Just because you are armed with an arsenal of brow pencils and powders, doesn’t mean you are not in danger of sporting your grandma’s drawn-on brows. Between so many different formulas and shade combinations, there is a lot of technique and know-how required to get them to do exactly what you want them to. That is, create the bold, yet natural-looking arches of your dreams. Here are some mistakes to avoid and how to draw your brows the right way.
Sweeping on gel straight from the tube: Mousses and gels don’t require a surgeon-steady hand like pencils, but they are not foolproof. They can be messy, so first you should wipe the brush with a tissue to remove excess product. This way, you can easily brush it through the brow using upward strokes without getting too much on the skin around the brow.
Bypassing the blend: Powdery pencils are the most user-friendly and the most natural way to fill in an eyebrow. But, just like you wouldn’t sweep blush on your cheeks without blending it in, you can’t just draw on your brows and call it a day. Comb through them with a spoolie brush — bonus points if you find one attached to your pencil — to soften the strokes and make the look more natural.
Going cold: Brow pencils are typically less creamy than eyeliners. As such, they can be difficult to work with, but here is this smart solution: Always warm up your brow pencil by applying it on your hand before you apply to the brow. This helps the pencil glide across the brow hairs smoothly, building up gradual and natural color as you go.
Only using one shade in your palette: Most brow powders are duos for a reason, the two shades are important because when you look at any one brow, you first see the hairs themselves — whether fine or thick — and then you see the shadow those hairs cast on the skin. For the best brow application, the lighter hue should be used to mimic said shadow, and then the darker shade should be directed at filling in sparse patches and adding length.
Glowing overboard: Like strobing on cheekbones, applying highlighter to browbones provides a lifting effect. Think of it as the icing on your artfully enhanced brows. But more isn’t better, instead you should use a small, soft brush to lightly smooth highlighter right under the arch and then blend outward toward your ear. To ensure the sheen looks natural, stick to warm, non-glittery shades.
Going out of order: You would think wax makes a good base for pencil or powder, but it coats the hairs, and therefore can get muddy if you try to apply more product on top of it. Rather you should use pencil or powder to create the base shape and depth of the brow before finishing with wax for hold.
Going overboard: To subtly boost your arch game, layer a powder pencil with clear or lightly tinted brow gel. Solid color in the brow can be too much; there should be a bit of translucency between the hairs and your skin.
If you want a super-bold brow, you can also brush powder over any sparse patches before applying the gel. But stick to the same brand and shade for any products you layer, as it makes building and blending much easier and the color finish more realistic.