Eyebrows are a very defining feature of the face, and they can truly make-or-break your entire look. Check out this ultimate guide to brows to learn about brow trends, products, and techniques to get the perfect brows you desire!
Why do people care about brows so much?
A few decades ago, no one did anything to their eyebrows. What caused the shift into an obsession over brows?
A lot of it has to do with the Queen of Brows, Anastasia Soare. We will get to her method in a bit, but let’s talk about what makes brows so important.
Aside from the physical reason that eyebrows are present on our face (to catch sweat, dust, and other debris that might fall into our eyes)…
Brows frame your face.
Having defined brows helps shape the canvas of your face, allowing you to enhance different areas with makeup.
If your brows tend to run wild and grow all over the place, it can give a feel of chaos or disorder to your makeup look (or even just your face!) as a whole. If your brows are very structured with sharp lines and rigid edges, it can seem blocky and extremely unnatural.
Now, there are no rules in makeup, and if you love your brows one way, you go girl! Keep doing what makes you happy.
However, most people prefer a defined brow somewhere between these two extremes.
In the 90s and 2000s, thin brows were all the rage.
Celebrities and women all over the world plucked their brows until they were pencil-thin, sometimes only a hair or two wide.
Late 2000s and early 2010s moved to a more natural brow, but it didn’t last long.
In the mid-2010s, a thicker, more defined brow became popular. And then the Instagram brow:
This is the type of brow that started to become popular when I got into makeup. It’s very defined and sharp, giving a clean appearance.
The thing about “Instagram Brows” is that they look great… photographed, on Instagram. They don’t look as great in real life.
Now, in 2019, brows have returned to a bit more natural state – defined, but more natural.
Different brow products
There are several different types of brow product to help define and shape your brows. Let’s discuss them all in more detail.
Without a doubt, TWEEZERMAN tweezers are widely considered the best of the best. When you’re grooming your own brows, tweezers are the easiest and most foolproof way to keep things tidy!
You can always get your brows done professionally (and if you have never shaped your brows, you might want to get them done once and then follow the lines on your own afterwards!) but if you’re confident in your abilities, these tweezers will pay for themselves within a few sessions.
Brow Brushes and Spoolies
Whether you’re applying powder, pomade, or blending another brow product in, you need good tools.
Angled brow brushes tend to be the most popular option – for good reason! They allow you to control how much product you use, while allowing you to use precise strokes to crease hair-like depth.
There are so many brow brushes and spoolies on the market. I’ll be honest – I don’t think the spoolie side matters that much! You definitely need to have one, but it doesn’t really matter which one – they are all about the same. What really matters is the brush side. If you get a bad brush, your brows won’t come out the way you want them to!
Anastasia Beverly Hills is considered best of the best, and you’ll see a lot of their products in this post! These brow brushes are their most popular, for good reason – they are precise, durable, and work wonderfully.
I believe these brushes are reasonably priced for their quality, and will last you a long time! A more affordable alternative to the ABH option here:
Purchase at Ulta
Brow powder used with a brush (like the ones just above!) can create soft, realistic looking, defined brows.
You typically can’t get quite as precise with a powder as you can with a pomade or pencil. Powder is wonderful for filling in sparse areas and creating an overall blended brow, but you won’t be able to get defined hair-like strokes with powder.
I started off doing my brows with powder because I was able to use a lighter hand and not go TOO bold with powder products. It’s also great for makeup artists, because it’s easy to keep sanitary!
I suggest the ABH Brow Powder Duos. There are two shades in each, and a huge range – you’ll definitely be able to find a match!
Think of pomade as a gel eyeliner that comes in a little pot, except for your eyes. That’s honestly what it is! You’ll use a brush like the ones above to take a tiny amount of product to define your brows.
Pomades tend to last longer on the skin than pencils, especially ABH’s pomade – which is known for lasting through serious weather, exercise, and showers. I’m not saying it’s waterproof, but it is probably the best you’ll get!
Because you need such a little amount of pomade when you do your brows, a small container of DIPBROW will honestly last you a VERY long time.
