Some people are born with beautiful eyebrows… but this article is for the 99.9% of us who weren’t that lucky. We compiled a list of the best eyebrow hacks if you have thin eyebrows, really thick and overgrown eyebrows, or if you’re new to makeup and need a simple beginner’s guide to eyebrows. By the end of this list, you’ll know exactly what you need to make your eyebrows look so natural people think you were born with them. (It’s our secret.)
- Tips for Shaping and Tweezing Eyebrows
- Tips for Colouring and Shading Eyebrows
- 9. Master the gradient brow
- 10. Use a lighter shade on your eyebrows
- 11. Use a brown eyebrow pencil to draw individual brow hairs
- 12. Save your mascara brushes
- 13. Set eyebrow powder with clear mascara
- 14. Use the right makeup brush
- 15. Apply eyecream on your brows
- 16. Never match your brow and hair colour
- 17. Use a cool-toned eyebrow colour
- 18. Do your brows after the rest of your makeup
- How to deal with thin, overplucked eyebrows
- Eyebrow Threading and Embroidery
Tips for Shaping and Tweezing Eyebrows
If you plan to shape your eyebrows yourself, these tips can help avoid overplucking or getting stuck with a weird eyebrow shape.
1. Tweeze your eyebrows in natural light
Whatever you, don’t ever ever EVER do them in bathroom lighting. You either have fluorescent lights or yellow mood lights that can throw off your judgment. Get a mirror and sit next to window. Natural lighting will help you get the most natural brows possible!
2. Keep your tweezers ready!
If you drive, keep a pair of tweezers in your car. You can then quickly groom your brows when you’ve parked — taking advantage of the natural light in the windshield and your car’s visor mirror. At home, keep tweezers in the room with the best natural light. Then you can groom regularly — plucking off stray hairs as they appear — rather than wait for them to get super busy and overgrown.
3. Don’t use a magnifying mirror
Magnifying mirrors can tempt you to overpluck. Just use a regular mirror, and make sure you see your whole face. If you’re new to plucking your eyebrows yourself, stop periodically and look in a full-body mirror. Eyebrows look different at a distance.
4. Mark your arch with white eyeshadow
It’s easier to tweeze when you’ve marked the shape you want. You can use white eyeliner pencils, but beauty gurus recommend use damp white eyeshadow instead. Since eyeliner has a waxy formula, it can push down stray fine eyebrow hairs and make it harder to get a clean line. The eyeshadow sticks to hair, so even those very short and thin hairs stand up and is easy to pluck.
5. Brush up your hairs before plucking
Use an old toothbrush or spoolie brush to brush up your eyebrows before you pluck. Then, clean up your upper arch first. Don’t even think about touching the lower part until you’ve seen the full effect in natural light. This will help you avoid overplucking eyebrows and bald spots.
6. Take a hot bath first!
A hot shower softens up your skin so it’s less painful to pluck. If you’re not a fan of hot showers, just soak a face towel in hot water and then place it against your face for a few minutes. Then, apply essence, serum and moisturizer — your pores are open, and can receive all those skin nutrients better — and pluck when your skin is at its most supple.
7. Numb the area with ice cubes
Another popular eyebrow hack: rub an ice cube on your brows. This is best for on-the-go grooming — i.e., when you need to pluck a few random eyebrow hairs and don’t want to go through the whole facial steaming process.
8. Don’t aim for symmetry, but balance
Overplucking eyebrows typically happens when you’re trying to make one eyebrow completely match the other. But that’s not the goal! Just like some of us have asymmetrical eyes, we also have asymmetrical brows. Don’t stress if your brows aren’t perfect. Just check them against a full-length mirror, and remember you can always fix those little differences with eyebrow powder.
Eyebrows are meant to be sisters, not twins. They should match your face, not each other.
Tips for Colouring and Shading Eyebrows
Dark, overpencilled eyebrows can make you look older (and your makeup look dated). Most Korean makeup tips and Japanese makeup tips prefer softer, lighter eyebrows that balance (and not grab attention) from the rest of your face.
