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The Easiest Way to Create Perfect Brows

By Elise Marquam-Jahns April 18, 2024 Beauty

It’s been said that nothing frames the face so beautifully or gives an instantaneous lift quite like beautifully shaped eyebrows. Eyebrows are one of our most important facial features because of the many functions they perform. They help accentuate our eyes, shape the face and play a powerful role in communication.

But as we’d all agree, our eyebrows undergo quite a few changes as we get older – everything from brow hairs getting sparse and patchy to receding fronts and tails to hairs getting longer and more unruly and turning grey and white.

But the good news is that eyebrows are the one thing we can get into shape without exercising! And, there are some quick and easy ways to solve these eyebrow challenges so we can once again have gorgeous brows that beautifully frame our face.

The two most important qualities of our brows are their color and their shape, and both of these qualities change as we get older. I’ll share the easiest tool that helps us create our perfect eyebrow shape in just a moment, but first we need to focus on color.

Eyebrow Color

There are two general rules of thumb related to eyebrow color. The first one is to keep our brow color as close as possible to our hair color or one or two shades lighter or darker. What’s most important in making the choice of how light or dark we want to go is personal preference. And what we’ll be doing on a specific day can also make a difference as to how light or dark we choose to go. For instance, most days we may prefer to fill in our brows to match our hair color or go one or two shades lighter. But if we’re going to a special event, we might like a slightly more dramatic look and go one or two shades darker.

The second rule of thumb which is really important is for our brow color to match the undertone of our natural hair color and skin. For example, if we have a cool skin and hair undertone, we’ll want to stick with brow colors that are cool. And if our skin has a warm undertone, we’ll want to go with brow colors that have some warmth to them. If you’re not sure of the undertone of your skin, the video below will be helpful.

A medium brown eyebrow pencil might have a cool undertone or a warm undertone so it’s important to either test the color in person or look at the description of the color. On the Sephora website you’ll always find a brief description of the color such as “cool blonde” or “warm golden blonde” which can be really helpful.

Once I purchased a medium brown eyebrow pen at the drugstore assuming that it would work, but it turned out that it was a very red brown which didn’t work at all on my cool toned ash brown colored hair and cool toned skin.

But What About Grey, White or Silver Brow Hair?

But you may be wondering what you should do if you have grey, silver or white hair? The best grey eyebrow color for grey, silver or white hair will usually be a light or deep grey or taupe and once again the choice boils down to personal preference. You get to decide what look you’re most comfortable with and makes you feel most confident.

Unfortunately, not that many cosmetic brands carry grey eyebrow pencils, so let me mention a few brands that do: the drugstore brand NYX, Benefit Cosmetics and the Sephora brand. And this site also features products for women with grey, white and silver hair. The important thing to remember with eyebrow pencils is that the greater the pressure applied, the darker the color will be, and lighter pressure will produce a lighter color. But grey eyebrow products are not the only option if you have white, grey or silver hair. Often, a taupe color can work wonderfully well with grey hair.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Eyebrow Shape

Now let’s talk about eyebrow shape. Since we often lose brow hairs in the tail or the front of our brows, it’s important to recreate that shape so our eyebrows will look their best. To determine where our brows should start, place a pencil or pen along the side of the nose and point it straight up toward the hairline. This is where the brow should start. Next, hold the pencil or pen against the nose again and then swivel it so it touches the outer corner of the eye. This is where the brow should end.

Next, we need to fill in our brows, but this is where it gets tricky because often our brow hairs have gotten sparser, scraggly or patchy and many hairs may be grey or white. Also, one brow may be shaped a bit differently from the other. All of these issues make it far more time consuming and challenging to fill in our brows so they look even and polished.

But there is a brow tool that can make this whole process of shaping and filling in the eyebrows faster and easier. It’s a brow stencil. Brow stencils let us quickly shape our brows like a pro. But I’m not talking about individual stencils that we hold up to our brow with one hand because these stencils are cumbersome.

You have to hold them in place with one hand and use the other hand to apply the brow product and there’s no guarantee that when you put the stencil up to your other eye, that you’ll place it exactly in the same position. The easiest eyebrow stencil to us is one that has a thin elastic band that goes around the head so the stencil easily fits over both eyebrows.

