Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Perfect Vintage Eyebrow

This post has been requested of me by quite a few of you, so it is long overdue! I will say that I don't do tutorials mainly because I don't have a video camera. This was an experiment of sorts and a bit of a challenge. Its not easy taking pictures of myself while trying to do my own makeup!! Once I get more accustomed to it, and maybe set up a tripod, it will be easier.

This tutorial is going to be about achieving that perfect, arched brow. Lauren Bacall had wonderful eyebrows, and actually helped usher in the new shape. Until then the brows were more rounded in the 30s and more straight in the 20s. Her brows were unique. So much so that for her first studio test the makeup artist was yelled at for rounding them out. The studio wanted her as she was, arched brows and all!

Brows for me have always been important. They have changed with my evolving style and have gone through many versions. Naturally, I have thick, straight brows. I decided to shape them when a mean boy commented on how thick they were. I worked very hard at developing the arch that I have now. It took years of bad tweezing and regrowing. While working at Benefit I learned how to properly brow map and honestly it changed my life! My brows weren't horrible before. They just weren't right. Now they are one of my favorite features and I get compliments on them quite often (oddly I get a lot of these comments from men).

So I am going to share with you guys some of my eyebrow knowledge. Its all based off of the shape of the face so anyone can do it. If you are still nervous and unsure about finding the best shape for your face though I highly recommend getting your brows waxed professionally. Benefit has Brow Bars all over the world and for $20 they will brow map you, wax, and show you how to fill them in. After that just tweeze away the new growth to maintain your new, fabulous shape. Believe me it will be worth it!

Lets get started!! 
What you will need:

A rat tail comb or anything that is long and straight.
An eyebrow brush. This one is from Benefit.
An eyebrow pencil. This is NYX in Brown.
To fill in the brows you can use one or both of the following:
A colored eyebrow gel. This is Revlon's Brow Fantasy. One side is a mascara wand and the other is a pencil.
A wax/powder combo. This is Benefit's Brow Zings in #2

Not pictured:

On a side note, that pretty pin up girl is my grandma!

Step 1-Brow Mapping

Brow mapping is the art of mapping out your brow shape according to your face. This is the best way to give you well defined brows. Do not use a stencil!! They do not take into account the size of your nose or eyes. Take the time to actually brow map!!

What we are going to do is take the rat tail comb and place it against the nose, right along your nostril and in line with your tear duct. This will give you the starting point of your brow. Dab your eyebrow brush into your colored wax, or use your pencil, and make a mark right along the edge of the comb.

Next we are going to make a mark for where your arch should be. Keeping the comb against the edge of your nostril, angle it so that it goes through your pupil. You don't want it to be directly through the middle, but off to the outside just a bit.

Again, take your brush and make a mark.

Next we are going to mark where your eyebrow should end. Still keeping the comb against your nostril, angle it so that it lays against the outer corner of your eye. Make another mark with your brush.

Now we have three distinct marks along the brow. For some of you these marks will not be where you have eyebrow hair. That is ok. That just means that you need to stop tweezing in that area and let the hair fill in. I had to do this and it took almost 6 months for the hair to fill into this shape.

Next, I take my Revlon Brow Fantasy gel and brush it through the hair. This will fill in the shape a bit, allowing me to see what the brow will look like when it is done.

Step 2-Connect the dots.

An arched eyebrow is basically 4 straight lines connected together. I know I make that sound easy but it does take practice. Take your eyebrow pencil and make sure it is really sharp. Now just draw straight lines, connecting the marks you made together, outlining your brow. I stay really close to my actual hair so that I don't have really thick brows.

If you are uncomfortable with outlining your brows with a pencil, use the wax side of the Brow Zings. It is lighter and may be easier to control. It is also a little more natural looking. I use the pencil because I like the definition.

Now you have an outlined brow. As you can tell I did not go heavy handed on the tail. Once we fill it in it will look more defined.

For those of you that are doing this for the first time this will be a good time to tweeze away all the excess hair outside of your brow line. To clean it up and remove the lines we made from mapping just clean it up with some concealer.

Step 3-Filling them in.

