Eyebrows can completely change one’s impression of the most familiar of faces. The angle of the arch, the roundness of the lines, the thickness, the spacing between two brows–all of it makes the entire upper half of the face look different. We’ve spoken about how to shape your brows right, at length earlier.
But even then, given the current obsession with bushy and thick brows, we just had to point out this one thing: a heavy brow is not right for every face–especially not the block-like, chunky “Instagram” brow which is common today. Allow us to explain why.
Yes, brows are having a significant moment. No, this is not a license for everyone to start rocking caterpillar-thick Delevingne arches. “The shape and size of your eyes play a role, but face shape is hands down the most important factor in determining the ideal angle for your arches,” says brow specialist Jo-Anna Lynn of the Sally Hershberger salons in New York City. Here, her guidelines.Looking for eyebrow tattoo salon? Look no further,Cosmetic Tattoo by Rach got you covered.
Know what you shouldn’t have to defend? Your eyebrows. It’s the sort of “flaw’ only a particularly uninventive 7th-grade bully would come up with. And yet here eyebrow shaming is, somehow being a thing. Right now, everyone’s brows are supposed to be a particular variety of thick-but-not-actually-thick. It’s just, I suppose, as rigid and superfluous as all the preferred shapes that came before it, whether we’re talking ’50s-style painted brows or the unibrow that was de rigueur in ancient Sumeria.
Your eyebrows are one of the first things people notice about you, usually. They frame your face, enunciate your mood, and help portray your thoughts in a non-verbal mode. In other words, they’re pretty important to most of us. Some people were blessed with eyebrows that they consider perfect for their face. Others, not so much. Today we asked some of our pro clients about a common concern, and for some tips on how to make thin eyebrows look more full.
If you genuinely like the current trend, please proceed! But for me, the idea of trying to get the look is exhausting. Just thinking about it makes me want to find the nearest Snuggie.
I’ve always been told my natural brows are too thin, but no matter your shape, size, or shade, you’ve probably had a similar experience. I know people mean well most of the time, but as far as I’m concerned, unless someone’s eyebrows are cutting ahead of you in line at Starbucks or posing a threat to public safety, their facial fauna is their business.
And yet, the 22-year-old painter and self-described “old soul” couldn’t deny the call of the tweezers. “It was a gradual progression,” Tippins says of her transformation from Cara Delevingne into Clara Bow. “Even though I have the kind of brows that are very ‘in’ right now, my features are pretty small, so it felt like the balance wasn’t there.” Bushy brows are the reigning beauty trend, with It girls such as Delevingne promoting a natural look and Glossier’s $16 “Boy Brow” — pomade that’s designed to thicken and shape lacklustre, patchy arches — becoming so popular that it has its own Instagram hashtag, which has appeared in 21,902 posts. Twenty-two-year-old model Sophia Hadjipanteli has even won fame and fortune by refusing to tame her shaggy unibrow. But then last week, British Vogue challenged the grown-in look when it unveiled its September issue cover. Rihanna is the sultry star, with a flower crown, blood-red lips and — controversially — a pair of super-stylized, pencil-thin eyebrows. The internet outcry was swift and passionate.
What matters is not so much thick or thin, but what is flattering and realistically possible for you. Most people look best when they work with what they’ve got — eyebrow shape, location, structure — and enhance it to a reasonable degree.
The best and most flattering rule is to shape your eyebrows according to your facial proportions, no matter what the trends are. If you take a pencil and hold the length of it against your face next to your nostril, the inner side of it should be parallel with where the inner part of your eyebrow should start. If you then shift it diagonally (keeping one end next to your nostril) so that it crosses over your pupil, it will point to where the highest point of your arch should be. If you then shift it further so that it intersects with the outer corner of the eye, the pencil should point to where the brow should end.
Aesthetically, eyebrows are meant to frame/define your face, not take it over. Everyone has to exercise their judgment as to what degree of thinness undermines that definition, and what degree of thickness means they drown out the rest of your face. I’ll put it this way: never fill in your eyebrows to more than two hairs’ breadth wider/thicker than they naturally grew at their heaviest, no matter what the trend is.
I’ve had thick, dark, bushy eyebrows since fourth grade, and when it comes to over-plucking, I’ve definitely been there (I’m looking at you, eighth-grade self). It took a long time to grow my eyebrows back to what they were (funny how the little annoying bushy hairs grow back like weeds, but the hairs that define the shape take an eternity) and I still lightly fill in the outer corners when I have time. I left my eyebrows unfashionably thick for years after learning my lesson, enduring the disbelief of my short-sighted trendy peers. Now I get loads of compliments on my eyebrows.
