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Monday, July 4, 2011

Makeup 101: How to Create the Perfect Brow! Are You Doing it Right?

Creating the perfect brow can be a daunting task. How often do you look at someone and their brows are just crazy looking? Too dark, too thick, too bushy, too sparse? Or perhaps a combination of two or more of these descriptive brow terms. You don't know how important a good brow is. The brows create the frame for the face. A good brow will give you the option to wear less makeup because you already look more polished to begin with. A good brow makes you look younger! If you think your brows look amazing, check them up against the diagram today to make sure your placement is right for your eyes. And while you're at it, grab your brow pencil to use as a reference tool.

Use this diagram as a guide for the directions below!
 Directions for Placement of the Brow:

#1 (Line D) Your brow should start where the inner corner of your eye starts. If your brow starts further in than the inner corner, you need to add some length here with a brow pencil. Take your brow pencil and mark a dot here to serve as your starting point.

#2 (Line E) Take your pencil or whatever you are choosing to use for this demo- and put it where line E is on the diagram, right outside of your iris. This is where your arch should be. Don't have an arch? You need one! This is where you pluck to create an arch. Mark another dot here.

#3 (Line F in diagram) The end of your brow should go all the way to the end of the outer corner of your eye. It should not stop short of this or go beyond this point. But it should be at the angle. You know about where you stop your eyeshadow? Most people stop their brows too short of this point and end up looking incomplete. I will show pictures to show you exactly what I mean. Finally, mark a dot here to establish your end point.

*You can mark a dot with your brow pencil in each of these locations to serve as a guide where to shade. And if you literally have NO brows, don't fear! Draw them on and call it a day. 

Drawing the Brow:

*So you have your start, arch, and end points. With hair like strokes and a light hand (you can darken later if necessary) start to fill in all the sparse areas to create a perfectly shaped brow. Start where your inner corner is to follow your natural shape. If you start the brow a little lower, it will create a higher arch. Your brows should look thicker near the inner corner and arch and look thinner toward the end. Eyebrows that have the same thickness all the way around can look a little bit bushy, as well as brows that are the same thin-ness from start to finish can look sparse. And very 1990's. 

*To give you better control, hold the front of your pinky kind of bent against your face while you draw the brow on. This will prevent any wild motions that would cause you to totally go outside of your natural shape. 

*If you mess up, have some q-tips handy. These are also a help when you are cleaning up the arch area and maybe you've filled some in too far underneath your natural brown line. 

I love a strong brow! Strong, shapely, brows give you that extra confidence to pull off a polished look. Strong brows just say CONFIDENCE all on their own. And they make your makeup look better! A brow can make or break your look, no doubt. All it takes is some practice.

The Finishing Touches: 

*After you've finished, take that spooley brush, you can buy one if your brow pencil doesn't come with one, and comb through to make the brow look more natural and not as "drawn on". Spooley brushes are far more useful than the brow combs that some of the brow pencils come with. And by the way, no one cares if your brows ARE drawn on. They can look great either way! 

*And don't forget to use a highlighter or highlight eyeshadow color under your arch on the brow bone to showcase that arch. This is where you use the lightest color in your eyeshadow trio's or choose one on your own. You can also purchase highlighter pencils or use a highlight that you would use on your cheek bones or down the center of your nose. I prefer one with a subtle shimmer to it. A highlight color can be powder, cream, liquid, whatever! I enjoy ivory or white toned shimmery shadows for this task because they are easier to work with. Now that you have highlighted your brow, use the same color in the inner corner of your eyes for an overall brightened up look!

Eyebrow Tips:

*I find that it helps to pluck stray hairs after your brows are filled in and set with a clear gel. After your brows are all nice and done up, you can then see where the stray hairs are that are not welcome with the others. On the other hand, when you are working with naked brows, its hard to see this and sometimes you over pluck because you can't tell which hairs you need and which you don't. 

*If you don't have a brow pencil or even brow powder, you can use eyeshadow if you have a good matte brown shade. Often this works just as well as a brow powder and also have a wider range of shades to choose from to find your perfect shade.  

 Some Highly Recommended Brow Pencils/Tools:

Ybf Eyebrow Pencil: 
my personal new favorite, and 2 for $20 at HSN. Ybf is known for their brow pencils and they've created the most popular one in the world. Its a universal taupe shade that can be used on anyone, and has the most useful spooley brush that I've come across. Amazing quality, drugstore prices, a WIN WIN!
Make Up For Ever: 
Their brow pencils come in an excellent range of shades. When I was looking for a true taupe that was void of any red tones, as most people want, I found it in the Make Up For Ever pencil. One drawback to a pencil is that they tend to get dry around the edges and you have to soften it back up by scribbling something on paper or re-sharpening it. Doesn't come w/ spooley but those are cheap and can be purchased separately, around $18 for the pencil

Maybelline Define-A-Brow: 
a good drugstore option. This was my first brow pencil. I used the Blonde shade I believe. This is a good one for those that are starting out or want something very subtle. I think it goes one lighter and less smooth than my Ybf which would be frustrating for those drawing on their entire brow. For those that just simply need a little bit of fill in here and there but predominantly have their own brows, this would be a good option. It comes with a brow comb which is useless to me. 

Anastasia Brow Gel: 
Love. I've had the same tube for 2 years and its only now 50% gone! I get the taupe shade for days when I don't have time to do my full brow situation. It also creates a good base to do your brow pencil over top of because it makes it so you may not need as much filled in. I find that it also makes my brow pencil stay on longer, and what does fade away, at least still has the brow gel underneath so that it doesn't look totally gone. 

Any Clear Mascara! 
Any clear mascara from the drugstore, I think Maybelline Great Lash may have one, will be great for brow setting and keeping those hairs in place. Perfect and a must-have for those with thick brows. It gives you a much more polished look when your brows are nicely defined. A clear mascara works just as well as a brow gel and often is a lot cheaper and accessible!


  1. i like this post! I've been getting obsessed with my brows lately and this definitely helps out a newbie hahha

  2. Great tips! I think I'm going to try this right now, my brows need grooming haha :)

  3. @ Online Cosmetics Shopping, thanks so much! Gotta love a good set of brows~!

  4. Any over-the-counter recommendations for sparse brows, something that may encourage growth???

    1. RapidLash makes a lash/brow enhancing serum. It retails for $50 but you can find it for around $30 on Ebay or other online stores. I'm currently using it for lashes, it seems to be working but can't say for sure about brows! I assume that most of the lash growers would work on brows too. Good luck, let me know if you find anything good!

  5. This is so helpful. I found this brow kit in Etude House which help me a lot also in shaping my eyebrows