Eyebrows are an element of beauty that are so darn difficult to master. They’re wonky, sparse, crooked, fluffy, and everything in between – oh and never predictable. I took a poll on Instagram recently and nearly every woman agreed that she had no idea how to handle her own brows. And in my recent reader survey, someone asked me to do an easy eyebrow tutorial, so I get the feeling we could all benefit from today’s lesson on brows.
Just like with my recent Dark Lipstick Tutorial, I’d luckily already done one years back before I had my big, beautiful following (love you, ladies!). A lot of the tips and tricks I learned in beauty school and wrote about back then still apply and could be really helpful to you all. The post simply needed some updating with new photos and…a video! Yes, a new video! So here you go…these are my tried and true tricks to keep your brows looking good with your makeup and in between your waxing/threading appointments.
My own journey with eyebrows hasn’t been easy. In the past, I’d get them waxed and would endlessly pluck them because that was what you did. But I’d never really paid attention to the most important parts of how to groom your eyebrows – the right placement of arches, where the brows should start and stop, and the proper fullness to best complement my face. Instead, I had a pair of uneven, incredibly thin brows that did nothing good for my features. They were an afterthought, rather than the visual guide you should look for to frame your facial features. Unacceptable!
On my journey to conquer these bad boys over the last couple years, I’ve learned a few things. The first is that you should definitely see a professional to shape your brows a few times a year. Then it’s your job to maintain in between those times. To do that, you’ve got to learn where to tweeze (and where not to tweeze) and how to use all the amazing brow enhancers (gels, powders, pencils, etc) out there to fill them in and make them pop. So let’s go!! Here’s the video if you don’t have time to read!
TOOLS YOU NEED
You will need a white/cream eye pencil(I’m using the same one from my Dark Lipstick Tutorial here!) to make your initial shaping guide, as well as to add some finishing highlights. Scissors and tweezers for minor trimming and plucking are a must, as is a small brow brush (usually on the end of brow pencils) and maybe a small face razor. And finally, some sort of brow pencil, pen, gel or powder in a matching hair color to your own. I prefer to use a pencil AND a gel.
DRAW A GUIDE & TWEEZE
Use your white pencil to mark where your brows should begin – aligned to the edge of your nostril. Then mark where it should end by turning the pencil on the diagonal from the nostril edge. Your arch should then fall on the outer edge of your skull bones.
Tweeze anything outside of these lines, as well as anything below above and in between the brows. For the softer hairs, I use one of those little Tinkle razors for peach fuzz that you find on Amazon for a few bucks to shave the extra fuzzies in between. Tweezing is also how we can really go in and define that arch, so I pay extra attention to any stragglers below that arch-point.
To get rid of the white pencil, just rub it in or remove with makeup remover!
BRUSH BROWS UP & TRIM
Use the brush on the end of your pencil to push the hairs upward. Trim any strays that sit above the main brow line, cutting from where your arch begins downward. Snip any hairs that grow beyond the outer line you’ve drawn, as well, if you didn’t feel comfortable tweezing them.
FILL IN AGAINST THE GRAIN
Filling in brows with a pencil helps to define the shape and fill in blank patches. A lot of people don’t do this step, but I’m really finding it makes my face pop – especially when I’m wearing full makeup. It guides the viewers eyes to your own eyes – which is a pretty cool effect!
The key to applying the brow pencil color is to draw it against the grain of the hair – in the opposite direction that it grows. This ensures you aren’t just drawing it on top of the hairs (which looks unnatural in the light) but instead are depositing the color on the skin so that the brows look fuller and blank patches are colored in. This will dishevel the hair, so make sure to brush them back into place. I love Anastasia brow pencils for high end and am currently testing out one by elf for a cheaper, drugstore version (stay tuned).
Some people don’t like drawing on the skin but I do think it looks most natural and really punches through the brow hairs. It’s also best for defining the arch point!
USE GEL TO SET
I also use a gel (this one is Lancome Sourcils Styler that I was gifted – I like it but think there are cheaper options that do the same thing) on top of my pencil to set the brows and hold them all together. When I apply the gel, I’ll do it with the grain but I always make sure to brush them a few times to disburse the gooey-ness. Otherwise, it can clump and look chunky – no thanks!
DEFINE ARCH WITH HIGHLIGHTER
The final step it to go back in with your highlighter pencil (the white one or I also have a light nude one by elf that I’m testing out) and draw lines under and above the arch. They’ll look like parallel upside-down Vs. Then blend it in with a sponge. This will really make the shape pop in the light and is a key step!
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Oh, and just for shits and giggles, here are the original pics from this post..TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO! Boy I knew nothing about photography or photo-editing then!
Editor’s note: This easy eyebrow tutorial post was originally published in June of 2015. It has been edited, updated and published anew to include new photos and video but the tips, tricks and tools are still the same!
And by the way, did you catch my recent post about Three Ways to Wear a Graphic Tee? It’s one of my best posts yet and people loved it!