Let’s talk about brows ba-by. Let’s talk about you. and. me. Now that we all have that song stuck in our heads, we can proceed.
^ Up there are my brows and I must say, I have gone through quite the brow evolution since I was just a little bushy eyebrowed child… so I know a thing or too about shaping and grooming them. But bold brows were for sure a beauty trend that worked in my favor- as I had/have plenty to work with.
Eyebrows truly frame the face and can dramatically change the shape of the face and draw attention to the eyes. They are one of my favorite parts of my face (after fighting with them for years) and I’ve seen how much they can enhance (or unfortunately, take away from) a look, so they are definitely an important beauty point to pay attention to!
SHAPING– There are many different eyebrow shapes but one big distinction I think is whether the eyebrows have a more pronounced arch (like mine) or not. If they do not naturally have a pronounced arch, I would advise against trying to create one with makeup, as that can lead down a slippery slope of over-arching and looking surprised at all times (not to mention that it would require constant filling in and that would get annoying.)
My first tip is sticking with your general natural shape while following this diagram to determine where certain points of the brow should fall:
So, all the lines begin from the outer edge of the nostril. First, where the line starting from the edge of the nose continuing up through the inner corner of the eye meets the brow bone is where your brow should start. Anything to the left is unibrow territory and can be done away with. If you don’t have many hairs there, you can begin filling in with pencil or powder from that point. (keeping with the general thickness of your natural brow and not overdoing it).
Next, where the line from the edge of the nose passes through the center of the eye/ pupil and meets the brow bone is where the highest point of the brow should fall. This is where your arch will be and is most likely there naturally already, but can be filled in to highlight a bit.
Lastly, the eyebrow should end where the line from the nose passes through the outer corner of the eye and meets the rest of the brow. I myself always have several hairs that grow beyond that point so I am extra careful to maintain the correct “finish line.”
GROOMING– Grooming is essential. I am meticulous in my grooming- ask anyone who’s ever lived with me. My college roommate still references how she used to find me with my magnifying mirror at our window plucking away. Which brings me to my first point:
>>Utilizing natural light. People tease me because I’m always at a window grooming my eyebrows but there is no light like the sunlight. Only sunlight can show every single little hair out of line. So day time, by a window, is where you need to be when doing brows.
>>Wax vs. threading vs. plucking: When I first starting doing my eyebrows I had my mom wax them. My mom has been given the gift of perfectly waxing facial hair- we don’t know why or how, but we don’t ask questions. She still does my sister’s eyebrows and many of my our friends’. If you don’t have someone you trust to wax your brows at home, you can go to a salon but make sure you lay out to them exactly what you want done with pictures and everything. One thing that is a drawback for me about waxing is having to let your brows grow in a bit before going to get waxed. If the hairs aren’t long enough, they can’t be picked up by the wax. But for people with darker hair, like myself, letting eye brow hairs grow in that are out of place is very visible and I personally can’t stand it. I went to a fancy salon ONCE in my life to get my eyebrows waxed freshman year of high school and it was nothing short of traumatizing. She took off wayyyy too much underneath and I was hy.ster.i.cal. First and last time I trust anyone else with my little friends.
>>Which brings me to threading. I am not so optimistic about threading. Some people swear by it, but I don’t think I trust someone determining the shape of my brow with their mouth so… it’s a pass for me.
>>And so we are left with plucking. I personally think plucking is the best option: you can do it yourself, you don’t have to let hairs grow and get long in order to pluck them, and you can really control the shape you want. I use pointy tweezers like these:
These work best because the fine point allows them to pick up the tiniest of hairs, unlike square-tipped tweezers. (I also find my tweezers to be useful for many other things so having the pointy ones really is best.) I pluck about 10-15 hairs either every day or every other day. As I said, since my hair is so dark, the little hairs are visible quickly and it drives me nuts so I really am on top of tweezing. If you have lighter hair, you can probably get away with a few more days in-between tweezing sessions.
>>Alongside whichever of the three methods you choose, you must also trim eyebrow hairs to give the brows a cleaner look and shape. I use little cosmetic scissors like these:
To trim: First you will need a spoolie brush of some sort. As mentioned in my post “My Essential Makeup Brushes” I use an old mascara wand for my spoolie brush. I just wash all the mascara from it, obviously, and I have an excellent little brush to use for my brows.
Taking my spoolie brush, I brush the hairs at the start (so the inside end) of the brow straight up and as I approach the arch of the brow, I brush those hairs up at their natural angle- NOT straight up. Those arch hairs are naturally curved, if you brush them straight up and cut across you will completely mess up your arch and cut off way too much hair. So the hairs from my arch to the outer end of my brow are brushed up in the direction that they are naturally going already. Then I slowly and carefully trim across with the scissors, being sure not to cut too low toward the rest of the brow, as that will cut too much off. I probably do this every 4-5 days.
FILLING IN– Last, but not least we have the delicate art of filling in eyebrows with makeup.
I don’t fill in my brows too much as they are already very full but when I want them to be just right or if I -heaven forbid- over tweeze or trim, I fill in some parts a bit.
I have tried pencils and I just don’t think it gives a very natural look. It can tend to look like makeup was drawn on and that’s never something we’re going for. I much prefer powder and an angled brush. If you already have a pigmented eye shadow that matched your eyebrow color, you can definitely use that. I use Gerard Cosmetic’s Brow Bar To Go. You can find it HERE on their site for $28 and there are two palettes to choose from, one darker than the other. (I use the darker of the two.) There are two different shades of brown in each palette plus a wax to set brow hairs in place. It comes with a little travel angled brush, but I use my angled brush from Sephora that came in a smoky eye brush set but is similar to this one.
I use vertical strokes at the start of the brow to mimic the direction of the hairs there and horizontal strokes everywhere else. LESS IS MORE is a key concept in filling in. It’s easy to go overboard but it’s not so cute.
I hope I can spare at least one of you some of the mishaps that I’ve had with my eyebrows. Let me know what you think of my eyebrow tips and remember:
Photo of sunlight on leaves:
Photo of tweezers: walmart.com-modified
photo of scissors: amazon.com
photo of brow bar to go: gerardcosmetics.com