This stencil allows both hands to be free and since it covers both brows, both brows will look exactly alike. These types of stencils come in a package with a number of different eyebrow shapes so we can find one that’s very close to the shape of our brows or one that’s slightly different from our brow shape that we might choose to use. For instance, my brows don’t really have much of an arch, so I usually pick a brow stencil that’s close to my brow shape but which has slightly more arch.

Special Help for Sparse, Wiry and Grey Brow Hair

Once we place the stencil over both brows, we’re ready to apply our eyebrow product of choice. If our brows have gotten quite a bit sparser, try taking a brow pencil and tracing the shape of the brow first and then fill in that shape with a brow powder, pencil, gel or pen – whatever product you feel most comfortable using.

In general, a powder creates a softer look. If we wish to add volume to our brow, it’s important to fill in the brow at the top rather than the bottom since our eyes will look their best if we keep as much space as possible open between our lash line and our eyebrow.

Once we have the brow shape filled in using the stencil, we can address other brow hair issues. We may want to add another product to create more fullness if we have sparse brows, more hold if we have wiry brows or a brow gel that will cover white and grey brow hairs.

To create more fullness, a product that can help is one that has built in fibers that add volume such as Elf’s Wow Brow or Benefit’s Gimme Brow. If our brows are extremely wiry and don’t stay in place, a brow gel with hold can work really well. Two especially good ones are one from ABH called “Brow Freeze Gel” and one from Rare Beauty called “Brow Harmony Flexible Lifting Gel.”  And one of the very few products I’ve found that actually covers up white and grey brows hairs is Maybelline’s “Express Brow Fast Sculpt Eyebrow Gel Mascara.”

So once we’ve decided on the color that will work best for our brows, the easiest way to create our perfect brow look is to fill in our brows using a stencil and then adding any other products such as Wow Brow or Gimme Brow to add volume, Rare Beauty or ABH Brow Freeze to hold brows in place or Maybelline’s Express Brow Fast Sculpt Eyebrow Gel Mascara to cover up white or grey brow hairs.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How have your eyebrows changed over the last decade? What is the most difficult challenge you have with your eyebrows? Have you found an eyebrow product or tool that you especially love? If so, what is it?

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I have had very sparse eyebrows since I had chemotherapy 18 years ago. At one point I thought about having them tattooed but wasn’t keen to end up with an effect I didn’t like but would be stuck with (I know some techniques fade but it can take 2 years).

I’ve become expert at using eyebrow pencil, my hair is a warm blonde shade with some contrast highlights so I find hazel shades are best. I use the type of pencil that has a lid with a brush on it as this corrects any little mistakes.

In the UK, I find the best budget brand is Rimmel, I buy half a dozen at a time on my visits back from Switzerland. In Europe there is a budget brand called Manhattan which is equally as good (their soft eyeshadows, face powder and lipsticks are excellent for the price).

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Linda–Thanks so much for sharing these great options.


What do you think of the various tattooing options. There is one called powder brows that is quite soft and tattoos colour underlying your brows

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Joanne–
I hope women who have had their eyebrows tattooed will share their experiences here. What I can say is that over the years I’ve taught a number of in-person makeup classes and many women have shared their experiences with tatooing eyebrows, eyeliners, lip lines, etc. Many women have loved the results, some have had O.K. experiences and some have not had good experiences. Like anything else, it’s definitely very important to get referrals and check references so you can find a talented and experienced tattoo artist. It’s also important to be aware that the tattoo color does fade after several years and can turn interesting colors so it’s usually necessary to get the tattooing done more than once.


This is wonderful information. Going to subscribe to the channel!

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Kate–

I’m so glad you found this information helpful and appreciate your letting me know. And welcome in advance to my channel. I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

The Author

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional makeup artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back. She is the founder of Boomer and Beyond Beauty and runs the “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” YouTube channel. Elise has authored the free guide The Top Four Research-Proven Makeup Techniques That Help Us Look Our Best Now.

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