Thick arches accessorized eyes on the fall and spring runways and they're popular on the red carpet too. "I love the return to a strong brow," says CoverGirl celebrity makeup artist Beau Nelson. "It's classic and beautiful and makes the face look glamorous and powerful-looking."
Groomed, filled-in brows can also enhance the eyes. "Think of your eyes as pictures; if you give them beautiful frames, they'll make more of a statement," says Hollywood brow-shaper Tonya Crooks. Other benefits of pronounced brows, according to Crooks and fellow star-groomer Anastasia Soare: larger-looking peepers and a more youthful appearance.
The first step to getting gorgeous brows? Wean yourself off tweezers and use scissors sparingly. It's not easy, but don't worry-even stars like Kim Kardashian have difficulty letting go. "Kim's pretty good at doing her own brows, but sometimes when she travels she'll trim too much and we'll have to grow the hairs out again," says Soare, Kardashian's go-to brow guru.
And, while you might fear sliding into uni-brow territory, putting down the tweezers means letting those pesky inner-brow hairs grow a little. According to Soare, the beginning of the brow should start from the middle of your nose nostril. Adds Crooks: "The most important hair is closest to the nose bridge, where it comes down and starts to follow the ocular bone. If you remove too much from this area, the brow looks flatter and less triangular."
Besides a thicker appearance, growing out your brows will help you identify their natural shape, says Crooks, whether that be curved-or straight, like Audrey Hepburn's. "Beautiful, full brows don't necessarily have to have an arc," says Crooks. "You should embellish your brows' innate characteristics instead of working against them and molding them into something they're not." To get an accurate idea of how your brows should look, note where new hair growth is coming in, and refer to childhood photos taken during the pre-tweezing stage.
Once you've established your true brow shape and cleaned it up accordingly-tweezing one hair at a time to protect against over-plucking-you can embolden your brows with makeup. Most experts recommend filling in eyebrows with a combination of powder and pencil-especially if, despite growing your arches out, they remain thinner than you'd like. "If you're lacking hair in your brows, applying powder over a waxy pencil will make the color stick," explains Soare, who shapes the hairs above Megan Fox's come-hither stare.
When choosing a pencil and powder, Nelson says it's important to go with a neutral tone that's not too red or yellow. "Blonds should look for taupes, darker blonds and brunettes should opt for ashy browns, and dark brunettes should pick cool dark browns," he says, adding that redheads and those with jet-black hair should reach for chestnut and blackened brown cosmetic shades, respectively.
Dark brunettes can lighten their brows one or two hues if they'd like, says brow wiz Heidi Evora-Santiago (exemplifying this look is her client, Evangeline Lilly, shown at left). After using an ultra-sharpened pencil to mimic the appearance of hairs where needed, Evora-Santiago uses an angled brush to apply brow powder on top: "Do soft feathery strokes to lightly fill in any remaining spaces between brow hairs. Brush brows upward with a squirrel brush or clean mascara brush, and lock the look in place with brow gel." If you don't have brow gel, you can also mist hairspray on your squirrel brush and comb through.
Natural brunettes who go blond can bring their brows up multiple shades with the help of a tinted brow gel, says Soare, who uses the product on Jennifer Lopez. "When I met Jennifer 15 years ago, she had darker hair and eyebrows than she does now," says Soare about her client. "Since her hair is blonder these days, we've had to lighten her brows in order to maintain the right balance." Soare uses her own tinting product on Lopez in between bleaching sessions ("Sometimes I'll bleach her brows to make them lighter, but I don't like to do that too often or else the roots get too dark and the ends get too light," she says, noting that bleaching and chemical tinting should only be done by a trusted professional).
Nelson's favorite makeup to accompany a bold brow, however, is "the classic Italian cinema face-beautiful liquid eyeliner, voluminous lashes, matte skin, and a creamy peach lip." Demonstrating a modern-day version of this palette perfectly is newly crowned CoverGirl Sofia Vergara, shown at left.
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