Can you believe there was a time when we didn’t take brows seriously? Now we all realise just how important they are for framing a face and looking more ‘together’ with your makeup look. In fact, if you don’t have time to put your face on in the morning, just quickly perfecting your brows and adding a lick of mascara and some under eye concealer can make you appear infinitely more polished.
Since Cara Delevingne turned the modelling world upside down with her heavier brows, a more striking rather than sparse look has come back into fashion. But this has led to some harsh versions on the street. So let us help you make your brows your framing feature without looking like someone marker penned them on while you were sleeping…
One of the biggest mistakes people make when working with their brows is to deviate from their natural shape. Do this and your brows will just look off. To work out your natural shape take off your makeup and look at the way they sit – while it’s ok to ‘tidy’ around this shape, trying to make an arched brow straight is never going to end well.
Get the wrong shade for your brows and you have no hope of them looking natural! Many people go too dark or choose a warm shade when they need a cool one – this can jar against the skin and immediately looks fake. “My magic rule is to always go a shade lighter than your natural hair color to make your brows look as natural as possible,” says makeup artist to the stars Charlotte Tilbury.
And, avoid products which have red tone altogether advises catwalk show beauty maestro Wendy Rowe: “Brows naturally tend to have a grey or taupe tone to them so be sure to steer clear of anything red toned when selecting your products; nobody truly has red in their natural eyebrow tone – even redheads will tend to have a more ashy shade when it comes to their brow hairs.”
There are so many options for brows out there now – pencils, pens, fibres, gels. It’s hard to know where to start. Some people will find they need a combination – for example a pencil to fill then a gel to tame unruly hairs. For a more natural look most experts recommend a pencil to fill in gaps.
“My number one tip is to use short ticking strokes with a hard pencil, rather than powder or a gel, to fill in sparse holes in the brow without creating a totally overdefined look,” says Daniel Martin, Meghan Markle’s wedding day makeup artist.
Just brushing your eyebrows can instantly make them look more groomed and tidy. It also allows you to see if there are any strays which need removing – remembering to only pluck from the bottom not the top of the brow line!
Doing this on both sides should give a symmetrical effect. But remember – no two brows are the same so the proportions for each eye will be slightly different. It’s worth keeping in mind the saying, ‘eyebrows should be sisters, not twins’ and you will get a more natural, less forced look.
Kylie Jenner’s right hand makeup man, Ariel Tejada, says the biggest problem he sees with brow make up is overdoing it.
“The overall objective is to fill in the sparse areas – not to fill in the entire brow,” he explains. “Wherever I see a little gap I fill.”
Use short, tick like pencil strokes to replicate hairs rather than shading them in: “Be targeted and precise, drawing in soft lines just where you’d want there to be a few more hairs,” advises Victor Henao, Director of Global Makeup Design for Estée Lauder.
Just as when you started you used a brow brush to find your natural shape, now use a brush to blend your natural hairs with the cheeky ones you’ve added. “It’s a common misconception that you only need to brush through the brow before you start applying makeup, or as a final step,” says Victor. “You should be continually blending everything.” This process will blur the lines between what’s real and what is make up nicely and make sure you don’t have too much product on top.
If you have longer eyebrow hairs which can get a little messy, add some clear brow gel. You don’t need anything coloured or tinted as this will be too heavy and dark.
It’s simple when you know how isn’t it? For more time-saving beauty tips from the experts, Alex Light shares her top beach beauty hacks. Plus here’s how to look like you had a great night’s sleep even when you didn’t. And, this is how to air dry your hair yet still look fantastic when it’s too hot to blow dry it.