Yes, the title of this post is, in fact, a reference to Build-a-Bear.
Nothing is more frustrating than when someone with eyebrows like Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon does a “tutorial” where they run clear brow gel through their eyebrows and finish with some nonchalant statement about how easy it is. Girl, bye.
I personally have spent many hours mastering the art of pretending to have eyebrows. Every time someone compliments me on mine, I shed a tear because it takes hard work and dedication. To my own dismay, I was actually born with killer eyebrows and decided to follow the trend of shaping them like tadpoles in 2010. They never grew back. I just want to take a second to remember all of the eyebrow hairs that died the night before my first day of high school. Lost, but not forgotten.
This is how to fill in your brows when you have sparse hairs, but want to make them look bold and thick.
What you’ll need:
L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer ($12)
Shade: Dark Brown
I first tested this product last summer when I noticed that the packaging was almost identical to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($27). Not only is this product an amazing dupe, but I actually prefer it to the high-end option. It has a very thin tip, which allows you to have a lot of precision during application. It also helps to make hair-like strokes. The price difference is amazing because when you have no eyebrows you go through product way too fast.
L’Oreal Never Fail Eyeliner ($12)
Even though this is technically an eyeliner, the consistency of it resembles a pomade eyebrow product. It is very creamy and long-wearing, but much easier to control. I actually discovered how good this is as an eyebrow product when I ran out of the Stylist Definer, and had to make do and mend before going to work one day.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($37)
Lately I have been loving this product. It is basically a potted version of the Radiant Creamy Concealer ($37). It is highly pigmented, which makes it easy to clean up the edges after filling in your brows. If you use a shade that is a little bit lighter than your foundation it can help to give you a highlighted effect. This doesn’t really work for me sadly because I am normally paler than the lightest shade for most companies.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel ($29)
This eyebrow gel does a really good job of holding hairs in place. It doesn’t smudge any pencil or powder products that were applied underneath, which is the biggest issue I have run into with eyebrow gels. Apply a thin layer to avoid getting crunchy eyebrows.
Build-a-Brow in 5 Steps:
Starting from the bottom of your eyebrow at the inner corner, draw a straight line to map out the shape of the arch of your brows. Having this clean line will give you the look that is popular right now: a hybrid of the Instagram brow and natural, fluffy brows. Next, starting just before the arch of your brow on the top, do the same thing and meet the two lines at the tail in as sharp of a line as possible.
Fill in the outline of your eyebrow. Mimic the appearance of hair by lightly flicking the Brow Definer in small stroke-like motions. Make sure that the flicks follow the direction of natural hair growth. In the inner corner point the strokes upward, in the middle draw them diagonally up and out to lift the face. On the tail, draw them in a downward diagonal.
TIP: Repeatedly flip over the Brow Definer and use the spoolie on the back to brush through your eyebrows to help soften the appearance of the product.
The next step I only do if I am wearing a full face of glam makeup. I take the L’Oreal Never Fail Eyeliner and go over just the tail part of my eyebrow so that it is a solid colour. This gives you the Instagram look. If you are going for a natural makeup look, I would probably skip this step. If your whole face has very soft makeup and you have really dark eyebrows, it can become a strange focal point on your face.
Clean up the edges of your eyebrows with concealer on a small, flat brush. I only do this under the brows, and sometimes a tiny bit on the top if I didn’t create a smooth enough line. This gives it the clean, finished appearance.
Apply a clear brow gel to help your eyebrow hairs appear to be thicker. Brush the hairs upwards to instantly make the look appear much more natural, like you too could be Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon.