Beginner Basics: Brows

So this post has been sitting in my drafts folder for a while because I’ve been too lazy to go search for the images (content was more or less done though). And then yesterday I got my eyebrows threaded and it was a disaster. Expect more follow up posts on brow shapes and how I intend to grow out my brows.  bg-eyebrows-hair-salon-miami-beach

Image from here

Ahhh… brows. This one’s a favourite topic of mine. There’s just something about a pair of beautifully groomed brows that excites me just as much as the lacquered look of freshly applied lipstick.

Your brows are important. More important than eyeshadow, or blush. It’s on the same level as foundation/face bases, on the same level as eyeliner, for some people even higher. I cannot emphasize the pain I feel when I see someone with incredibly strong eyeliner, but who don’t touch their brows at all. Your brows frame your face and eyes even more than your eyeliner does, so if you go for the incredibly defined eye, or the smoky eye, or the colourful eye, you want your brows there to balance out all that makeup. If you have sparse brows you’d just look like you don’t have eyebrows at all and we all know how strange that looks.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Review - Brow Mascara - Dollz in Dubai

Your brows are important okay?


Just trust me on this one. 

If you’re just getting into makeup, you’d see there are a million different kinds of brow products there which may be a little overwhelming (actually this pretty much applies to all makeup.) This post is going to break these down so it’s easier for you to pick which ones will fit you better. But before you start filing them in, make sure you


It makes life so much easier, really.

This is where I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t take fantastic care of my eyebrows. I’ve only had them threaded by other people twice (the first time was expensive and meh, the second time was painful but looked really good at the end of it but was in another country so I can’t keep going back). I’m also rather terrified of people screwing up my eyebrows, I like them the way they are actually, very full and straight, without much of an arc. I just want someone to neaten them as it’s so painful to pluck the individual stray hairs that creep down my eyelid, and to shape them around my forehead (TMI?). But I do pluck my brows once every two weeks (minimum) to keep them into a neat enough shape. I don’t trim them though, which is why I usually need some kind of mascara to hold them into place. (My brows are a bit weird, very dark, with long hairs so they look full, but they’re still a little sparse, which is why I’m wary of trimming.)

If you have thicker fuller brows like me, this is hugely important. You want to know what the shape of your brows will be and it helps so much in filling them in. Stray hairs also ruin your eyeshadow. If your hairs are a bit long, combing in a bit of Vaseline or hairspray works well in keeping them in shape.

Even if you have thin or sparse brows, that’s not a reason to not groom them at all. Few people are born without random stray hairs that sprawl all over your face; I’m talking about areas like between your brow, or on your eyelid. I’ve plucked a few of my friends’ brows (just a few stray strands, nothing fancy) before doing their makeup and it made a world of difference.

If you’re despairing at your thin brows, there are brow products out there with growth serums. Or try eyebrow embroidery, to save you time from constantly having to fill them in, if they’re really that sparse. Check about this with a licensed esthetician.

But when you groom your brows, it means that you’d spend very little time (or much less time) on them in your daily makeup routine.


Hairstyles-by-Face-Shape1 (1)

Image from here.

There’s plenty of material out there on this subject so I won’t go too much into this. But generally, fuller brows will make you look younger, and frame your face beautifully. Thinner brows will make your eyes look puffy. I personally prefer a fuller straighter brow with a less obvious arch.

Always talk to someone well trained (check out their brows, do you like their shape?) and communicate with the person doing your brows. Ask for a mirror so you can check on their shape every once in a while.


Figure out which one suits your needs best.

Brow Pencils


Image from here

They look much like your standard eyeliner, though may come with a brush at the end in order to blend it out. They’re also a slightly waxier formula so they go in smoothly and bend out nicely, without it looking too obvious you’re drawing them in.

Brow Powder or Eyeshadow

nyx eyebrow powder

Brow powders are always sold as a separate product, and generally I find them to be of a slightly drier crumblier formula than eyeshadows (that can be buttery). This means that when you soften it with a spoolie they may not be blended to oblivion.

Eyeshadows are great as they come in a more extensive colour range than brow powders do, so if you dye your hair frequently it’s nice to just use your neutral eyeshadow palette rather than buy new products every few months. Always use a matte eyeshadow for this, not unless you want glittery eyebrows (which admittedly, is not necessarily a bad look, just not one you could wear everyday, unless you’re very brave).

These may run or fade more easily than using a brow gel or brow pen, so you might want to seal it in with a clear brow mascara or Vaseline. You have to use an angled liner brush to fill these in, so it might not be too convenient to touch up, unlike a brow pencil or mascara.

Brow Mascara


This comes in a tube with a mascara wand to come in through your brows. There are clear and coloured versions. These are meant for girls with fuller brows as the effect is rather subtle.

I was too much of a cheapskate to buy one, so I’ve been using a mascara that I didn’t quite like on my brows. It holds them in place, and darkens them, so it’s a neat trick. This works best with black brows, since brown mascara tends to be fairly rare.

Brow Gel/Pomade


Image from here. Anastasia Bever Hills Dip Brow Pomade is supposed to be an amazing product.

These come in little glass jars like gel liners, and are applied with angled liner brushes. They last a lot longer than your powder products, but aren’t as bendable so you’d need some practice to get them right. They look amazing when you do though.

Brow Pen


Image from here.

They come with a felt tip, like liquid liners, and you draw in the lines. While this is a little scary, they still aren’t as pigmented or opaque as your average liquid liner. These also tend to last really long, but need a lot of practice to get used to as you can’t blend or soften them they way you would with a powder.


Generally I like to start in the middle of my brows, fill out the ends and then come back in in the start (the center of your face). I’ve seen various YouTube artists do their brows lighter in the front and darker in the end and vice versa. I’m a fan of the former, as I feel it just looks more natural. Also my brows tend to be sparer at the ends so I always reach to fill those in first.

Use light feathery strokes that resemble individual hairs, and come back in and blend.

Ombre brows are a thing you might want to try when you’re feeing a little more confident. This is when you use two different colours on your brows (one lighter than the other) to get a full but natural look. Read this for more information. 


Image from here.


Angled Liner Brush

You’ll need this when you’re using brow powder, eyeshadow, or a brow gel to be able to fill in your brows with soft controlled strokes. (Also angled liner brushes are essential tools in your kit anyway so you should have one. Or several.)


Spoolie/Clean Mascara Wand

You don’t have to spend money on this, just clean an old mascara wand with shampoo and you’re good to go. You can also use this to take off clumps in your eyelashes during mascara application.

DSC01803 copy

Image from here


You want those with the slanted edge ‘cos they are more precise and still aren’t too sharp so you won’t kill yourself with them. You want tweezers that can get at one strand at a time, because that’s sometimes the difference between your perfect and disastrous brows.


Image from here


Yeah, I’m using the plural form out there because chances are, you’ll have more than one.

 The general rule is, if you have lighter hair (hair on your head that is) go 2-3 shades darker, and if you have darker hair go 2-3 shades lighter. Of course, you can also say “Screw the rules” and go with what you want. I do recommend getting your eyebrows bleached if you’re a brunette and you’ve gone really light blond though. It’s just really disconcerting to see black brows with white blonde hair.


What’s your favourite brow product? Leave a comment in below. =)

The Beginner Basics Series:
A Beginner’s Guide to Makeup
Beginner Basics: Foundation
Beginner Basics: Makeup Brushes
Beginner Basics: Primers
Beginner Basics: Eyeliner

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2 Responses to Beginner Basics: Brows

  1. sophiecox91 says:

    Brows are the bane of my life 😂

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