2013 could very well go down as the year of the eyebrow. Of course, not just any style of eyebrows was making a splash – it was the bold look that seemed to be everywhere. With starlets, singers and other celebrities sporting this trend and fashion models strutting down the runway with it as well, one thing became clear: Over-plucking is out. In fact, women began to pay more attention to their eyebrows in their beauty routine, reaching for pencils and stencils to achieve the right shape. Meanwhile “brow bars” opened up across the country, helping fashion-forward patrons to groom theirs to perfection.
While fuller brows may look easier to achieve and maintain than slender ones, there is still some work that goes into this look.
Follow these three simple steps and you’ll be rocking a striking shape in no time:
Step 1: Trim and tidy
Whether you have brazen brows that tend to look overgrown quickly or only have to deal with eliminating a few strays, you need to tidy up the shape before you go bold.
Start by sweeping a brow brush upward through the hairs. Look for any hairs that poke out above the arch, and then carefully trim the very ends. Then repeat the same process but brush the hairs downward this time. Don’t get scissor happy, either. Remember that you can always go back and trim more off – but if you overdo it, it’ll be hard to get the full look you’re going for.
Don’t put the brow brush down just yet. Comb it through your hairs upward and across once again to create some lift at the arch. This will help you to see the natural shape, which you’ll enhance in the next step.
Step 2: Fill in the gaps
You may see some sparse areas in your brows, or perhaps the hairs are so light that they almost seem to blend in with your skin. Either way, there are plenty of ways to boost your brows so that they stand out.
First, you need to prep them for the pigment. Founder of The Beauty Bar and brow expert to the stars Kristie Streicher revealed her signature feathered technique for tinting and shaping to Refinery 29. She recommended swiping a tinted brow mousse or gel through the hairs in an upward motion. Then, she suggested applying a second coat going in the opposite direction. The key is to press the tip of the applicator to each individual hair to make sure they all get coated. Afterward, it’s important to brush the hairs back to smooth them out.
Step 3: Color contrast
Now it’s time to reach for an eyebrow pencil that matches your natural hair color. Make light, short strikes in an upward motion to ensure that the look mimics the direction of your hair growth and the pigment doesn’t go on too heavy. One of the biggest mistakes that women make is applying the pencil to the skin, when actually you want to focus on the hairs themselves. It’s best to concentrate on the outer two thirds of your brows. Your brow brush comes in handy once again to blend and soften the color.
If the look you get with a pencil is too dramatic, you might opt for a brow powder, which creates a softer, feathered effect. If you can’t find the perfect color to match your hair, you can always blend several shades. Brush it along your hairs from the arch outward, avoiding the inner third of your brows. Then go back and gently blend the pigment toward the inner corners.