Ambika Muttoo: If you had asked me a year ago what I'd take with me to a deserted island, I would've said, “Michael Fassbender.” And while that’s still the case, I'd be forced to ditch Fassy if you were being strict and only allowing me to bring one thing. Yes, I have seen his package in Shame and no, I haven’t lost my mind.
It’s just that I’ve recently discovered my eyebrows, and I now fear I could never face Fassbender without having a go at them with my eyebrow pencil. I wouldn’t be able to look him in the glorious face without it! I must have it with me at all times. I have one to keep in my bag, one for my dresser, and one more in case the other two get lost.
Why? Because eyebrows are the pillars of your face and a thicker, more groomed pair totally changes the natural contrasts formed by your bone structure. It’s true; try this little trick to see just how much filled-in eyebrows can do for your look.
Get your best concealer out, and go about your routine – conceal under your eyes, cover up your spots, etc. Now wash it all off and fill in just your brows. I’ll bet you my entire stash of eyebrow products the latter made you look younger, more natural and just better defined.
So how do you go about making sure your eyebrows are working their hardest for you?
1/4 Put the tweezers down.
Be gentle with your tweezers. Use them to pluck excess hair, but don’t try to change the shape of your brows altogether, especially not by yourself. This exercise will most likely end in disaster.
In the same vein, take an extra five minutes and have a chat with the lady who does your threading. Most salons are under the impression that women want thin, 1940s-style eyebrows. While you may not be quite ready for a pair of splendid Cara Delevingne brows, you need to be clear that you just want a basic ‘clean up’.
State that you’re trying to grow your brows back, so the threading can’t be over-zealous. Try and stick with the natural shape of your brows, but if you’re really not happy with them, be very certain about what shape you’d like and stick to it. Let the professionals take it from there.
2/4 Pick the right shade.
Having dark hair doesn’t mean picking a black eyebrow powder or stick; you definitely don’t want to look like you’ve penciled your eyebrows in, so brunettes should pick a dark brown for a more realistic, natural effect.
I have geisha-like black hair and I use a matte, dark, soft brown eye shadow to fill in my brows, in addition to the aforementioned pencil.
(Editor's note: Komal here. Hi! This works even if you have bleached blonde hair like I do. If you dye your hair, go with the natural shade of your eyebrows, not your hair.)
Which brings me to my second point: don’t be afraid to use two colours. I use the pencil when it’s blunt and, with the side of the nib (not the tip), sketch rather than draw the shape in. I then use an angled brush to dust the eyeshadow on top.
If you already have strong brows, use shadow or eyebrow powder only, as it’s softer, and only on areas you feel need defining. You don’t have to put product on every inch of your brows.
3/4 Play up your shape.
The arch and ends are where it’s at, so be extra mindful when filling those in. you can put more shadow or add pencil strokes on the arch to define the shape of your eyebrows; with the ends, use gentle, firm strokes with the tip of an angled brush for a more precise, filled-in line.
A spoolie brush will take you a long way, as you need to brush your brows ‘up’, which means brushing them at an angle towards your hairline. Keep it all in check with an eyebrow gel or clear mascara.
Finish off by applying a thin line of concealer along the bottom of your eyebrow. Think of it as contouring – you’ll need a smidgen of highlighter right above the arch for bolder definition, after which you’ll pretty much be set to conquer the world.
4/4 Finally – these are the best eyebrow products known to womankind.
Max Factor Eyebrow Pencil: The texture is just right on this pencil, so that brush strokes never look too harsh. It also has an eyebrow brush on the cap, which is a bonus. If you happen to be a brunette, pick the darker shade called Ebony – just don’t be too heavy-handed!
Urban Decay Brow Box: Two shades of brow colour for customisation, eyebrow wax (which functions like a brow gel), tweezers and two brushes — this box is pure gold.
Clinique SuperFine Liner For Brows : Retractable and self-sharpening, this eyebrow pencil applies softly and deftly, so you can sketch on super fine (hey, like the name!), hair-like strokes.
Rimmel Professional Eye Brow Pencil: Much like the Max Factor Pencil, this one also has a spoolie on the cap. Rimmel also scores highly for being long-wear – the stuff really doesn’t smudge.
Anastasia: All of the eyebrow products from Anastasia work brilliantly. I especially love their bestsellers — the Dipbrow Pomade, the Clear Waterproof Gel and the Brow Powder Duo.
Pixi Natural Brow Duo: Another favourite, this comes with a waterproof pencil and a tinted gel that’s packed with Vitamins E and C, which work on your skin and hair.
Written By Ambika Muttoo