Dez & Dot Eyebrow Cheat Sheet
There’s one sure thing about eyebrow trends – they are ever changing! From thin to thick, from penciled to natural, eyebrow “style” has run the gamut over the years. And one thing we can be pretty sure of is that what’s in vogue today will change. The great thing about that is that we are the artists when it comes to our eyebrow shape.
I will confess that I’m a little hyper-focused on my eyebrows. Every day I use a large magnifying mirror (I’ve nicknamed it “the scary mirror”) to find even the tiniest eyebrow hairs that are sprouting where they don’t belong, then I step back to compare the two sides to ensure, as much as possible, their symmetry (however, to quote my niece, “they’re sisters not twins!”).
Just like a beautiful frame highlights and shows off a work of art, so do eyebrows frame and highlight your eyes. Well-shaped eyebrows flatter your facial shape and balance your features, and whether you wear makeup or not, paying attention to your eyebrows can make a big difference. It’s true. Try shaping and filling in one of your eyebrows and leaving the other natural. I think it will be pretty obvious that the eye under the shaped eyebrow stands out more than the eye under the natural eyebrow.
It’s not difficult to create the ideal shape, and it’s easy to fill in gaps here and there. The goal to shaping your eyebrows is to follow their natural appearance and enhance them.
This post is a little long, but I think the details included are helpful, so I’m going to go with it! After you’ve read this post, watch this brief “how to” YouTube video (about 9 minutes) that simply and clearly demonstrates how you can shape your own brows. (I viewed many eyebrow shaping videos and thought this makeup artist, Zukreat, offered the most professional and easy-to-watch video. Note: There is a brief ad at the start of the video that you can skip after a few seconds.)
Find the Starting Point
- Place a straight edge (e.g., handle of a makeup brush, “ice cream” type stick, or credit card, which is what makeup artist Zukreat uses in the video that I’ve linked, providing a firm edge for marking the three points needed to shape your eyebrow) vertically along the side of your of your nose next to the nostril (parallel to the bridge of your nose) so that it meets your eyebrow (see diagram above). This should be the start point of your brow.
- Mark this spot with an eye pencil.
- Note: Do not locate the starting point of your brow by placing the straight edge alongside the outer edge of the nose where it meets your face as this would create a starting point too far in and make your brow too short.
Find the Arch Peak
- The placement of your arch is important to balancing your facial features.
- Place the straight edge alongside the outer most part of your nose (where it meets your face – different placement from where it was placed to find the brow starting point).
- The straight edge should intersect the pupil of your eye.
- Where the straight edge hits the eyebrow is the peak of your arch.
- The arch should peak above the outer rim of your iris and lie right on your brow bone, or the back third of the eye. Think of an upside-down check mark but with a soft angles.
- Mark this spot with an eye pencil.
Find the End Point
- The proper end point is important to the balance of your facial features.
- Place the straight edge as you did when you located the arch peak, alongside your nose. Line up the straight edge with the outside corner of your eye.
- Where the straight edge intersects the eyebrow is your end point (even if you don’t have any eyebrow hair that extends this far out).
- Mark this spot with an eye pencil.
- Before you begin to tweeze stray eyebrow hairs, it’s a good idea to fill them in where they are sparse or where they need to be extended (e.g., when the tail of the brow is too short). This provides you with a shape to follow so that you don’t tweeze where you didn’t mean to.
- There are a variety of products available to use for filling in, including eyebrow powder and brush, pencil, wax, and colored or clear setting gel. These products are available in a variety of colors so you can most closely match your eyebrow color. You may want to experiment to find what works best for you and what you are comfortable using.
- Use an eyebrow brush or spoolie brush to blend the fill-in color you’ve applied before you finish with eyebrow gel.
Shaping & Tweezing
- After filling in the desired brow shape (start, arch, end) with an eyebrow pencil or eyebrow power (see suggested products below), pluck the stray hairs that fall below the line of your brow.
- Be careful when plucking close to the edge of the brow so that you don’t over-pluck.
- Pluck minimally above the eyebrow – read this “hardly at all” – you don’t want to shape the brow from the top, as this will create an unbalanced look.
- Following your natural brow line when shaping your brows will not only be flattering to your face, but it also will be the easiest to maintain.
- Watch Zukreat’s brow shaping video linked above (and here) for an easy and detailed demonstration of how to shape and pluck.
- After you have created your eyebrow shape, brush the eyebrow hairs up and trim the hairs that extend above the top line of your brow. I have only recently started doing this myself and I now wish I’d been using this trick all along. It results in a neat look.
- The finishing touch after you have finished shaping, filling in and tweezing is to use a little concealer and/or highlighter on your brow bone.
- The concealer helps give some definition to the shape of your brow, and it will hide those inevitable tiny hairs that your tweezer can’t yet grab.
- A little subtle highlighter brightens the area and your face in general. I use two different highlighters, both from Benefit Cosmetics, one for day and one for evenings out: High Brow Defining Pencil for daytime and High Beam for an evening glow
Products & Tools
Products for Filling In: I have used and experimented with different products over the years. Currently, I’m using an eyebrow pencil by Bare Minerals (Frame & Define) and finishing with Benefit’s Speed Brow eyebrow gel (it looks like it has a color when you first put it on, but the color disappears). I also use Benefit’s Gimme Brow when I’m in a hurry as it’s a gel that has color and allows me to skip the pencil application step.
Tweezer: The first tool you need to shape and maintain your brows is a good tweezer. There are several tweezer styles: slant tweezer, point tweezer, and tweezers with a scissor-style grip. I’ve used a slant edge Tweezerman for years. Its precise points and edges make grabbing those tiny hairs pretty easy. Plus, Tweezerman offers a free sharpening service for the life of the tweezers.
Brow Shaping Scissors: Brow shaping scissors are angled to give you the easiest way to trim long eyebrow hairs, but you can use any small or precision scissors.
Eyebrow Brush: Brushing your eyebrows to blend the eyebrow pencil or eyebrow shadow is really important. A “toothbrush” style eyebrow brush or a spoolie brush (like a mascara brush) makes the job easier.
Magnifying Mirror: A good magnifying mirror is helpful in giving you a magnified view of the areas need plucking and grooming. The drawback is that everything is MAGNIFIED! This can drive you a little crazy as you can see things that the naked eye would never notice. However, I do find it helpful in spite of the fact that I can get pretty obsessive about grabbing one stubborn eyebrow hair that is determined to stay put. Some professionals recommend using a regular mirror because a magnifying mirror can result in over plucking.
I recommend starting with a professional eyebrow shaping session. I recently did this for the first time and was so happy with the result. My eyebrow shape didn’t change drastically, but I definitely ended up with a more flattering shape to my brows. It’s not expensive. There are many salons and estheticians who offer this service; I went to the Benefit Brow Bar inside a Macy’s store and the esthetician there did a great job and gave me some tips that I could use at home (hi Megan!). After an initial professional brow shaping, it will be easy to maintain the shape.
Don’t forget to watch the video that I mentioned above for an easy-to-follow guide to shaping your brows.
Bonus Video – Regrowing Eyebrows
This short (5 minutes) YouTube video is from the same makeup artist, Zukreat. In it she talks about an easy-to-make natural solution (castor oil and coconut oil) that will help eyebrow hair grow back. To be honest, I haven’t tried it so can’t give you a testimonial, but it sounds reasonable and might be worth a try if you have thin areas in your eyebrows. Let me know if you have success with this.
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