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. Peep the styles below to choose your ideal look, and then follow the accompanying steps and product recos for DIY flawless brows.
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.
To lift and lengthen:
Step 1: Lop off the tail using tweezers to eliminate sparse strands or wax if it's bushier. But don’t go overboard, tweeze brow hair by brow hair. Stop to look in the mirror after plucking two-three from each brow to make sure they’re even and you haven’t made them too short.
Step 2: Draw the end of the arch upwards toward the temple using a budge-proof brow gel and small angled brush. Tip: rest your elbow on the counter while crafting the line to steady your hand and pull off an even wing.
Step 3: Let the color set and top with a wax-based brow pencil to ensure a natural finish and hold.
For these rounded, Gigi-like face framers, 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.
To soften and create an arc:
Step 1: Rest a pencil (or makeup brush) against your nose, aligning it with the natural arch to see where the slope should begin. Using that point as a guide, make long fluid strokes with pencil to fill thin brows and round the shape down near the outer corner of the eye.
Step 2: Following the same path, add a powder layer (using a stiff, angled brush) to achieve the arched and feathery shape. Use a light hand at the tail to maintain the look.
Bonus tip: Dab liquid highlighter into the brow bone using your ring finger to create the illusion of a more lifted brow. Just don't overdo it or you'll end up looking like a disco ball!
“For those blessed with naturally thick brows, just throw on some colored eyebrow gel and go,” says Oliver. “Now for the rest of the population, this brow is all about being thick and straight.”
To level out:
Step 1: Start at the inner corner of the brow and make a straight line toward the outer edge, working just under the brow line. This will establish the flat shape and road map to fill in.
Step 2: Exaggerate the line by following it along the top of the brow, too. You want to overdraw just a bit and make the brow even thicker.
Step 3: Continue the line and follow your natural arch, but bring the line out so it has a more horizontal slant (as opposed to swooping downward). To make it look more realistic, 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.
Thick, boyish brows ála Cara Delevingne are basically like the shape previously discussed, but with a larger arch. And if this style seems eerily similar to the brow you plucked off 15 years ago … yea, #same. Luckily it takes just three steps and a taming product to recreate the brows you were born with.
To go big:
Step 1: Like an overdrawn lip for poutiness, draw outside the lines here, too, amplifying the arch using an eyebrow pencil.
Step 2: Fill brows with a pomade hue that matches (or is a hair darker) than your natural shade and brush it through with a brow gel to separate strands.
Step 3: Sparse brows? Skip the gel altogether and instead use a brow growth serum to help them grow IRL.
There's a little extra grooming involved with this structured brow, but it's worth the carpal tunnel. Super-angular brows need to be brushed up toward the sky, shares Oliver in addition to other essential steps.
To reach the peak:
Step 1: Apply a thin layer of clear brow gel in an upward motion and let it dry for about 30 seconds (do a touch test to be sure).
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: To pump up the point, take a brow powder and angled brush and apply the powder into the arched portion, extending just above the point to overstate it.
Step 4: Trace a thin, cream concealer around the brow and blend to really define the shape and arch.