Makeup Lesson: Filling in your Eyebrows.

I’ve been experimenting for a while now on how to get my eyebrows to look tidy, and hallelujah! Finally I found a method that works every single time. Unfortunately, we weren’t spared from our share of bad brows in the past. Like for example: this atrocity on the left.


Bad Brows vs. Good Brows

What’s going on here? In the before photo, the brows were:

  1. unblended,
  2. way too dark (especially with the smokey eye), and
  3. too angled.

With a few adjustments in Photoshop, you can see how the right brow shape and makeup can balance out the face nicely. ย By the way, I don’t know how that photo on the left actually made the cut to a post on the blog. ย We must have been on medication of some sort that day. ๐Ÿ˜›

Brow “Rules”

I write rules in quotes as they really should be taken loosely.ย  These are what I find work for me, and what I’ve noticed in many makeup photos in the past.ย  I don’t claim to be a brow expert.

  • Pair bold eyes with softer brows, and statement lips with strong brows.
  • Brows are the most flattering when they are sharpest at the tail and softest at the head.
  • Colours with cool undertones work better than warm shades.ย  Taupes generally work better than straight up browns.

What You’ll Need

  • A brow pencil (MAC Eye Brows in Spiked)
  • A brow powder or eyeshadow (MAC Eyeshadow in Coquette or Brun)
  • A clean mascara wand
  • An angled eyeliner brush
  • Q-tips
  • Optional: A champagne / light beige eyeshadow (MAC Eyeshadow in Arena)

Shaping Your Brows

As general guidelines — if your brow arch follows this shape — for how to shape your brows (and if you read a lot of beauty blogs, you probably already know these):

  1. The head of the brows should start aligned with the inner corner of the eyes or the edge of the nose.
  2. The highest part of the arch should be aligned along a diagonal with the middle or edge of your iris.
  3. The tail of the brows should end aligned along a diagonal with the outer corners of your eyes.
If you are too clumsy/scared to DIY, no worries! ย Go to a professional to get the right shape for your face and maintain the shape for as long as you can.

Makeup Your Brows

Naked eyebrow

Starting at point (2) in the diagram, take your brow pencil to sketch out the shape, working your way to point (3).ย  Make sure the brows taper off at the tails.

After brow pencil on the tail

Dip an angled eyeliner brush in your brow powder, and starting at point (2) in the diagram, fill in the sparse areas of your brows working inwards to point (1).ย  This ensures that the most product goes in the top of the arch, and the left over product goes on the head of the brows to avoid that drawn in look.

MAC Coquette and MAC Brun Eyeshadows

After brow powder on the inner half

Brush out your brows with a clean mascara wand to soften the shading. ย If you were heavy handed with the makeup, run a dry Q-tip through your brows to take away some of the product.

Optional: Highlight the brow bone with a champagne or light beige eyeshadow to make your brows stand out. ย It also conceals any stray hairs that might have been left behind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

MAC Arena Eyeshadow

Aaaand… you’re done! ย Go forth and show off your improved brow arches.

Finished eyebrow

Before / After

Once you get the hang of it, the whole process only takes 2 minutes. The results are worth it, too. It makes you look more polished in almost no time at all.

How Do You Do Your Eyebrows?

Swap your best brow tips and tricks in the comments. ย I’d love to read them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Pingback: Arianne (@TheGlitterGeek) (@TheGlitterGeek)()

  • wow it looks so natural and very well done -effortless! Need to get MAC’s Coquette! Brun has already been on my wish list! thanks for sharing! I usually use pencil for speed, but powder looks softer

    • Thanks, lady! Coquette is a great soft eye contour shade as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wear Arena on the lid and Coquette on the crease for an easy eye makeup look.

  • Pingback: Liz P. (@beautyblkbook) (@beautyblkbook)()

  • Ooh! Very pretty indeed ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I don’t say this nearly often enough, but you have *awesome* brows, Arianne – they always look so polished!

    Tbh, I really haven’t any brow tips of my own. Unless it’s for a blog look (and sometimes, even then…), I literally never do my brows >.< Just don't have the patience, I suppose!

    • Thanks Rae! You know, you have quite a lot of brow hair for an Asian. ๐Ÿ˜› Mine doesn’t go very far on the tail end, so I gotta extend them to look like a normal person’s brow.

