P but I can’t stop buying them! I think I will continue buying all the different liner brands out there in the world till I am satisfied with my liner collection :P I am
        looking for a red one but haven’t found one yet. But isn’t there one from Makeup forever tho? And I want an Inglot liner!!!

        • Bun Bun

          Oooooohh green! I really wanna try green one day! Not this month though, OVER-BUDGET already. LOL! I have a friend who loves buying eyeliner too. It’s the only type of cosmetics she buys when we go shopping. Like she can buy 5 at one time. Let me tell you a little secret – you can never have too much makeup. HAHA! XD
          OMG. Inglot. I hope they quickly come to Singapore. Ugh!

          • a!k0

            You should, I think it’s really nice on brown eyes :) at least IMO :D hehe yeah man this coming month surely spend a lot cause raya is coming… Hehe your friend can be my eyeliner buddy ^^ I think it’s one of the easiest and less fussy to put on… I am always looking for unique colors and try to buy brands I don’t have hehe :D yeah can’t never have too much make up!!! >:D

            Yeah I’m surprised it didn’t open a shop in Singapore first. I have to go and prob get a liner (must) and eyeshadow :D I want to get some matte ones ^^,

  • Grace

    I like the shade of brown and it suited well for me. But it has the tendency to flake off and irritate my eyes. Stopped using it after the 4th time >:

    • Bun Bun

      I know! It’s really dryyyyyyyy, isn’t it! I actually just got the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in the famous Black Ink, and it isn’t like Chocolate Shimmer at all! Black Ink is really smooth in consistency and doesn’t flake off. Chocolate Shimmer is such a fail.

  • Grace

    Agreed. I am now using Make Up Forever’s waterproof cream eye shadow in black. They call it shadow, but it can be used as an eyeliner too. Application is much smoother than Bobbi Brown’s imo, and it really lasts! Removal is easy as well.

  • Javiera

    My eyes are brown-brown, and I really like to use green eyeliner/shadow to make them pop and shine!
    Also the black eyelines is a classic, never go wrong with that.
    Nice review! Most sites only talk wondres about the products, you seem to talk really what you think and that’s a great guide to buy makeup, thanks! :)

    • Bun Bun

      Thank you Javiera! Oh how I adore green these days! I keep looking at green stuff – clothes, shoes, bags, makeup! I don’t know why.

      Now that you said it, I need to go get some green eyeliner too. Any good ones to recommend? =)