For this step you will want to take your brush and dab it into the powder side of the Brow Zings. If you are  using a pencil just fill in with that. The great thing about using a brush is that it will blend out the lines you made with your pencil, giving it a more natural look.

For the inner edge of the brow simply make a straight angle and pull it across. That will give you a clean edge.

Once you have filled in your brow it should look something like this:

A filled in brow really livens up the face!

If you still have marks left over from mapping just clean up the edges with a  little concealer. 

Next you can add some highlight to your brow bone. This is especially nice to do when you are getting all dolled up to go out. A good product to use is Benefit's High Brow but you can use eye shadow too.

Add it along your brow bone. Then use a brush or your finger to blend it out.

The effect is subtle but it really makes your brows stand out. 

Now do the same to your other brow and finish the rest of your makeup.


Now you have perfect arched eyebrows!! This may take some practice and time but it worth it. Brows complete a look and really step it up to the next level. I don't leave home without them ;-)


  1. Really useful post - thanks! Your brows are fab! My brows are naturally very fine, thin and round! I only recently (like in the past year) started colouring them in a little to make them stand out a bit more. I tend to just go with the shape that I already have, but I may experiment with getting more of an arch in the future...

  2. Those brows are fab. I kinda wish I never plucked mine. It had a natural arch and thickness that was just right. Now mine are terribly thin. Ugh! I use a revlon brow enhancer and that works pretty well.

    Totally off topic, love your sweater!! And where did you get it??

    1. I had to regrow the beginning part of my brow and some of the arch. It took a while but they are finally filling in nicely.

      I got that sweater at a flea market in San Francisco. Alameda I believe. I think its a kids sweater because it is tiny, but luckily so am I!

  3. Great tutorial! I used to have perfectly arch shaped brows and then several years ago, while at a Girls Night Out Breast Cancer Awareness gala, on a whim, I went into the waxing booth and had the lady wax my brows. I was flabbergasted when she finished and I looked at her handiwork. My brows were paper thin and rounded!! It has taken me years to get some resemblance of what I had, back, but Im still not there. So frustrating and a long process indeed!

  4. I have bleach blonde hair, so I can't have my eyebrows too dark or else it looks really weird. I need to experiment more with my arch and shape though! And I really need to find some more fillers. I currently use a pencil from Revlon which is nice, but I'd like to try the gels or shadow.

    1. Try the Revlon Brow Fantasy in the lightest shade. Its a colored gel and a pencil. I love it!! Sometimes when I want very light makeup I just use the gel.

  5. Great tutorial! I do not have much to work with in the eyebrow department but still learned many useful tips from this. Thank you!

    That sweater is super cute! I'll be at the Alameda flea this weekend and hope to have such luck ;-)

  6. This is a great tutorial, thank you. I have seen other "tutorials" on how to shape your eyebrows, but they are never shown with real pictures on real people - always computer drafted outlines (often accompanied by math which I won't do). I find doing my eyebrows one of the more difficult struggles I face when getting ready. I am not good at making things even and symmetrical, but I think I have a better understanding of how to get there now.

    Hellcat Vintage

  7. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I too believe eyebrows so important. I do my own version with far fewer steps, but yours look so fab I can't wait to try it your way. I truly loved this post!

  8. Love this tutorial...Can you tell me what the eye shadow colors are that you used? Love the color/s and your brows are perfection! :)

    1. I am wearing Stila Kitten all over the lid. Its a great all over color.

    2. You always have such fabulous eyebrows! Thanks for showing everyone how it's done.

  9. Holly!! Thank you so much for this tutorial. You did a wonderful job with the photos and description of the process. I know I had asked you a while back to post a tutorial on this so thank you so much! I will use your explanation as a reference the next time I work on my eyebrows.

  10. Looks Great! I will try it. Mine are super thin. How high should the top of the arch go and how thick should I make them? Thanks for the picture by picture steps, you make it look so easy. . .

  11. Wow i wish mine could be like that. i have terrible eyesight and one always seems to be higher than the other. i can't even get templates to be the same height. Maybe with your tricks i can do better. thanks a million!!! btw you have beautiful eyes!


I love reading your wonderful comments and opinions!! Feel free to ask questions and I will happily answer them as fast as I can! Any negative comments will be deleted.

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