Eyebrows are one of the most important – but also the most underappreciated – features on our face. They just don’t get the credit they deserve for their ability to truly transform our face.
When our eyebrows look good, we usually don’t notice them. What we do notice is that the whole face looks lifted. But if the brows are bad, we absolutely will notice them.
Brows that are too bushy can look like an angry line across a face. Unkempt ones can give the impression of a dirty face. Very thin, drawn-on brows can create a very hard and severe look and brows that are too thin almost seem to disappear and leave the eyes without the proper framing.
As we age, our brows naturally thin. As years of tweezing or waxing accumulate, the hair follicles become weaker and the hairs grow back more slowly, if at all. Even in the best situations, brow hairs can take as long as six weeks to grow – a lot longer than the hair on our head.
The good news is that we don’t have to tweeze as often. But here are a couple of tips when we do need to tweeze.
Tweeze just a few hairs regularly rather than go many days without tweezing. A magnifying makeup mirror is a must!
Makeup Mirror with Lights and Magnification from Amazon
Tweeze after taking a shower as the warmth and vapor soften the skin and relax the pores so hair can be tweezed out more easily. Another option is to press a warm washcloth directly on your brows before tweezing.
If your skin is sensitive, consider applying Anbesol to the brows about five minutes before tweezing. It’s a topical toothache anesthetic which will numb the skin. After you finish tweezing, just rinse off the Anbesol.
For easier and less painful manipulation, tweeze the brow hairs in the direction of hair growth and alternate between brows.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tweezers
In addition to tweezers, there are three other products we need for our brow care: small scissors, an angled brush, and a spoolie.
As we get older, those “rogue” hairs that quickly grow quite long also need some attention, so a small scissors is a helpful tool. It’s best to brush the brows up first and then just trim a tiny bit so you don’t trim too much. An angled brush is perfect for applying powders and pomades.
And a spoolie helps us brush the brow hairs up and into their natural position. After applying a brow product, run the spoolie through the brows to pick up any excess product.
12 in 1 Eyebrow Kit at Amazon
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If you’re unsure how to shape your brows, you might want to try a stencil kit. One that’s excellent is Senna Cosmetics’ Form-a-Brow Kit. If you can color in a picture in a coloring book, you can have wow brows.
Choose the stencil that is closest to your real brow shape and line it up on the brow. Using a brow powder that best matches your brow hair and then color inside the stencil. When you remove the stencil, you can tweeze away the hairs that aren’t colored.
You may have heard that you shouldn’t tweeze any hair from above the brow, but that’s a myth. If you have hairs above that are ruining your perfect shape, by all means go right ahead and tweeze them.
A new way to shape and trim your eyebrows is to use a razor. It’s not a new technique, but was previously exclusively used by professionals only. Now, we can purchase professional-grade eyebrow razors and do it ourselves.
You can shave the fuzzy hairs that grow on top of your eyebrows, the strays on the bottom, and even in between your eyebrows if you have the Frida Kahlo look and would prefer not to.
The other option is to have your brows professionally shaped. But since creating great eyebrows is an art, be sure to do some solid checking and get referrals. Your brows are too important to entrust them to just anyone!
Does shaving your eyebrow hairs make them grow thicker? According to Mayo Clinic, “No — shaving hair doesn’t change its thickness, color or rate of growth. Shaving facial or body hair gives the hair a blunt tip. The tip might feel coarse or “stubbly” for a time as it grows out. During this phase, the hair might be more noticeable and perhaps appear darker or thicker.” – Mayo Clinic
Read more about this topic in this article from Healthline, Shaving Does Not Affect the Thickness or Rate of Hair Growth.
Now that we’ve discussed eyebrow tools, let’s talk about products.
Eyebrow powders are quick, easy, and readily available. Most come in a single container while others offer two colors so you can custom mix a shade or use each color on a different brow section. You certainly can use eyeshadow to fill in your brows as well.
If you have dark brows, you should either match your brow color or go a shade or two lighter. If you have very light brows, you’ll most likely want to go a shade darker.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo
Knowing where your brows should stop and start is also important. To determine where your brows should start, take a thin pencil, and put it along the outer edge of your nose and the inner corner of your eye. Where the pencil hits your brow area is where your brow should start.
Finding where it should end is most important for the majority of us. To find out how far down to bring your eyebrow product, take the same pencil along the outer edge of your nose; then go along the outer corner of your eye. Where the pencil crosses the brow is where the brow should end.
Bringing the brow color lower than this point can make your eyes look droopy. If you have very downturned eyes, don’t fill in your brows quite as far down and try to create a very slight upward stroke at the end.
Keep in mind, however, that powder won’t adhere to sparse brows. If this is your case, I suggest you use a brow pencil (thick and/or thin) or cream (pomade).
Brow gels come in clear or tinted varieties. Their purpose is to hold those wiry hairs in place, and if you use a tinted brow gel, you may not need a different product to fill in your brows.
I particularly love the Almay Brow Styler because of how thin the brush is and how well it applies, but there are lots of brow gels on the market. And here’s a quick tip: you can spray a little hair spray onto a disposable mascara wand or spoolie and that will also keep your brows in place!
Eyebrow pomades adhere well to the skin and give a beautiful, polished look to the brow. You do have to be quite careful about how much to apply, since it’s easy for pomades to look overly heavy or blocky.
There are many options on the market, but I particularly like Maybelline’s Brow Tattoo pomade. It’s far less expensive, and it doesn’t dry out.
Another option is Wunderbrow which is a liquid product applied with a brush. It will last on your brows for three days. You don’t need much at all so it’s important to wipe off the brush and just use a very small amount. Otherwise, your brow can look way too heavy.
It’s also possible to get your brows tinted at a hair salon. If you decide to invest in an eyebrow growth serum, do your research. They can have very good results, but you need to make sure you don’t have any individual issue that might cause side effects to occur.
First, if you use a little powder to set eyebrow pencil, it will last longer. Second, to color white or grey brow hair, moisten the brow hair with brow gel or hairspray first and then put matching brow powder or eye shadow on top.
And third, if you have grey brows, you can fill them in either with grey eyeshadow or a grey eyebrow pencil or a taupe colored eyebrow product. Test run both of these colors to see which look you prefer.
Eye Embrace Warm Betty: Light Gray Eyebrow Pencil
Our reader, Sarah, recommends the ETUDE Drawing Eye Brow #5 Gray.
Let us know if you try any of these products and what you think of them.
If you love experimenting with makeup, download my FREE guide to “The Top Four Research-Proven Makeup Techniques That Help Women 50+ Look 5–20 Years Younger.”
What kinds of changes have you seen with your brows? Have you found any eyebrow products that you particularly love? If so, please share the names of those products with us.