High Brow

I have brow anxiety.  Even if I leave the house without makeup, I cannot leave without doing my eyebrows first.  My hair is really dark, but my natural brows not so much and thin, so I think my face just looks naked without them!

It was hard for me to settle on a method, trying to figure out exactly what to do with them and how to fill them in.  On quick jaunts out I just use a dark brown powder from SoBe, I got one months and months ago that I still use.  I did add some black to it to darken it up since I went darker with my hair when I first got it.

I ran across this video, and although I dislike the guru*, I think it’s a really great tutorial.

● I get my brows waxed as needed, which is usually once a monthish.  In between I keep them meticulously plucked, picking the strays with a pair of angled tweezers.  I think waxing is worth it to get a great shape if you’re unsure of how to achieve it yourself.  In my area it costs under 10$.  Every four months or so I let them just grow out and suffer for a week and then get them reshaped.  I also find it’s really important to keep them trimmed.

● The eye pencil I use is by Laura Mercier.  I picked it up after watching a PixiWoo video and I’ve been really happy with it.  I use Brunette, which is a dark brown.  I love the triangular shape of the pencil, it never rolls off my counter to shatter the product inside.  That is my biggest pet peeve of a pencil product, once it’s been broken inside it never seems to sharpen properly again.

● I’m sort of picky about the brush I use.  I use an angled liner brush, but since my brows are sort of thin (and yet dramatic) anything thick makes it very hard to get things precise.  The one I’ve been using happily is from EcoTools.  I tried an ELF angled liner as well as one from Sephora, but both were too thick.  Whenever I wash the EcoTool brush I pinch the brush fibers together so that they dry in a thin line, which also helps.

● For a while I had been using the Lorac Take a Brow kit, and I was really happy with it.  I liked the two shades of brown and the brow wax, but it’s not vegan. The wax is made with lanolin, in the grand scheme of things I actually don’t mind lanolin, but it also has beeswax.  In general, though, it’s a very nice wax and works well.  I still use the powders occasionally.

● The powder part, though, that is where I have the most fun.  While in the video she uses a brow specific powder, you can use any matte finish powder.  I’m sure you could technically use a shimmer, but I just don’t like the way it makes my brows look.  I use my brow powder, but I also love to use a bright eyeshadow!  One of my favorites is Love+ although any of Sugarpill’s pressed shadows would work, I also love to use Poison Plum when I have the purple highlights in my hair.  I have no idea what the ‘rules’ are on matching your brow color, but I probably wouldn’t care anyway.

● I seal everything with a clear mascara.  I use one from Sephora.  It’s actually a clear mascara and it works nicely to set everything and keep my brows in place.  Since I do use different colors on my brows then JUST the typical brown that most people would use everyday, I clean the spoolie before I put it back in the tube so that the gel doesn’t turn a ton of funky colors.

How do you do your brows?

*After being a fan and following her for a while on Twitter and on her blog, I got tired of hearing her complain her YouTube partner checks were late, only ever talking to other gurus about her video hits, and ignoring everyone else.  IMO she really sold out.

29 Responses to “High Brow”

  1. I tried the Laura Mercier pencil in Brunette recently and actually just returned it to Sephora yesterday. While I love the quality and texture of the pencil, as well as the shape, the color still seemed too brown on me.

    Right now, I’m using black eyeliner with an eyebrow brush for my brows. It seems to look the best with my hair. I also do like to use the Sugarpill pressed shadows or some of my MAC matte shadows with Smashbox Brow Tech Wax.

    I get my brows waxed to keep them in shape and leave them alone otherwise.

    The eye brow brush that I use right now is a push brush from Aromaleigh, but I also like an angled eye shadow brush that’s really thin, like the ones I have from Medusa’s Makeup.

    • Brunette is a great base color for me because, like I said, I just cover it with an actual shade closer to my hair or a color anyway!

      You don’t ever pluck your little strays?!

  2. Jules Noctambule November 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I’d been considering having my brows shaped, but my esthetician friends have put me off the idea by assuring me I don’t have enough brow to pluck/wax in the first place! I’d end up looking like that singer for the Dresden Dolls, which is not a look to which I aspire.

  3. I need to go and get a wax. I normally wax, and then pluck as needs be, i.e, individual hairs rather than doing the whole shebang all at once. I just use pencil rather than power pencil unless I’m going for something dramatic. I never got on with waxes, though I might give it another go as I was a bit of a noob when I first got one.

