Unless you haven’t been on Instagram in the past five-plus years, you know that brows have become just as central as creating the perfect eye look. In truth, your brows do matter. They help to frame your eyes and create a balance between your forehead and the rest of your face. But depending on your aesthetic preferences, you might like thicker, bolder brows, or something more natural.
Whichever you prefer, there’s no substitute for understanding the basics of brow grooming. These tips will always be relevant no matter whether the trend is big bold blocky brows, feather brows, or Christmas-inspired brows (yes that was a thing).
Identify the Right Shape and Length for Your Brows
Not everyone needs a heavily arched brow. And rather than following the trends on your favorite social media platform, consider that the best brow shape should follow the natural line created by your brow bone. The most common shapes are hard-angled, soft-angled, S-shaped, straight, and rounded. But as a general rule, people with oval-shaped faces have more leeway and can experiment to find the shape that suits them best.
To find the right length, keep the following tips in mind. And if you need a visual aid, use a makeup brush or pencil lined up against the outer edge of your nose:
- With the pencil held vertically, the inner starting point of your brows should line up with the outermost portion of your nose.
- Shifting the pencil so that it’s still touching your nose but laying across your pupil, is where your arch should be positioned.
- Shifting the pencil so that it’s still touching your nose but now at the outer edge of your eye, is where your brow should end.
Before you can start worrying about gels, pomades, powders, and pencils, you need to start with a good shape. This means that you want to get rid of errant hairs and create a somewhat defined shape that gives you the basis for where you’ll apply your brow product. Even if you have sparse brows, there are a few rules you want to follow. Keep in mind that these tips are relevant regardless of your shaping method (i.e. wax, tweezing, or threading).
- Don’t get pluck happy. Your goal should be to clean up stray hairs rather than trying to redefine the shape of your brow. This is especially true if you have naturally thin or sparse brows.
- Leave the middle of your brows alone. This part is doing the heavy lifting and plucking this zone can leave you with patchy brows.
- When plucking the lower portion of your brows, only pluck the first row — again you don’t want to be stuck with sparse brows.
Filling in Your Brows
Assuming you’ve created a clean shape, now it’s time to fill in your brows if necessary. If you have thicker brows, you might be able to do nothing more than swipe a bit of clear brow gel to keep them orderly. But if you do need to do a bit more legwork, keep reading.
Pick the Right Color Product
Hands down, this is the second most important factor after resisting the urge to over pluck your brows. You should try to match your brow color to your hair color. But this isn’t a hard rule as obviously if you have fantasy color hair or are blonde, you might opt for a brownish hue rather than your current hair color.
But if you’re trying to create a natural look, avoid picking product colors that are too light or dark as they can look stark.
Choosing the Right Formulation
Depending on the state of your brows, some brow products may be better than others. Pencils are great for a natural effect. Powders are perfect to fill in sparse brows or create a thicker impact. Gels and pomades are best for people that want a more structured brow, and brow mascara is great for people that already have thick brows but just want to keep them orderly.
Applying Your Brow Product
It’s always best to start by first using an eyebrow brush or spoolie like our Duo Eyebrow Brush to brush your brows and ensure that all hairs are shaped in the same direction.
Depending on the product you chose, use an eyebrow brush (best for gels, pomades, and powders), pencil, or brow mascara. Except for brow mascara, begin by outlining the top and bottom edges of your brow. Try to avoid putting too much color towards the bridge of your nose.
Continue by filling in your brows as needed. For a more natural effect, go back over your brows with a spoolie or brow brush to get rid of any harsh lines. If you prefer, you can lock your brows in place with brow mascara. And if you want to create more definition under your brow line, apply a little bit of concealer under your brow line, blend it in, and then follow up with your preferred highlighter.
Go Forth With Better Brows
No one has to suffer from brows that have seen better days. And while you can certainly leave your brow shaping to the pros, understanding how to properly fill in your brows will have you looking camera-ready at all times.