9. Master the gradient brow
Use a matte eyeshadow or eyebrow palette with two or three colours. Apply the lighter colour on your inner brow, and then the darker shade from mid-arch to the outer tips.
10. Use a lighter shade on your eyebrows
If you have black, deep brown or deep red hair colours, then pick one or two lighter shades for your brows. You can use an eyebrow tint or an eyeshadow powder.
11. Use a brown eyebrow pencil to draw individual brow hairs
IF you have thin or sparse brows, use an eyebrow pencil to fill in bald spots. Instead of colouring it in like a paint-by-numbers kit, draw individual hairs. Makeup gurus recommend using a brown pencil, and then darkening it with a brow powder, brow gel, or brow mascara wand.
12. Save your mascara brushes
You can buy eyebrow brushes, or you can just wash old mascara wands and use them to groom your brows.
“I have very thick, unruly eyebrows. When I fix my hair, I spray an old mascara wand and use it to groom back my baby hairs on my hairline and my eyebrows,” says Samantha, 29.
13. Set eyebrow powder with clear mascara
We love multi-tasking makeup products — and any hack that will give us more value for money! Clear mascara can be used to groom eyebrows, and of course thicken eyelashes in the middle of the day without clumping!
14. Use the right makeup brush
The best makeup brush for eyebrows is a short, angled brush with artificial stuff bristles. They’re also really great for patting in eyeshadow on top of eyeliner. “Sometimes I use it to set my eyeliner and then use whatever”s left on the brush to highlight the darkest part of my eyebrows,” says Lisa, 32.
15. Apply eyecream on your brows
This is an usual eyebrow hack, but it works! If you have very waxy eyebrow products (whether it dried up or it’s just the natural formula) rub eyecream in the brow area after applying it on your lids and under your eyes.
The eyecream not only fights finelines and wrinkles, and helps your concealer look better, but primes your brow area. Brush up brow hairs with your brush or old mascara wand, then apply eyebrow tint. Set it with brow powder. Now your brows will last all day!
16. Never match your brow and hair colour
Matchy-matchy brow and hair colour looks dated. The eyebrow trend is to go one shade lighter if your hair is dark, or one shade darker if you bleached your hair blonde. If your hair is red, use a light or medium neutral brown.
17. Use a cool-toned eyebrow colour
This prevents the weird, bright colour that develops when your skin’s acids oxidize your brow makeup. Nobody wants bright orange or red brows!
18. Do your brows after the rest of your makeup
Deepen your eyebrow shade or emphasize your arch after you’ve applied your other makeup. That way, you can always achieve a balanced look. For example, you may realize that you need a stronger brow to work with a very vibrant red lipstick, or you want to keep it soft because of dramatic eyeliner.
How to deal with thin, overplucked eyebrows
19. Use castor oil
This super cheap beauty DIY fix can help your eyebrows grow faster. Just apply with an old mascara wand. You can also break a Vitamin E capsule and mix it into the vastro oil, save it into a small jar, and apply twice a day.
You can also get more info on eyebrow and eyelash serums!
20. Fake it with makeup
No one needs to know about your brow disaster. Fill in bald spots with eyebrow pencil, then set it with matte eyeshadow or brow powder. A gradiant eyebrow helps hide bald spots more naturally than an overpencilled brow. “Your brows look three-dimensional, so lighter bald spots don’t show up as much as a completely-pencilled in brow,” says makeup artist Tracy Ong.
Eyebrow Threading and Embroidery
Many beauty salons in Singapore offer services like eyebrow threading that can help you get the perfect arch. “I usually schedule my eyebrow threading while I’m getting a foot spa or maniure/pedicure. It saves time and I have a head-to-toe beauty day,” says Grace, 35.
Eyehrow threading also prevents stubble (compared to shaving). Since the threads can pull out several brow hairs in one go, it’s less uncomfortable than manually plucking your eyebrows yourself. Read more about eyebrow threading vs. eyebrow emboidery vs. eyebrow waxing.