From pencil-thin to big and bushy, eyebrow shapes have undergone many iterations over the past few decades. While some brow trends we prefer not to revisit (over-plucked, anyone?), fluffy brow styles have continued to dominate our social media feeds. Right now, feathered brows are the airy brow aesthetic du jour.
We love perfectly-sculpted arches as much as the next beauty enthusiast, but sometimes we want a more low-maintenance look. Feather brows work with what you already have, only needing a few tweaks to get them just right. Feathering brows may remind you of soap brows and brow lamination, but the techniques and tools involved differ. If you covet full-looking brows and a minimalist routine, consider taking eyebrow feathering for a spin. Keep scrolling to learn what to expect at the salon and how to create the look at home.
How to Get Feathered Brows
When done professionally, feathering brows is a styling technique that involves combing, shaping, and setting your eyebrow hair upward for a wispy yet voluminous and lifted appearance. Your technician will use semi-permanent ink to draw hair-like strokes onto your brows and then lock them into a fluffy, upright position with a skin-safe solution.
A feathered eyebrow service is not completely unlike microblading. Both are semi-permanent tattoos that make your eyebrows appear fuller and yield long-term results. The difference is that microblading is suitable for adding definition over the entire brow, whereas feathering is better for filling in sparse spots (think of feathering as microblading’s little sister). Feather brows don’t last as long as microblading, either. Depending on your skin type and lifestyle, they typically start to fade within 9-18 months.
Since feathering makes small incisions in your skin to insert pigment, you may experience side effects like redness and irritation. If you have a special event coming up, it’s generally recommended to allot about four weeks of healing time post-appointment. Consult your brow technician to understand what your personal recovery time and upkeep will entail.
How to Create a Feathered Brow Look at Home
If commitment and downtime aren’t your preference, you can get the look of feathered brows at home in less time than it takes to head to the salon. You only need a clean spoolie, your preferred brow pen or pencil (we’ll dive further into that below), and a setting gel.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Products
Start searching for the best eyebrow products for feathering brows, and you’ll notice many options exist. We’re here to help you discover the right ones for you.
Brow Brush and Comb
No brow regimen is complete without a brush and spoolie combination, like our Pro Dual Brow Brush. The spoolie side helps comb through and shape your brow hair, while the angled brush is perfect for wiping away rogue product around your brows.
Brow Pencil or Pen
Since eyebrow feathering creates a wispy, minimalist look, brow pens and pencils with targeted tips are ideal for subtly filling in gaps in your eyebrows. So many formulas are available that cater to all brow densities and skill levels, ensuring a natural-looking finish.
For thinner eyebrows, a pencil, such as the Micro Brow Pencil, features a super-skinny tip to fill in sparse areas with fine, hair-like strokes. Do your brows need some extra help laying flat? A pomade pencil can help with that. Our Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pomade Pencil has a creamy, waxy formula that coats every hair to define and tame unruly arches. It’s also buildable, so you can go as light or dark as you need.
If liquid formulas are more in your application wheelhouse, you can’t go wrong with a smudge-proof pen with a flexible micro-brush tip, like our Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen.
In addition to picking the right type of pencil or pen, selecting the right shade is integral to curating your eyebrow feathering routine. Your hair color and skin tone can help guide you toward your ideal brow hue. In most cases, we recommend selecting a lighter color (one to two shades lighter than your brow hairs) to avoid overpowering your features.
The real hero of your eyebrow feathering routine will be a brow gel. It will help set your hair into the perfect wispy, uplifted shape. A good gel can also help make your brows appear more dense and lush—win, win.
Brow mascara gels are particularly great for creating the illusion of fullness. Our Thick It. Stick It! ™ Brow Gel is infused with plant-origin fibers that cling to your brow hairs, making them appear thicker with each coat. For more long-term wear, we recommend our Zero-to-Brow Longwear Brow Gel, which lasts up to two days (!) so you can rock your feathered look with minimal touch-ups.
Suppose you’re satisfied with your brow thickness and instead want extreme hold. In that case, The Brow Glue Instant Brow Styler has got you covered. Available in four shades and one transparent gel, the formula dries down into a natural, non-sticky finish for up to 16 hours of hold.
Now that you’re equipped with the right products, we can get into the main event: a how-to on feathering brows.
Step 2: Shaping Your Brows
Eyebrows should naturally follow the curvature of your brow bone. Before feathering your brows, a few strategically-placed dots can help outline your most flattering eyebrow shape. Just use your brow pencil to make small pinpoints on your forehead indicating where you want your brows to begin and end and a mark above where you want your arch to be. If you’re searching for more detailed instructions based on your face shape, check out our article, Eyebrow Mapping: How to Find Your Perfect Eyebrow Shape.
Pro Tip: If there’s one beauty mantra you should adopt, let it be this: Your eyebrows are sisters, not twins. This means that while you want to achieve balance, your arches don’t need to be perfectly symmetrical.
Step 3: Brushing Your Brows
Using the spoolie side of your Pro Dual Brow Brush, brush your brow hair vertically at the start of your eyebrow. Once you reach the mark by your arch, brush the tail of your brow diagonally toward your temples to create a tapered shape.
Step 4: Filling In Your Brows
Now that you’ve brushed your brows up, up, and away, any gaps that need filling should be evident. Pick up your preferred brow pencil and lightly draw small, hair-like strokes in sparse areas to help add depth and definition. Try making your strokes in the same direction as your brow hair growth to keep it looking as natural as possible (typically, that means slightly slanted toward your eye’s outer corner).
Blending is key to ridding your feathered eyebrows of any harsh lines. Our aforementioned Micro Brow Pencil comes with a spoolie on one end to diffuse your color, while the Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pomade Pencil has a micro paddle brush to help blend and fluff out its waxy formula. If you opted for the Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen, use a spoolie to quickly distribute color before it dries down.
Step 5: Setting Your Brows
It’s time to whip out your brow gel to put the finishing touch on your feathered brows. Set your fluffy, feathery brows into their new upward position by sweeping your brow gel brush in vertical strokes at the beginning of the brow and diagonal strokes at the tail. Finally, use the angled brush side of the spoolie and a bit of concealer to gently smudge away any mistakes.
Pro Tip: If you have thick, bushy eyebrows, you may be able to skip Step 4 altogether and just use a spoolie and gel for your at-home eyebrow feathering.