“It used to be all you need is mascara and you’re ready to leave the house; now all you need are good brows!”
- Use a primer—a little castor oil applied with a spoolie brush works wonders. It’s light, not stiff, and will help condition the hair. (A spoolie is the little want thing like what comes in a mascara tube—you can buy them separately at the drugstore or online.)
- Brush your brows up to see what you’re working with.
- Use a brow pencil that matches your natural brow color (the pencil goes on the skin to fill in any sparse areas). Make short, soft, dash-like strokes that mimic your natural brow hair.
- Apply brow powder in a slightly lighter color (combining different shades will add texture). Use an angles brush to help define the shape of your brows.
- Set the hair with a brow gel (brush up near the inside if you want the full, natural brow look).
- Don’t overdo it—you want to be sure you can see hair. not just makeup. Remember to leave texture on your face.
Jimena Garcia is a highly sought-after celebrity brow artist who’s been shaping brows all over the world for more than twenty years. She was recently appointed Chanel’s first-ever brow artist.
Brows are usually the finishing touch—the last thing you do when doing your makeup. But they may be all you need. Start with the pencil for your detail-oriented work—create a shape or fill in a hole. The powder is more of a shadow for the brow, and it doesn’t compete with the texture of the hair. Combing through a colored brow gel will hold the hairs in place. Brow hack: If you don’t have a tinted brow gel you can use your brown eye shadow and an essential oil—apply using a little spoolie or even a toothbrush. Brown mascara will also do the trick in a pinch—just whoosh it up like you would a gel. Or keep an aloe leaf in the refrigerator, cut it, brush through the meat of the plant with a spoolie, and use that as brow gel. It’s super cool and totally works!
A word about brow tint:
Tinting is a great way to bring your brow to its fullest state—the dye picks up all of the baby hairs and coats every hair, creating an even tone and shine. Natural hair has a tendency to be ashy and flat. Even if you have black hair, tinting makes it shinier and richer (you can also lighten your brows if you have very strong features and are looking to soften).
A word about grooming:
Use a tweezer to take off the excess fuzz/hair not in your brow or hair that’s away from the general shape you’re going for—but don’t pluck every day. And don’t pluck hairs in areas you want growth— trim them with little scissors instead so you leave a short hair, which maintains the fullness of the brow (otherwise you create a hole). If you have a rogue hair that’s growing in the wrong direction, tweeze it out by pulling it in the direction you want it to grow. (The bulb of the hair within the layer of the skin can be redirected so that hair can be taught to grow the right way—amazing, right?!)
A word about growing out your brows:
You want your brows to be growing on the same cycle, which may mean letting them grow out so that the stages aren’t uneven (which causes you to pluck all the time, which you don’t want). Try mixing castor oil, vitamin E, and sweet almond oil (the same amount of each) into a small jar and apply the mixture before bed. And you know the old grandma tale that if you brush your hair a hundred strokes every night, your hair will grow? Try it with your brows, it helps!
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