(The bulk of this post was written back in 2015, but I wanted to update it with my latest favorite and re-share!)
I just got back from the beach and what did I find myself reaching for the most, even on days I was going bare-faced? My trusty eyebrow products and tools! In my opinion, there’s no better way than to look more youthful and add structure to your face than with full, well-groomed eyebrows.
Even if your brows are looking a sparse, overgrown, or just plain neglected, all it takes is a little extra care from time to time to keep them looking their best. So whether you’re just starting out with eyebrow grooming, want to grow back your brows, or aren’t sure how to maintain them, here are a few tips to keep your brows on point!
For Healthy Brows
Moisturize your brows.
While applying moisturizer to your face, don’t forget to go over eyebrows, including the skin underneath. Moisturizing can help strengthen the skin barrier and seal in hydration in that area, which will in turn help promote healthy growth (just like a healthy, hydrated scalp helps you maintain healthy locks!). The key is to gently apply the lotion – I suggest applying a moisturizer to your fingertips, then firmly but gently pressing them over your brows to allow the formula to reach your skin. Natural oils are especially great for moisturizing, nourishing, and protecting the brows, which brings me to the next step…
Use natural oils to nourish, protect, and stimulate hair growth.
There are many oils out there that can help promote hair growth, but castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil are among the most popular as they’re most easily absorbed by both the hair and skin. By gently pressing them into your brows, your hair and skin will benefit from all their healthy nutrients, along with their moisturizing and protective properties. Here’s a little bit around how each one works:
- Castor oil is one of the top oil treatments for hair growth. For one, it’s a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, so it prevents fungus or bacteria from inhibiting hair growth. It can also help prevent hair loss by coating hairs and protecting them from falling out, and strengthening hairs by locking in moisture and providing nourishment to both the hair and the follicles. (1)
- Coconut oil help reduces protein loss from damaged hair follicles and strands. The oil also contains lauric acid which acts as an anti-microbial agent, so it prevents infection of hair follicles which could be inhibiting hair growth (2).
- Almond oil is rich in vitamins A, B, D and E, as well as healthy fats. Combined, these help nourish and soften hair, and stimulate growth of thicker, stronger hair (3).
- Olive oil in high in vitamins E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which both play a role in strengthening hair and promoting healthy hair growth (4). It is, however, my least favorite out of the four oils as it’s the most difficult to rinse out – all the rest wash out after just 1-2 shampoos.
Shop hair strengthening oils…
For the Perfect Brow Shape
Get your brows professionally shaped.
Leave it to the experts to find your perfect eyebrow shape, then maintain them yourself every couple days/weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows back. I recommend doing some research or ask around for suggestion – you want to find someone who has the skills and eye to determine the right brow shape for your face. This is important because it will serve as the starting point for you to continue maintaining your brows on your own (or in-between salon visits).
Clean them up every week or so (but don’t over do it).
Whenever you start to notice a few strays growing in, take a few minutes to do some quick maintenance Grab a mirror (no need for a magnifying mirror as they can easily lead to over plucking!) and a pair of tweezers and mini scissors, and head to a place with natural light, like by a window. (Natural light for some reason makes it the easiest to spot strays.) Then, carefully tweeze anything that’s grown well outside of your brow area. Follow your ‘professionally’ shaped brows exactly, and when in doubt, just leave it! Remember, the most natural ones always look a tad unkempt and messy!
Shop brow shaping essentials…
For Extra Oomph
Use powder eyebrow products to add natural fullness.
When it comes to adding natural-looking fullness to your brow, nothing works better than powders. For one, powder products are by far the gentlest – they won’t drag or pull on your skin, which when overdone, can stunt hair growth. My favorite is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duos (which I reviewed here). The second reason I recommend powder products is because they create the most natural looking finish. It’s more difficult to detect powder versus pencil strokes, as powder tends to appear more ‘blurred’, diffused, and less harsh overall. Lastly, powders open up a ton more shade options since you can use eyeshadows to fill them in as well. MAC Cosmetics, for example, has a huge range of shadows in lots of eyebrow-complimenting shades (just make sure to get one with a ‘matte’ finish).
Use pencils to fill in sparser areas.
If you have scars or sparser areas that you want to fill in, now that’s when a pencil comes in handy. Their formulas tend to ‘stick’ a bit better to the skin compared to powders, and they’re also a lot quicker and easier to build up on areas that need the most coverage. One of my all-time favorites is Hourglass’s Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. The pencil formula is soft and doesn’t require much pressure to apply, plus it lasts impressively long and doesn’t rub off easily. Another favorite – this time from the clean beauty realm – is Eye of Horus’ Brow Define pencil. It has equally impressive longevity and is very gentle on the skin. But the biggest benefit is that the tip is super thin, so you can draw on more precise, feathery lines only where you need them to maintain a naturally full look.
Choose lighter shades.
To maintain the most natural looking brows, it’s important to pick a brow product that’s a shade lighter, or even a couple of shades lighter, than your natural hair color. That way, the product creates what the eye sees as a ‘shadow’ and produces the illusion of naturally fuller brows. You can’t go wrong with a neutral light taupe – it tends to be the most flattering for all hair colors. The one thing you definitely don’t want to do is try to match up your product with your exact brow color – your brows will actually end up looking darker and much denser. Over do it just a tad and they can begin to look unnatural and ‘theatrical’-looking, and overpower your entire face.
Shop my favorite brow products…
What are your favorite eyebrow care and grooming tips?