Shape It Up
It all began when my beautiful cousin decided to wax my eyebrows while on a visit. This was my first time so I had no idea what to expect and certainly was not going to object in fear of looking like an “uncool” 12 year old. Within a few minutes and one quick rrrrip later it was over and to my surprise wasn’t too painful. I sat up, walked over to the mirror, and couldn’t believe my eyes. That unnerving unibrow, the one that was more Bert and less Ernie, was finally no more! It was at that moment, I believe, my “obsession” for eyebrows began.
Eyebrows play an important part in beauty. I just love the way they frame the eye, shape the face, and can change your entire look. Eyebrows, just like fashion, have had their own trends throughout the years. In the 20’s and 30‘s it was all the rage to wear them super thin. Some even shaved them off and would pencil them on like the beautiful Marlene Dietrich (top right). During the 40’s and 50‘s they became more natural looking but were often elongated by a pencil just like the gorgeous Gene Tierney wore (bottom right). By the 80’s they went even more natural and quite bushy made popular by the one and only Brooke Shields. In 2012 the natural (and yes, even a little bushy) look is now making a comeback. So, if you’ve been sporting pencil thin brows, put down those tweezers and step away...or at least, for a moment!
A dear friend of mine, who’s also a fellow makeup artist, once told me “eyebrows are sisters not twins”. Now I’m going to pass along this advice to you. You must remember that you need to work with the symmetry of your face; and your nose and eyes play a huge role. Many women do not use their own face as a guide and end up creating bizarre shapes. I’m sure you’ve seen them and they look
exactly as described...the golden arches, the comma, or the club.
Fortunately, no matter what shape they’re in, you can fix them by learning the correct way to pluck, fill and trim. I’m going to take you step by step; guiding you through shaping that perfect brow.
Step One: Unless your eyebrows have been plucked into non existence start here. If they are completely MIA, stop plucking/waxing and let them grow in and then start from here. Ok, so now you’re going to go grab a mirror and either a pencil or thin makeup brush. Place the pencil or brush handle against the outside of your nose lining it up with the inner corner of your eye (red). This is where your eyebrow is supposed to begin. If your eyebrow doesn’t begin here, you’re either going to have to pluck or let it grow back in to reach this “mark”.
Step Two: Place the pencil/brush handle along your nose at an angle, look straight ahead and let it run by the outside of your iris. This is where your arch is supposed to be. (blue)
Step Three: Place the pencil/brush handle along your nose at an angle to the outside corner of your eye. This is where your eyebrow should end. Again, you may need to pluck or let it grow back to reach this “mark”. (green)
Step Four: I’m going to tell you how to trim your eyebrows. Some may not need this but I have noticed, since getting older, that mine are becoming unruly like my dad’s...scary! Take a spooly (a mascara brush on the end of a handle) or disposable mascara wand and brush the hairs in a downward motion. Any hairs that are too long, trim with a small set of sharp scissors. Now brush the hairs in an upward motion and do the same...and be careful not too cut them too short.
Step Five: Again, this might be a step that you may or may not need. My brows have very few gaps so I don’t have to do this step very much. You’re going to choose a shade that resembles your current hair color. If you have black hair, please use a deep brown to avoid it looking too harsh. We’re going to use simple eye shadows here. You want to use soft matte colors (no shimmer) like wheat, taupe, and browns. Take a small angled brush and sweep it into your shadow; loading your brush. I tend to tap it once in a tissue in fear that it will fall down into my makeup (good reason to do your foundation last). Now you’re going to softly fill in your brows. I use shadows because pencils can look too harsh especially with a heavy and/or inexperienced hand.
Step Six: Some brows are more unruly than others. If you own the kind that tends to have a mind of their own, I suggest setting them. Now, you can use a simple clear mascara or you can use any kind of brow gel. All you have to do is sweep the product into brows while putting them in their place and let it dry. Voila!
To help you get the perfect brows here are some of my favorites:
Tweezers: Tweezerman tweezers ($22.00)...I love, love, love them. Did I say that I love them? These are by far the best (award winning) tweezers I have ever owned and used. They are durable, last a long time, and can grab even the smallest of hairs. Plus, hold on to your receipt and packaging. If they get dull, send them in and they’ll resharpen them for you (I haven’t had to yet). I have used the slanted angle or the super pointed ones. If you happen to be working on someone else, I do not recommend the pointed ones. Would you want someone else coming near your eye with those?? (available at Target and Sephora)
Brow Gel: I’ve used many different products from drug store to professional brands to keep brows in place but my absolute favorite product, especially for those crazy, hard to control brows, is TaUT Perfect Brow Control ($10.50). This stuff is no joke. You brush your brows into place, sweep TaUT over them, and those babies aren’t moving! (available at alcone.com)
Powders: To fill in those brows I suggest using a powder shadow especially if your hands are not steady or if you’re heavy handed. I’ve used Clinique, MAC, and numerous other matte shadows for filling in brows and they work perfectly. You want to stick with taupe, wheat, and browns. If you want to check out the Queen of brows, I suggest going to Anastasia.net. They have tons of products that work great for filling in brows. The Brow Powder Duo is one easy to use and match item ($22.00).
Brow Enhancing Serum: For those with sparse and/or overplucked eyebrows, there is still hope! Beauty Society has your answer. Brow Doctor ($28.00), when used twice a day, will help bring back those eyebrows while keeping the remaining tame and set.
(available at mybeautysociety.com/meganb)
Spooly or Disposable Mascara Wand: These don’t have to be any special brand. Keeping a few on hand are simply helpful to brush eyebrows into place and another great use is for getting those pesky clumps of mascara out of your lashes!
(available at many drugstores, Walmart, and Sephora)
If you have a question or idea for a future blog, I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me at