Makeup By Marla: Brow-isma

The eyebrow is getting a great deal of attention in the makeup world over the past few years. The new look encompasses a well manicured brow with a defined arch that tapers to a thin tail at the outermost corner. The innermost corner above the tear duct goes from sparse softness and gradually intensifies and darkens in pigment like a fade from about one quarter of the way into the brow onwards. As brows frame the face, their importance in a complete makeup look is notable. Due to heightened brow popularity of late, even a term for perfect brows has been born in the cyber world and recognized in the Urban Dictionary. Therefore if someone tells you that you have "Brows On Fleek," you will know that your brows are looking mighty fine!! In order to achieve "Fleek" status, here are some important tips you need to know.

Essential Brow Brushes And Tools:

Eyebrow must have tools are the hard comb, bristle comb, spoolie, sharp semi taut angled eyebrow brush and precision tweezer. The first two tools are essentially for combing the brows and grooming them into place before enhancing them with cosmetics. The spoolie, which is a cylinder of bristles usually found at the end of many eyebrow pencils, is used to not only comb brows, but to also help blend and soften brow cosmetics for a more natural and less harsh look. This tool will ensure you won't be sporting the dreaded "Groucho Marx Brow" by error! The angled eyebrow brush is used to fill in brows with precision when applying brow pomades, some gels and brow powders. I recommend Anastasia Beverly Hill's Angled Eyebrow Brush #12. The Anastasia Beverly Hills #78 tool has a bristled angled end to apply gel pomade or powder and a spoolie to comb out brows pre application of product or to blend sharp lines. My other fave is the Sigma Angled Brow Brush E75.  Economical brow tools that perform wonderfully are the Revlon Double Ended Brow Brush featuring a stiff brow/bristle comb on one end and a phenomenal spoolie on the other and the ELF Eyebrow Duo Brush that has an angled brush and spoolie with an ergonomic handle. I recommend slant tip tweezers by Tweezerman or DreamCut Tools to help you remove stray hairs and groom brows efficiently.

Now...How To Brow...

Step One: Shape 

The first step is to outline your brow shape. Outline starting under the brow and moving towards the tail. Then outline the top of your brow using a lighter hand as you move towards the innermost corner for the faded effect. My go-to brow lining pencil is the Marcelle Accent Eyebrow Crayon that offers a perfect not too hard and not too soft formulation allowing for smooth lining. This pencil comes in a range of colors to suit everyone. I use the medium to dark brown shade, Brun Tendre. Recently I was sent a PR package from Benefit Cosmetics (#prsample ) and I was blown away by the efficacy of many of their brow products. Benefit's Precisely My Brow Pencil Ultra Fine Shape & Define is an absolutely wonderful choice to outline brows. The formula goes on without skipping and allows for crisp lines that remain in place throughout the day. I also really like Anastasia Beverly Hill's Brow Wiz as a lining/defining pencil.

Step TwoFill

Filling in the shape you have outlined requires a light hand near the inner corner of the brow. I sometimes use a lighter shade product for this area and pencil the area in with light strokes creating hair like lines. I then fill in the rest of the brow area with a deeper color and prefer to use a pomade or gel for this purpose and apply it with an angled brush. For the longest time Anastasia Beverly Hill's Dipbrow in the color Chocolate was my go-to pomade... that is until I discovered Ka-brow by Benefit Cosmetics! This product is bomb as it comes with a convenient angled brush tucked into the top of the pomade bottle cap... and I just adore this product's cute name! This pomade applies like a dream and blends out easily with the brush for a natural look. I have used this product every day since I received it and will definitely be purchasing this item as my holy grail brow product. 

Brow markers that look similar to a thin tapered Sharpie are another option for brow fill ins. These must be used with a very light hand or can produce an overly pronounced and dramatic brow. Therefore the margin for error with a brow marker is great unless you have a lot of brow experience! If you are brave enough to try this method I suggest the Brow Tint Pen by Milani or the Brow Marker by NYX, both available in light, medium and dark brown shades.

Another option to fill in brows are brow powders. Good brow kits that include long lasting powders are the Take A Brow kit by LORAC or the more economical Brow To Go kit by Annabelle. Dark colored shadows from brown to black can be substituted for brow powders as long as the eyeshadow offers quality pigmentation to ensure the look lasts. Brow powders are normally brushed into the brow area with light strokes using an angled brush and then set. This brings me to the next step to obtain the perfect brow...

Step Three: Set

Setting your brow look is often achieved using wax and setting gels. These products can range from clear to colored and for the most part I am not a fan of the wax setting method due to the product often causing a messy or stiff unnatural look if too much is applied... and it's easy to make errors and use too much product! Setting gels that airbrush into brows like a mascara with a wand allow for a better result because of their more fluid formulation. An example of a great setting gel in mascara format is Make Me Brow by Essence. This is a fabulous product that brushes into brows like a charm and costs a mere $2.99! The kicker is that whenever I use this setting gel, it keeps my brows in perfect condition from morning to night!  Tom Ford has a terrific brow setting mascara, Brow Fiber Gel. The fibers in this innovative formula give the effect of fine hairs while setting brows. Speaking of innovative... Benefit Cosmetic's 3D BROWtones Instant Color Highlights is a water-resistant brow gel in a mascara format that when brushed on to brows gives them natural looking color highlights. The effect of this product adds depth, dimension and contrast to the brows while setting them in place. How cool is that?!

Finally, one can simply opt for an all-over makeup setting spray like Fix Plus by M.A.C. or All Nighter by Urban Decay in order to set your entire makeup look brows and all in one shot. 

Step Four: Highlight

Highlighter or brow contour under the brow just above the brow bone is a necessary part of the perfect brow. You can shade this area using light coloured matte or shimmer shadows or a dab of your favorite highlighter. My brow contour/highlight of choice is in a pencil format as it is a quick and accurate method due to its creamy and blendable texture. Two of my favourite brow highlighter pencils are the Annabelle Brow Show Brow Liner and the High Brow Highlight & Lift Pencil by Benefit

Step Five: Mistake Management 

Before completing your brows it is necessary to ensure that errors made while lining and shaping brows are corrected. A little bit of concealer or makeup remover on an angled eyebrow brush lightly whisked along the brow line will act as a magic eraser to ensure that your brow appears neat and precisely angled. L.A. Girl Pro.Conceal HD Concealer comes in a tube where the product is dispensed directly onto a built-in brush. This is a perfect all-in-one solution for brow touch-ups. 

Remember not to get too hung up on having your brows exactly alike. The rule of thumb is that brows are meant to be sisters not twins!

Until next time my Brow-rrific Beauties... Remember you are gorgeous and Rock Your Beauty! 

Marla xxx 

Marla Overland BSW, PSW is a Professional Social Worker in practice for over 30 years in the Public Health Care system and privately. Marla has also been a long-standing, avid follower of makeup and beauty trends and enjoys to share her suggestions and beauty world scoops with friends and readers of her online blog.