  4. Even thoug I’m quite obsessed with the way my brows look, I have to admit that I’m a lazy plucker 😀 Sometimes I don’t pluck my brows in weeks just because I don’t feel like it (and because I hate the way plucking makes me sneeze). Thankfuly my brows are so light that the stray hairs don’t stand out so badly.

    I recently found the perfect powder color for my brows. It’s actually a blush, Taupe from NYX to be exact, but it works perfectly. It matches my hair color and it looks natural. And I also got this brow wax bencil from NYX as well. Before that I just used a matte hair wax to keep my brows in place, but the pencil is so much more easier to use.

  5. My brows are flat as Kansas, thin and patchy. I draw an arch in using a light brown brow pencil then I use an angled brush to fill them in with bare minerals coffee bean. I use the brush on its side to fill in the area closest to my nose so it doesn’t look like i colored them in with a sharpie. I love the look of heavy arched brows and it annoys me that I have to fake it.

    As far as grooming them, I just pluck away. There’s not a whole lot to pluck though.

  6. I’ve always hated my natural brows and wax/pluck them off all together only to draw them on. Granted when I sweat or rain starts to fall I freak out that they will run, but after 11-12 years of doing this I haven’t had a problem.

  7. I love the way my brows look when I do take the time to fill them in, but mostly I get lazy and leave them be and just pluck them 😦

  8. Have you ever looked into threading? I hear that it is becoming more available in the US and am vaguely interested in checking it out. I used to get them waxed and shaped, but it was hard to find someone who could do them nicely. I don’t have the money to do them now, so I just tweeze and occasionally trim. I’m hoping I can find someplace to get my haircut and brows done, as I’m sure I’m way overdue.

  9. My brows are pretty pale so if I don’t do anything I look like I just don’t have any. For a while now I’ve been using a pressed brow powder and a crummy little brush to just lightly brush it over them. My biggest problem is shaping. I had it done by a woman at a local salon and then she moved out of state and I haven’t liked anyone I’ve been to since. That means I pluck a lot…and my brows are tough as in, it doesn’t really hurt to pluck. But figuratively speaking it’s a pain and I never feel like I’m making them look right.

  10. I pluck to keep mine relatively shaped, but I have never waxed them. My eyebrows can disappear on my face fairly easily (my natural haircolor is dark blonde), so I fear that waxing would make it worse.

    I have used Meow’s brow powders in the past, as I don’t have the best of luck finding auburn brow products, but I’ve been trying to keep up on tinting my brows so that I don’t have to remember to fill ’em before leaving the house. Tinting has made a huge difference, and the blonde brow/red hair combo isn’t very cute.

  11. My brows are really sparse and uneven, so what I do to make them look presentable is keep my bangs slightly long and make sure they cover my eyebrows. 😛 I get them threaded occasionally, but the place I go to is so out of my way that I rarely bother. They have a loyalty card where ten trips gets you a free threading, so I haven’t bothered to look for a more convenient place yet. I’ve been looking at the Anastasia Brow Studios in Sephora, as well as the Benefit Brow Bars at their Macy*s counters, but they’re pricey compared to my $7 threadings. The threading salon doesn’t do much in terms of shaping though.

    When my brows aren’t a ridiculous mess, I’ll lightly fill them in with a brow pencil and brush them in place with a spoolie.

  12. I’ve honestly never done my brows. I don’t even notice them much. I know they are important, I’m all about facial expressions and all… but I just never waxed them or anything. I tried to fill them once or twice, but it does not work with me…

    I’d love to do something colorful with them someday, but they are quite dark x.x’

  13. I use brunette brow tech from Smashbox. I love it. I just use the powder though.

  14. I just discovered a place that does threading in a local mall. I got my brows done at my nail salon though. I was told they didn’t look good and needed some help :).

  15. My hair is teak colored, almost auburn during the summer, but my brows are very pale and sparse. If I don’t fill them in, my eyes look like slits and my forehead looks enormous. It almost seems like even the shape of my face changes when I fill them in. I don’t mind this, because they’re pale enough to change the colors when I dye my hair, without requiring brow bleaching. I use NYC brow powder in “brunette” and a brow brush, using Petrilude’s instructions for the perfect arch. Then, (using a tip I got from Cher!) I take a spooly brush that I cleaned from an old tube of mascara, spray it lightly with hairspray, and brush my brows in to place. They never move after that. When I used to dye my hair bright pink, I used a bright red pencil that was similar enough to my hair color. I like my brows to match my hair, except for when I dye my hair black. Then, I’ll still use the NYC brunette powder.

