We blame Marc Jacobs for the eyebrow obsession. No one can pinpoint exactly when bold brows came back into style, but he’s usually behind this sort of stuff. From drugstore eye pencils to trendy compacts, eyebrow makeup seems to be the new staple. Big, show-stopping brows are just as much a part of the classic beauty canon as red lips and black eyeliner, but maintaining them is a chore.
The real deal with eyebrow makeup is this: it’s not necessary, but it is nice. Having polished brows can distract from the fact that your socks are mismatched and you have a stain on your shirt, because it helps emphasize your eyes and looks professional. Here's how to begin:
What you need to know
The key to filling in your brows is to start with a clean, symmetrical shape, then use a light hand to color in spots where your eyebrows are sparse. The three major types of brow makeup to play with are pencil, powder, and gel. Here's a rundown on each.
Pencil: The easiest to tote around and usually the least expensive, the eyebrow pencil is great for experimenting. Purchase a couple different shades in the under-$3 range to find which color works best. It takes a little work to find out what looks natural and what makes it look like your brows are tattooed on. Just remember that pencils can be tricky to work with. Sometimes they’re stiff and don’t deposit color nicely, or they make really harsh lines that migrate down your face, giving you the quadruple eyebrow look favored by your friendly neighborhood palm reader.
Powder: Brow compacts are honestly just glorified eye shadows, so unless you have a really specific shade of hair you need to match (like apricot blonde with chestnut undertones and sunny highlights), it’s far more cost-effective to find a matte eyeshadow and an angular brush that you can work with. Once you get good, this will become second nature, and your brows will look cleaned up, symmetrical, and generally enhanced, while also looking quite natural, as if the heavens smiled down on you and decided that perfect eyebrows would be your blessing.
Gel: If brow powders are glorified eye shadows, then brow gels are glorified mascaras. Although their formulas are distinctly different, the packaging is familiar. Brow gels come in the typical tube with a spoolie but instead of lengthening and volumizing eyebrow hairs, like a mascara does with lashes, they lightly deposit color and lock stray hairs into place. Perfect for anyone who has ever experienced the one defiant follicle that refuses to fall in line, but the presence of which is required to avoid an awkward bald spot.
Good luck, and happy styling!
Have you ever tried your hand at eyebrow makeup?