For some reason as a teenager of the nineties, I got it in my head that eyebrows shouldn’t exist, so pluck, pluck, pluck and get rid of them! So that is exactly what I did! I’m not sure if it was just an extreme fear of being caught with a unibrow or what, but I managed to pluck my eyebrows so thin, that some spots ended up looking so sparse, they nearly look bald!
By my mid-twenties, I started to realize that maybe all that plucking wasn’t such a good idea. I used a taupe brow pencil to kind of shade in my brows a bit, but they still looked pretty non-existant. It wasn’t actually until my thirties that I started to realize how much and eyebrow can really change your face. Thanks to all the plucking over the years, my eyebrows barely grew in at all, in fact, I rarely ever need to pluck or wax them anymore. Unfortunately though, when I had my makeup professionally done for a TV infomercial a few years back, and I watched the makeup artist spend an hour (no lie) just on filling in and shaping my eyebrows, I decided that maybe it was time to start focusing more on my brows and hopefully figuring out a way to make them look fuller again without looking totally fake.
This is the problem I think the beauty world has when it comes to makeup. People have gotten so obsessed with the brow, that they fill them in and line them so perfectly, and darken them so much, that they end up looking extremely fake. Honestly, I think this is no better than the sparse over-plucked brow, at least once you get up close to someone with the perfectly drawn in eyebrows and you are able to see exactly where they’ve outlined the brow with that pencil to get that perfect shape.
After researching tips for eyebrows, I’m amazed by how many posts say something to this effect, “20 tips for the best eyebrows,” “17 steps to get perfectly shaped brows,” “30 steps to get swoon-worth brows.” Notice a pattern here? The fifty million steps to get perfect brows?! I think my makeup artist for that infomercial was following these steps! I’m sorry, but I am just NOT going to spend an hour or 20 steps on my eyebrows. Less is more (except for the over plucking) and brows should be kept simple and natural (at least in my opinion – feel free to chime in if you disagree!) The purpose of brows is to shape the face, communicate expression, and they actually serve a health purpose such as keeping sweat from that rigorous workout from running down into your eyes. Being a beauty blogger, I absolutely believe there is some beauty benefit to brows, but I believe it’s more about drawing attention to eyes, making eyes look bigger and more youthful, but I absolutely wouldn’t want the focus of my face to be my brows, which I believe painting them in to the extreme can (and does) just that!
5 Steps to get the Perfect Eyebrow:
1. Don’t Overpluck! A friend of mine once told me her mom took her to have her brows done when she was only 13. I thought this was crazy until she further explained that it was to keep her from over plucking (which is exactly what I did at that age). I envied her thick, bold natural lashes as she told me this, and wondered what my brows would look like today had my mom done the same thing for me.
If it isn’t’ too late or you’re only 13 and reading this, you absolutely don’t need to pluck as much as you think you do. You want to keep the natural shape of your brow. To determine the natural shape.
To determine the natural shape of your brow, hold a pencil on the outer side of the nostril, straight up towards your forehead. This is where each eyebrow should start. If you’ve got hairs in between heading to the other brow, this is the unibrow zone and it’s safe to pluck any and all of these hairs (in fact, please do!). Now move the pencil from the tip of the bottom of your nostril and angle out so the top of the pencil is at your pupil. This is where the arch of the brow should be. Now angle the pencil further out to the end of your eye, this is where the brow should end. Anything further out past this point, headed towards your ears, should be plucked.
2. Shape the Arch. If you’ve just followed my pencil tip, you should see that your brow already pretty much follows where your arch should be. I think this is where people get carried away, trying to make the arch different then it’s natural shape will only lead to the fake drawn in eyebrow look. Determine the shape you would like to have at the arch, whether you want a thinner arch and tail or a thicker arch, and then pluck accordingly. Play around with this over time to determine the best kind of arch and thickness for your face. I keep my arch and tail fairly thin as I don’t have a whole lot of brow here to work with as it is, and instead focus more on filling in around the line of my brow from the inside of my brown to arch.
You may have some sparse hairs growing in randomly above the brows, feel free to pluck these immediately too! Try to determine a nice natural line on the top of your brow and bottom of the brow, and pluck hairs outside the lines. Do this also with the arch and tail of your brow as well.
3. Brush and Trim the brows. I don’t have this problem anymore but if you have thicker natural brows, you’re probably going to need to handle some unruly hairs to get a more uniform looking brow. Brush hairs upward with a brow brush and trim any hairs sticking out over the top of your brow line with scissors.
3. Fill in the brow. Unless you’re a newbie or somehow made it through adulthood without over-plucking, you’re probably going to need to do some filling in. My best advice here is to go for a more natural look – one that is not so painted on. Also, be sure to stand in front of the mirror normally while drawing in and filing in eyebrows, as getting too close to the mirror can do more damage than good when it comes to filling in eyebrows. You’re going to get a more natural look and view of the brow when you are standing a little ways away from the mirror instead of right up in it!
I like using more natural brow pencils or brow tints, and start drawing in small lines (to resemble natural hairs) moving up and from the inside of the brow to the outside. I also concentrate more on the inside of my brow and focus on making the brow straight and even, until I reach my arch. I then draw in small hairs in a swooping quick motion from arch down to the end of the tail. Be sure to use a tint/pencil similar to the color of your hair color, otherwise, it will look more fake and drawn on.
4. Remember that eyebrows and faces aren’t perfectly symmetrical. If your brows don’t quite match perfectly, that’s ok, they aren’t supposed to. Don’t spend too much time obsessing over your brows. Take a step back and look at your face as a whole in the mirror. What do you notice? Chances are your eyebrows look fine and need no extra work. Notice the picture above? Perfect Example!
5. Invest in a good Eyebrow Solution. Eyebrow hair is harder to “fake.” Real brow hair needs to be present for brow makeup to work and blend more effectively. I have recently been using and loving the EES-Essential Eyebrow Solution®, which is the only clinically-tested cosmetic eyebrow formula on the market proven to help combat eyebrow thinning. EES is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, safe & non-irritating, and features innovative and super-effective botanical black cohosh.