Since Cara Delevingne strutted onto the catwalk and across our screens, the reunion of the big, bushy brow that had been slated since the ‘80s had made their return as the favourite shape for all! Now every model boasts beefy eyebrows and since, eyebrow products are one of the biggest sellers. Here are twenty tricks to improve those brows you once destroyed in the aim of getting the skinny ‘90s brow.
#1 Step Away from the Tweezers
Of course you should and can tweeze stray hairs in the middle of your brows so you don’t go into the ‘unibrow’ danger zone, but avoid going too close to the brows themselves as it’s too easy to overdo it and end up changing their natural shape.
#2 Remember Brows Are Sisters Not Twins
Don’t obsess over your brows looking identical… chances are they won’t, and never will! Brows are sisters not twins, as they saying goes, and in some cases they are cousins. Just have them in the same family and leave the alone once they are beginning and ending at the same points.
#3 Know Where Your Brows Should Begin and End
Brows should begin above the tear duct at the top of the nose, extended out past the end of the eye, ideally at a 45° from the outside end of the eye. Using a brow or eyeshadow brush angle it from the outside of your nose to the outer corner of your eye to find where your brows should ideally end.
#4 Brush the Brows Up for Volume
If your brows look thin no matter what you do, get a very natural boost of volume by brushing the brows upwards to make them look thicker and fluffier. If you want a makeup-free day, just do this and lock it in with clear brow gel!
#5 Get Brow Serum For Growth
If you can’t get past the natural sparseness of your brows, try out one of the brow growth serums on the market, such as the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Enhancing Serum Advanced (€28.80). Another one receiving plenty of praise is the Rapidbrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum (€44.95).
#6 Fill in Sparse Bits
Once you’ve found the right shape and brushed them up, fill in sparse areas with either some brow powder, a pencil or a gel. You could even use a mix depending on what you need and how much time you want to invest. I recommend a brow pencil and gel, or a powder and gel duo.
#7 Use a Gel to Lock in the Work
No matter what other products you use, remember to use a gel no matter what so the desired shape stays as it is! You can either go for clear or a coloured formula. You can’t get better than the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel (€19) or the Pixi Brow Tamer (€14.95) when it comes to clear gel, whereas the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Brow Gel (€26) is excellent for colour selection and plumping up brows.
#8 Go for Taupe Shades
For most of us, taupe shades suit us best when using product on our brows. The natural colour of our brows tends to be slightly taupe toned regardless if they’re very dark or very light. Very warm-toned hair can change this by going with more red-based undertones but for most of us the best are ones with the cool tones or a mix.
#9 Don’t Overfill the Beginning of the Brow
If you overdo the beginning of the brows near the bridge of the nose you will end up with block brows, ruining the look totally. Do light, feathery strokes only, blending as you go along so as not to overdo it. Remember it’s easier to add product than to remove it and start again.
#10 Don’t Extend the Arch Too Much
Another common mistake people make is extending the tail of the brow too far, coming too close to the temple. Note: you will look like Groucho Marx if you do this! Do the angle test with the brush in order to avoid this, and don’t stray drastically from your natural shape or it will just look fake. If you don’t have much hair there at all, just stick to what the arch would be and follow to the 45° angle from the outer eye.
#11 Always Brush Through Product For the Natural Look
As touched upon briefly, brushing through the product applied will keep you from adding too much colour. Brushing it out will spread it more evenly, so not much pencil or powder is really needed usually.
#12 Distribute More Colour At the Arch
Our brows naturally are usually darker as they near midpoint to ends, so distributing more colour to the arch will tie in with this natural effect. It also gives more definition.
#13 Use Subtle Highlight Under the Arch
Highlighting the arch of the brow defines the shape of it, as well as adding to the glow of the face overall. Don’t go overboard though, as too much glitter here makes the eyebrows look too ‘done’ and fake. Use either a concealer one or two shades lighter than your usual and blend it out from around the brows, or use a cream highlight or subtle shimmering powder.
#14 Clean Up Brows with Concealer
If you feel your brows are due a waxing or plucking but don’t have time, use concealer to erase the shoddy looking areas until they look well groomed! If the hair you wish wasn’t there is dark and thick, use your regular shade. If it’s only thin, double up on the purpose of the concealer and use more of a highlight shade, one or two lighter. The Lord & Berry Conceal-It Stick (€10.95) is great for this!
#15 Use Tiny Strokes to Mimic Hair
Whether you’re starting off or just not a natural at doing your brows, it can be all too easy to leave the house looking like you’ve coloured in your brows with a marker and a stencil. Keep the strokes light and short, building up until you’ve reached a point you’re satisfied with the look.
#16 Never Draw Them in Too Dark
Even if your hair colour is very dark, avoid using jet black colour on the brows as it is just too harsh on the face. If your brows are black, the depth added with a light granite or slightly lighter ebony shade will give a better effect than depositing extra black on dark brows. Otherwise it’s too easy to either add too much and have it looking clownish, or find it hard to achieve a full brow shape whilst looking au natural.
#17 Use a Spoolie Brush
There are many tools to avail of when it comes to brows, given it has become such a major staple again, but nothing beats the spoolie brush. Most gels use a spoolie brush, which is the shape as a mascara wand essentially. This really catches and control brow hair like few other makeup brush styles. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative, just clean the wand of a dried out or used up mascara!
#18 Don’t Try Out Trends, Stick to a Natural Shape!
Surely we have all learned from past trends (and our younger years) at this stage, but just to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself I’ll reiterate. Don’t try any trends with brows that veer away from the natural shape and colour of your brows! The trend will come and go and you’ll be left with very odd brows. You have been warned.
#19 Use Brown Mascara for Super Relaxed Looks
If you want to spend minimal time doing your brows while wearing makeup, and also save some money, use a brown mascara as a multitasker. Not only will it give you a naturally fluttery set of lashes but it will do the same job as tinted brow gel.
#20 Do Brows Before the Rest of Eye Makeup
I always begin the eye look with brows. It can be hard to gauge how much eyeshadow and liner looks enough if your brows are looking sparse. What tends to happen is you overcompensate for the sparse brows by putting on too much eye makeup. Do the brows first so the face is framed properly. There you go; perfected brows and a beautifully defined face!