The Expert Guide To Fuller-Looking Brows

Brows bring structure and definition to our faces but, as we age, they tend to get lighter, thinner and more wayward. Luckily, there’s now a variety of products to help shape and enhance them. From the correct way to apply gels to the reason you should play with powders for a softer effect, two experts reveal how you can improve the appearance of your arches.

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BROW GELS

“Brow gels are easy to use and always deliver good results. They work for everyone and smooth unruly, mature brows with ease. Take any extra product off the spoolie brush first, then use small, light-handed strokes to softly backcomb your brows – brush backwards against the hair-growth direction so it wraps around each hair for a fuller, fluffier look. Then take the brush back the other way to smooth everything out. Clear gels are just as effective. Benefit’s 24-Hour Brow Setter is a personal favourite and, unlike others on the market, it never feels hard or crispy.” – Camilla Hewitt, make-up artist

BROW PENCILS

“Pencils remain one of the easiest tools for filling in sparse or thinning brows. They help to create a more defined look and smooth out any gaps. The trick is to buy ones with a fine nib as these are most likely to emulate hair-like strokes. Look to pencils that double up with a spoolie on the other end. Start by using this side to brush brow hairs into your natural shape. This allows you to see any uneven areas that need filling. Once you’ve got your shape, use deft, upward strokes with your pencil to create hair-like markings. You want to keep things quite soft but have enough colour to bring out your eyes. An exact shade match to your brow hair is fine, or a shade that has a slightly stronger pigment to bring out your natural hair colour. Go no lighter or darker than two shades from your natural hair colour. More than shade, it’s important to consider texture too.” – Vanita Parti MBE, CEO of Blink Brow Bar

BROW PENS

“Pens are relatively new to the beauty scene, but they’re great for achieving realistic hair-like strokes and fuller brows. Use them to extend the shape of your brows – whether it’s a longer tail or a bushy inner brow. Find a starting point where your brows are sparser, then use short dash-like strokes to mimic your natural hairs. SUQQU’s Brow Pen is great for novices because the wet formula is very forgiving if you make a mistake – but it also means you need to allow time to let it dry. You can use brow powder on top for extra definition, but you may find the pen alone provides you with enough bulk and density.” – Camilla

BROW CREAMS

“Creams and pomades are a popular choice for those with sparseness because their silky formula is easy to use and blend. Laura Mercier’s Pomade & Brow Duo allows you to custom-blend your shade and enhance the texture of your brows all in one go. To get the application right, use the pomade first to fill in the brow with hair-like lines. Dip an angled brush in (you want one with short, stiff bristles), then brush the product on with light, short strokes, beginning at the centre of your brow and working outwards. Finish by applying the powder over the cream for added depth and dimension.” – Camilla

BROW POWDERS

“If you have a bit more time to spend on your brow routine, a powder is a great option. The trick is to apply them subtly to fill in patches and enhance the brow – don’t be too heavy handed as this can result in a very dark or unnatural looking shape. Follow the direction of the hair and gently fill in any gaps, then blend it through with a brush or brow tamer for the most even results. You can seal everything in with a clear gel for extra longevity.” – Vanita 

“Powders are great for those wanting to achieve a softer look. There are so many great ones available, but Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pro Palette is an insider favourite. It works with every hair colour and skin tone. Not only that, the dual-colour pans can be combined to produce a custom-made tone. For powders, you should always use a small, angled brush to help distribute it evenly through the brows. Stiffer bristles make precision application easier.” – Camilla

BROW WAX & SOAP

“Brow soaps and wax are ideal for those that have wayward hairs that need taming. Both formulas keep arches sculpted for hours. The key to getting the application right is to never oversaturate the soap or wax. Otherwise, it will never set fully and you’ll be left combing your brows for hours. You’ll also need a good setting mist to activate the soap and a spoolie brush to comb the formula through evenly. There’s no set application rule here, just make sure you apply both to a clean brow and treat it as a base product for a cleaner, more defined finish.” – Camilla


3 Final Takeaway Tips From Vanita...

01

Adopt The Right Technique

“This is important, especially if you have finer brow hairs. Use your pencil, gel or pen in deft, feather-like strokes, in the direction of your natural hair growth. You’ll gradually see a shape emerge – keep going until you’re happy. Start with the sparsest areas first to prevent them from looking overdrawn. Once you’ve finished the main bulk, fill in the inner and outer corners in the same way. Don’t panic if you use too much, you can take it down using a spoolie brush.”

02

Get The Shading Right

“Whether they’re over-plucked or sparser in texture, it’s important to get the colour right. For a more natural, subtle brow, look for an exact match to your hair shade. For those seeking a heavier look, or anyone that’s dyed their hair, you may want to amp it up by going for one shade darker than your natural tone. Aside from shade, you need to choose the right formula, too. For example, gels are very lightweight in colour, as are pens, while pencils and pomades are denser in pigment.”

03

Know Your Options

“Products aside, there are several long-term options too. Tinting is one of the quickest ways to achieve a thicker, natural-looking brow and it works for everyone. Plus, the effects last between two to three weeks, so the results go the distance. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more permanent, consider microblading. The technique consists of creating fine, hair-like strokes into the skin with a hand-held tool, which is then filled with pigment. As it’s such a precise technique, you get a very natural finish that lasts for months on end. It’s ideal for those looking to cover gaps, define or fill in over-plucked brows.”

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