Thick. Big. Bold –this is the hottest eyebrow look these days, a massive trend that started in 2014. From overly-tweezed-highly-arched-barely-there, women are now sporting thick, well-shaped brows. The natural and unkept look is perfection. Blame it on Cara Delivingne and Lily Collins’ gracing the magazine covers in their arresting full, bold brows. Oh, these girls and their gorgeous brows. For an 80s baby like me, Brooke Shields iconic’ brows are once again taking the fashion world by storm!
Some good things never change. Then and now, same iconic brows.
I started plucking my eyebrows in mid 90s, I was 15 then. During that time eyebrow threading was the thing, so most of us kikay (read v.a.i.n.) girls in school had well-shaped brows. Mine at that time were kept close to natural, only stray hairs were plucked out. In college, which was already in the late 90s, the trend was pencil-thin brows (or skinny or sperm or wiper brows or whatever you call it). So to be fashionable, I plucked my brows with gusto until I ended up with two anorexic half-moons. How tragic.
After countless terrifying eyebrow mishaps, I eventually found a quick fail-safe fix. A trip to the salon to have it shaped by a trustworthy beautician (Yes, this is what a hairstylist cum make-up artist is called back in the days). Maintenance was easier after that, I just plucked away the regrowth with tweezers.
Not quite a long time ago, whenever I over pluck, I just let my brows grow back and it doesn’t take a lot of time. I haven’t heard of anything that says in my 30s I will never have my full brows back. Eyebrows were never a major concern, because I was used to the default skinny ones and most women in my age bracket had them. I thought mine were in pretty good shape. Then, the awful truth surfaced. My friend G remarked one time that she was having a hard time growing her brows back. Truth be told, when I was trying to rehab mine to its natural lush, unkept state, what I got was distressing growing strands of course hair– like weeds sprouting out of parched soil. Ayayay, aging brows!
I have naturally high-arched, fine-haired eyebrows to begin with, nowhere near that thick and bushy ones at all. With their present state, sparse hair and all, I really need to go the extra mile to achieve the look — thick, bold, and well-shaped.
Eyebrows frame the face. Thick well-shaped brows make the face look younger and more attractive.
First things first. Eyebrow 101.
I spent a great deal of time watching tutorials on YouTube. On one video, the girl says something like you really have to take your time in shaping your brows with a pencil even it takes 30 minutes or longer, because having beautiful brows is important. I kept that in mind. So I never gave a damn if it took me an hour or so outlining and filling my brows. It’s like I hear her voice cheering me on: You go, girl! Never give up, girl. You can do it, girl! Fast forward to now, I’m quite sure I’ve gotten the hang of it. Hah! Not quite there yet, but way better than when I started. That girl on video talked sense after all hahaha!
For quick how-to, here’s Michelle Phan on Brow 101.
Next, find the right eyebrow filler.
Find the right product and make it your best friend! In over a year, I have tried using these products:
- NYX Tame and Frame Brow Pomade in chocolate
- K-Palette 2 Way Lasting Eyebrow Pencil in grayish brown (liquid liner + powder sponge duo)
- Shiseido Integrate Eyebrow Pencil in brown
- Etude Easy Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
- Tony Moly Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in brown
- NYX Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown
- Face Shop Color My Eye Brow in light brown
All these products are easy to use and long-lasting and the go-to brands of most women.
My best 3
NYX Eyebrow Pencil
Among all the products used, this works best for me in terms of quality and price. I like how the angled tip glides so smoothly on my skin, making outlining and filling the eyebrows swift and effortless.
Shiseido Integrate Eyebrow Pencil
I love how thin the pencil is and how it makes outlining and filling achieved to precision.
K-Palette 2 Way Lasting Eyebrow Pencil
Truly long-lasting. A very good product to use in a tropical country, especially if you tend to stay outdoors most of the time. However, I find this not as easy to apply as the others.
K, my niece who is a make-up artist, told me once that a woman does not really have to splurge on an expensive eyebrow product. Find that one product that works best for you. Cheap doesn’t mean it can’t do the trick. The secret is in the application.
My make up look leans toward the minimalist: foundation + eyebrows + cheek tint/blush + lipstick. Everything must be done in 10-15 minutes. Eyebrow filling is the most time-consuming yet accomplished in 4 easy steps. 1. Pluck stray hairs (cute kitty tweezers are from Etude).
2. Tame the brows with a spoolie. I use Marionnaud’s dual ended brow brush (spoolie + angled brush) that I bought from Watsons.
3. Shape and fill with NYX Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown. I use the spoolie to lighten the base of the brow and the angled brush to define the shape and even out the shade.
4. Finish the look with Face Shop Color My Eye Brow in light brown. I use this to lighten the shade of the base of the brow for a softer more natural look. Nobody wants harsh-looking brows, right?
For a more polished look, go a step further by cleaning the edges with concealer and sealing it by applying setting wax or brow gel. Click here to get an idea how Michelle Phan achieves full, bold brows in 4 Steps.
The Eyebrow Evolution
I experimented on thickness, shape, and arch.
The general rule of thumb for brows is 1-2 shades darker if you have light-colored hair,
and 1-2 shades lighter if you have black or dark-colored hair.
Beauty in Imperfection
Whenever I do my brows in front of her, I always hear my cousin say
eyebrows are only sisters not twins.
So don’t fret if one does not look like the exact copy of the other.