Jun 21, 2011

massive eye brow ramble and how i shape & fill them in.


some time ago a reader had asked me how i fill in my eyebrows and i have promised to cover this topic in a "basics" series. now i finally come to do it.
brows are such an important feature of your face. you will look bright and smart when you do them properly with a crisp and clean shape but natural result. that's why i could skip eyeshadow, blush or lips, but foundation, brows and mascara are essential to me.
i'm not very brow-confident but i do the best i can with them ;)
i also had a time when i overplucked my brows but in the last years, i like to wear them a bit thicker and more bushy to achieve a youthful and natural look.
the key to a natural appearance really is a slightly thicker shape and NOT do overdraw - always shade your brows within the hair line. you should choose a brow pencil or powder that is a lot lighter than the colour of your hair and does have an ashy tint (not too much red) - you'd only want to use the colour as a shading colour for your brows to appear more dense. so it's ok to colour them in evenly and not struggle too much with drawing on short little strokes. my holy grail brow powder for asian black hair is Copperplate Eyeshadow by MAC. it has the right colour and a fantastic texture. in pencil form i really love the Shiseido brow pencil in GY901 Natural Black. i prefer pencils with a really hard lead so it's a lot easier to achieve an even, non blotchy finish and avoids overdone brows and they stay pointy a lot longer.
it always looks old and fake when you see drawn on colour but no hair texture - the short-strokes-to-fake-hairs-method may apply on pictures or from far away, but never works when someone looks directly vis-à-vis at you. and that's the main part of life for most of us.
for sparse areas i only fill them in a bit more intense and then brush the other brow hair over to conceal it. 
don't rely on your brow pencils or powders, try to let them grow within your desired borders.
to get an authentic finish, i always use a brow gel afterwards (after powdering my face) to give the brow hairs a shiny appearance like they naturally are and to keep them somewhat in shape. if clear or coloured gel is your choice.
if you have dense brows, perhaps you only need to dye them.

how i pluck and shape my brows.

usually i just try to maintain my brow shape. but if you want to reshape your brows, try to take a look at some pictures of your youth (when you haven't started plucking them). the natural brow shape and thickness should always be a guide to the shape that will harmonise with your other features the most. it's best to aim for a clean and only slightly thinner version of your initial eyebrows. too thin, too short, too rounded or edgy or too high laying brows always appear odd in your total appearance. or if they begin too far outside.
the best way to not overpluck is to use a sharp dark eye pencil and draw your desired shape on your brows and fill it. then only pluck everything that lays outside of that shape.
if you have dark face fuzz like me, a brow shaver can do wonders. you can get them in most drugstores. i like to carefully shave the hairs on my temples and forehead (just around the brows) - it brightens up your face immediately (i really want to try waxing or threading some time). but please be careful with them.

i'm also not a fan of trimming brow hairs. i find it looking very weird when you can see brow stubbles.
if you are insecure about the shape, i would recommend you to invest into a consultation with a trustworthy esthetician or make up artist to get an initial shape that you only need to maintain further.
for my part i'm not very satisfied with my brow shape at this time. i try to grow them longer (to the ends and also at the beginning) and want to slowly shape them less arched and more straight.
normally, i pluck my brows once or twice a week. i use normal slanted tweezers, nothing fancy. you (or your male friend) can form them yourself to get a better grip. it's only important that the branches lay on each other 100%.
another very important tip is not to pluck too often and not to look into a big magnifying mirror. you will want to pluck even the tiniest hair and dig out every soon-to-come-stubble and this can turn into a bad habit which will ruin the skin on your brow bone.

now on to the "tutorial"

this is what i will use :

Shiseido Brow Pencil in GY901 Natural Black - common spooley wand - Alverde clear brow gel

some other very helpful tools:

MAC 219 - cosmetic q-tips
the 219 is great to smudge out the colour in small circular motions for an even shading. i love the fine end of cosmetic q-tips to adjust the shape - they are great to define your brow endings.

i do my brows right after foundation & concealer, then powder my face and then brush through my brows with a brow gel to remove powder residues.
this is how it looks undone.

left side done - right side undone.
you see the difference is not very impressive, the "done" side just looks groomed and elongated.
both sides done

first, i draw a line on the bottom of my brows - within my brows - to get a crisp shape and lengthen the ends.

from there i fill in my brows with shorts strokes evenly within the hairline.

i go over this with my spooley wand to brush out the pigment and disperse it evenly. as a last step i just brush through my brows with a clear brow gel.

if i feel like, i will use a slightly pearly cream shade to highlight directly under the brows for an extra bright and clean look. i use MAC Shroom and my Hakuhodo S121G. 
you only need the smallest amount and rarely touch the pan.

on the inner parts to brighten shadowy areas
directly under the arch to get an extra lifted effect

this is the final result:

again, to compare:

if you prefer video tutorials, Jen from FromHeadToToe recently did a great one!!!
click here to watch it.


  1. This is a really good basic guide! I haven't waxed my brows in forever (I shave them ~bad person~) but now that my brows have finally recovered from my "too bushy must tweeze to within an inch of their life!" I really do need to get them in shape.

  2. Polished brows really make a difference.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Toller Post! Ich lege auch viel Wert auf gepflegte, richtig gestylte Augenbrauen. Ich finde, sie geben dem Gesicht Kontur und Ausdruck, wenn sie richtig in Form gebracht sind.

  4. I've never seen a brow shaver before! I don't think you can find that here, or at least not on a typical drugstore.
    I seldom fill my eyebrows, they're quite 'filled' on their own.

  5. I like this. Very pretty, clean, but effective.

  6. I like how you draw in the arch at the bottom, rather than the top. With straight Asian hair, I think it's a more reliable guide than the traditional method.

  7. Great post! Your eyebrows are beautiful and have such a perfect arch and taper--unlike my woolly caterpillar brows, which instead of thinning in width, they seem to be thinning from the inside!

    Brows frame the face and they (and lipstick) are my bare minimum for leaving the house--or at least leaving with the potential to be seen by another human.

  8. I love the before and after, your brows look so sleek, although they do look quite nice even before! I don't use brow gel, just eyeshadow.

  9. beau!ty!ful!

    danke für das review, das hier ist ein "Vorzeige-Post"!

  10. thank you all!

    @dain: yes, i find that it looks more lifting and opening when i start with a bottom line in comparison to start drawing in a top line.

  11. your brows are natural and pretty, good job!!!! :))) not overplucking is a must for me (and a great tip) and also I agree with not looking into a magnifying mirror!!! :))))

  12. I am a natural minimal-makeup kind of girl. In fact, I rarely wear makeup. However, I make time every day to define my brows. I agree with your recommendations to use a lighter brow colour, one that leans ashy, and your overall technique. Thanks for sharing great technique!


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