Brows are one of our most impactful features — they pull everything together, completing any makeup look and creating a frame for the rest of the face. Over the years, eyebrow styles have ranged from pencil-thin to bushy and bold, but as of late, it’s the fuller, natural-looking brows that are still winning out. Here at bareMinerals, we’re all about embracing the natural brow shape and texture while creating a polished, yet natural, look. Read on for a full eyebrow tutorial, with all my best tips and tricks for creating (and maintaining) your best brows ever.
Pluck & Shape
First of all, it’s important to remember that nobody’s brows are exactly symmetrical, so don’t stress about “perfect eyebrows” when comparing your two brows. Overall, when I consider how to shape eyebrows, I just use the brow bone as a guide; where it is raised should be the highest part of your brow and where the natural shape of the arch should lay. I prefer angled tweezers over pointed because they lay flat on your skin, making them easier to capture the hairs. To help avoid over-plucking, start by only cleaning up those extra hairs that grow below the brow. You can pluck above your eyebrow, but be careful and do so sparsely, as you may want to trim some of these hairs instead of plucking. To do this, brush brows up and outward to see the full shape, then trim minimally at first, using a pair of beauty scissors. Avoid cutting brow hairs too much — the idea is to leave hairs long enough to comb and brush, not to cut your brows into the shape you want.
Prep Your Brows
Filling your brows can help make them look fuller, denser and more shapely. But before filling your brows at all, comb through them to make sure there’s no skincare or makeup residue. You can do this with a clean spoolie mascara wand with a little micellar water or makeup remover on it. Make sure the spoolie is damp and not soaked, then comb through and let the hairs dry before applying any brow products.
Find Your Brow Shade
When it comes to finding the right shade to fill your brows, aim for one that’s close to your natural brow color, but if you’re between shades, I recommend going a little lighter to avoid a harsh look. More often than not, your brow color will match your natural hair color, but if you color your hair (or even if it’s natural) your hair color is typically more than one tone, so it’s best to match your brows to your roots. As an example, if you have highlights, you can choose a brow pencil that is close to your natural hair color, then use a lighter color brow gel overtop to bring out your natural highlight.
Pick a Brow-Filling Format
If you have sparse brows, I recommend using a pencil to help define your shape. I love the BROW MASTER Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil because it gives you a natural fill, but you can easily build up to a full brow. It also goes on smooth, unlike some brow pencils which can require quite a bit of effort to deposit pigment. The oval-shaped tip of this pencil allows you to control how thick or thin your strokes are. Plus, the spoolie at the end helps you distribute product; you can use the brush to carry the pigment through the brow if you’ve overly deposited in one place.
Did you know you can use a matte eyeshadow to help fill in your brows? This is a great way to go if you already have naturally fuller brows, which gives the pigments something to grip to. I like using a flat angled brush, like the liner side of the Expert Shadow & Liner Brush to dip into the product and apply. I love our GEN NUDE Eyeshadow Palettes for filling in brows. My favorites for cooler-toned brow hairs are Soul and Stargazer from the Rose palette. For warmer-toned hair, I recommend Indie from the Neutral palette and Solstice from the Latte palette.
Filling in your brows with only brow gel will give you a softer look than using a pencil or angled brush and powder. This is great if you have a naturally fuller brows and just want to brush your brows and add a little color, or simply set them in place with a clear gel. It’s a less defined look, so it’s best for those looking for minimal precision with a slight boost of color. This is also great for anyone with unruly, wiry brows who are looking for a bit of hold.
Start at the Arch
Before starting, brush your hairs upward and outward to see the natural shape of your hair growth. When filling in your brows, I recommend starting at the arch of the brow first, as the front, inside part of the brow is naturally fuller. If you begin at the inner part of your eye, there’s more of a chance of overfilling your brows. Only once you’ve filled in from the arch to the tail should you go back and fill the inner brows, as needed.
Move in Short, Upward Strokes
Whether you’re using a liner, powder or gel, apply using short, upward strokes that follow the natural pattern of hair growth. By using short strokes instead of a strong line or filling in like a marker, it will look like your hair grew on its own, creating a more natural look.
Take a Step Back
When working on your brows, you’ll want to get really close to your mirror. However, if you’re too close up, you’re not seeing the full picture, which can lead to over-filling. It’s really important to take a step back (literally) and look at both brows, to ensure the shapes of your 2 brows are complementary. I suggest moving back after filling your first brow and looking into a mirror to recognize the shape and placement, then work on the second brow so it matches. In fact, it’s actually best to step back a few times as you go to ensure you’re looking at both brows together as much as possible.
Set & Finish Your Brow
Every time I put on our new STRENGTH & LENGTH Serum-Infused Brow Gel, I’m amazed by it. The brush has a unique diamond shape that creates natural fullness and definition. I’ll usually brush through brows once to comb them in place, then I will use the top angle of the diamond, right where it comes to the taper, to shape. If one hair is out of place, the brush creates incredible control without overdoing the color deposit. The product is also made with mineral pigments, so it doesn’t feel crunchy like other brow gels that can feel like hair spray. STRENGTH & LENGTH Brow Gel has a flexible hold with no stiffness or flaking.
Highlight Under the Brow Bone
Highlighting under the eyebrow on the brow bone helps create shape, lift and helps to define the eye area, without distracting attention from your gorgeous brows. The stronger you highlight in the arch the more you will see the shape and angle. You can do this with a matte shadow, soft shimmer shadow, or even bronzer, which will add depth if your brow bone is very prominent.
I love using a finely milled highlighter like the ENDLESS GLOW Highlighter, or any of our GEN NUDE Eyeshadow Palettes. As a rule, you want to pick a color that will blend naturally with your skin, so it doesn’t pull focus from the rest of your look. You can also add a bit of highlight to your inner corner as well to open up your eyes.
How to Get Fuller Brows
If you’re looking for healthier, fuller brows over time, I recommend the STRENGTH & LENGTH Serum-Infused Brow Gel, as it’s formulated with a Red Clover Peptide Serum, which provides powerful strengthening benefits. Try wearing the clear brow gel at night to let your brows reap those benefits while you sleep. You can also throw it on while at the gym or on a low-maintenance makeup day.
When to Do Brows in Your Makeup Routine
It’s perfectly fine to work on your brows wherever you’re most comfortable in your routine. I prefer to do complexion first, then brows, to help create a frame for the rest of my look. I will revisit the brows towards the end of my routine to make sure they look balanced. For example, you could do your pencil in the beginning of your routine, and then any additional filling at the end of your look, followed by gel at the end to set them into place.
Carly Giglio (@carlygiglio) is a celebrated celebrity makeup artist and beauty educator with a passion for color, glowing skin and celebrating her client’s unique beauty. With over a decade of industry experience, including red carpet and editorial photoshoots, brand creative campaigns and New York Fashion Week, Carly is all about the details when it comes to creating beauty looks.
“My makeup and artistry philosophy is about enhancing each individual’s natural features, not covering them up,” says Carly. “I love helping people to feel their best and most confident, while exploring the possibilities with makeup.”
A self-taught makeup artist, Carly first discovered her passion for color and artistry at a young age through her love of painting and a background in fine arts. One of her favorite aspects of working in the beauty space is connecting with people and making them feel good about themselves through the power of makeup – transforming a blank canvas into a work of art.
“I love creating beautiful, glowing skin with elements of color and luminosity throughout, and I’m all about seamless builds of color and structure,” Carly says. “But the best payoff is seeing how confident my clients become once they learn some simple makeup tips.”