If you’ve never thought about using makeup for your eyebrows and have no idea where to begin, then sit back, relax, and pull up a chair because TatBrow’s got your back. In this beginner’s guide, we go through the basics of eyebrow makeup and the dos and don’ts for creating beautiful brows.
Luckily, the past few years have emphasized more natural-looking brows, so it’s not nearly as challenging to get into the eyebrow game as it used to be. The past year also helped people focus on brows that were easy to maintain from the comfort of their own homes (since we couldn’t leave them!), so it’s all about finding the balance between looking fabulous and using those few extra minutes in the morning to hit the snooze button again.
So, let’s up our brow game together, shall we? Let’s dive in!
Do Shape the Brows
Unlike years past, the current trends are calling for a more natural-looking, straight brow. We’ve moved away from those dramatically high arches, so you can breathe a little bit easier when it comes to figuring out your brow shape.
When you first begin, it can be a little bit tricky to find the right eyebrow shape for your face. Guides usually say use the outer edge of your nostril or the inside corner of your eye and then tilt your finger 45 degrees out to map out your brows. What? That’s complex just to read. Instead of fretting about tilting at the wrong degree, try an eyebrow stencil.
With a stencil, simply place it over your brow, mark precisely where it should start, and stop with a light eyebrow pencil. Then, remove the stencil and go in to pluck any stray hairs outside of your guiding lines.
Don’t Overpluck the Brows
It’s all well and good to tweeze out a few stray hairs high above or below your brow shape, but the risk many people run is having a trigger-happy tweezer hand. Many a poor soul have gone to town with tweezers and walked away feeling like they look perpetually surprised or have an emoji-like frowny face.
Understanding the shape of your brows is great, but it’s way too easy to accidentally over-pluck, and your eyebrow hairs don’t grow back as quickly as the rest of the hair on your body. Wouldn’t it be nice if you only had to shave your legs once a month? Well, three to four weeks is the average growth time for eyebrow hair. So, proceed with caution!
But if You Do Get Carried Away
If your brows are looking a little thin, try using a brow enhancement serum to pep them up. A single bottle has enough applications for 16 weeks, and you’ll be sure to start seeing improvements in four to eight weeks after you start using it. The serum conditions the existing hairs and promotes hair growth from the follicles themselves. It’s an all-natural solution to the overplucked brows!
Do Brush the Brows Up
When you brush your eyebrows before and after applying makeup, try to follow the lines of your hair as best as you can. The best way to brush before you put makeup on is directly up toward your hairline. That way, you’ll be able to see any bare patches that need a little extra TLC from a pen or pencil to fill them in.
Then, after you’ve applied the makeup, use the brush again to help the hairs lie flat by brushing out and up to a point just above your ear. The second brushing will also help blend any makeup into your brows for a natural look.
Don’t Skip the Brush
Eyebrow brushes look a lot like mascara brushes and are used to tame the mighty brows. For people with curly hair, you’ve likely noticed that your brows curl too, and they can get a little unruly after a night of restless sleep or wearing an eye mask.
It might seem like an easy step to miss when you’re already running late for the bus or need to hop on that Zoom call, but brushing your brows is essential for getting them to lie down and not give you the Martin Scorsese look. Trust us, when people say bushy brows are in, that’s not what they mean!
Do Fill in the Brows
Long gone are the days when super-tweezed and barely-there brows are in vogue. Nowadays, everyone loves having darker brows that perfectly frame their eyes. However, for people taking certain medications, undergoing medical treatments, or just have naturally lighter brows or have aging skin, that can be a pretty big ask.
To achieve this look with sparse brows, simply use a Microblade Pen to carefully add in natural-looking strokes of hair that will blend in with your existing brows or darken your hair strands.
Another option is to use an angled brush and apply tinted powder to your brows. This works best if you first apply some eyebrow wax so that something is making your brow hair sticky enough for the powder to take hold. Then, once you’ve used the powder, add another layer of wax and blend with a brush.
Don’t Draw Over the Brows
Adding a pop to your brows is one thing, but the painted-on look is best left to stage actors and dolls. When you add too much pencil, ink, powder, or gel, your eyebrows can start to look pretty weird. If that’s the look you want to try for, then we won’t stop you, but most people want their brows to look like an enhanced version of their natural selves, not like a drawing.
Do Choose a Lighter Shade
When you’re choosing a shade of eyebrow pencil, pen, or tinted gel (we’ll talk more about gel in a section below), you must select something lighter than your head hair. Typically, someone’s head hair is approximately one to two shades darker than their facial hair, including your eyebrows.
As a note, this rule does not apply to people with grey hair. In that case, we recommend one to two shades lighter than your head hair’s previous color or lighter than any color you might currently be dyeing it. If your brows are too dark, they’ll look fake, and that’s not a look that anyone wants!
Don’t Go Too Dark
It’s very tempting to darken your brows for extra drama and flair, but it’s surprisingly easy for other people to tell if you’ve drawn on your eyebrows. It can be jarring and undermine the rest of your look. Remember, whatever you choose to do, the whole point of having beautiful eyebrows is to put the spotlight on your gorgeous eyes underneath.
The eyes are the windows to the soul, and if you put all of the drama into your eyebrows, it can really take away from your peepers below.
Do Keep Things in Place with Gel
After you’ve spent time adding in lines with your pencil or pen or dusting with powder on an angled brush, you don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste, right? That’s why you want to use a strong gel to keep your hairs from flying all over the place.
There are also tinted gels on the market for people who really covet the ultra-low-maintenance look. With those, you might not need to do much else. Just pencil in the thinner spots, brush on some tinted gel and bolt out the door to wherever you need to go.
Don’t Over-gel Your Brows
Be wary of too much gel, or you might end up with a very sticky forehead. Additionally, eyebrow hairs move naturally throughout the day, especially if you’re moving around a lot or the wind is blowing. Holding your brows in place is one thing, but you don’t want them to look completely fake. Worse, too much gel might leave a gross residue behind that will make people think you got something on your face.
Bonus Level: Highlight the Brows
If you’re feeling confident and ready to take your brow game to the next level, try using a little bit of highlighter or concealer around the edges of your brows, primarily concentrating on the arch. Feel free to decide whether to dab the highlighter around the entire brow or just on the underneath edge, but either way, lightening the skin around it will totally make those brows stand out.
Get Your Dream Brows
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to start experimenting with your brows. As places begin to open up again, you always have the option to go to a beautician for a consultation about whipping your eyebrows into shape and get tips on continuing to maintain them from home. If you’re feeling really excited, check out these awesome brow tutorials for more examples of fantastic looks that may strike your fancy. Your beautiful brows are on their way!