I have always found other people’s opinions on this subject to be too easily swayed by the whims of fashion to allow them to dictate my decision-making on something as long-term as shaping my eyebrows. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: eyebrows are unique to every individual, and it’s up to you to find out what’s best for you.
Beautiful and natural-looking eyebrows are one of the hottest beauty trends. We here at Bright Side have come up with this useful guide on how to make your eyebrows look gorgeous at home, without spending a fortune on salons and makeup artists.
Find the perfect eyebrow shape for your face shape.
- If your face is round, try to create as high an arch as you can. Look for a brow shape that follows a straight line to the peak of the brow, and stay away from a rounded brow shape. This will make your face look very round.
- For a square face, consider a curved brow shape, soft, or hard-angled shape. Stay clear of thin and short brow shapes.
- Women with a heart-shaped face should stick with a low arch and rounded brow shape, as it creates a more natural look. Avoid a highly arched brow: it can add length to a shorter heart-shaped face.
- If you have an oval face, choose a flat and soft-angled eyebrow shape. Those should go straight up, and then gently curve around at the top.
Arched Toward the Tail
“If you have a round face, you want to try and give yourself an arch, so it’s not around brow on a round face,” says Kelley Baker, celebrity brow expert and founder of Kelley Baker Brows. But as you can see, this classic brow shape looks phenomenal on almost anyone. Our exclusive range of eyebrow tattoo services will help you in eyebrow microblading, feathering or hair stroke eyebrow tattooing procedures.
Arched in the Middle
If your brows naturally arch more toward the centre than the ends, you can totally work with that. Ask a salon pro to clean up stray hairs under the highest part of your arch without creating a peak, which could result in the dreaded “constantly surprised” look.
Some celebrities, like Baker’s client Lea Michele, prefer a high arch well above the brow bone, which creates an extra defined and picture-perfect look. If you want this dramatic style, an arch toward the tail — not the centre — is a must.
Many people have a subtle, natural arch to their brows that looks fantastic without significant shaping. All you need is a little maintenance with a tweezer, like the Tweezerman Rose Gold Slant Tweezer ($23, ulta.com) and a brow pencil — Baker’s own Brow Defining Pencil ($22, kelleybakerbrows.com) is a great pick — to fill in sparse areas, and you’re good to go.
A brow’s arch doesn’t have to be angular. Sometimes, a softly rounded brow can be the most flattering option, especially if the rest of your face has sharper features. “For an angled face, you want a rounder, fluffy brow to soften the face,” Baker explains.
If your brow doesn’t naturally arch, there’s no need to create one. As you can see, straight brows can look amazing, and at any width. Keeping them brushed with a spoolie like the one from the Eco Tools 6 Piece Starter Set ($8, amazon.com) is a must for a polished look.
A close cousin of the arch toward the tail, a tapered brow’s inner two-thirds is noticeably thicker than the ends. If you love this look, but your brows are the same width throughout, keep in mind that it will require much more maintenance, like regular trips to a waxer.
An S-shaped brow starts up in the centre and then subtly dips down before rising into the arch. This is typically a natural occurrence, which some try to correct with shaping and makeup, but as you can see here, it can look fabulous as is.
Short and Thick
If you don’t have particularly long eyebrows, you’re a perfect candidate for the thick-brow trend. A brow that’s both short and thin could read as barely there, but a bold brow creates a youthful look.
This dramatic arched look goes to great lengths — literally — with the tail extending well beyond the outer corner of the eye. Use a brow pomade like Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow ($18, sephora.com) in the shade identical to your brow hairs to add a touch of tapered length to the tails of your brows.
Do you know how your brows join together or come close when you frown? That’s the look your face gets when the front portion of your brows is thick and wide. It weighs the face down and gives it a tired appearance. In addition to that, the space between the eyes and the brows gives the face a more heart-shaped look, thereby making the jaw look lighter in comparison to the upper portion. This is why it’s important to fill brows only where necessary.
Thick eyebrow is not for all
Brow makeup is about enhancement and sculpting.
