Not-So-Basic Brows, A Tutorial

National Association of Theater Owners Awards Reception
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There is something very satisfying about spending “extra' time on your eyebrows. Although I totally stopped waxing my brows years ago and allowed my gentle, rolling unibrow to take over, I still love to groom them. I remember when I used to work behind the counter for Chanel on the cosmetic floor, we would have rigorous training on brows. “Brows are the frame of your face, never ignore them.” The trainer's words seared my young brain. Yet because I'm minimalist (with a decadent heart), I'm all over the place with when it comes to my own eyebrow practice. There are days when I only want to brush crystal-clear brow gel through for a soft shine and a natural, spiked look. Then there are days where my style would best be described as Elizabeth Taylor, and I brush on dark taupe powder before finishing off with black mascara, yes, on my brows. My “current mood' is a multi-dimensional brow—a brow made up in the softest way possible with more than two colors, a la Ali MacGraw. Whenever you layer more than one color, it always has such a noticeably pretty effect—like swirling your blush brush over two shades of pink or mixing a little coral with magenta lipstick. Using various colors kicks in a prism that adds a special glow and depth on skin. It really is worth the little extra time in doing this brow. Go a little buckwild with powdering your brows (and this goes for ALL shapes and sizes) and feel that satisfaction walkin' around with not-so-basic brows. To achieve this look first you'll have to...

Outline. In the first photo I have only one brow filled in (just in case you didn't notice). For this look you need a brow palette. My favorite brow palette is from Kryolan Eyebrow Powder Palette—a truly universal palette that includes Fair, Light, Medium, Auburn, and Dark shades. These colors are so translucent that you could wear any of them without fear of it clashing with your hair color (with the small exception of Auburn, as it is a warm, brassy color and requires the hair to match). Start with the light shade, and with an angled brow brush, sketch over all of the strays underneath your brow and kind of connect them to your brow. Grabbing these little hairs and shading with a translucent color gives an illusion of a fuller brow. Then go for the fine hairs on top of your brow as well, pulling them in with the Light taupe shade. What you're doing here is outlining your brows. Lastly, fill in the tail-end of your brow with the same shade.

Structure the brows. Dip your brow bush in the medium and dark colors. Depending on your brow color, you may want to go heavier on the medium or dark (I use an equal amount on mine), and fill in the start of your brow from the base going in upward strokes all the way out to the ends. Fill in brows with the two colors, going no further than your arch. Then drag the residual color on your brush over the rest of your brow, almost like airbrushing the colors and melding them together.

Brush the brows. Take a spiral brush (I love the Make Up For Ever 274 Double Ended Eyebrow Brush) and brush the brow from bottom to top, upward and outward. This blends the colors together and softens the look, making it natural and believable. Go over it a few times, and really get in there.

Set the brows. Since junior high, my favorite way to keep these masterpieces in place is with a good-old can of hairspray. Hairspray provides a light hold that lasts all day and gives you easy control on shaping. Spray the spiral brush, and shape the brows however which way is desired. Personally, I love a good spike. The wilder, the sexier!

This tutorial is completely open if you want to add or take away a color, and tailor it to your own brow shape. I strongly suggest you have a palette of colors just for your brows. Spoil them, and they'll make you look good.

—Stacey Nishimoto

Photos courtesy of the author.

The Selfie is a weekend makeup look, courtesy of Stacey Nishimoto and her iPhone. For more of Stacey's tutorials, click here. Or for more on brows, click here.

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