Before I begin, I want to be quite frank with you. Eyebrows are the finishing touch of your look. Let’s pretend you’re wearing this banging outfit, your trendy handbag, and a perfectly executed makeup application…but you have no eyebrows! The look is completely thrown off without some sort of finished eyebrow.
Before I started working for MAC, I struggled (and I still do, don’t get me wrong!) with eyebrows. I never filled them in, I went months without plucking, they had no shape, and they were just plain ugly! I didn’t realize what a great tool they are until I became a makeup artist. This is why it’s important to get a consultation once and a while, even if you can only afford it once a year, because artists can tell you what you’re doing right and maybe what you can improve on to feel more confident in your applications.
The basic tools you’re going to need for this are:
- · Eyebrow powder (eyeshadow, shader, pencil, wax) & an eyebrow brush
- · Highlight eyeshadow color
- · A professional waxer, threader, or plucker. Or just have great experience shaping your own brows.
- · Stencils &/or a steady hand.
Let’s start with shaping your eyes. Using a pencil, stencil, and your powder & brush use these steps:
- · Hold your pencil vertically against the inner-most part of your nose. It should line up with your tear duct (See Line #1 on photo). Dip your brush in your powder and mark a small line where that point is. This is where your brow should start. If you think about it, this is going to be right on the outside of the bridge of our nose.
- · Now hold your pencil at an angle, going through the pupil, mark a smaller line in the middle of your brow there (See Line #2 on photo). This is where your arch should be. Natural looking brows are the trend right now, however whether you draw them on completely or just fill in what you have your arch should start on the outer third of your eye, not the inner!
- · Lastly, to shape your brows perfectly, hold your pencil at an even larger angle – this should line up with the outer corner of your eye – and make a small line there (See Line #3 on photo). This is where your brow should end. Many people’s hair stops growing before this point (including mine!) and we have to just fill that part in.
- · Now that we have our general shape down, we need to determine how thick or thin we want our brows. Let me just tell you now; thin, pencil-like eyebrows are so out right now its not even funny! For this step, I like to use Anastasia’s brow stencils. Place the stencil in the corresponding spots that you’ve previously marked and fill in! Anastasia’s brow stencils come in I think four different widths. Because of my face structure, I have thicker brows.
- · After filling in your brows, pluck or wax any hairs outside the stenciled line. Viola! You’ve got your shape! I don’t use the stencil every day because it is a very bold eyebrow (sometimes I like a bold brow, sometimes I like a natural looking brow), but this is how I shape my brows.
- Remember, brows are sisters, not twins. The more time you spend perfecting your brows making sure they’re 100% even, the easier it will be to over pluck and look like you’ve jus drawn them on.
Now, if you don’t have stencils and you don’t wish to go this route, at least go to a professional waxer/shaper to get them shaped. Shaping is the hardest part. Filling is the easiest. There are a few different ways you can go about filling your brows. Remember, I usually use all MAC Products so if you don’t use MAC, I’m 90% sure there are identical/similar products from a line you do use on the market.
Eye shadow – you can use eye shadow as a form of brow filler. Keep in mind, however, this is going to give you the boldest brow. Eye shadow is very pigmented, so on the brow if you don’t use the perfect color it can be VERY obvious that you’ve filled them. When I had black hair, I used eye shadow because I wanted bold brows. Now that my hair is lighter I’ll either use a lighter shadow or a brow shader (I’ll get to this one soon). If you are going to use eye shadow to fill your brows – it must be matte!! Can you imagine a frosty/shiny/sparkly brow? NO!!! I only say this because I used to fill mine in with a frosty shadow not really knowing the difference and my god I can’t bare to look at those pictures now!
Pencil/Wax – If you choose to use a brow pencil, use an actual brow pencil, not an eye pencil. Eye pencil is going to be way too dark, and way too thick. Brow pencils are great, I think, but you go through them much quicker than a shader or shadow. If a pencil is your chosen medium to fill your brows, use very light strokes and don’t try to do your entire brow in one rushed movement – otherwise it will look like you’ve drawn them on. Keep some disposable mascara wands handy so you can run them through your brow after the pencil is in there so blend the pencil into the skin better and remove any excess product.
Brow Shader – I think its best, for beginners, to use a brow shader. Basically, a brow shader is much like eye shadow because it’s in a powder form, but unlike eye shadow, it is very sheer. When you swipe your finger across it, it hardly shows up. MAC’s brow shader comes with a highlight color as well so it actually saves you money! Who doesn’t love that? Just like eye shadow, you’ll need to use your angled brow brush, my favorite it is MAC’s #208. Lightly fill in any sparse hairs and give your brows some shape.
So by now we’ve covered how to shape your brows, which products to use, but what about how to choose a color? It's simpler than you think! You generally want to go either 2 shades lighter or 2 shades darker than your natural hair color. So, if you're blonde you'll want to go 2 shades darker. If you're dark brown/black hair, you'll want to go 2 shades lighter. However, sometimes 2+ shades difference is needed. Experiment with colors, just remember MATTES ONLY!
If you have questions, please feel free to ask.