Whether you prefer them pencil-thin or fluffed up and full, there’s no denying that eyebrows can make (or break) an entire look. A great brow moment can totally transform your face. Bushy brows, for example, draw attention to your eyes, while thinner, more arched brows may lend your look a vintage vibe. That being said, balance is key, no matter which type of eyebrow style you favor. And that’s why knowing how to do eyebrows is so important (at least, if you want to look your very best).
That’s where we come in. Here, we’re breaking down exactly how to do your eyebrows, so they’re balanced and flattering. We’ll also clue you in on some of our best brow care tips to keep your arches looking their best, even on makeup-free days. Ready for the scoop? Then put down your tweezers (for now) and read on for your ultimate NYX Professional Makeup eyebrow guide.
What You Need To Know Before Doing Your Brows
Before reaching for the eyebrow makeup, you’ll want to map out a game plan—in other words, figure out which style you’re going for and what you need to do to achieve it. Here are some tips on how to shape eyebrows (for beginners and pros alike).
1. Tweeze Stray Hairs
In an ideal world, we’d all have perfect natural eyebrows that grow in exactly the shape we want them to. But that’s not how it works in real life—we all have different types of eyebrows, and many of us have stray hairs that grow outside of our preferred brow area. You can remove those unwanted hairs by tweezing them. Plucking unwanted hairs can also help shape your brows, so they look more defined and groomed.
2. Avoid Over-Plucking Your Brows
While some tweezing can be immensely helpful in shaping your brows, make sure you don’t go overboard. Overplucking can lead to misshapen eyebrows, brows that are too thin for your face, or obvious asymmetry. What’s more, those hairs may not all grow back after tweezing. So take it slow—you can’t quickly replace hair once it’s been plucked.
3. Maintain Your Natural Arch
Generally speaking, where your natural arch occurs is where it should stay. There are exceptions, of course—for example, if you want a highly-stylized brow—but it’s a good rule of thumb for those seeking a natural brow look. If you’re unsure where your arch is, try holding a pencil diagonally from the outer corner of your nostril, aligning one end with the center of your eye. Your arch should start where the pencil intersects with your eyebrow.
4. Keep The Tail of Your Brow In Check
Long, luscious hair is gorgeous—but when it comes to your eyebrows, too much length can visually weigh down your face. If your brow hairs are naturally longer, consider trimming them so they end a centimeter or so past your eyes.
5. Remember That Brows Are Sisters, Not Twins
Don’t waste time trying to make your eyebrows appear perfectly symmetrical—nobody’s brows are completely identical. Instead, focus on shaping them individually, even if that means one brow is slightly longer or more arched than the other.
6. Determine What Eyebrow Makeup You’ll Need
Once you’ve got the grooming out of the way, you’ll want to suss out what eyebrow fill-in products you need to create your desired look. Full, fluffy brows typically require brow gel; darker, more defined brows can be achieved via an eyebrow pencil or gel. If your brows are naturally sparse, a brow pen, such as our Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen, can help you fill in those patchy areas to get fuller-looking arches.
How To Define Eyebrows
We’ll start with the easiest—and most natural-looking—eyebrow look: defined brows. Basically, the goal here is to achieve a “your brows, but better” effect. Start by using a brow pencil, like Micro Brow Pencil, to fill in any sparse areas. The fan-favorite formula comes in 12 natural-looking shades (including options for blondes) and creates super-thin, precise strokes. As for how to fill eyebrows so it looks natural, not drawn-on, we recommend taking a slow-and-steady approach. Start by drawing short, thin strokes in emptier areas—the idea is to mimic the appearance of your natural brow hairs. Then, once your arches are filled in to your liking, set the look in place with Thick It Stick It! Brow Gel, which helps tame and thicken your eyebrows for a fuller (yet still natural-looking) finish.
How To Tint Your Brows For a Microbladed Effect
If you like the microbladed look but want to forgo the actual procedure (which is pricey and also semi-permanent), you can mimic its appearance at home by filling in your brows with a brow pen. We recommend trying Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen, which boasts a flexible, micro-brush tip ideal for creating hair-like strokes. It comes in a range of shades and provides up to 16 hours of transfer and smudge-resistant wear. Draw the strokes in the same direction as your natural hair growth for a subtle look, or flick the pen vertically upward to visually lift your brows.
How To Do Bold, Shaped Brows
When you want a more dramatic, bold brow effect, reach for our Tame & Frame Brow Pomade. The smudge-proof, waterproof pomade glides on easily and adds color to help you achieve a gorgeously full-looking brow. We recommend applying it with a thin, angled brush, such as our Pro Angled Brush. Trace over your natural brow hairs and fill in light or bare areas until you’ve achieved your desired finish.
Pro Tip: If you get your makeup for eyebrows on your eyelids or forehead, don’t sweat it. Just use a cotton swab to remove any unwanted product and clean up the edges.
How To DIY Laminated Eyebrows
Laminated brows—which is basically a fancy name for a brow perm—are trending in a big way. Replicate the look at home by using The Brow Glue Instant Brow Styler to shape your brows and keep them in place. For a laminated effect, brush your brow hairs in an upward motion until they appear fluffy and lifted. Let them set, then go on your way—the transparent, non-sticky brow gel provides up to 16 hours of flake-resistant wear.