Beauty Tips: Brow Know-How

10:00 AM

Your brows frame your face.  Unless you're blessed with perfect bangs to hide them, everyone will see them.  Like many other women, I over plucked my brows when I was younger.  It took years to get them to a decent shape and thickness and even now I have sparse areas I have to fill with a pencil.  Thank God for makeup! 

I used to be a freelance makeup artist for a minute.  The day job ended up monopolizing the majority of my time so I stopped... but I loved doing what I affectionately call living art.  It's a very specific type of art form that not only has to be perfect for whatever look you're trying to achieve, but it has to last for a decent amount of time on a canvas that is moving, changing in temperature and being consistently touched.  It's not the easiest art form but people successfully use it every day to put "their best face forward".  I prefer makeup that enhances one's natural beauty although I've seen women completely transform with a good amount of makeup.  The possibilities are endless, really.

Brows aka face-framers are an integral part of creating a look that is not only beautiful but flattering to your specific features and face shape.  Well-groomed and well-defined brows have the power to alter the appearance of your face significantly.  Here are a few tips and tricks I've learned over the years that have worked for myself or my former clients and I thought I'd share them with all of you.

Brow diagram:
Kristen Kreuk (Smallville) has perfect brows.
  • Comb your brows before applying eyebrow pencil and then lightly comb them once you're done applying pencil or shadow or whatever medium you prefer to fill your brows.
  • Use your eyebrow pencil or brush with feathery strokes.  Blend carefully and remove any telltale marks.
  • Hold a pencil vertically against the side of your nostril.  The point at which the pencil crosses the brow is where the natural brow line should start (Line A in the diagram above).  Lightly mark this spot with pencil.  Don't tweeze brows too far behind this line.  
  • While keeping bottom of the pencil stationary at base of nostril, slide the top slightly across the front of the eye and stop at the outer edge of the iris.  Where the pencil crosses the brow (Line B) is where the arch should be.  Lightly mark that spot.
  • Now keeping the pencil stationary at the base of your nostril, move pencil diagonally so that it extends past the corner of your eye (Line C).  Lightly mark this spot because your brow should not go past this point or your eye will look droopy. 
  • Don't go too dark!! We often use a product that is too dark and it gives us that not-so-flattering Eddie Munster brows.  If you apply too dark a color, brush a light beige/yellow toned matte shadow or powder over the brows to lighten the color and make it more natural.  
  • Generally, if you have blonde hair, you want to go for a color a little darker than your hair color or you'll look like you don't have brows.  
  • If you're a redhead, you can get away with matching your brows to your hair but do so with caution. Too red a brow might look harsh.  Perhaps choosing a softer red shade/auburn shade might be the way to go. 
  • If you have brown or black hair, try to go within a shade or so lighter than your hair color.  It gives a softer, more flattering appearance to your face.
Tip Time!

When filling in your brows, depending on where you direct the downward slant, your brow actually helps shape the face- round, square, oval or long... See the diagrams below.  (Click on the diagrams to see a larger view)

  • If your face is round, the tip of your eyebrow should point to the top of your ear.  Curved brows emphasize the round shape of your face.

  • If your face is oval, enhance the shape by aiming the tip of the brow in the direction of the lower ear lobe.

  • If your face is square, point the eyebrow toward the center of the ear, reducing the distance between the upper and lower halves of your face. 

  • If your face is long and narrow, keep the line above the ear almost straight across to lessen the appearance of length. 

Remember, these are just tips and guidelines...not rules that can't be broken. Every face is different in symmetry and brows vary more than just a few ways so find what looks best on you with your features and face shapes.  I'd love to hear some of your tips and tricks for shaping brows.  Share with me below in the comments!!


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