  • i’m like Rae, i only ever do my brows if i’m photographing a look… and sometimes not even then! :p

    i’m pretty lucky to have fairly full eyebrows, so i only fill them in when i want them to look extra dramatic :). although i should remember to brush them through more often.

  • Hai Bambi.
    If that is an awful brow day I have had an awful brow life.
    Actually that’s not too far from the truth T.T

    • Hello. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m getting them taken off soon. ๐Ÿ™

      Whatchutalkinabout Willis? Your brows don’t look bad!!! What do you use with them now?

  • jamiila

    Very nice!i have mine professionally threaded and shaped at Blink, and use their wax-based eyebrow pencil and eyebrow gel. You are more coordinated than I am!

    • Oohh that sounds great! I have never used eyebrow gel. I think I might need it too because these brows like to point all over the place when the day goes on.

  • Beth

    Great tutorial! But in all your pictures, I was distracted by your crazy long/curled lashes! Were you wearing mascara in the pictures and what is it? Thanks girl <3

    • Thanks Beth. They are lash extensions + YSL faux cils.

  • Wow. Thanks so much for doing this tutorial.

    How would you recommend adjusting this slightly for just using the Benefit brow brush? I like way the pencil is great for the tail, but I find it makes me inner brows too dark. Just go lighter on the pencil?

    • Just do short light strokes on the inner corners, sketching in the direction of the hair.

  • Pingback: Larie (@eyeheartit)()

  • I have a friend who likes to yell at me to tend to the brows better. I used to be really good at shaping them but I’ve become such a brow slob. Nice tutorial and a timely reminder for me to be a little more diligent!

    • Woohoo! Glad to be of service. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks so much for this breakdown Arianne!! I can really see the difference between the before and after shots! I’ve always had trouble tending to my brows but have had bad experiences getting them shaped at a professionals. Will definitely follow your diagrams and give it a go!

    • Let me know if you have any questions Stacey! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to help.

  • First of all, what the heck are you talking about with the first photo – you are too hard on yourself because you look GORGEOUS in it!!! I love this post – thanks for sharing your tips ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve only recently started filling in my brows and certainly don’t do it as perfectly as you do. I’ll be trying out this method for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ha! Thanks Anjali. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Let me know how it goes on your “tall” brows. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • My one & only tip: If you’re too afraid you’ll screw up, go to a professional to have your brows shaped and groomed & from there on out, just do the weekly clean up yourself!
    Other than having shaped brows, I don’t bother filling in my brows. I’m too lazy and when I do try, I end up looking a wee bit like a Caveman!

    • Good tip! It’s something that you don’t have to force yourself to DIY. Good thing threading/waxing brows is cheap.

  • Lovely brows! I get mine shaped at the Benefit boutiques every 6 weeks or so and in between I maintain them. I use Brow ZIng to fill and keep them in check. Even if I am not wearing make up, I still do my brow. Totally makes a difference.

    • Woohoo good for you! Brows are huge. On really lazy days I just do brows and lipstick.

  • I recently purchased the DIORSHOW Brow Styler. I love it! But I’m trying to find a cheaper alternative.

    It’s funny because I’m also on the quest for the perfect brows. Just blogged about it last week!

    • Have you tried the same kind of product from Marcelle? They have a spoolie on the end as well. I know Quo used to have a wax / pencil / brush combo that was absolutely perfect, but it was discontinued. I used that for years!

  • Pingback: Elaine Atkins (@TOBeautyReviews) (@TOBeautyReviews)()

  • Danielle

    It does make a difference! I honestly haven’t been all that diligent about filling in my brows lately. It’s a step that when I’m in a hurry I willingly skip. I don’t like my brows looking overly done, and the way you ‘shopped yours here is perfect. Just the right amount of fixing!

  • Great tutorial! MAC Brun is my staple for filling in brows too! I have to admit I cringe whenever I look back at old university and highschool photos because my brows were an unruly mess then.

  • Polarbelle

    This is a fantastic tutorial!!!!! Looks great!

  • I love your blog, just came across it. Why had I not found it sooner!? It’s awesome and this tutorial was just what I needed. Keep up the great work. xo

  • Good timing! I need to revamp my brow filling technique, I’ve become so lazy and blah about it.

  • Pingback: OMG You Need This! MAKE UP FOR EVER Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector Review, Photos, Swatches | Glitter Geek()

  • tiffany

    can you do a tutorial for the make up forever aqua brow gel as well, please?

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