If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then your eyebrows are basically everything else you put in a room to make it look cute. Eyebrows are the MVPs of your face. A good, thick set of them not only frames your eyes and gives your face structure, but also make any other makeup you wear look that much better. The downside: Not everyone is born with Brooke-Shields-level brows. (Please. In our dreams.) The good news is it's easy to make your eyebrows look that way if you have a handle on how to do them correctly.
For those of us who don't have 24/7 glam squads, there's serious value in knowing exactly how to groom your own brows — whether it's shaping them, filling them in, making them look thicker, or a combo of all three. With the right tools and advice, you can create big, bold brows that look as though you were born with them. (It'll be our little secret.) That's why we've teamed up with L'Oréal Paris to bring you a step-by-step guide to the best brow tools and techniques. It's all you need to get your best arches yet.
1. Different Brow Shapes Complement Different Face Shapes
Eyebrows aren't one-size-fits-all. The brow shape that works for your bestie may not be a fit for your face, and that's totally fine! There are six eyebrow shapes to know. Those are a high arch (which resembles an upside-down "V"), a soft arch, straight, round, thick, and curved (which bends just before the arch, creating a sideways "S" shape). With proper grooming, you can tweak yours to best flatter your face shape. And you totally should, because doing so can make a world of difference.
2. Know Your Shaping Tools
Yes! You really do need two pairs of tweezers. "Pointed tweezers are best for precision-tweezing of those super-fine baby hairs," explains makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci. "Angled tweezers have more power to them, so they're good for thicker, coarser, and curlier hairs." The scissors come in handy if you're dealing with any out-of-control or very long hairs. After all, you might not exactly want to a pluck a hair — long or not — that's in the dead center of your eyebrow.
3. Learn the Secret to Shaping
Put that pencil, crayon, or applicator to work! Begin by holding the tool you're using straight up, from the outside edge of your nose to the inner corner of your eye. Where it hits your brow is where your brow should begin. Then, keeping the base at the outer corner of your nostril, move the top end to the outer corner of your eye. That's where your brow should end.
4. Choose the Right Shade
The color counts for a lot. "If you're a blonde or redhead, choose a shade darker than your hair," says Ciucci. "This ensures that your brows carry a bit more weight, which is a nice contrast for the fair-haired." That contrast stands if you have brown or black hair. While brunettes should still choose a brow color that's darker, it should be no more than one shade lighter than their hair color. "This way, your brows don't look too harsh," she explains.
5. Know Your Fill-In Tools
Are your brows pretty much nonexistent? Opt for a brow pomade like L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Frame & Set. As Ciucci says, a pomade will help you control the shape of your brows and make them look thicker. There's really nothing you can't do with this.
If your brows are already in good shape, go for a brow crayon. This tool, like L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Kabuki Blender, is a quick and easy solution for those who don't have time to tweeze. It'll tame rogue brow hairs while adding pigment for a polished look, and it's the most universal tool. You can use it to do pretty much anything from filling in bald spots, to creating realistic strokes, to tapering the tail. Try L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer, which has such a precise point that the mechanical pencil's drawn-on hairs look like the real thing.
Pictured above: (1) Jessica's bare brow, (2) L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer, (3) L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Kabuki Blender, (4) L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Frame & Set
6. How to Fill Them In
Less is more, especially when it comes to your eyebrows. "While bold brows are in, blocky, heavy brows are not," says Ciucci. "Use a light touch with your tool." If you're using pomade, make sure your strokes are soft and light. With a pencil, press it lightly and draw on hairs with a flicking motion. If you're using a brow crayon, says Ciucci, you should brush a clean mascara wand through your finished brows to lift off any excess product.
7. Define Them With Highlighter
Now that your brows are shaped and filled in, it's time to make them stand out. Trace a highlighter pencil (it can be sparkly, shimmery, or matte, depending on what you're going for) beneath your brow, and blend it into your brow bone using your fingers. This extra step sharpens the edges of your brows, giving them a more polished and defined look.
8. Let Them Be Sisters, Not Twins
One of the biggest brow mistakes we make is assuming that our eyebrows are supposed to be #twinning. "First of all, your brows are sisters, not twins — so don't go crazy trying to make them identical," says Ciucci. "It'll never happen in a believable way." Instead, she advises picking your "favorite" brow — or whichever has the shape you prefer — and fill it in first. Then, you can look to it as a guide (again, a guide and not a map) for your other brow.
This post is sponsored by L'Oréal Paris.
Photos: Joshua Pestka; Makeup: Ashleigh Ciucci; Hair: Mia Santiago; Model: Jessica Barta Lam/Request Model Management; Art Direction: Jenna Wexler/ Bustle; Design: Mary Blount/ Bustle; Editor: Irma Elezovic.