Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based freelance writer, fashion stylist, and creative director. When she’s not covering fashion week or working on shoots, Truc is an amateur mycologist and enjoys world travels with her family.
Not so long ago, eyebrows were a low-maintenance beauty area that—for most of us—required little care beyond a weekly depilation via tweezing or waxing. These days, the creation and maintenance of bold, personality-flattering arches à la model Karlie Kloss or actress Rita Ora seems to have become a collective ambition.
To help you sculpt, colour and otherwise enhance your brows into top shape, there are now many dozens of specialty products and cosmetic procedures on the market, each designed with different physical challenges and aesthetic goals in mind.
Here’s our primer on some of the most popular brow helpers; because not all arches are created equal.
Eye brow pencils are ideal for filling in sparse brows, exaggerating your arch, or extending eyebrow length on a daily basis. Use short, light strokes to imitate the look of natural hair, and pick a shade that closely matches your hair tone.
The product: Rimmel London Professional Eyebrow Pencil
Apply brow powder to subtly enhance the colour of your brows or create super defined, filled-in arches. A popular, everyday tool for adding allover definition — especially if you have extra sparse or pale brows — powders now come in both compact and applicator formats. Look for easy to blend, smudge-proof formulations.
The product: Shu Uemura Brow Palette
Applied on its own or in conjunction with other brow products, clear wax pencils work wonders to smooth out unruly or coarse brows. Most are pliable, and easy to apply; you can also work the product through your hair with a finger or brow brush post-application.
The product: NudeStix Brow Wax
Available either as a clear universal formulation or tinted hues to match your hair colour, brow gel helps to elevate and control thicker hair by setting and defining the shape and direction of your brows. Applied with a wand on its own for a low-key effect, or after pencil or powder for a very polished look that will hold all day long.
The product: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
Used as a finishing step after applying product, brow brushes can help add direction and movement to your arches. Perfect for improving symmetry, smoothing out unruly hairs, or achieving the “brushed up” look. Look for a multi-tasker that comes with both a bristle tip and a round spoolie brush.
The product: Bobbi Brown Dual-Ended Brow Definer/Groomer Brush
Recently, microblading has become a more popular way of filling out sparse or thin brows, and adding definition and shape, on a semi-permanent basis. A form of tattooing done with tiny needles, the procedure can be expensive and should be performed by a specialist in a sterile setting. Fans love that the result can last from one to two years — although occasional touch ups might be needed — eliminating the need to use many other brow products on a daily basis.
A more permanent procedure, eyebrow tattoos are lines created with digital pens with needles at the tip. Used to fill in or widen over-plucked arches, these hand-drawn brows can last up to five years, so make sure the shape and style that you get is a look you’ll want to live with for that long!
Tell us which brow product you prefer by tagging @BeMakeful on social.