You wax ’em, you pluck ’em, maybe you even dye ’em – for many women, dealing with their eyebrows is a hassle. No matter how often you head to the salon or break out the tweezers, it feels like your stubborn brows are never just the right shape. How do the stars achieve such a perfect look every single day? They’ve got a secret – and it’s called a brow pencil.

Whether you have whisper-thin, barely-there brows or naturally dark, thick ones that don’t mess around, a brow pencil can help you define shape, add color and fill in bare patches for a flawless look in no time. The right brow shape can frame your face, bring out your eyes and soften (or toughen!) your look, so follow this tutorial for perfect brows every single day.

This isn’t art class

First, it is important to remember that your eyebrows should be natural – you don’t want to look as though you’ve drawn them on with pencil (although you essentially have, of course!). This means no picking up black brow pencil when you’re a natural blonde. Blondes and redheads, if your eyebrows are barely noticeable, you can opt for a light brown that will give added definition without looking too extreme. This tip works excellent for ladies of a certain age who are starting to gray, too.

And remember, absolutely no shaving your eyebrows and starting from scratch with your new art tools. A brow pencil should enhance your natural brows, not drastically alter them. Drawn-on brows never look natural, so stay away from anything too severe.

The right color makes all the difference

Pick a color that’s close to your natural shade. Blondes and redheads can go a few shades darker, while deep brunettes may want to go a shade or two lighter to avoid creating jet-black brows. The hue you choose should be able to easily blend into the surrounding hair. You don’t want it to look as though your natural eyebrow hair is sitting on top of a paint-shop swatch of color!

Keep a light touch

Brow pencil isn’t eyeliner, so don’t apply it like you’re lining your lids. Additionally, don’t draw an outline of your ideal eyebrow and start shading it in – it’ll look far too heavy-handed. Instead, you should gently draw tiny hairs by using short, staccato strokes in and around your existing brows. If you’ve got an area that’s overplucked or awkwardly sparse, you can fill it in by using a slightly heavier hand while drawing.

The trick to pulling off this look perfectly is making sure that eyebrow pencil is sharpened before you begin. With a sharp brow pencil, you can draw realistic hairs that’ll blend in with and enhance your natural brows.

Don’t forget to set!

To make sure your brow pencil doesn’t smudge or fade throughout the day, set your now-perfect brows with a hint of translucent powder or a makeup setting spray. Just be careful not to apply too much, or your brows will look dusty and clouded.

Finish up with your usual makeup routine, applying eyeliner, shadow and mascara. If you find yourself making a little extra eye contact with that hottie at the coffee shop today, don’t be surprised – he can’t help himself! Thanks to your flawless brows, all his attention is focused right on your peepers, so he just can’t keep himself from looking into your beautiful eyes.

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