If our eyes are the windows to our souls, then our eyebrows could be considered the decorative valances. And how you style your, er, valances says a lot about you. Eyebrows are much more than the strips of hair above our eyes that help divert sweat. They make a huge contribution to our facial expressions to help us nonverbally communicate a feeling. They’re also a legitimate fashion accessory with dozens of beauty treatments and tools specifically designed to determine their shape, density and even color. And, just like with hair, there are yearly trends in the size and length of brows, often determined by runway styles.
Big and bold brows are the name of the game this year, but not everyone is blessed with dark and dramatic eyebrows à la Audrey Hepburn. Fortunately, with a few tools from the cosmetic aisle, you can achieve them anyway. Pencil liners are excellent makeup tools for creating a temporary eyebrow look. They come in a range of colors, from dark blond to deep black, so you can switch them up to coordinate with your hair color or to toggle between your day and night looks. Using them to create different brow shapes takes a little practice, so be patient if you’re just getting started. And keep in mind that when you’re going for a dramatic brow look, darker is always better. Read on for some easy techniques to draw in a dramatic brow.
Easy Techniques to Draw in Your Brows
Before you get out your liner pencil, you need to get rid of any stray hairs, so it’s time to get out your tweezers. But before you start plucking, determine where your eyebrows will start and stop so you don’t pluck hair in that area. To achieve a well-balanced brow, there are a couple of tricks you can use to make sure they’re in the right place. Take a pencil and hold it vertically against your nose. Where the pencil meets your brow line is where the brow should start. Then, move the pencil to the outer corner of your eye; where it meets your brow should be the end point where it starts to taper down. You can mark the beginning and end points by using a white eyeliner pencil.
Using your tweezers, only pluck stray hairs from the areas outside of the white pencil marks. If your brow hairs are long, trim them before you start tweezing so you can see and follow the natural shape of your brow. Once you’ve established the path, take your pencil and start filling in your brows with light, feathery strokes. To add drama, you can play up the arch a bit, going a little higher than your natural brow line. If you need a little help, you can always turn to an eyebrow stencil that will help you create a definitive shape. But you should never draw a solid line unless you want it to look like your brows are drawn on.
Brow Technique Finishing Touches
Once you’ve gotten your brows in place with your pencil liner, take a step back and look in the mirror. You’ll want to make sure that they’re even and symmetrical, so if anything is out of place, take a wet Q-tip and remove any excess or uneven pencil marks. Pencil is easier to remove than pen liners, so you can easily fill back in any holes this leaves. If your brow is coming up a little short at the end point, you can lengthen it by tapering it off with your pencil, making sure to use the light, feathery strokes we mentioned on the previous page.
If your eyebrows are particularly thin or light in color, you may want to amp up the coverage a little bit by filling in with some eye shadow that’s a similar color to your liner. Using an angled brush with a small tip, coat the brush with the powder and shake off the excess. Then apply the powder with the same light strokes as the pencil. No worries if your initial application is a little heavy — you can take a brow brush and comb out the excess. If your brows are thick and a little unruly, you can add some clear mascara to keep them in place. You can also look for pencils that contain wax to help shape and hold a thicker brow.