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Breaking Down Beauty: The Taming of the Brows

By Sheila

I have a confession – I don’t think I’m all that great at brows. This is something that may have to do with my earlier bout with brow-norexia, but ever since I’ve always felt that my brows are best left in the hands of more capable hands.

From my brow-norexia days.

If you are a recovering brow-norexic, or if you have never touched your brows or simply looking for a new shape, I highly suggest visiting someone trained in the art of brow control. As Lisa from the Primping Parleur says, “They’re sisters, not twins”, and I think it’s good to have an outside opinion on how to frame your eyes.

So, how to find a pro? Word of mouth. Ask your friends, ask strangers who have nice brows, don’t be shy!

As far as maintenance, here are a couple of tricks I use to keep mine looking somewhat decent. I think I’ll always be a little insecure about the brow situation ‘round these here parts.

Basic Products

From left to right: Mini-scissors, tweezers (I prefer Tweezerman’s), Stila #18 dual ended brush, MAC Spiked Brow Pencil, Stila Brow Sets in Warm. I didn’t take a photo, but I also use a clear colored lip balm to set my brows.

When it comes to choosing the colors to use in your brows, I tend to go with colors that are lighter than your actual brow. I’ve found that using a color that matches your brow tends to be a bit TOO dark.   You can use eye shadows, but try to avoid browns that have any kind of hint of a reddish tone to them, and if anything, err on the side of taupe. There are a couple of universal colors that I’ve used that work on pretty much everyone:

MAC Lingering Eye Brows – a great taupe.

MAC Spiked Eye Brows – great for darker haired individuals.

MAC Omega eye shadow – this is THE universal brow color. Trust.

Technique #1 – Basic Brow Grooming

Nekkid brows.

Step 1: Use a brow brush to sweep your brow hairs up. There’s a method to my madness, I swear.

Step 2: Using brow scissors, carefully trim long hairs.

Step 3: Using caution and taking it one brow hair at a time, tweeze away those pesky little brow hairs that manage to peep up all the time.

Step 4: Using an angled brow brush, press in your brow color using light flicking motions and focusing on areas that are sparse and need a little more help. Keep your application LIGHT AS A FEATHER in the inner corner of the brows.  I’m using the lighter side of the Stila Brow Set in Warm because it’s not overwhelming – just a pretty way to fill in your brows.

Step 5: Use your brow brush to blend the powder in with your brows.


Step 6: Set your brows. You can use a brow gel – clear or colored – but I prefer to use a clear lip balm. Does the trick!

Technique #2 – Defined Brows

Other nekkid brow.

For super defined brows, let me share a nifty trick I learned from a former co-worker who had the most unbelievable brows I’ve ever seen – truly works of art. The coworker shaved everything but the inner corners of the brow, which isn’t something I’d recommend to anyone, so don’t you go getting any ideas.

Follow steps 1 – 3 of the basic brow technique.

Step 1: Sketch out the skeleton of the brows with a pencil or brow powder – only do this to the bottom of the brows.

Step 2: Using an angled brow brush, apply powder to any sparse areas.

Step 3: Blend brows with brush. The goal is to make the line not so apparent and blending the brows really helps with this.

Step 4: Set brows, and voila! Done ….

What are your favorite brow grooming tricks and products?

  • http://nvbeauty.blogspot.com Nicole

    Eekks! Brows freak me out! I have only ever plucked stray hairs and pretty much leave everything else alone. I’ve always been told I’ve got nice brows, so I’m just going to leave them alone!!

  • http://www.jeanneciasullo.com/ Jeanne

    fantastic job! again! I agree with omega!

  • http://thevinylwordandothermusings.blogspot.com Deb

    Thanks for the tips! I use the same MAC brow pencil. I find it useful in filling in my sparse spots by just using little hair-like strokes.

  • Tia

    I use MAC’s brow pencil in spiked to fill in sparse areas starting in the middle and I use brow powder or a shadow a shade lighter than my brows over the entire brow. I spray a light coat of MAC’s fix + on an angle brush before using the powder then apply concealer on the brow bone to sharpen the shape & highlight.

  • http://www.rubysbeauty.com Lisa

    Those are some great tips! I too comb my brows straight up sometimes when grooming, and it sure looks crazy! I have very dark brows, about medium-thickness, so I never feel I need to add anything (powder or pencil). The trick about using lip balm to set them though, I need to try that on my hubby. He has some pretty crazy eyebrows that are always pointing straight down towards his eyes from him rubbing his face all the time. I’m always fixing them for him, made the mistake of doing that when he was driving once though, and boy did he get mad. He couldn’t see the road! :)

  • admin

    @ Lisa — lol!!!
    @ Tia – those are some awesome tips! Wouldn’t have thought of using Fix +.
    @ Deb, Jeanne, and Nicole – thank you!

  • http://silhouettescreams.blogspot.com SilhouetteScreams

    Great tips :) this reminds me that I really need to pluck and trim right now, haha

    I use a taupey Prestige brow pencil at the moment, and then fill in extra bits and darken them with a brown shadow :)

  • http://viciousmakeup.blogspot.com Jill Vicious

    I do the powder and angled brush technique. Since I dyed my hair dark brown, I find that my eyebrows are just the slightest bit too light.