Ed. note: I realized recently that if I could only apply one article of makeup in the morning, it would be my eyebrow pencil. It instantly makes my features look more defined, and my eyes look more awake, even with a completely bare face. If you usually leave your brows untouched, get ready to be amazed at how a couple of simple steps can really polish your appearance. -CS

With pronounced eyebrows so on-trend this season, is anyone else experiencing some major brow envy? It seems the perfect pair is bold and slightly more wild than we may be used to — but we all know that even the unkempt looks require some maintenance. We sat down with Martha Lynn to learn how to achieve the perfect pair of eyebrows in just a few short minutes, with Kate there snapping photos each step of the way. We used this eyeshadow powder and a brow brush, but a sharpened pencil works too! Keep reading for the how-to…

Step 1: Begin with well groomed brows. We love this Brow 101 tutorial from The Beauty Department for guidance on trimming and plucking. After plucking, make sure to brush hairs up, then brush hairs on the outer edges over and out.

Step 2: Use eyeshadow powder or a pencil to fill in brows. To find the right color for you: blondes should go a shade or two darker and brunettes should go a shade or two lighter than their hair color.

Step 3: Using a makeup brush, create an imaginary line that extends from the outside of your nose to the outside of your eye (as above) — this determines where your eyebrow should end. Apply your powder or pencil in small strokes about the length of an eyebrow hair, filling in any bare spots in the brows, and slightly extending to the edge of your “line” if needed. Make sure to define your natural arch, making strokes that go in the same direction as the hair naturally grows (up towards the arch, and down away from the arch.)

Step 4: Use a clear brow gel or clear mascara (a bit of hairspray applied with a mascara wand works too) to brush the hairs into place. This does double duty to blend the powder and hold the shape of the brows.

Ta da! The end product makes a big impact in a subtle, not-trying-too-hard kind of way.

  1. 1
    Maya | May 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    My eyebrow pencil is also my number 1 make-up item; it does make a huge difference! I got very good at defining my eyebrows at a very young age, but unfortunately it wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out I should not be matching my pencil color to my hair color because the effect could be rather harsh on my face. I am very glad to know that now, and have since been the happy owner of a Mac eyebrow pencil in Spike. And I have also been a strong advocate of the power of the eyebrows amongst my girlfriends. Go eyebrows!

  2. 2
    Amanda | May 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I started filling in my brows a few months ago and it makes the biggest difference! My favourite pencil the lancome le crayon poudre–it comes with a brush on the end that makes it super easy to blend the colour in.

  3. 3
    Alyssa | May 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I used to be scared of filling in my brows, but now I feel naked when I don’t! I use Revlon Brow Fantasy. It’s a pencil and gel in one tube-brilliant!


  4. 4
    Miro - Dose of Dash | May 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Great tutorial! I have very shapely brows but they’re pretty light and thin. I always feel weird when I try to darken them so these are tips I will definitely try.

  5. 5
    tasha | May 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    This is a really great tutorial. I really need my eyebrows to grow thicker.

  6. 6
    likequietdreams | May 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I never thought to fill in my brows at all because they are naturally dark and somewhat thick, but I decided to give it a try last year on a whim, and now I feel naked without a defined brow! Curling my lashes and filling in my brows immediately make me feel more put together!

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Bergesen | May 9, 2013 at 12:53 am

    I have had eye brow envy ever since I can remember! Mine are barely visible – they are fine and blond, so I use a pressed powder and angle brush to fill them in. I don’t ever leave the house with out my eye brows on! 🙂

  8. 8
    Heath of Southland Avenue | May 9, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I’ve been meaning to look into defining my brows more. I agree, it makes a huge difference!

  9. 9
    Taylor | May 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Love this post! Eyebrows are definitely the new bangs. I have just recently started using brow gel and I honestly don’t know how I was going on without it before. Total necessity.

  10. 10
    Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living | July 30, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Until I started filling in my own eyebrows, I always thought it was for grandmas. You know, the sweet, little old ladies who draw them in thick lines that resemble more of a caterpillar than an actual eyebrow. But if it’s done right, then it can really frame your face in a way no other make-up product can.

  11. 11
    Jerrell // Style & Sucré | October 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    This is an excellent tutorial! I hardly ever leave the house without filling in my brows. I just learned another trick for setting your brows: dab a tiny bit of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream on them and then brush them up. It’s my new go-to on days when I don’t want to wear any makeup.

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