There needs to be a word to describe the day when you master your brows. Some people have their brow routine down to a science and make it look so easy, but for most of us, there’s no overnight success—it takes time, patience, and a whole lot of practice.
Whether you were born with bushy brows à la Cara Delevingne or if you have naturally-sparse hairs, you can create a perfectly-arched brow with the help of some key products and pro-approved tips. For better brows for all, we tapped Jared Bailey and Neil Scibelli for their advice on getting brows so perfectly arched, they’d make a Kardashian-Jenner do a double-take.
Meet the Expert
- Jared Bailey is a celebrity brow artist with over six years of professional experience. He is Benefit Cosmetics's international spokesperson and has been working with the brand for over a decade.
- Neil Scibelli is a leading fashion and celebrity makeup artist. He has worked with Drew Barrymore and Elle Macpherson, among others, and is based in New York.
But before you pull out the tweezers and brow pomade, Bailey notes that it’s important to know that your perfect arch depends on your individual features, like your eyes and nose. He shares that you’ll want to understand exactly where your brows should start, arch, and end. To identify these three points, he recommends using Benefit’s Brow Mapping technique, explained below.
To find where your brow should start, follow a straight line up from the edge of your nose. To find your arch, Bailey says, “Find where your brow is naturally at its highest by following a diagonal line from the outside of your nose across the middle of your eye.” And where should your brow end? “Follow a diagonal line from the outside of your nose to the outer corner of your eye,” says Bailey. “Length is important because it gives your face proportion.” Now that you’ve got the beginning, arch, and end of your brow, keep reading for tips from Bailey and Scibelli on how to fill them.
If your brows are super-sparse or barely-there, Bailey recommends using a skinny-tip brow pencil to fake fullness. “A micro-lining pencil like Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow Pencil is your sparse brow’s best friend,” he says. “The ultra-fine tip creates hair-like strokes for natural-looking fullness.” We also love Joah’s Precision Brow Pencil.
“When filling in your brows, measure from the outer portion of the nose, across the center of the eye and that will show you where your brow is naturally the highest,” he continues. “Simply take your pencil and begin making a few strokes slightly above that natural hairline. Remember to leave space in-between each stroke to create the illusion of real hair. Working above that hairline will add height to the arch.”
Scibelli recommends using a brow powder or brow pomade for sparse eyebrows. “It’ll instantly give the brows a fuller, fluffier look,” he says. He recommends Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade because “it stays on with long wear, and gives a realistic look.”
For a powder alternative, Scibelli recommends Too Faced Cosmetics Brow Envy Kit. Added bonus: it offers multiple brow products for a full look.
“To create the arch, you want to keep the product slightly higher in the center of the brow, and then return back down into your brow line towards the end of it,” explains Neil.
For thin eyebrows that just need slightly more fullness, Bailey recommends a fiber-based brow gel, like Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. We here at Byrdie also love ModelCo’s Brow Gel ($18) and Sisley Paris Phyto-Sourcils Thickening and Setting Gel for Eyebrows ($52).
“After you’ve filled and sketched in the shape that you desire, your last step is to add texture to make it three-dimensional,” Bailey says. “Begin by backcombing the gel through your brow from the end to the start. This is just like teasing your hair and gives you a full base to work with. Then, moving in the opposite direction, define your arch by brushing your brow hairs upward from start to arch, and in the direction of your hair growth from arch to end.”
Scibelli explains that there are two different ways to create the perfect arch when you already have thick brows. “The most obvious would be to have your brow grooming person (or yourself, if you do your own) take off just a few hairs in the lowest, center area of your brows. This will definitely give you an arch.” He recommends starting light-handed and not taking too much off.
“A less permanent route would be to add a light-reflecting highlighter under your brows to create the illusion of an arch,” he continues. “Highlighting under the brows gives that instant lift to the brows and can add that extra sparkle to the eyes too.” Try Neil’s go-to illuminator Nars Highlighting Blush in Albatross, or Maybelline Brow Precise Perfecting Highlighter ($7).