Eyebrow pencil should be applied after you have finished applying your eye make-up. This will avoid the possibility of smudging your work when you are applying eyeshadow and mascara.
Comb your eyebrows neatly into shape using the comb side of your eyebrow tool. Comb up at the start of the eyebrow then across, following the curve. Try to follow the direction in which your eyebrow hair naturally grows. This usually involves combing up then across as you work around the curve.
Starting at the beginning of your eyebrow, apply small strokes of pencil just under the top row of hairs. Find where the topmost hairs join the skin and apply the pencil to the hair at that point. Each stroke of the pencil should be firm but not too heavy. Your aim is to feather the pencil on in small strokes. Do not be concerned if the pencil marks the skin as well as the hair – this is to be expected. Do not attempt to cover every hair. Start with a minimal number of strokes spaced apart as the effect can be built up as desired. On this first application, stop feathering the pencil on at the highest point of the eyebrow curve, leaving one third of the eyebrow (closest to the ear) free of colour. Using the brush side of your eyebrow tool, brush the pencil marks to blend the colour into the eyebrow. Take care not to disturb the eyebrow shape you so neatly combed earlier. Work within the definition of the eyebrow as you do not want to end up with smudges above or below the area. As you blend you will notice that you are working the colour along the eyebrow – this is why you should leave the final one third free of colour initially. Sit back and check your work in the mirror. If you need more colour apply the pencil in feathered strokes where required and then repeat the blending with the brush. If you have applied the pencil too heavily, simply turn the brush on the eyebrow tool to the other side. Brush through as before with the clean side of the brush to remove excess colour. Remove any smudges with a cotton tip or orange tip (See Preparation and tools post). Blot off any excess oil with a clean tissue. Remember to check your make-up in different lighting and make any adjustments to the colour or your technique.
In the sixties and seventies it became fashionable to have thin eyebrows. Some girls took this to the extreme and even shaved their eyebrows off, drawing the lines in with eye pencil. Mothers cried or yelled and told their teenage daughters that their eyebrows would never grow back. Of course many of the girls didn’t listen, but guess what? – their mothers were right! Two things are likely to happen as a result of extreme plucking of eyebrows – 1) the eyebrows won’t grow back and there may even be permanent bald spots; 2) the eyebrow hair will grow back even more profusely and you will find hairs growing where they never grew before. So, listen to your mothers and this applies to young men as well, as it is now fashionable for both sexes to shape their eyebrows. Following the fashion of thin eyebrows, Brooke Shields became the celebrity that many young women wished to emulate. Look her up when she was the celebrity of the day and check out her eyebrows. The point is that fashion is constantly changing and drastic changes to your appearance can make you feel unfashionable for the rest of your life. Eyebrow shaping is an art and there are actually prestigious awards for beauticians who can do this well. Templates for shaping eyebrows have also been developed by savvy entrepreneurs. If you want to have your eyebrows shaped, consult a professional at least the first time this is done. Ask to see examples of their work or speak to satisfied customers before they touch your eyebrows. Ask them to give you instructions for maintaining the shape yourself. If you are on a budget, research the topic on the internet before you even attempt to pluck your own eyebrows. Never pluck above the eyebrow or between the eyebrows. Only remove as few hairs as possible to tidy the area. Use an eyebrow brush to tidy your eyebrows before you even start and this may be all you need to do. If your eyebrows are really profuse you can make them look less thick by applying concealer or foundation lightly over the hairs at the bottom of the eyebrows. The effect will be subtle and look natural. Some people lighten their eyebrows but, again, this is not recommended as the natural colour may never return. In the next article we will discuss the correct technique for applying eyebrow pencil as you may need to do this for your wedding photographs.