To prepare for applying eyebrow pencil you will need a good quality kohl pencil in the colour of choice, an eyebrow tool consisting of a comb and brush combination (see photograph) and a special make-up pencil sharpener suitable for kohl pencils. Normal pencil sharpeners are not suitable as kohl is softer than lead. Sharpen your pencil but not too sharply as the tip may break off. It is fine to have a slightly rounded edge on the tip of the pencil as long as it is not too broad. Always sharpen your pencils slightly before use to prevent any build up of bacteria. Cover the pencil tips with the lids provided for storage. Keep a cotton bud handy for touching up errors – slightly dampened with a couple of drops of make-up removal oil. An orange stick (used for manicures) is also useful for this purpose – lightly wrap in a small amount of slightly dampened cotton wool with a couple of drops of oil.A make-up mirror with magnification on one side will also be very useful. Note: the black pencil featured in the photograph is actually a soft dark grey/black combination however any black pencil should be avoided on eyebrows.
There are a wide range of colours available in kohl pencils. In general, choose a shade that is slightly darker than the natural colour of your eyebrows. The darker shade will show up well in photographs and the effect will be subtle. Avoid black, even if your eyebrows are naturally black in colour. Black looks harsh in any lighting and it is best left for Gothic make-up styles. True black pencils should be buried in the bottom of the make-up case, or better still, thrown away. There are beautiful kohl colours available including brown/black, charcoal grey/black, dark brown, dark brown with red or orange highlights, medium brown and so on. You are only limited by your own imagination! Medium to dark grey or charcoal coloured pencils are an option for older brides. Pencil colours can also be mixed – for example, you could alternate strokes from a dark brown pencil with a red pencil and blend after application. Take the time to experiment with different colours until you are happy with the result.
Many people apply eyebrow pencil incorrectly. The most common mistake is to draw a hard curved line over the eyebrows (see photograph). This error is often seen on women with thin or light coloured eyebrows. The method of application looks very unnatural, especially in daylight and photographs. The eyebrows dominate the face, rather than enhancing other features, and the person may even look ‘surprised’ – not a good look!