Last month, Google reported that no one’s searching for things like ‘tweezing’ and ‘eyebrow plucking’ anymore. Instead, they’re looking up Cara Delevingne and terms like ‘statement brow’ and ‘fuller eyebrows’. At just 21-years-old, the model du jour’s already legendary for her Brooke Shields-like brows and a generation of teens who spent the ‘90s over-tweezing is now embracing a full arch. A full arch, however, doesn’t mean an un-groomed one. We asked makeup artist Sage Maitri (she works with women like Alexa Chung and Camilla Belle) for a simplified lesson in filling in your brows.
If you’ve just recently grown out your brows, or never had them shaped, head to a professional before attempting anything yourself. “Find pictures in magazines of brows you like, much like you would bring to your hair stylist,” Maitri says. A professional can find the right shape for your face and define your arch—once that’s done, it’ll be easy for you to maintain. Click through to find out how.
“The first step to tweezing is knowing where to tweeze,” Maitri says. Using your eyeball as a guide, line up the handle of the makeup brush on the outer edge of or your iris. Wherever it hits—that’s your arch. “This is where you’ll take the most hair,” Maitri says. “But keep in mind that may only be a few hairs.”
Maitri recommends using slanted tweezers, like Tweezerman’s Pink Perfection Slant Tweezer ($22). “Be careful not to tweeze past the inner corner of your eye,” she says.”That’s your starting point.” And don’t tweeze the ends! They almost never grow back. You can use aloe or cortisone cream to calm your skin down if it’s red post-tweezing.
You can fill in your brows with a pencil or powder and an angled brush—use whichever one you’re most comfortable with. If your brows are particularly sparse, Maitri suggest a two-step approach. “Use a powder to create the shape and then with a very thin pencil, like Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21), use wispy light feathery strokes to create the illusion of real hairs,” she says.
Use a spoolie brush like Sonia Kashuk’s Core Tools Spoolie Brush ($2) (you’ll find one on the end of pencils like Dior’s Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil ($29) and the Sculpte Sourcils Pencil ($32) from Chanel) to brush out the pigment. Continue to layer and brush out until you’ve reached the shade of your choice.
Though a pigmented gel might look like a one-stop solution to all of the steps above, Maitri suggests sticking with a transparent formula, like Maybelline’s Great Lash ($5) in Clear, to hold them in place. “Colored brow gels can get messy,” she says. “Model in a Bottle Long Lasting Eyebrow Sealer ($13) is fantastic for girls with oily skin.”