    To maintain them, I use a tiny pair of scissors that are curved at the end, brush the hairs up with a tiny brow comb and trim the long hairs. I thread them myself every 2-3 weeks and use a pair of Tweezerman tweezers (best. tweezers. ever.) to get the really stubborn strays. When I lived on the West Coast, there was a nice Indian lady that would thread my eyebrows for me twice a month for $5 a visit. She was super gentle and made my brows perfect looking. When I moved to the Midwest, the only place I could find in the area was $12 and the lady was rude and sliced my face. Learned how to do it myself after that.

  16. I am so happy you use fun colors on your eyebrows! I just discovered doing that. I had my hair a washed out lavender blond recently and I loved customizing a pinky-violet eyebrow to match.

  17. Threading is the only way for me. I tried it once and the perfect look I got was enough to keep me away from wax forever. I pluck to keep them in order but go back to threading once a month or so.

  18. Thanks for reminding me I needed a waxing like.. Uhm last week lol! its interesting to see everyone’s different ways of doing brows. I use a powder, and then a clear gel to set it. I use a spoolie to apply the powder since I have full brows. I just like to have them tinted to match my hair color.

  19. Man. I spend so much time on my actual eyeshadow that if I started throwing brow-filling into the mix, I’d never leave my house. I just pluck a few strays here and there and consider it good enough.

    Also, that guru annoys me. I love Pixiwoo though – those two sisters have taught me more about makeup and beauty than every other guru on YouTube combined.

  20. I pluck my brows about every week or so. I’ve never had them waxed.

    I fill them in with a dark brown Ulta brand eyeshadow, though I need to find something else as I think it’s a little too dark for me.

    I used to use a brush from Elf to fill them in but I recently switched to the EcoTools angled eyeliner brush and I love it.

    I’m hoping that in time my brows will get a little less sparse and filling them in will be a little less necessary. I plucked them WAY too thin for a long time and have been trying to get them thicker for two years, but they still haven’t come back as thick as they were.

  21. I’ve never plucked or waxed my eyebrows and only shaped them with a dark pencil a handful of times in my life. I never thought to use fun, dark eyeshadow colors on them though – I must give that a try.

  22. My brows are only a bit sparse toward the ends and are naturally dark, so I never thought about filling them in until just recently. And now that I look at older pictures of myself with unfilled brows, I can see the amazing difference a filled brow makes in my appearance. My eyes like brighter and my face looks more balanced when I fill my brows.

    That said, I have seen some brow-filling tragedies in my time… and I don’t want to go in that direction either. 🙂 For some time, I was convinced matte brow powders and waxes were the way to go to avoid brow malfunctions, until I was talking with a couple of ladies on the old Aromaleigh forum. They convinced my to not poo-poo shimmery colors, since the shimmer can mimic the natural sheen in hair. So I gave some mineral eyeshadows applied with an angled brush a try. And… Thalia’s Return (AL) became my go-to brow color to match the tones in my hair. I found the plain mica colors or frosts to be too shimmery, but a plush eyecolor worked as a happy medium.

    But now I am out 😦 and am on the hunt for a replacement… so this post is timely. Thanks again, Grey!

  23. Oh wow, thank you so much. I spend so much time on my actual eyeshadow that I just used to slap on some eyebrow pencil, smudge it a bit and leave the house but sometimes it would look a little awkward. I just tried the method in the video and whoa, it’s awesome (and pretty idiot proof, as well). Thank you so much for sharing 😀

    • You’re welcome! I was using sort of a mash up of techniques, but this method seemed to give me the best results.

      I think that when my brows were finished I just look together, even on my most harried days.

  24. I am OBSESSED with perfect brows. I’ve recently been re-watching Twin Peaks with my ex – who is still my BFF – and I said to him the other day, “You know one of the main reasons I love this show?” He replied, “Because everyone has great eyebrows?” AND HE WAS RIGHT.

  25. I’m thinking about getting my brows done with “permanent makeup.” I’m really hoping that you’ll either know something about this or maybe someone reading the comments will. I’ve been filling them in for 9 years now, every single day so I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t regret getting it done. When i was 17 one of my neighbors had it done but I’m guessing it may have evolved a bit…?