Brows are like jeans – a great pair can make any look seem seem complete. If there is one facial feature that’s been talked about more than any other this year it’s the eyebrow, and celebrity makeup artist, Katey Denno, is showing us how to keep our brows in shape with tools, techniques and the products she relies on on-set… 

At least 50% of the questions I’m asked about makeup application have to do with eyebrows. How angled should they be? How long should I draw the tail? Should I fill in the inner third? What shade and product type (pencil, gel, powder) should I use?

I totally get it – brows really do frame the face, and can kind of make or break your overall look. I’m here to tell you, despite what countless social media platforms have been showing you, there is not one specific way you should ‘make up’ your brows. You should not over draw your brows and fill them in thick and dark unless you love how it looks on you. It’s a trend, and just like the trend of overly plucked, pencil-thin, rounded brows from my early twenties, it will pass.

If you’re still interested in the more-than-just-slightly-filled-in brow, I’d like to show you how it can be done, without being overdone – as illustrated by the brow defining I did on the gorgeous Zaina Gohou.

The Tools

Depending on the look I want, I pick one (or all) of the following:

a thin brow pencil (more waxy and less pigment-dense than an eyeliner pencil)
a potted cream/gel that is applied with an angled, stiff, eyebrow brush
a powder in the same shade as your hair, also applied with a brow brush – but can be applied with either a stiff bristled, angled brow brush, or a soft, larger one

It’s always nice to have on hand a spooley brush and something that can make your actual brow hairs cooperate and lay in the direction you want (i.e. a brow gel, pomade or even hairspray). I never do brows without having a cotton swab handy to ensure that I haven’t left any harsh, hard edges.

The type of product you choose is based 100% on your personal preference. I like having options, and if this is your first stab at making up your brows, it’d be good for you to explore them all to see what you’re most comfortable with. My current favorite brow products are The Honest Company brow pencilsEco Brow potted gels and Anastasia brow powder (there are countless shades, so you’re sure to get a perfect match).

The Technique

If shaping your brows seems like a daunting task, I encourage you to find a professional to do it for you every so often. Ask friends or coworkers whose brows look great if they go somewhere to get them done, or do a Yelp search for the best in your area. Once the hairs start growing back in, you can keep up your new shape yourself by investing in a good tweezer. My favorite has long been the Rubis, slanted tip, perforated handle (prevents finger slipping), called Classic Elegance.

Make sure you only pluck when your face is clean, and keep bacteria at bay by wiping your tweezers down with alcohol every so often. Remember that each hair counts towards the overall shape, so don’t pluck willy nilly or in bad lighting!

The Step-By-Step

The following is my process for creating the lightly-more-than-just-filled-in-brow look. Give it a try and remember: if it doesn’t look great, just wipe it off!

Step One: 
Start defining your brow at the arch and move in slow strokes towards the tail. Then go back and work on the inner third.

Step Two: Start applying the product sparsely because it’s easy to build to the perfect density – and difficult to scale it back.

Step Three: It’s always prettier and more natural looking to leave some skin showing between hairs in the inner third of the brow.

Step Four: Look at the finished product closely in the mirror and then pull away from the mirror and determine if the shape suits your face and if it’s the right color and density.

Bottom banner image
From our friends