Introduction to Eyebrows

Eyebrow products will make your eyebrows look thicker/fuller.

  • Eyebrow pencils are good for sparse brows; you would use them in quick, light strokes to imitate little hairs, as opposed to drawing in block-y eyebrows.
  • Powder is good for adding definition to brows that are already pretty full, and typically looks softer and more diffused than pencil.
  • Pomades are creams that you dip a narrow angled brush in. They tend to have strong lasting power, though they have more of a learning curve and can take more time to apply than pencil or powder. They can be used for a bold eyebrow look or a more natural one. If you want a more natural look, it’s important to use only a tiny – tiny! – amount of product; put some on your brush and then wipe a bunch of it off before applying.
  • Gels are like mascara, but for the eyebrows; you run it through your brows, and the product clings to your eyebrow hair to darken it. These are best for brows that are light in color and already fairly full and well-shaped.

Some drugstore product recommendations:

  • NYX eyebrow cake powder
  • ELF eyebrow kit
  • L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer pencils
  • NYX auto eyebrow pencils
  • Wet n Wild brow pencils

Specific recommendations for different hair colors are at the end of this post.

Eyebrows are a great place to start with makeup, as they can really affect how your face looks. If you haven’t already tweezed/shaped them, start there. You might want to get them shaped by someone else (if so, tell them you want a full, natural look so they don’t overdo it), then maintain the shape yourself by tweezing strays.

For brow shaping, I’ve included a sample diagram here. Note that if you have wide-set eyes, starting your eyebrows a little bit past your inner tearduct (line A in the diagram) may look more flattering, as it will visually bring your eyes a little closer together. Doing this can also help make your nose look a little narrower.

If you extend the “tail” of your eyebrow down past Line C in the diagram, it may drag your eyes down a little; ending your eyebrows at that line will provide some lift.

If you have very naturally full and dark eyebrows, you can leave them alone after shaping them, but otherwise, filling in sparse bits is a good idea, especially if you have light hair. Unless you have red or strawberry blonde hair, make sure to avoid warm-toned colors for your brows; something ashy will look much more natural. If you have light hair, you can try a color a couple shades darker than your natural color to give your brows added definition; if you have dark hair, you can try a color a little lighter than your natural color to keep your brows from looking too harsh (using black to fill in black brows, for instance, will probably look too strong; something gray would be better).

You can use eyeshadow to fill in your brows or a brow pencil/kit, or a gel/cream like Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow or Anastasia Dipbrow (these have more of a learning curve). Personally, I like using eyeshadow, since it’s easier to make it look soft and natural than it is with a brow pencil. Just take an angled eyeliner brush, dip it in the eyeshadow, and draw a line along the bottom of your brows where needed, then gently brush/blend it upwards.

Keep in mind, if your eyebrows are just one dark color throughout, it will look unnatural – so fill them in more lightly towards the start of your eyebrows and darker/more defined at the tail. You can even use two different colors to do this. Then blend the powder in by brushing a clean spoolie through your brows.

You can use a clear brow gel as a final step to keep your eyebrow hairs in place; this is useful if your brow hairs are unruly. ELF and Milani both make clear brow gels.

Tutorials:

Eyebrow product recommendations for different hair colors are below. Please note that I have focused on listing ashy/cool-toned shades for all hair colors except red.

Hair Color Powder Pencil Cream
Blonde
  • Wet n Wild brow pencil in Taupe of the Morning (swatch)
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz in Taupe (Ash Blonde) (swatch)
Red
Brown
Black
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