How to Fill in Eyebrows for a Natural Look

Woman getting her eyebrows filled in with a pencil

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There are some people with very light eyebrows, bushy ones, or none at all. Having a poor eyebrow wax, going tweezer happy at home, or thinning your brows can leave you with an awkward brow shape. Regardless of your brow situation, you can clean them up in a way that makes them appear natural by filling them in using specific techniques, tools, and colors.

But these techniques aren't limited to fixing brow mishaps. If you already have a great shape and you're looking to enhance your look, several strokes of color can bring out your eyes. Light brows tend to disappear, especially when wearing a full face of makeup, so they can be more defined with some color. You can easily take care of light and sparse areas with pencil, powder, or mousse. Ahead, watch celebrity makeup artist Carissa Ferreri's step-by-step tutorial for creating the look of natural, fluffy eyebrows.

Meet the Expert

Carissa Ferreri is a celebrity makeup artist with clients among the likes of Ashley Graham, Hannah Brown, Gina Rodriguez, and more.

Brush Eyebrows First

Before filling in your brows, use a brow brush or spoolie to brush your brows upwards. Although primarily used as a mascara applicator, a spoolie brush can work here too. Its spiraled bristles can shape brows and blend in eyebrow filler. After you fill in your brows, you can brush them upward again to blend in the color and shape any unruly hairs.

Choose a Color

If you have dark hair, pick a color that is a shade or two lighter than the natural color of your brows. On the other hand, if you have light hair and are deepening your brows, you can opt for a tone that's a half to one shade darker.

Select the Right Tools and Products

Beginners can try the popular Japonesque Eyebrow Kit which has all the tools you need to define your eyebrows. If purchasing products individually, consider whether an eyebrow powder, pencil, or mousse would best fit you and your brows. When you're just getting started, it will take some time to learn which tools work best for your brows and how to use the product correctly for the best results:

  • If you're using a powder, get a stiff angled brush. The stiff bristles of the brush are great for control when putting the product on and defining your eyebrow shape. Apply the powder in angles by following the way your hair is growing. 
  • Those choosing a pencil will find that they're great for filling in sparse spots. Work their magic by lightly holding the pencil and drawing hair strokes in the sparse areas. You can also use a stiff angled brush or an eyebrow brush here to soften the lines as needed.
  • When opting for a mousse, you can cover gray brows, instantly deepen hair color, and provide some holding power. Simply stroke on your brows like you put mascara on your lashes—just avoid putting multiple coats on your brows.

If you're using powder or a pencil, you can apply a brow wax to will keep your brows from smudging. Mousse, however, will dry on its own. A good product like Blinc Eyebrow Mousse ($24) won't flake either. If you discover that your brows are sparse due to stress, aging, or thyroid issues, try testing an eyebrow revitalizer like Talika Lipocils ($60) which can help spur growth.

Apply Products Carefully

Ensure you have a mirror. Whichever method you choose, use a light hand and stray away from using too much product. Don't press on the skin hard, either. It's always easier to add color than it is to remove it. This kind of fine-tuning will help you to manage your product so that you don't over-do it by accident. As you're working on your brows, stand back and look at them from a distance in the mirror. This will help you see if they're appearing visually balanced and natural.

If you find that the color you chose is too dark or the wrong tone, it will look like you painted on fake eyebrows. Don't be afraid to ask your salesperson for testers. It's hard to tell how the product will look on you and your brow hair by simply glancing at the tube or color printed on the package.

Shape Your Eyebrows

When it comes to shaping your eyebrows for a natural (rather than dramatic) look, consider what would best complement your face shape. The main thing you want to do is create some shape by using small hair-like strokes. Make sure that the front of your brows aren't squared off or appear too harsh. You also don't want to overextend the tail end of your eyebrow, which can draw your face down. Finally, for a natural look, avoid an arch that is too pointy or over-exaggerated and instead focus on a simple and smooth curve.

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