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Instagram and TikTok are flooded with the most amazing brows. They’re fluffy, they’re chic, and they’re blended for an effortlessly natural look.
Okay, maybe minus the effortless. These videos make it look easy to achieve, but the reality – when you’re giving your own brows a good seeing to – can be quite different. Let’s just put this out there: achieving the golden standard of “brows on fleek” is possible, but to get the brows of our dreams, we could all do with some professional advice and, potentially, some new products, too.
Eyebrows that are full and perfectly shaped can instantly give your eyes (and full face) a more defined look. Are you one of many who are not born with perfectly sculpted slugs? Join the club (I’m a premium tier member). The good news is that even if you didn’t win the genetics lottery, it’s easier than you think to pretend you did with a few handy products and some MUA-approved advice.
Mastering the brow basics
Whether your brows are looking a little threadbare or growing scarily wild and wooly, it’s possible to take back control.
A common issue many struggle with is over-plucked, sparse brows. When it comes to eyebrow regrowth after over-plucking, Siannen Saucede, makeup artist for the Ruuby App, has some advice. “If you came from the generation of over-plucked eyebrows, castor oil is a cheap, effective way to renew your eyebrow growth,” she tells HuffPost UK.
If the problem is too much, rather than too little hair and you’re aiming to tame bushier brows at home, it’s worth watching some simple tutorials, she adds. “If you are plucking, waxing or doing anything else to your brows at home, Eyelure has guides which are quite useful to use as a pre-shaping option.”
Another common mistake is failing to take seriously the health of the skin under and around the brows. To keep it in tiptop condition, some regular self-care is required, explains makeup artist, Hayley De Beers.
“I recommend scrubs for the brows for sure, as they often get missed when you’re exfoliating. When I’m brushing out a client’s brows, you can see the dry, dead skin coming through if they aren’t doing this. It really helps the new hair to grow, so if you’re trying to get fuller, natural brows, it’s essential,” she says.
Simple brow sculpting tips
The starting point for perfectly defined brows is determining the brow shape that best suits your face. And it’s okay to ask for help on this.
“If you’re unsure on your ideal shape, go to a brow bar and ask them to brow map you,” says De Beers. “I always do this for my clients, so they can see where to start, arch and finish their brow/filling. Stencils are a great option too, if you can’t get to a brow bar.”
Saucede agrees that stencils can be great, but cautions that “they don’t always offer a vast amount of shapes”. If you can’t find the right stencil shape for your brows, you can map them out yourself, she says.
“The ‘perfect’ eyebrow should end in an equal angle to your eye and begin in line with the top of your nose,” she explains – as you can see in this brow map. “There are some great tutorials on youtube and Instagram, so if you are looking for a different style, then definitely check these platforms out.”
She also recommends “brushing brows through before makeup application”. This will help to remove any base products (think: concealer and foundation) that have crept in and tinted them.
How to get brow layering right
In terms of the best product types to use, De Beers has pointers. “Usually I use a combination of pencil, followed by a little powder. My favourite thing to use on sparse brows is actually a little brush pen, similar to a liquid liner but much less colour payoff,” she explains.
Saucede does similar. “If I was to layer products, I would begin with a pencil, just to get my eyebrow shape, and then fill with a pomade or gel,” she says.
Essentially, when it comes to perfecting your brow look, there’s no need to stick to just one product – you can mix and match to make achieving your desired look a little easier. But as with all makeup, there is still a good order to follow.
“Layering any products should always be done in the order of creams first, followed by powders,” advises De Beers. “When it comes to brows, this is no different – apply your wax or pencil first, and then if you want to you can use some powder colour to set it.” Do it the other way around, she says, and you risk getting little clumps of product in the brow hairs.
And for a more natural brow look? Brushing your brows with an eyebrow wand and using gel to create a natural-looking fill works wonders, says Saucede.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best brow products on the market right now – they’re makeup artist approved for good reason.
This gloriously iridescent brow highlighter
Take your brow look up a notch with a swipe of this soft, silky highlighter. For best results, apply a small amount under your brow arch to add dimension or pop a little in the corner of each eye for an added glow.
This vegan & cruelty-free ‘brow soap’
Brow waxes like this one from Soap Brows offer thick formulas that coat, tame and set coarser and unruly brow hairs more easily – they’re great for achieving a more natural-looking finish.
For fluffy, instantly groomed brows, this is the one
This tinted brow pomade can be swept through brows to add fullness or dotted on to mask sparse patches. The brushable, creamy wax is designed to visibly thicken, shape and groom brows, offering long-lasting results. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
A simple-to-use 2-in-1 brow tool
Available in three shades, this double-ended pencil has a soft, creamy formula and is perfect for lifting, highlighting and defining brows. (I have this myself and I can’t recommend it highly enough.)
A dependable brow tint
A longer term solution, brow tints like this one are quick and easy to apply. Plus, they last for weeks, offering a perfect solution for low-maintenance brows.
This nourishing eyebrow serum
This all-natural, vegan, award-winning formula nourishes and cares for brows, encouraging thicker, longer, and healthier hair.
The solution for thicker-looking, more defined brows
Another makeup artist favourite, this smart brow pen with a vegan formula is the secret to achieving full brows in a matter of seconds. De Beers also loves these clever brow pens as an effective and more natural-looking solution to hair loss from the eyebrows.
These stencils for the perfect brow shape
These stencils do double duty, acting as useful guide for plucking and shaping, in addition to filling brows. They’re another makeup artist recommended product and it’s clear why.
A doubled-ended brow pencil
This product comes recommended by De Beers, who explains that, “For simplicity or a quickie brow I love Studio 10’s double-ended brow pencil. It’s a fairly universal, buildable shade, so it doesn’t matter what colour my hair is that month, I know it will work for me!”
This makeup artist recommended precision pencil
Eyebrow pencils, like this one, are ideal for drawing a specific brow shape or adding ‘sketched on’ individual hairs to sparse brows. With precision in mind, this double-ended tool features an ultra-fine pencil for creating more defined hairs, along with a spoolie brush for perfecting that brow arch.
A volumising eyebrow gel
This smart little eyebrow gel is a staple of Saucede’s kit. Packed full of tiny microfibres that adhere to skin and hairs, for a more natural looking fullness, this gel effortlessly shapes and defines brows with a simple swipe.
This powerful pomade
This pick is a favourite of both makeup artists. Saucede, who has the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow pomade in her go-to brow kit, while De Beers swears by pomade for her own brows – it’s easy to see why. The award-winning vegan formula is buildable, multi-tasking, and completely waterproof.
This water-activated brow wax kit
Available in clear and tinted versions, this sculpting wax is perfect for adding structure and depth to unruly arches, locking hair in place.
This versatile five-piece brow kit
This 5-piece kit includes Morphe’s cult brow products, ideal for achieving smarter, more defined brows.
This vegan brow formula for added volume and extra hold
This supernatural brow gel is infused with natural hemp fibres to add volume and fullness while holding shape and intensity. Long wearing and nourishing, with a precise vegan brush that applies easily for dream brows.