There's an old saying I'm fond of: "The grass is always greener on the other side." We look at others and we say, "Oh, man, if I could have ____ like them, I'd be so happy!" In doing so, we forget that we likely have some characteristic or trait that others envy. During my blogging career, this has played out in a rather consistent way: almost everybody who says, "I wish I had skin like yours!" has eyebrows I would kill for.
Because, you know, I don't really have eyebrows. There's a general shape there, just very few hairs, especially from the arch back. I can thank my father for this, since he is one of the most hairless humans on the face of the planet. That means I can skip shaving my legs for a month and nobody will notice*...but it also means less hair from the neck up.
FIRST, A FEW NOTES
To be clear, I am not an expert. I do not have naturally fabulous brows, I am not a super-talented makeup artist, and I don't have a weirdly chic or super easy** routine worked out like some people. I'm just a hobby blogger who said, "Hey, maybe this post will help somebody."
I'll also give a warning to those who haven't been here before: my eyes are asymmetrical. My right eye (the one with the freckle) is smaller, more hooded, and has a lower, straighter brow than my left eye. I used to be really funny about this, and it's one of the reasons why I got in to the habit of taking full-face photos at an angle. But I've kind of just accepted that this is my face and I should enjoy my quirks. If you're a stickler for perfectly-matching brows, though, this post will drive you nuts.
As per the Lisa Eldridge video linked above, I think "feathery strokes" are key, no matter what you do. I know some people like to actually draw straight across, but unless you like a very stark look (and hey, you do you!) or you're an expert, it's easier to get even lines and a textured/somewhat natural look if you do light strokes. Just pretend you're drawing on individual hairs!
Oh, and if you're like me and you like a sharp point on your pencils? Stick them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. It hardens up the pencil briefly and makes it easier to sharpen for that fine point without wasting tons of product.
I've been going for a heavier brow lately, in part because I've been wearing strong lipstick or more obvious eye makeup. I prefer a creamier or waxier pencil for this method; these days, I've been using the Milk Makeup Gel Brow. This also works well with pomades like Anastasia Dip Brow.
To start this kind of brow, I brush my brows straight through with a spoolie. (My favorite is the cheapo ELF one.) Then I start filling in the very front of my brows. I do a few strokes and blend them with my fingertip to prevent harsh lines. Repeat until you get the depth you want: stroke, stroke, stroke, blend, stroke, stroke, stroke, blend...
My brows get thinner after the first third, so I have to draw in the shape. I sketch along the top of my brow line first, moving from the arch to the outer corner. Then I work back inward and create a bit of a "tail," but I don't outline the whole way in with the lower part of my brows. If I try to outline my entire eyebrow, I will always always always make them too thick.
Once I've got my outline created, I start filling in my brows, working from the arch to the outer corner with those light, feathery strokes. I use the brow spoolie again to get off most of the clumps that come off of creamier pencils.
This method and these creamier products tend to create a super drawn-on look that irks me a little. Hence, I go back over the brows with a q-tip, smoothing out the pigment and pulling off any remaining clumps. Weeee, the texture is back!
I think this method works best for me when I use a hard pencil. The star of my kit is clearly the Shu Uemura Hard Formula pencil they'll bury with me.
I start by brushing my brow hairs down to see where I'm especially bare at the moment. This helps me see where I need to apply a bit more pressure, slash, do a few more strokes. Then I brush the hairs right back in to place.
Instead of doing an outline, I just start filling in my brows, going from the inner corner to the outer. I like to brush my brow hairs up and down once again to catch light spots (they're almost always on the tail), and I add more pencil as is necessary.
Because these brows tend to be lighter, I often like to add a bit of texture so they don't just "disappear" in to my face. I brush the front third of my eyebrows straight up with a brow spoolie; from the arch back, I go up and out--that lifts the brow without making it stick up, so you get the texture without exposing your bald spots. I fill in any now-bare spots with more pencil before setting the hairs in place with clear brow gel. My favorite is from Anastasia.
Boom! That's how I pretend I have eyebrows.
* If anybody ever does notice that I haven't shaved my legs in a while--which usually only happens when I mention it--and they get snitty, fuck 'em. We're mammals, we have hair, and it's not harming anyone. Whether or not you decide to go along with a certain culture's beauty norms is your personal choice.
** Into the Gloss asked me to link to their website's brows section. I was going to do it anyway, but they also emailed me after the fact, soooooo full disclosure!