I am almost positive that every woman has had their share of traumatic eyebrow experiences that turned into eyebrow horror stories, that hopefully by now, have turned into something they just remember and laugh about. I know I most certainly do. I was made fun of most of my high school years because I totally went to town with my tweezers one night and ended up with "sperm cell" shaped eyebrows. And no, I didn't name them that, my guy friends did. I learned to laugh at myself in that moment. And I can still laugh at it now...to think that I actually thought that looked good! My goodness..I'm laughing at myself right now!
Eyebrows, in my opinion, are the most important feature of the face, particularly on the "dolled- up" face. Used right, they frame the face and make features stand out. Ignore them and the face looks washed out, like something is missing and...well, just sort of blah. But they're also (again, in my opinion) the hardest to get just right because there are a few things to consider, such as shape, color, fullness, and filling-in technique.
See for yourselves what a difference eyebrows can make. Here are some pictures of me with and without my eyebrows done so you can see what an amazing difference a well shaped and filled in eyebrow makes:
All makeup is applied, except for the eyebrows. I know I don't have completely sparse eyebrows, but this goes to show that even thick beauties benefit from a little fill in procedure, as shown in the picture below:
Now that I slapped some brow powder on you can instantly see the difference! Not only are they more defined and fuller looking but they gave me a mini eye lift (Compared to picture above and below). Also, their color deepened.
Again, all makeup is done except for the brows. Without brow powder they tend to look a little ashy in color (especially in pictures). Even though they're fairly thick on their own, there just isn't a wow factor. They're just sitting there doing nothing for my face. I don't like idleness so I like putting them to work!
You can see that by simply filling in the eyebrows, the area beneath the brows stands out even more. They now have the purpose of framing my face, thus allowing the work I put into all my other features to stand out.
Eyebrows Makeup Tips
Now I would like to share with you my personal tips on achieving YOUR perfect brow (I say YOUR perfect brow because I think it's important to remember that every woman has a unique brow shape and shouldn't traumatize their brows trying to get them to mimic someone else's).
Tip #1: Stay true to your shape
Keep this in mind when tweezing, waxing and filling in.
We all have a unique brow shape and you will always have a messy end result when attempting to re-shape your brows to that of someone else's. For example, if you have a natural high arch, don't attempt to smooth it out by removing the hair from the arch (I made this mistake a couple times and ended up with eyebrows the shape of sperm cells-yeah, not very fun). On the other hand if you have naturally smooth rounded shaped brows, don't try to draw on an arch to make them more angled looking (all you will achieve is an angry looking face).
There are plenty of techniques out there on how to tweeze your brows (the diagram that illustrates where the beginning, arch and end of the brow should be by aligning them to certain areas of the nose, using stencils, coloring the shape you want with a white pencil and then tweezing outside the white area, and on and on..). I personally don't use any of these because in my experience I feel it's easier to take away from your natural brow shape using these techniques. I just simply do the following:
- Brush my brows with a brow brush. I then just tweeze all the stray hairs around my natural shape brow. Your natural shaped brow will tend to be the area that is the fullest and darkest-I go nowhere near that area.
- I tweeze my eyebrows every time I do my makeup- this helps control over tweezing since I only have to pluck a few stray hairs here and there at a time. I never let them get overgrown where I have to walk on eggshells trying not to pluck away their natural shape.
Try not to get tweeze happy like I did in high school and over pluck them brows. But if you do, don't freak out! Filling them in automatically makes them appear fuller and thicker.
Tip #2 Never try to get your eyebrows to look exactly the same, one to the other.
I once read somewhere (I can't remember exactly where) that your eyebrows should look like sisters not identical twins. That completely set me free because my two eyebrows are so different from each other and I was always trying to make them look identical. Now I'm okay with the fact that my left eyebrow is fuller and my right has a more dominant arch.
Tip #3 Fuller eyebrows will always make you look fresher and younger
There is a difference between a set of full eyebrows and a bushy mess.
- Bushy eyebrows just have hairs that are longer than normal.
- If you find yourself struggling with very bushy brows simply comb your eyebrow hairs upward with an eyebrow comb and trim the hairs that extend way out there with nail scissors. Be very careful and stop to inspect once in a while to make sure you don't over trim (you don't want to trade your bushy babies for a set of sparse ones).
