We’ve all heard the “sisters, not twins” rule, but what else is there to achieving believable, beautiful brows? I’ve gathered all the techniques you’ll need to give your brows that extra oomph—without overdoing it.
Less, then more
This is probably a good rule for most of the makeup application you do. Starting with a light hand before you pack on the product will save you from later panic when you have to take a makeup wipe to all your hard work, since you got a little too liberal with your product. Over-darkened brows are super noticeable, and they can happen easily if you’re swiping on product in one swoop rather than using little strokes to emulate hairs. Save time – and product – by being gentle first. And if you need more, you can always add.
Gel is your new best friend
Brow products can be a little overwhelming. When you’re faced with the choices of gel, powder, pencil and wax, you may not know which way to turn. But if you’re going for natural, gel offers a helpful two-in-one effect. If your brows need a little more love, a pencil is great option.
Take it from Amanda Goecke, a graduate of Carthage College. “I’m a big fan of Benefit’s Gimme Brow gel!” she says. I prefer using a gel with a wand applicator over a pencil because I feel it’s easier for me to achieve a more natural look. … The gel and brush combo is also nice because my eyebrow hairs can rarely be tamed without some help, and this product brushes them out nicely and keeps them in place!”
Filling in those sparse spots while also preventing your existing hairs from getting too unruly? Sounds like the perfect product to me. If you have thinner brows or love a bold brow, a brow pencil is the perfect product to reach for. Benefit makes a good one, so does Anastasia Beverly Hills. Both of these brow pencils are great for adding in hair-like strokes to make your brows appear fluffy and full.
Follow your natural shape
Oay, so maybe you’re not thrilled with your natural brow shape. You want to create the illusion of a higher arch or a more defined shape. And that’s fine , as long as you don’t make your changes too obvious. To create a brow shape that's natural for your face, try the old diagonal trick: your arch should occur at the end of a straight, diagonal line that extends from your nostril, through your pupil, all the way to your eyebrow.
You can find it by holding a makeup brush or any straight object to your face and creating the line. This trick works to find the end of the tail of your brow, too: just shift the diagonal line so it goes from your nostril to the outer corner of your eye, up to your brow. Where the line passes through is where the tail of your brow should end.
Check your surroundings
Just as your brow products matter, so do the products you use on the skin around your brows. Popping some highlight above your brows and below them on the brow bone is an old, trusty technique to help add some dimension.
If you want to look like you just woke up with your brows looking flawless (the ultimate dream), avoid super glittery or sparkly highlighters, as they’ll detract from the “naturalness” of your brow shape. Instead, Cosmopolitan recommends finding a lighter concealer and using that to outline your brows instead, so you can still get the brightening effect without making it look too obvious.
Use small strokes
Remember, your brows are not just two solid blocks on your face, they’re made up of individual little hairs. So when you’re putting on gel or pencil or any type of brow product, you’re going to want to make sure it still lets your natural brow hairs be visible – otherwise, it’s an easy giveaway that you haven’t blended your product right.
This is where everyone’s favorite brow tool, the spoolie, comes in. After you’ve applied product (and as mentioned above, you should opt for little strokes over large sweeping motions), take a spoolie and brush through your brows to break up the product from clumping hairs together and getting rid of noticeable lines.
Brows don’t have to be intense, and you don’t have to stray far from what your mama gave you when it comes to making them look amazing. Just follow these few simple techniques to get the brows of your dreams!