How to pick the right makeup product to create bold brows
While microblading, tinting and laminating are great long-term options to create the brows you want, makeup is a great way to fake a bold brow. “The important thing is making sure you fill in a brow to make it look as natural as possible,” says makeup artist Daniel Bauer, who works with celebrities like Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. Whether you want to fill in a few blank spaces or create a high arch to add drama to the look, there’s an eyebrow product—pencil, pomade, wax, gel or powder—that can help you outline, fill, tint and set your brows. But how do you know which one you need? “The first step to picking a product is to decide what you need to achieve with it, and the look you are going for,” says Bauer. Here, we tell you what to pick up for every brow style you may want to create.
Brow pencils are the most popular products on the market, as the right strokes can either help lift the arch or even help change the shape of your brows and fill in gaps. “The shape of your brows have the biggest impact on your overall look. And the brow pencil is the best product to lift a brow, extend and define them,” says Bauer. “It’s very easy to go overboard with pencils, so the best way is to first fill the lighter areas of your brows with light feathered strokes in the direction of your hair growth and balance the rest out.” Makeup artists suggest using short, quick strokes towards the tail of the brows, and then finishing the end in an upwards and outwards direction. If using a powder, a brow pencil can work as a waxy base for the product.
Pomade, with its thick texture, is perfect to achieve thick, dramatic brows. They have a holding capacity to keep your brows in place and can make your hair look thicker. “Brow pomades act very similarly to a pencil. But when used for filling in scanty brows, they give a matte appearance and are a little softer and more natural-looking. While they’re alike to use and serve a similar purpose, if you want that higher level of definition, pomade is the way to go,” says Bauer. The key to using it right again is to brush it in with light strokes.
Like you would apply loose powder on your foundation or concealer to set it, a brow powder can help you set brow pencils or pomades. Wielding an angular brush, use the powder to fill in sparse sections or coat the areas that you have already pencilled in. Powders help to make your brows look softer, and by combing through with a spoolie brush, you can make the look even more natural and subtle. When not available, we recommend that you pick a dark matte shade from your eyeshadow palette instead.
A newer innovation, Bauer feels that brow gels are great for neophytes since they’re fool-proof. “Gels have the same effect that a hair spray [has on your mane], but they give a matte finish and make the hair strands look far more natural. Again, the difference is subtle, but definitely noticeable if you look hard enough,” says Bauer.