Of course, this only applies to everyday looks–and not intentionally-feathered brows, or colourful and glittery brows meant to give you an edge. But filling, brushing, and shaping this complex feature on our faces should be done in a light-handed manner. Much like contouring, filling in the brows is all about subtlety and good blending. The entire point of the exercise is to enhance a feature, not paint it on like clown makeup. Unlike eyes, or sometimes even lips, which are all about playing with colours and shapes, brows-shaping is meant to look natural enough to seem like it’s not been filled in or drawn on.
Brows should frame the eyes, not take attention away from them.
Thick brows can, at times, be so overwhelming that the onlooker is drawn to only them and not the eyes–which the brows are meant to surround, not overpower. Now, the eyes are a very important feature, so a right brow should enhance and frame the eyes. However, excessively thick and dark brows can steal the thunder from your eyes instead of bolstering them. Of course, this looks cool right now because it’s a trend and we’re all in the same, caterpillar brow-filled boat!
One doesn’t automatically look better than the other. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to eyebrows. It varies from person to person and what looks better is more dependant on your own features. Also, those with naturally thick eyebrows usually look better with thick brows. And those with naturally thin eyebrows usually look better with thin brows.
Thick brows aren’t synonymous with un-groomed or shapeless brows.
When the bushy brow trend started, most of us were reeling from the high-arches of the early aughts. So, many felt the easiest way to get bulky brows is to grow them out. Now, the pressure to grow brows out of hair follicles that don’t exist is real. As a result, people don’t shape their brows at all. For anyone–man or woman–who wants his/her #browsonfleek though, a little bit of shaping and grooming is important, especially between the two brows. Of course, if your brows naturally arch along your brow bone impeccably, you’re excused. The rest of us, however, can run into a lot of trouble while filling in overgrown brows, often resulting in us filling them in too much.Want to know more about our eyebrow tattoo services?
The thirst for thick brows has led to boxy or unrealistically drawn-in brow shapes.
If Kylie Jenner can overdraw her lips, which is to say we can’t just paint on the brows we don’t have. Every child whose eyebrows were drawn in with a kajal during a school play, that’s who! Drawing on realistic-looking, thin brow hairs is a task even makeup artists cannot accomplish, let alone those of us who are rushing to go to work in the morning. Our advice? Steer clear of dark pomades, colour within the lines, and ALWAYS brush back with a clean spooly to keep things looking natural. When it comes to eyebrows, less IS more!
How to pluck the perfect eyebrows:
When you’re done with the theoretical material, get ready to proceed to the practical part. Take your tweezers and start plucking! We thought these small tips might come in handy to get amazing results:
- Make sure you’ve made yourself comfortable and have good lighting. Invest in a high-quality pair of tweezers – this essential instrument you’re using has to be effective in tweezing the eyebrow and grabbing the hair.
- Run an ice cube over your brows to reduce the redness, swelling, and pain, or apply some skin moisturizer.
- Be careful when plucking the area above the brow: if you go too far and over-pluck it, the brow will look unnaturally thin. After every few tweezes, take a couple of steps back to see the bigger picture and evaluate the result.
- Use a special brush to comb your eyebrows, and trim any hairs that stick up above the brow line with a small pair of nail scissors or eyebrow scissors.
How to fill in eyebrows:
Now let’s get to the most difficult and probably the most challenging part of the whole thing – how to fill in the eyebrows so that they look thicker and more natural. If your brows are lighter than your hair colour, you can try colouring them using a special eyebrow dye.
Keep in mind that the colour of your eyebrows should be very close to the tone of your hair. If you choose a colour that is a couple of tones darker than your hair, your eyebrows will look rather unnatural. See more of our eyebrow tattoo services.
You can fill in your eyebrows using a pencil, eyebrow powder or shadow, and brow mascara. A pencil helps you create a more natural look and conceal sparseness. Using brow powder, you can get thicker eyebrows, whilst brow mascara is a must-have for women with thick rebellious eyebrows.
The basic steps for getting your perfect eyebrows are almost the same no matter which filling instrument you’re using:
- Use an eyebrow brush to brush brow hairs lightly, line the bottom curve of the brow, and fill in the hairless spots.
- Make the tail of your brow if needed, and outline the top and bottom edges of your brow. Be careful with the margins of your natural brow shape; don’t apply too much colour, especially near the bridge of the nose.
- If you want the brow shape to look more well defined, try to highlight the skin between the eyebrow and the eyelid. To do this, apply a few drops of concealer and blend thoroughly, then apply some highlighter under the eyebrow, and you’re good to go!