Eyebrow Lesson

Just before I ran into some difficulty, I was starting to promote the blog a bit and asked around for some constructive criticism. I got  good feedback including one person who said basically that the blog was a too complicated. When I started the blog I knew I had to make a choice- whether I was going to write it for the average gal or other beauty bloggers. I wanted to shoot for someplace in-between but I’ve realized I still make things too convoluted. I’ve thought about it and I am going to try to create more simplified posts. I want this to be interesting to beauty beginners as well as the more experienced.  I’m going to work on it. I really appreciate people taking the time to give me feedback and suggestions and I’m listening to you.

Now, onto the fun stuff!

I remember when I used to have major eyebrow envy of one of my guy-friends.  When I asked him how he got them to look so great (dark, defined, very neat) he asked me; Had I never heard of an eyebrow pencil?  Well, I had, I just never thought about using one. I promptly picked up one at Walgreen’s but it was awhile before I got them looking nearly as nice as his!

Eyebrows frame your face. Eyebrows play a big role in facial expressions such as looking surprised, angry or calm and longer eyebrows can give a youthful appearance.  Picture a porcelain doll- their  softly arched eyebrows give off an air of innocence. Now picture almost any female Disney villain- Their severe arches and high-placed brows contribute to their evil visage!

An eyebrow pencil is the simplest way to define your brows.Eyebrow pencils come in different colors to match your natural hair. Many come with a small brow brush on the cap or even a gel to tame the hairs, get them all going in the right direction before  coloring them in. If you are going for natural, use short feathered strokes with pencil to mimic the natural hair growth. If you are doing dark eye makeup, dark brows to match really pull the look together. For more intense  color, try using an eyeliner brush dipped in  powder shadow darker than your natural color (Dark brown for blonde/red and black for brunette)  and try to draw over the brow in long, smooth lines. Don’t go below the natural brow line because having a line under the hair is unflattering, so  follow along the top line of the brow and then gently fill in the rest.

I suggest getting a magnified mirror if you don’t already have one. They can be purchased inexpensively and are great for doing makeup/brows. There are multiple ways to shape and clean up the brow area and most people have their favorite. Tweezing is easy, but should only be done with sharp tweezers and very carefully as it’s easy to mess up and leave spots that look thin. It also needs to be done frequently. Waxing lasts up to six weeks, costs $10 and up and in my opinion isn’t any more painful than tweezing. It’s also great for getting a dramatic change in shape but avoid having it done before going out because it can cause redness on most people and small bumps and irritation on sensitive skin folks.  Eyebrow threading is very effective, the redness should fade more quickly than waxing but results don’t last quite as long , about a month.  Completely shaving brows off to draw them in will need to be re-done every few days to avoid stubble and can also cause redness and irritation on sensitive skin for an hour or two afterwords and it is the most dramatic of all options.

Even if you choose to tweeze, getting your eyebrows waxed or threaded initially makes things much easier because it gives you a guide to follow.If you get them done once and they aren’t exactly how you want, get them done by someone else until they are how you like. When they wax, they remove the hair in between brows, above and below the natural line, before and after it as well as removing excess length plus they can alter the shape by making the arch less or more pointed-it’s difficult to be as thorough outside of a salon.  When the hairs start to grow back  around the neatly shaped areas they are easy to see and pluck to keep up the desired shape.  Waxing and threading tend to look more dramatic than plucking, although you can tell the stylist that you only want your brows “cleaned up” rather than “shaped” if you want a natural appearance. Getting waxed 3-4 times per year and plucking in-between works for me.

If you choose to pluck only then you need to create a guide  yourself. The way to do this is a method using a pencil ( or any straight, thin line)  to determine where the brow should start, arch, and end. Place the pencil vertically beside your nostril and at the innermost corner of your eye. This is where the brow should begin so any hair before the line should be plucked. Next, place the pencil diagonally from the same place at the corner of your nostril and across to the outer half of the iris of your eye- this is where the highest part of your arch should be, this is also where the thinner part of your brow begins.  Now,place the pencil from your nostril to the very outer corner of your eye- this is where the brow ends. Any hairs above or below the arch and beyond the end of the outer eye mark should be removed. Also, if you want to make your eyebrows thinner you can use a colored pencil to mark the desired width, then remove the hair below the line. Pluck the hair above your eyebrows with care- you never want to thin them by removing the hair on top, only below! It is ok to remove stray hairs that are out of place above the natural shape though.

