Sparse or thinning eyebrows could be the result of a medical condition like hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies, the natural aging process, or simply overzealous tweezing. Whatever the cause (and you should check with your doc to rule out any serious conditions), you can reclaim a beautiful eyebrow shape with this primer on eyebrow shading.
When you're filling in your eyebrows yourself, Rule No. 1 is: Don't be scared! You can do it without having that obvious drawn-in look. The key is to use brow powder or powder eye shadow (much more subtle than using a pencil, which can create strong lines).
Before adding color, first determine where your eyebrows should begin, peak, and end. "Once the brow shape is defined, the thickness is then a matter of choice based on the individual's personal style," says Vincent Longo, makeup artist and creative director for Vincent Longo Cosmetics.
Here are Longo's tips for finding your eyebrow shape:
Figure out where your eyebrow begins by placing a pencil vertically against the side of your nose and the inner corner of the eye. This is the starting point.
Next, place the pencil diagonally from the side of your nostril to the center of the pupil — this is the highest point of the arch. Make sure the pencil is vertical, since any slight angle will throw off the brow shape.
Lastly, to determine where the brow tapers off, place the pencil from the side of the nostril to the outside corner of the eye. This is the end point.
Mark these three points on each of your eyebrows using an eye pencil, visually connect the dots, then tweeze or wax off hairs that fall out of bounds.
To fill with brow powder, choose a shade close to your natural hair color (or one or two shades deeper if you have pale eyebrows), then follow the steps below.
Apply brow wax (or ChapStick!) on your eyebrows as a base.
Dip an angled liner brush into brow powder and using short, light strokes "draw" hairs over the new brow shape you created, starting from the center of the brow outward. To define the underside of the brow or to fill in very sparse areas, apply a bit more pressure.
Blend the color with a brow brush or clean toothbrush.
Finally, use a spooley brush (it looks like a mascara wand) to apply clear eyebrow gel onto your brows for extra hold.
Women with very light-colored eyebrow hair can "thicken" their brows with colored brow gels and brow tints in a shade or two darker than their natural color. These products, which often come in 2-in-1 packaging, resemble mascara, but the formulas are lighter in texture and have less pigment. However, it takes a little practice to master brushing on the color without getting it on your skin.
Whether you're filling in your eyebrows temporarily or need to permanently add it to your beauty routine, these tips will help you fake your way to lush, shapely eyebrows.