Brows-001I’ve embarked on a new mission in life:  To encourage Kiwi woman to do their brows…  Why? A picture often speaks a thousand words. Check out these photos of well-known celebrities.  This is what a lot of women with neglected, pale eyebrows actually look like.  I rest my case. Kiwi women, we need to up our game, the rest of the world has been onto this for years.

I was at an event with a lot of woman a few weeks back and, with my mind drifting (as it tends to do), I realised, with a jolt, that hardly any of the lovely ladies in the room had eyebrows. Now, I’m exaggerating slightly, but in all seriousness: Groomed, shaped and filled-in brows bring focus to your eyes and serve as a frame for your entire face.  They are actually the most important feature on our face.  Why then, do we give them so little attention?

imageI started filling in my eyebrows two years ago after caving in to my Hot Hubby’s gentle suggestion that they needed filling in (they were shaped and plucked but a tad sparse in parts). I acted on his well-intended feedback and, well, what do you know… He knew what he was talking about (don’t tell him, he’ll get a big head). Now filling in my brows is a crucial step in my morning beauty routine.  Actually, recently I arrived at work and realised I’d forgotten to do them… I hid in my office till morning tea time and whipped out at morning tea to fill them in with the tester at Kmart! (True story).

If, like me, you are a ‘darkie’ and you think you don’t need to fill in your brows… Yes, I’m talking to you too (except your brows Rhonda, yours are utter perfection). So, eyebrows, just do it. PLEASE. Nothing finishes off a look quite like filled in (and well-groomed) brows.

The following steps are designed for Brow Beginners. I could have prepared a 10 step tutorial for HD high-definition brows  (all the rage at the moment) but, given where Kiwi brows are at right now, here’s some baby steps.

All you need

  • A stiff angled eyshadow/ brow brush, mine is a cheapie from the QVS stand at Farmers. It’s great.
  • A brow powder in a suitable colour*, or, don’t think you need to go an buy a special product – a matt eyeshadow in an appropriate colour will suffice perfectly! OR
  • A brow pencil

Why do I recommend an eyeshadow powder over a pencil? I simpy prefer using a powder product as I find this gives a much softer and subtle look – but it’s over to you!

* What’s a ‘suitable colour’?

Firstly, I need to emphasise that you need a matt brow or eyeshadow. Matt meaning a shadow with no sparkle/frost in it: We don’t want disco eyebrows.  Colourwise, blondes should go a shade or two darker when shaping and filling their brows and brunettes look best using a colour that’s one or two shades lighter than their hair colour (otherwise the brows may come out too strong).

You can buy specific brow powders from many higher end cosmetics brands (e.g. Estee Lauder, Clinique etc). Unfortunately, the more inexpensive brands (Maybelline etc) don’t seem to have jumped on the brow powder bandwagon yet, they seem to just stock brow pencils. So, If you want a brow powder, the easiest thing to do is to pop into a pharmacy or a department store and ask for help (remember to pick up an angled brush too).  As an alternative, Benefit and Youngblood cosmetics also have great range of brow products.  Alternatively, use an eyeshadow – I do!  Many of MAC’s matt eyeshadows are great for filling in brows. After (a lot of) trial and error, my eyeshadow of choice for my brows is ‘Brun’ by Mac, perfect for super-darkies like me.  Other eyeshadow colours from MAC that work well for brunettes (depending on how dark you are) are Espresso, Charcoal Brown, Cork or Omega. If you are blonde, or light brunette, try MAC’s Wedge.

Eyebrow Pencil: A great inexpensive eyebrow pencil is by Rimmel. There’s a one for brunettes (‘Dark Brown’) and blondes and red heads will love ‘Hazel’. I like these cheapies as they have a brush on the end of the lid which is great for blending the pencil out through the brows to soften the look (we don’t want any harsh pencil lines). I wrote about these brow pencils in this blog post.

What to do!











    • Using a stiff angled brush pick up some of the chosen brow product.
    • Apply the powder along the brows in short, feathery, hair-like strokes in the direction of hair growth. You want to create the appearance of hair, not draw on a line. Remember, it’s always better to be light handed and then go back and apply more product than apply far too much at the outset!
    • Follow the shape of your brows, filling in the sparse areas. Follow the top and bottom line of your brows to get definition. If you think your powder needs to be blended into your brows, brush the hairs with a spoolie, or an old (clean) mascara brush.
    • Using a pencil? Follow the same process – short, feathery hair-like strokes. Don’t draw too hard otherwise your eyebrows will look too harsh and drawn on.
    • Got unruly or curly brows?  To set your brows, spritz hairspray onto your finger and run your finger over your brows. Alternatively, you can use a clear lightweight brow gel to tame them and keep them in place all day.   This definitely isn’t a product you need to spend a lot of money on: Australis do a great inexpensive one for around $12. You can use the brow gel on it’s own (e.g. swipe and go), or use it after you apply brow pencils or powders to set them.

If you aren’t used to filling in your brows it is quite possible you’ll look and the mirror and freak out! But trust me, your newly accentuated eyebrows will look awesome. Try it, I bet you get a few compliments… Give it a go!