Ah, the power of eyebrows. The shape and fullness–or lack thereof–can completely change the appearance of a face. But, as with everything grooming-related, there are trends.
In the ’90s, the prevailing trend was for brows to be as thin as the heroin-chic models who sported them. But with a new decade came a new, more natural shape. Fast-forward to the 2010s and brows are fuller and more “natural” than ever. But for those who indulged in the ultra-thin arch era, the years of over-plucking, waxing, and threading may have left brow follicles damaged and unable to grow back. Plus, one of the many joys of aging is thinning brows. So, what are the follically challenged among us supposed to do when wanting to indulge in lush, full, “natural” brows?
Simple. Fill it in.
When it comes to filling in brows, there are a plethora of options available: wax, pencil, gel, powder, pigment. For those feeling overwhelmed and undereducated about the fine art of follicle faking, it’s easy to go overkill, layering and overfilling, resulting in fake, boxy brows that look like a middle-schooler took a permanent marker to your face. To avoid Sharpie-esque caterpillars perched on your brow bone, follow these three simple steps.
1. Find Your Shape
There is one surefire way to find the best, most natural shape for your brows. Start by taking a pencil and placing it parallel to your face, covering your nostril. The tip of the pencil should be next to your brow. Where the tip ends is where your brow should start. To find your arch, take the same pencil and align it so that it covers your nostril and the center of your pupil. The end of the pencil marks where your arch should be. Then, simply let them taper off. If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this YouTube video.
2. Pick Your Product
I’d be lying if I said that there is one be-all, end-all brow product, because it’s all a matter of personal preference. That said, for a natural yet defined look, stick to a powder or pencil. Alima Pure, a Portland-based cosmetics line made with natural ingredients, is a solid choice for both novice and pro. Their Natural Definition Brow Pencil comes in light, medium, and deep. And in a highly scientific Portland Monthly test session, we found there was a color that worked for everyone–which is pretty rare.
3. Less Is More
Regardless of your product of choice, remember to use light, short strokes. You can always use more product but it’s hard to come back from too much. Also, be sure not to load the front of your brows with product. From the front to the tail, the color should be concentrated at the tail and fade to the front for full on-fleek effect.
IMAGE: Alima Pure’s Natural Definition Brow Pencil / COURTESY OF ALIMA PURE