Perfectly sculpted eyebrows are the dream. And like any dream, God knows, this is a hard one to achieve as well. Whether your eyebrows are thick or thin, over-plucked or bushy, light or dark, they need to be religiously maintained. Now celebrities are known to hire brow experts for this very purpose, but what about us mere mortals? Makeup artist Shreya Shrestha has a few useful tips.
“There is always hope,” says Shrestha. Regardless of the natural state of your brow, you can always fix it right. All you need is a) some guidance and b) lots (she stresses on ‘lots’) of practice. Learning to draw your eyebrows is an art that will take some time. But she assures us it is something we want to invest our time in because “eyebrows are everything.”
Brows provide the all-important balance as they determine all the angles for the rest of the face. If you do them right, they can narrow or widen the face and even lift a tired eye. Then there is the fact that eyebrows provide the frame for your eyes – the most important element to any makeup.
This should definitely convince you to put in the effort to up your eyebrow game. For this, first of all, you will require some tools.
The must know brow rules
• Always, remember that pencils aren’t meant to draw on your brows. Only use them for filling in gaps or bare spots, and please only use them on your hair—avoid getting too dramatic and drawing in lines.
• No eyebrows are the same. We all have different starting and end points, and you’ll need to find where yours are. To make your eyebrows look natural and appealing, your eyebrows should start in line with the outside edge of your nose. You can use your tweezers for this. Flip them upside down and hold them to your face. They should sit along the outside of your nose, between that and your eye. (The picture should give you an idea).
• The ending tip of the eyebrow should never drop below the level of the beginning of the brow. Brows should sit on the same horizontal line or slightly higher, but never lower.
• While deciding on the thickness of the brows, you have a bit more say in the matter. You can choose how thick or thin you want your eyebrows. Take into account the shape of your face.
• Many people believe that their eyebrows should look identical. That is a common misconception. When some obsess over making their eyebrows look exactly the same, they have been known to over pluck them or draw them way too dark. That’s even worse. Your eyebrows may not look identical and that’s okay. You just have to learn to work with what you have. Just don’t make it worse by trying too hard to make it perfect.
Brow essentials A brow brush
A brow brush is good to have on hand for a lot of reasons. In fact it is required for the very first step of drawing your brows. You should always comb your hairs up to see where they need to be filled in, starting from the front working towards the tail of the brow. It might seem like a small, negligible step but this step actually serves as a foundation for a perfectly sculpted brow.
Brow powder or pencil
If you are drawing your eyebrows with your regular kohl or any random color pen, stop. Stop now. Never underestimate the power of a brow pencil or powder. Some of you might have assumed you could substitute it but that’s a myth. This is an essential investment. Once you use it, you shall clearly see the difference.
Note: According to Shrestha, one of the most common mistakes Nepali women have been making while drawing their eyebrows is not picking the right color to match their brows. “Usually, it is too dark and thus it looks instantly artificial,” she says, “I wish more women were aware that eyebrow powders and pencils also come in shade of brown and light brown.” A good rule of thumb when for looking for the right pencil shade is to opt for a color two shades lighter than your hair color.
“Yes, they are available in Nepal as well,” confirms Shrestha. To keep unruly or curly brows tame in place, a brow gel is a must. Although there are tinted options out there, sometimes you can’t beat a clear gel. It goes on transparent and just acts as a comb to separate hairs and keep them flat. You also use it after drawing the brows for that perfect finish. Finish with clear brow gel combing hairs up because you want to show that hair texture. It locks it in place and your brows are done. You will notice that the gel helps enhance the angle of the brow arches.
This is said to be the secret of famous brows like that of model Cara Delevingne. “Concealer shapes the brows, finishing what brow gels, pencils, and powders begin,” says Shrestha. If you want that crisper edge in the beginning and the end of the brows, learning how to use concealer on them will do the trick.
For highlighting and sculpting brows, you are better off using a concealer that matches your face or is one shade lighter than your skin tone.