I’ve Put It Off Long Enough: Eyebrow Edition

browing hard
Browtown USA

I generally prefer the natural look when it comes to eyebrows. I love thick, healthy-looking eyebrows (Brooke Shields, Arizona Muse, Natalia Vodianova). But also, I’m lazy and I don’t want to put in the necessary effort (and pain) for “perfect” eyebrows. You may have heard that eyebrows are the most important step in your makeup, because they frame your face. That’s true, but I also think that most women overpluck their eyebrows. Proceed with caution.

I’ve never had my eyebrows waxed, threaded, or plucked by a professional. I’m sure there are excellent beauticians who can help you find your perfect shape. But it’s also true that after many visits, your brows move further and further away from your natural shape.

In their full glory

I’ve been letting my eyebrows grow out over the last month. Mostly because I lost my tweezers, but also because it’s cool too see how thick they can get. Mine are naturally on the thin side, so it’s fun to pretend I’m Jennifer Connelly for a month. They were starting to look really scraggly, and I caved and bought a Tweezerman slant tweezer. They’re known for making some of the most precise tweezers around – if you’ve ever tried one, you know they’re worth it. You can get them from Sephora for $20 bucks or so, but I found them on Amazon for $10. It’s only a pocket version, but if you have smaller hands, that’s all you need. One tip for your tweezers: try not to drop them. If you chip their edges, it’ll be a lot harder to hold onto those tricky hairs.

A handy, somewhat terrifying graphic

The first step of the tweezing process is to measure out where the beginning, arch, and end of your eyebrow should be. With a brow brush (or clean toothbrush) brush all your hairs straight up. Then take a long makeup brush (or pencil), and line it up with your nose. Going straight up, make a mark with an eyeliner. Then tilt the brush so it crosses straight through your iris. That’s where you arch should be. Then line it up with the bottom edge of your eye. That’s where your eyebrow should end. I don’t normally mark it off, but I thought it’d be helpful for the demonstration.

Brow Guidelines

The first step is to pluck all the really obvious hairs below your eyebrow. Don’t pluck above your brow. If you have incredibly unruly brows it might make sense, but most of the time it ruins the natural shape of your brow.

After you’ve plucked all the obvious hairs well under your brow, determine whether you need to pluck more of your arch. Make sure you keep taking steps back from the mirror. You don’t want your eyebrows to be identical twins, instead they should be sisters. If you spend time trying to get them identical, you’ll probably take off more than is necessary.

Tweezing complete

I plucked a little extra under my left arch, but for the most part I only plucked really obvious hairs. Then, use a clear mascara (with a light hand) to get them exactly where you want. You can either leave your eyebrows as is, or fill them in.

All you need

Some people prefer colored mascara, liquid liner, or a pencil to fill in eyebrows. I just use a Revlon eyeshadow palette, with two matte shades – taupe and dark brown. It’s not a great eyeshadow because it’s not very pigmented, but that works well for eyebrows; it’s easy to use too much powder. Make sure to use light, feathery strokes, in the direction of the hair, no matter what you use. Very important – if you use eyeshadow for your brows, make sure it’s matte (no shimmer! no one has shimmery brows in real life! except maybe the Kardashians?).

Filled in lightly with the taupe eyeshadow.

First I filled in with the taupe color, which is what I use most days. In general, pick a lighter color than you expect. Even if you have black eyebrows, use a shadow two shades lighter. It’s a lot more natural looking, trust me.

split personality
Which do you prefer? Dr. Darkbrow or Mr. Lightbrow?

Next, I filled in one of my eyebrows with the darker shade. If you’ve got light eyebrows, try this out. I don’t do it everyday, but it adds drama and definition.  I did one eyebrow at a time to show you the difference. I like the look, but I don’t think I’d fill it in this dark everyday. But I’m definitely one step closer to Bambi Northwood Blyth.

Here are my brows with both shaded in. Strong brows has been a very popular look on the runway in the last several seasons, with good reason. It’s a simple way to draw attention to your eyes without the complexity of a smokey eye.

Brow down to me

One thought on “I’ve Put It Off Long Enough: Eyebrow Edition

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Beauty Products of 2012 | Nath Attack

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