If you have very thin or sparse brows but want them fuller, don't be afraid of letting them grow in (I did this more than a few years back). This process takes a while but it's totally worth it.
- When allowing them to grow in try to only pluck the hairs you know you won't need (the hairs that grow outside the area of your natural brow shape)
- They will look ungroomed for a while (normally 1-3 months). To keep them looking their best during this awkard process, just use extra concealer under your brow bone to try to hide those random hairs and still continue to fill in your brows. This will automatically draw peopl'e attention to the darker portion of the brow, giving the illusion that they are still groomed.
Tip # 4 Use the right tools
- Tweezers, brow brush, your choice of filler: pencil or powder (I prefer powder because it lends a softer more natural effect), angled eyeliner brush (if using a powder) and brow gel/clear mascara....these are your new best friends, or bff's, whatever term you prefer to use.
Here are my "make my eyebrows gorgeous" tools:
Tip #5 Fill, fill, fill them babies in!
This is where the magic happens. You can have perfectly shaped and groomed brows but they will still be overlooked by not filling them in.
Filling in your eyebrows will frame your face, make you look more awake, younger, and will overall complete your look. There is a huge difference when filling in the brows.
You can fill them in using a brow pencil, brow powder or eyeshadow in the right shade:
- If you are blonde, you want to use a shade one to two shades darker than your hair. For brunettes, a shade or two lighter than your hair, and for our lovely redheads (depending on the deepness of the red) a taupe brown, honey, or reddish brown will do.
I prefer using a brow powder or eyeshadow because they tend to be more forgiving than a pencil. If you do use a pencil, just be sure to use gentle pressure, gradually building up the color intensity. It's easier to add a little at a time than to try to remove an over excess of color.
Whatever product you decide to use, always use short soft strokes when filling in.
After filling in always run an eyebrow brush over them to remove excess product and make them look more softer.
Tip #6 Set your lovely ladies with brow gel or clear mascara.
You want to keep your perfect brow locked in place. You put all that time and effort into achieving your perfect brow and the last thing you want is for those babies to move around, lose concentration of color and look messy.
I have used the more expensive brow gels but I will always swear on my E.L.F clear lash and brow mascara. And what's even better? It's $1 price tag! (You can find this at your local Target)
Tip #7 Highlight the area just beneath your brows (brow bone).
This makes that area appear even higher and will diminish the look of a saggy lid. It also makes the brow more prominent.
You can use a champagne or any light colored eyeshadow.
Doesn't always have to be shimmery or frosty, a matte shadow will do too.
How to fill in to get my perfect brow:
I always start with the "tail" of the brow. I simply dab my brush into the powder and fill in with short soft strokes-my eyebrows tend to stop short so I extend the stroke past the hair just a tad bit.
I then dab my brush into the powder again and move on to the center section, again, using soft short strokes. I make sure to softly fill in the area just above the fullest part of my brow where the hairs are sparse. This gives the illusion of a fuller brow.
The last part that gets filled in is the beginning of the brow. I do not dab my brush back into the powder because I like the most concentration of color to be towards the end of the brow. I simply do my soft short strokes again with whatever residue is left on the brush. I again make sure to get the sparse hairs above darkest part o my brow.
Then I run my eyebrow brush gently accross them to remove excess powder, remove any harsh lines and make them more natural and softer looking.
In my final step, I simply run my clear gel across all the hairs, making sure that they are neat looking and in place (There's nothing worse than some random hair sticking straight up-haha).
I'm sure you can tell which eyebrow is filled in here: my left one. A very dramatic difference for such a quick process. Note: I did not include the highlighting step.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but really, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do this with your eyes closed. Okay, maybe not with your eyes closed but you get the picture.
I want to end by saying that these are the tips and techniques that I've gathered from various sources throughout my quest to perfecting my brows and they are what work for me. I realize these are not the only tips out there, so if you would like to add a tip or technique, or a comment, please feel free to do so! I am always open to being enlightened!
Happy brow shaping, plucking, filling and setting! I can almost hear our eyebrows shouting, "We are eyebrows, hear us roar!"