Welcome to Do It Better. While we love all things skin care here at The Klog, we also adore makeup. In this new weekly series, we’ll break down the most popular makeup techniques, how you can execute them better, as well as the best products for achieving your perfect look. This week, we’re walking you through how to get natural-looking brows.
Imagine going back in time to ten years ago and explaining to your younger self how embarrassing those stud-pocket jeans are going to look on your Facebook album and that one day you’re going to consider flawless brows an everyday makeup essential. Your imaginary circa-2007 self would no doubt be very confused, and not just because they couldn’t figure out what “on fleek” means. That’s because the likes of Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins had yet to burst onto the scene and remind us all that eyebrows aren’t just for over-plucking.
Of course, 2017 you is much smarter and more stylish (you threw out those jeans, right?), so you know how much a well-tended set of brows can change your whole look, but nailing that perfectly-imperfect natural brow style can still feel elusive. It’s okay, by the time we’re done, you’ll be ready to put Cindy Crawford to shame. Well, her brows, anyway.
Step 1: Pick the right product.
One of the positive side effects of the big brow boom is that there are a lot more products to choose from than when you browsed the drugstore aisles in high school. Powders, pomades, gels, pens; it can be a little overwhelming. When it comes to getting that your-brows-but-better look, makeup artist and The BrowGal founder Tonya Crooks (who has wrangled the arches of Gwyneth Paltrow, Megan Fox, and Jenna Dewan Tatum), suggests opting for either a pencil or powder.
In the case of pencils, try a fine-tipped automatic version, like the Skinfood Black Bean Eyebrow Pencil or the Etude House Drawing Eyebrow (no sharpening required). Powders, on the other hand, tend to have a more noticeable color payout, so the secret there is to pick one that’s exactly the right shade. Speaking of which…
Step 2: Find the correct shade.
“The key to an excellent, natural looking brow is picking the perfect tone that matches your brow color,” says Crooks. When it comes to brows, you can separate colors into two main families: warm and ash, sort of a counterpoint to having a warm or cool complexion. Since brows are typically close to the same color as your hair, use that as a jumping off point: those with warm brows tend to have red, auburn, or golden shades in their hair, while those with ash-tones have cooler, more neutral tones like umber.
If you’re on the fence about which tone family you belong to—or if you ride the line between warm and ashy—a palette like The BrowGal The Convertible Brow can be a good choice, since the multiple shade options let you mix and match to customize your color.
Step 3: Use a light touch.
Whether you’re going pencil or powder, the success of natural-looking brows is all about precision. For pencils, that means making sure it’s well sharpened and you’re using the very tip. For powders, your best choice is a dual-ended brush, with an angled brush tip on one end and a spoolie on the other.
Either way, start by brushing your brows up and out with a spoolie so you can see them at their fullest. Next, make light, hair-like strokes in a staggered pattern, focusing on any sparse spots. Now blend like your brows depend on it. “Blending to perfection is key, ensuring there are no harsh edges to achieve a natural look,” says Crooks.
Just do your best to keep the shading uniform, and remember: Those Instagram-famous brows with the sharp, dark ends that fade out to nothing as they head toward the nose may be dramatic, but nobody’s natural brow grows that way. In real life, less is very much more.