Feb 20, 2009

When a woman has perfectly shaped brows, she can look put together even without a drop of makeup. This is why brow-shaping should be the one weekly beauty regimen you should never skip.

How to Fill in Sparse Eyebrows

According to makeup experts, including Bobbi Brown in her book, "Beauty," almost every woman needs to fill in her brows as part of her normal beauty routine. Bobbi's claims are backed up by the editors of Allure's "Confessions of a Beauty Editor," who state that makeup artist Dick Page once informed them he'd never seen a model who didn't need her brows filled in.

If. like most women, you were born with sparse brows or simply went too far with the tweezers, there is a fix to filling in your eyebrows. All it takes is a pencil, powder, and an angled brush or a clean mascara brush.

Tip 1: Pick a Pencil and Powder Shade

Pencils and powders tend to stick to skin, not to hair, so if you don't have a lot of hair you'll want to shade in the skin where hair should grow.

Select a soft pencil (hard pencils tend to be too waxy) which is a shade lighter than your brows and a powder which matches the color of brows. If brows are super fair, choose a pencil that's a shade darker than brows.

Tip 2: Prep the Brows

First, comb out brows with a clean mascara wand. Examine brows for any sparse spots.

Tip 3: Fill in With Pencil

Use the pencil to fill in the sparse spots with short, feathery strokes. Apply in the direction of hair growth. The key here is not to create a definite line, but to create the appearance of hair. Be careful not to pencil in the entire brow, which will result in an unnatural look.

Your pencil should be super soft so it goes on with little exertion. But if you have a pencil that's too hard, warm the tip up by rubbing it between your fingers.

Tip 4: Follow With Eyeshadow or Brow Powder

Dip an agled brush or a clean mascara wand in eyeshadow. Brush the powder along the brows. It should stick to the pencil, while also acting to blend in the color perfectly. For more staying powder, dampen the brush slightly before dipping it into color.

Tip 5: Two Colors Instead of One?

You can try two colors when filling in brows: A light powder where brows are thickest and a darker shade for the tail ends.

Tip 6: Set Brows

To keep brows in place, spritz hairspray on your finger and brush onto the brow.

Tip 7: Uh-oh, Overplucked?

If you've overplucked, it will take a few months to a couple years for hair to grow back.

Tip 8: Condition Brows

Conditioning your brows with castor oil is a great way to keep brows healthy and looking great, according to Rami Gafni in the September 2005 issue of Instyle Magazine. Gafni uses a clean mascara wand to apply the castor oil.

Tip 9: The Shape of Brows

Fuller brows are preferable to skinny ones. Have eyebrows shaped by a pro every four weeks. Use a good tweezer (Tweezerman is our hands-down favorite), to clean up the hairline in between visits.

Tip 10: Rogaine Can Help

If your brows don't grow fast enough, consider Women's Rogaine or men's extra-strength Rogaine applied to the sparse areas with a Q-Tip. According to the September, 2006, issue of Allure, experts recommend applying twice a day for four months. But do a test patch first on your inner wrist to make sure you don't get a rash. Check the patch after a day.

Some products we hear great things about:

Revlon Brow Fantasy pencil and gel ($7.50 at any drugstore)
Cover Girl Natural Lash and Brow Mascara (purchase at drugstores)
Sephora eyebrow brush (at any Sephora stores).
MAC brow set (this colored gel is $12 at any MAC counter)
Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper (Bobbi Brown counters at department stores).
DiorShow Brow & Liner Brush (www.dior.com).
Cle de Peau Beaute eyebrow palette ($65 at select department stores)

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