August 3, 2016 Eyes

A Makeup Artist's Guide to Hacking Your Brow Shape

It seems all anyone can talk about these days is brows. How to get them. How to grow them. How to shape them. And while, thick, bushy brows were (and are still) the shape du jour, they are starting to share the spotlight with other shapes and techniques. It’s officially a brow free-for-all! Lucky for you, we tapped our fave makeup pro Emily Oliver to give us tips on how to hack whatever brow you have your eye on. Check it out!


For these looks, you may need one (or all) of the following: NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade, Giorgio Armani High Precision Brow Pencil, Maybelline EyeStudio Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara, Urban Decay Brow Box


1.  On the Up & Up

For vertically inclined, Grace-Jones-like brows, Oliver recommends following the natural rise of the brow, but trimming down the region it would typically turn downward. “These types of brows are most easily done when the end of the brow is either sparse, shaved or waxed off,” she explains. “I would lop off the tail and then continue to draw the end of the brow by hand so it trails up toward the temple, using a combination of powder brow product as well as a wax-based brow pencil to ensure a natural finish.”

 illustration of eyebrows

2.  Golden Arches 

For these rounded, Twiggy-like brows, one must do a scaled-down version of the above-mentioned tip. Instead of drawing the end of the brow at an upward slant, you need to round it out and have it curve downward. “For this look, one must round the shape dramatically in order to get that stylized look,” explains Oliver. “I would partner a very thin brow pencil with a powder to follow. Make long, fluid strokes with your pencil and powder in order to achieve the look. Make sure the tail is thin as that is crucial to the look.”

illustration of blonde, thin, arched eyebrows 

3.  Straight Shooter 

“For those blessed with naturally thick brows, just throw some colored eyebrow gel and go,” says Oliver. “Now for the rest of the population, this brow is all about being thick and straight.” Go with the pro and follow these steps:

Step 1: Start at the inner corner of the brow and make a straight line toward the outer edge, working just under the under the brow line.

  Step 2: Exaggerate the line by following it along the top of the the brow. You want to overdraw just a bit and make the brow even thicker.

  Step 3: Continue the line and follow your natural arch, bit line the ends so they have a more horizontal slant (as opposed to swooping downward). To make it look more realistic, Oliver says to opt for a brow pencil and a matte brow powder to cover. Use a generous amount of each product for full coverage. If you're feeling daring, use a brow pomade and apply it with an angled brush after you create your shape with a brow pencil. This will exaggerate the look even more.

 illustration of straight eyebrows

4.  Pretty Boy 

Thick, boyish brows ála Cara Delevingne are basically like the shape previously discussed, but with a larger arch. “Overdraw above and below your brows, exaggerating your arch,” says Oliver. “Fill them in with a brow pomade and make sure to brush through it with a brow gel to separate those eyebrows. This creates a more stylized look. If your brows are sparse, ditch the gel and rock your look!”

 illustration of bushy, boy brows

5.  Unique Point of View

Super-angular brows need to be brushed up toward the sky, says Oliver.  “Apply clear brow gel and let it dry,” she instructs. “Then, take a small brow pencil and trace directly into the bottom of the brow. Lightly repeat this on the upper brow, making sure to keep the pencil extremely close to the brushed-up shape created by the brow gel. Take a brow powder and angled brush and apply the powder into the arched portion, extending just above the point to exaggerate it.”

Illustration of blonde pointed eyebrows 


Which brow shape do you love? Tell us in the comments below!



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