TIP: Keep the lid on tight, because pomades can dry out! Using a drop of facial oil is a great way to revive a dried out pomade. I’ve also heard that storing it upside-down helps, but I’m not sure how scientific that is…
If you’re looking for a more affordable option (though, DIPBROW will last you a LONG time so it is affordable in the end!) try out the elf Cosmetics version. It’s surprisingly good for the price!
There are many brow pencils on the market, because they are super easy and popular!
With a brow pencil, you don’t need any additional tools. They are easy to use and perfect for travel. There are SO many options out there, with different shades, sizes, and consistencies.
Using a fine tipped brow pencil, you can create hair-like strokes and bold lines to define your brows. Using a built-in spoolie on the other end, you can blend out the lines and create a softer brow look. I believe that brow pencils offer a lot of versatility, especially with all the types that brands are producing!
Here are a couple VERY popular brow pencils:
Imagine a very tiny mascara brush, with mascara that was the same shade as your hair. Bam, it’s a brow gel!
Brow gels help to add volume and thicken the appearance of brow hairs, while stiffening them to keep them in place all day. They are great for people who have naturally full brows, and for people who want easy and natural looking definition.
You can buy clear brow gel or tinted brow gel. Both will help keep hair in place all day, but only tinted gel will add depth and make your brows appear thicker.
I personally love a tinted brow gel that boosts the volume of my brows. My personal favorite is Glossier’s Boy Brow – it really lasts all day and gives me exactly the outcome I desire!
Purchase at Glossier
However, the brow-favorite Anastasia Beverly Hills has expanded their range to include a new Dipbrow Gel – which fans are raving about.
How to shape brows
The shape of your brows can drastically change how you look as a whole!
Here’s what I mean:
Not only do eyebrows have a physical purpose, but they also convey a lot of our emotions. You want to be careful that you choose a good shape for your face – one that makes you look great, and not angry all the time!
The best way to figure out a great eyebrow shape is to consider the parts of the eyebrow, your face shape, and Anastasia’s golden ratio.
Anastasia, from ABH, created the Golden Ratio for brows based on her experience tending to the eyebrows of Hollywood and using the mathematical rule of thirds. By tracing three lines from your nose and past your eye, you can perfectly determine where your brow should start, stop, and arch. Check out their video explaining the technique:
The Golden Ratio really does work, and takes the guesswork out of DIY brows.
But wait – different shapes of brows can all use the ratio. Which shape is best for me?!
Your brows should naturally lean towards one of the shapes we saw above. Some people have high arches, some people have straighter brows with very soft arches. Start off by choosing the shape closest to your natural brow growth – it’s probably what will flatter your face the best!
Still, it can help to have a guide. Don’t worry – they make eyebrow stencils for that!
Because the golden ratio is Anastasia’s thing, these stencils from them have the handy guidelines already on it! How awesome is that?
Tips for Perfect Eyebrows
There are different tips depending on your brow shape and products of choice, but in general you can follow these tips:
- Don’t over-pluck
If you already have, let it grow out for at least a month before you clean up your brows again. Only tweeze a few hairs at a time, then step back and assess your work. It’s easy to get carried away!
- Use a light hand
No matter what product you use, it’s easy to go too dark too quick, making it look like you used a sharpie to draw on your brows.
If you want a natural look, definitely take your time and use a light hand with your product.
- Don’t box in the front
The inner corner of your brow should fade to nothing or be focused on the brow hairs that are naturally there (or are drawn on if you don’t have much in that area!). If you have a bold line at the beginning of your brow, it will look super unnatural.
- Lighter in the front, darker in the tail
The tail of your brow can be a lot darker than the front, and still look natural.
- Use that spoolie!
A clean spoolie can SAVE a brow. After you apply product, brush through your brows lightly, distributing the product everywhere and fixing how your brow hairs lay against your face.
You can also use your spoolie to soften up an area that has a bit too much product, like the front of your brows. So easy!
I hope this ultimate guide to brows was helpful for you!
Have you seen my other ultimate guides?
- False Lashes
- Setting Powder
- Setting Spray