Here is an example-

If you are shaving brows off and drawing them on, this method can also be used to re-draw; make small dots at the three points to avoid mismatching brows! This can be played with to make them higher or lower or make the arch less pointed, etc. Drawing on eyebrows is something you see a lot with goths and cyber styles. It’s really  fun because you can make them any color, even sparkly! You can draw shapes on, swirls whatever and then make them look natural for the workweek. When you first shave them off  use shaving cream meant for facial hair. Look for a formula labeled for sensitive skin. Also be sure to use a  facial hair razor, something with more blades because you want to remove the hair with as few strokes as possible. Never use a dull razor! Try a post-shave moisturizer but not something meant for hands or body or anything scented as it will sting. Now, you can use a brow pencil, an eyeliner or a brush and powder to paint them back on. I prefer a slanted eyeliner brush with powder eyeshadow. There is a pic below of this type of brush. To get the brows even  try marking the beginning, arch and end as suggested above. You don’t have to use the pencil method, you can place them as high, low, far apart, etc. as you choose but just marking the placement before trying to draw them makes matching them far easier.

If you like the idea of drawing your brows on but suck at getting them even or are worried about them looking un-natural or cartoon-like, leave the beginning of the brows intact. Clean them up by plucking, only don’t shave the rounded beginning part of your brows. Shave the rest off.  Use the pencil or brush dipped in shadow to darken up the beginnings of the brow, then draw a continuous line to make up the rest of the brow. Fix any mistakes with a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover. Finally, set your eyebrow art with a product like Benefit’s She-Laq to keep things hardcore smudgeproof. That stuff has kept mine in place through dancing and having play-time with my other half.

Well, this came out crazy-long but I think that’s about it! Have fun with your eyebrows, they grow back  😉

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  1. This was an AWESOME post. I’ve been into MMU for about 6 months now, and make-up itself for only slightly longer than that. I’ve learned about primers, finishig powders, blending, lipstick brushes, eyelash curlers, nail polish ‘fixing’ and stuff like that but still hadn’t ventured into eyebrows! Mine are ok but could use some refining… and an eyebrow pencil 😉

    Are there any reasonably priced brands you’d reccommend for creating a more ‘natural’ look? I have dark brown brows.

    • Yay, so glad it was helpful, thank you!
      I am actually looking for a good pencil or something that looks natural on my dark brown brows as well. I used to always go for the darkest, most dramatic brow look but since it’s summer and it’s so insanely muggy I’ve been going for more natural and low-maintenance makeup lately. The most natural-looking thing I’ve come across so far is Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Brown. I don’t remember exactly what it cost but it was under $10. One side is the soft pencil, the other is a matching color brow gel with a brow brush similar in shape to a skinny mascara wand. The first time you use it you need to scribble on a napkin or something with the pencil, it seems to have some kind of coating- I thought maybe it didn’t work the first time I tried to use it which is why I mention that. Another thing I do when I’m going for “natural” is to use a slanted eyeliner brush with dark brown shadow. The shadow I’ve been using is from the Pop beauty “Day to Play” shadow wallet. Their matte browns are the perfect pigmentation for brows, IMO. They also offer inexpensive three-color palettes, but I think any matte dark browns that aren’t too pigmented would work. The slanted brush I use is thicker than most slant eyeliner brushes. I got it in a set on Ebay- The set came with 24 brushes and cost about what one brush from Mac costs, plus they work great with MMU.

  2. Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Brown, got it 🙂

    I think I’d like to try a pencil before I venture into powders, even if only to find the right shade! My eyebrows look black in some lights…

    I do need some more brushes, though.

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