The Secret to Perfect Brows, Forever
“Eyebrows are the most expressive feature of the face." That's the first thing that makeup artist Neil Young says to us when we ask him about how to achieve perfect eyebrows. And we have to agree. Brows have become one of the most important parts of our makeup routines, and not just because we've been inspired by the luscious brows of the likes of Emilia Clarke and Cara Delevingne.
In 2014, it was revealed that UK consumers spent £6.5 million on eyebrow-related products between January and May of that year. This makes the UK market worth approximately £15.5 million per year. And in the U.S. it's the same trend, with the eyebrow market worth $122 million (£82 million). Clearly, this is big business.
But we're not just spending money on brow products, we're also going online to search for ways to get our brows looking perfect, as per the aforementioned Delevingne and Clarke. Over 60,000 searches on "perfect brows" are performed every month—that's a lot of people looking for eyebrow solutions.
It's high time, then, for us to give you a rundown of how to achieve your ultimate brow. From a three-step guide on general upkeep to answering some of the biggest brow problems, as well as selecting the best eyebrow products, we've called on makeup experts to reveal how you can achieve your ideal brow, forever.
Keep scrolling for our simple guide on basic eyebrow upkeep, how to solve your brow problems and where to buy the best gels, liners, powders and brushes.
"Take a makeup brush and hold the brush at the angle from the corner of your nose, through the inner corner of your eye. This is where your brow should start. For the arch, look straight ahead and hold the brush from the corner of the nose straight up through the centre of the eye. This is where your brow should arch. For the end, hold the brush from the corner of your nose to the outer corner of the eye, this is where your brows should end," recommends head makeup artist and brow expert for Benefit Cosmetics, Lisa Potter-Dixon.
"Get rid of your stray hairs and any that attach your hairline to your brows, but don't overpluck, as you want to keep it natural. The reason being is that it’s really ageing on a face to have sparse brows. And definitely don't trim them, you want them to look natural," says makeup artist Neil Young.
"Always go for cooler colours. I've used a quad of MAC eye shadows for years. Omega (£13) for blondes/red heads, Copper Plate (£13) for mousey blondes, Brun (£13) for light brown hair, and Typographic (£13) for brown to black hair. The thing to remember [is with] lighter hair you can go darker, and with darker hair you go slightly lighter. Essentially you're creating an illusion each time," says Young.
And if you're tinting the brow, this is what Potter-Dixon has to say: "I believe tinting works for everyone, even if you have dark hair, tinting still adds to your look as it adds a healthy glossiness to the brow. If you have blonde brows, have them tinted a light brown. This will really help to make your eyes look bigger."
"If you’ve got good brow hair and you haven't got gaps but you want to make them look more luscious, then you need a really great large angled brow brush. My Kit Co's My Bold Brow Brush (£15) is brilliant. It's like a brow brush but a fat version. You use it with eye shadow and brush it through; it brushes up the hair without depositing product on your skin. It’s like dry shampoo for your eyebrow," says Young.
"I hate Instagram eyebrows—they're great for a picture but not great in real life. Creating definition is about anti-ageing and lifting the brow. To pick everything up, you need to add in individual hairs. In terms of product, I obviously love Anastasia Beverly Hills super-fine one—they have amazing colours and are perfect for drawing in individual brow lines. I also love Kevyn Aucoin's Precise Brow Pencil (£21) too," says Young.
"There was a trend in the '70s and '80s that women would have thin eyebrows. Those eyebrows probably haven't fully grown back. Also,15 to 20 years ago we used to use liner and lip pencil for filling in eyebrows, but now it’s amazing in terms of technology and products. If you've overplucked however, my current favourite is Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Brows. It’s a very clever product—it means you can paint in hairs and bulk them out so it’s multi-functional. It takes sparse brows to much fuller ones," recommends Young.