To say that brows are a cultural obsession would be a bit of an understatement. People are going to great lengths – tattooing, tinting, even transplants – to get a covetable pair. But not all of us have that kind of disposable income (or the courage) to spring for an eyebrow enhancement procedure. For most of us, tweezers, trimmers, pencils, and powders will have to do. When we were testing out products for our April Allure Beauty Box, we came across a pretty remarkable brow highlighter from one of the best brow sculptors around, Tonya Crooks (or as you may know her, The BrowGal). Crooks is responsible for the impeccable arches of celebrities like Eva Mendes, Megan Fox, and Jenna Dewan Tatum. So we
wanted needed to ask her for her best secrets for flawless brows.
Tip 1: Work with what you have (not what you don’t).
In a time of fake news and alternative facts, there’s one thing that we can all accept as an incontrovertible truth: Cara Delevingne is genetically gifted in the eyebrow department. And while that may be the case, it certainly doesn’t mean that you should try to replicate her brows on your face. One of the worst brow blunders you can make is to try to copy the shape and size of someone else’s – or worse yet, trace them on with a stencil. “Your face gives you the blueprint to your eyebrows,” says Crooks, which means Delevingne’s divine arches won’t necessarily look divine on you. “Hold a brow pencil vertically from the side of the tip of your nose straight up to the brow bone; that is where the brow should start. Then, draw an imaginary line from the tip of your nose, across the center of the iris to the brow bone and that is where the arch – or the highest point of the brow – should be. Lastly, draw an imaginary line from the corner of the nose to the outer corner of the eye, then to the brow bone and that is where the brow should end.”
Tip 2: Make sure your pencil is on point.
When it comes to brow pencils, there’s a fine line between friend and faux pas. Choosing the wrong shade is one of the most common mistakes – you don’t want to go too light, and you certainly don’t want to go too dark. To avoid arches that look draw-on or overdone, Crooks recommends matching the pencil to the root of your hair. “This is because the tones around your face need to be in harmony with the color used on the eyebrows,” she explains. “Otherwise, there will be way too much going on and the result won’t be natural.”
Tip 3: Draw your brows in with short, hair-like strokes.
Now that you’ve mapped out your shape and pin-pointed your correct pencil shade, it’s time to fill your brows. Here’s where things will get a little sketchy, quite literally: With your pencil, bridge the gaps with quick, sketch-like strokes that resemble short hairs. “Makeup is all about illusions and tricking the naked eye,” says Crooks. “The more natural the strokes, the more likely you are to get complimented on your eyebrows, rather than having people ask, ‘What do you have on your eyebrows?’” (Pro tip: To get that textured trompe l’oeil effect, a pencil with an ultra-fine tip is ideal to achieve delicate, dash-like marks.)
Tip 4: Double-check your work.
Clean-up your work and give the brows some extra definition with a highlighter pencil. We recommend The BrowGal by Tonya Crooks Highlighter, a double-sided pencil that is matte on one end and shimmery on the other (and did we mention that it's available in the April Allure Beauty Box?). “Take the matte end and glide the product underneath the eyebrow, blending with your ring finger or a brush. Next, take the shimmer end and go right on top of the area where you placed the matte concealer – again, blending it with your ring finger or brush,” says Crooks. “This not only adds precision to the brows, but also conceals any new growth and the shimmer will create a dewy, fresh-faced look.”
Tip 5: Set and go.
Before you go out and face the world with your badass brows, a coat of brow gel is a must. A clear gel helps to tame unruly brows so there isn’t a hair out of place; while a tinted gel provides hold and gives light, fine brows a little extra oomph. But that’s not all it does. “It also adds texture to the eyebrows, giving the illusion that they are denser and thicker,” says Crooks. A quick swipe will go a long way to make sure your brows stay absolutely on point, all day.
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