Eyebrows bring balance and proportion to the face and eyes, and they can also lift your entire look if you take the right steps. But finding the perfect way to enhance our brows can sometimes feel like it takes a lifetime to master. From waxing, plucking, threading, and everything in between, our eyebrows are the most essential feature to take care of on our face.
“Your brows are totally unique to you, just like your fingerprint,” says Jared Bailey, Benefit’s Global Brow Expert. Not only is it important to know the right eyebrow shape for you, but it’s equally nice to have that natural brow lift so they can appear effortlessly polished and cool. So much goes into how to lift eyebrows with makeup, knowing where to start, and the best products to use are ideal when making sure yours meet all the right standards. Ahead, experts share how to use makeup to give your brows an instant lift.
Map Your Brows
Before picking up that pencil, it’s best to understand exactly where your brows should start, arch, and end. Bailey uses a technique called Brow Mapping, as he explains here: “To find where the brow should start, you follow a straight line up from the edge of the nose. Make a little mark here with a pencil. Next, imagine a diagonal line from the outside of your nose across the middle of your eye. Say hello to your arch by making another mark there. Finally, find where the brow should end by following a diagonal line from the outside of your nose to the outer corner of your eye.”
Fill the Arch Subtly
Adding an instant and natural lift is easily do-able by softly filling in your arch, giving it more definition, or simply making the arch slightly higher than where it naturally sits. “I tend to always use a pencil to fill in brows because it has better staying power than a powder,” says celebrity beauty artist Daniel Chinchilla. “For a softer look, apply a little pencil and brush it through to soften it up,” he adds.
Add Volume and Texture
If you want to create the most believable looking brow, Bailey’s tip is to combine powders and pencils. “Start with a finely milled brow powder, like what you find inside of Brow Zigs Pro Palette ($39), in a shade that’s lighter than your brow hairs,” he explains. Next, use a firm micro-lining pencil to flick in a few hair-like strokes in areas that lack natural hair or depth of color. Bailey says, “it’s important to space the strokes out a bit so you can see pops of flesh or the layer of powder between each one flick.”
Style the Hairs Upward
Some people think that they can achieve the lifted look with super arched brows, but that’s a myth. “You can still have a lifted look in your brow even if you prefer a more linear shape,” says Bailey. He reveals, “the trick to doing this is to style the hairs in an upward direction. To do this, you’ll need a strong and flexible clear brow gel like 24-HR Brow Setter ($24).”
Try a Brow Tinted Wax
While some makeup artists go with brow gel, Chinchilla bets on a good tinted brow wax to instantly lift eyebrows. “You easily brush it into the brows in an upward motion, and it holds them in place,” he says. This will also give you the illusion of a lifted brow sans the arch, especially for coarse hairs that don’t naturally like to be brushed up. Plus, they have a sheer finish without making brows too dark.
Frame Brows With Concealer
One of the quickest ways to give an instant lift to eyebrows is to frame them with a concealer. Use concealer to trace around the eyebrows, and blend with your foundation brush or makeup sponge. This highlights all the right places while helping sustain shape. “If you want a really strong, clean brow, I’d recommend picking up a full coverage, matte concealer like Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer,” says Bailey. “When you use a contrasting shade like a flesh-toned concealer along the perimeter of the brow will really make the shape stand out,” he adds.
Highlight the Base
Using highlighting products and applying them right under the brow is perfect for a soft touch of illumination, but how much is too much when it comes to highlighting your brows? Using an illuminating shadow or liquid highlighter under the arch is a perfect way to add highlight without looking overdone.
Opt for a matte highlighter or a matte highlighting shadow. The subtle color will accentuate the shape and help add even more lift to the back half of your brow. Using a matte highlighter rather than shimmer will make the brow appear even more realistic and keep the overall look clean, sleek, and chic.
“A firm pencil, like High Brow Eyebrow Highlighter ($22), will also help to draw this highlight under the base of your brow,” suggests Bailey, which will give that barely-there finish but highlight just enough for what you’re looking to accomplish.