Beauty Q&A: How Do I Glue Down My Eyebrows?July 22, 2021
The beauty of makeup lies within the ability to transform your face into whatever your heart desires — whether that be altering the shape of your face with contour or enhancing your lips with liner. One of our other favorite ways to transform the face these days is to take away or redraw the eyebrows, which is a trick originated in drag makeup.To do this, you must start by gluing down your natural eyebrows, which may seem confusing at first. We called on NYC-based makeup artist Kasey Spickard to get to the bottom of how to master this technique.
“Gluing down your brows gives you the freedom to create any brow shape you want on your face,” says Spickard. And he’s right — the size and shape of your brows can drastically change your face and the makeup look you’re trying to achieve. “You can also go for a ‘no-brow’ look,” he adds, “which can be super edgy and interesting.” Mastering the art of gluing down your eyebrows all starts with choosing the right product. “There are two main products for gluing down your brows,” Spickard notes, “and the right one for you depends on how much you usually sweat. If you aren’t a sweater, using an Elmer’s Glue Stick will work perfectly, but if you tend to sweat more, you will need to use Pros-Aide Cream.” Once you’ve chosen your glue, here’s how to glue down your eyebrows.
Clean your eyebrows with alcohol on a cotton pad and brush your clean brow hairs vertically using a spoolie brush. “You do not want any natural oils or moisturizer to be on the brow hair and skin around it,” says Spickard.
The thick spoolie on one end of the Maybelline New York TattooStudio Tattoo Brow 36HR Pigment Brow Pencil is perfect for this. Plus, the high-pigmented pencil is ideal for defining your new brow shape later.
Press and swipe your glue stick or adhesive cream upward on your brows, following the natural growth pattern of the hair. “If you use Pros-Aide, know that it is much thicker and harder to work with,” adds Spickard, “so you want to move fast with it.”
Dry the glue by hitting your brows with a blow-dryer on the cool setting for 60 to 90 seconds.
Here comes the setting portion. “Take a disposable makeup sponge and pack it full of finely milled powder and press it all over the brow,” says Spickard. “I like the Ben Nye Classic Transparent Pretty Pink Powder. Let it set for about 30 seconds and brush off the excess with a fluffy brush.”
Swipe your glue stick or adhesive over your brows two to three more times, and use a wet fingertip to smooth out the glue. “Your goal is to fill in the grooves between each of the brow hairs with the glue,” Spickard notes. Blow-dry and powder your eyebrows again.
Repeat steps two to five until you get a smooth surface. Spickard says this usually takes him three to four layers of glue. “Do not do more than you need, however, or it will be too thick and you will see the glue through the makeup,” he adds.
Eyebrow Glue Removal
After you’ve glued down your brows and beat your face to the makeup gods, it’s time to take it off at the end of the day. If you are using Pros-Aide, Spickard suggests using the brand’s remover to restore your brows. “For a glue stick, you can soak off the glue by massaging baby oil or an oil-based makeup remover into your brows with hot water,” he adds.
We suggest using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil for dissolving every last speck of glue. The hydrating squalane and evening primrose oil will ensure that your skin (and brows!) don't feel raw and stripped afterwards. And there you have it, with practice and careful attention you’ll be gluing your brows down like a pro in no time.
Photo: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Design: Hannah Packer