8 Aug 2017

How To Shape The Eyebrows

How To Shape Eyebrows: vickiarcher.com

Well-shaped eyebrows are one of the biggest game changers when it comes to how we look.

The Marlene Dietrich pencil lines are hard to pull off and the Groucho Marx rugs a little over the top. The Frida Kahlo mono brow – forget it.

Eyebrows are the frames to our eyes and they emphasise our expressions.

The solution would seem to an easy one.

Follow a natural line and leave them well enough alone. Take away the minimum from underneath, allowing for a shaped brow and a clean canvas to apply eye make-up. It all sounds simple enough but the reality is a different matter. I know very few women who haven’t over plucked their eyebrows at some stage and find as they age the shape is far from perfect. Mine aren’t too bad these days but I certainly wish I had left well enough alone when I was younger. Like most young girls, I could not be told.

From my observations French ‘eyebrows’ have always tended to be on the heavier side.  Other than those of Coco Chanel and Edith Piaf, I have noticed French women tend to wear them darker to highlight the eye socket, even if they are of fair complexion. I like their natural approach to brows and it is where I am heading with mine. As the hair goes greyer, my brows are getting darker.

As we know looking natural is not as easy as all that so the perfect brows do require some application and maintenance. Eyebrows are like haircuts, if they are well groomed we are ready to take on the world, a lack of care and attention and we want to stay home and hide under the covers.

To Shape

Imagine a line drawn from the outside of the nose upwards towards the brow. This will be the starting point. A line drawn diagonally from the outside corner of the eye will be the finishing point.

The brow should be bushier at the beginning and gently taper down to a soft point.

To Colour

With dark hair the colour used should be one shade lighter than the eyebrow hair colour.  For lighter hair, it is advisable to use one or two shades darker., depending on your preference.

I tint my eyebrows regularly and ask the beauty therapist to mix a slight amount of grey tint in with the dark brown tint. I leave the tint on longer than necessary so while the coverage is a bit too dark for the first two days it does ensure the tint lasts me well. One of my eyebrows is thinner than the other and this one I tint fractionally darker to create the illusion the brows are the same. To guarantee the best results I don’t wet the brows for 24 hours afterward and cleanse around them.

To Apply

Even with a regular eyebrow tint, I still need to use an eyebrow product to fill in the gaps and shape certain areas.

Avoid harsh lines always and to begin brush the brows outwards. When applying eyebrow colour use light, feathery dashes so the eyebrows are not a solid block of colour. Follow the natural line of the brow using the eye pencil and don’t over extend the length as this can drag the face down. Remember your imaginary line. Once the colour is applied, brush over the brows with a light hand, to remove any excess.

To Use

The easiest and I think by far the best eyebrow sculptor is from Tom Ford. I use this in taupe to fill in any gaps and elongate the brow where necessary. The Brow Sculptor comes in four shades, Blonde, Espresso, Chestnut and Taupe.

Taupe is the easiest for blondes, redheads and brunettes. Chestnut and Espresso are for very dark hair and skin types.

This brow gel and set from Eeyko is always in my make-up bag. It is a lifesaver in between tints, the morning’s make-up and when life is on the run.  A quick touch up with this and the brows feel well groomed, the stray greys get covered and the eyes look less tired.

The eyebrows are a small part of our daily beauty but if well shaped, coloured and groomed they are the feature to make the most difference. My eye-make up routine may have become more minimal in the last few years but my brows are a different matter.  They are taking up much of my time. xv

Shape The Eyebrows

tom ford brow sculptor  ||  eyeko tinted brow gel  ||  angled brow brush

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In This Post:



Mimi Gregor

Yup. I’m one of those who could not be told. When I was 13, I read that thin brows were “in”. So I plucked them, thinking “it’s hair — it will grow back.” Some did, but not all. The hairs that did grow back sometimes grew in random directions. So here I am, MANY decades later, with scant eyebrows. But I have learned — by necessity — how to apply them so that they look reasonably natural-looking.

I like NYX Micropoint eyebrow pencil. Not only is it inexpensive, but it lasts all day without smudging, and comes in a great range of shades. I use Ash Brown, which is actually a cool brown with no red in it (I’ve had problems finding pencils that didn’t have an auburn cast in the past). Inexpensive is necessary for me, because I even apply it at night, after the rest of my makeup is off. Yes, my brows are so sparse I cannot look at myself without cringing otherwise. I brush through it with a clear mascara, which sets the color and beefs up the remaining brows, adding to the illusion that there is more hair there than there actually is.

If I could go back in time and tell adolescent Mimi one thing, it would be: see a professional to get it done initially. Although, it may have been a moot point: there wasn’t the proliferation of “eyebrow bars” that there is today.


I know exactly what you mean! Me too, at night.. Ha Ha.. I pop a bit of Eyeko on sometimes because I don’t like seeing the greys…

I can still remember plucking my eyebrows in to fine lines when I was about 16. When I came out of my room my mother nearly had a heart attack!
I of course insisted they were fabulous, she didn’t agree and told me I would regret it. So annoyingly, she was right :)

Anita Rivera

Oh how I love your care and attention to the details that make a world of difference, Vicki. The brows do make or break the natural flow of the features, and for me, I go natural. I don’t have thick eye brows to begin with , so I have very little to tackle. I pluck just enough to keep the attention on my EYES and not the brows, and it works for me. Aren’t French woman so beautiful and diverse?


It is the balance to find that I find difficult… not too dark as to take away from the eyes but bold enough to provide a framework.
Sometimes when I make them to dark I do feel like “here I come with my eyebrows and not much else”.. but if they are too pale, I feel undressed..

It’s all in the details ;)


Always have my brows threaded by a specialist – they do it so well. Then tinted to nearly the current darkest shade of my hair, which isn’t very dark but dark enough to give good definition. So then all I need to do is brush them into shape. Don’t need any brow products as I didn’t ever do the heavy plucking so there’s still plenty of hair left. There were only a few girls at my school who plucked heavily – the rest of us just left them alone. Our headmistress didn’t like it. We were supposed to be serious girls preparing for university and careers. In those days they didn’t think it was an option to have commitment to a career – and put a lot effort into one’s personal appearance, except for being clean, neat and tidy. Maybe I was lucky. Best wishes, Pamela


Thank you, thank you for discussing this Vicki! This has been a real challenge for me, and one I need to address going forward. I always learn something from reading your posts.


It’s an easy way to make the brows look their best… I think you will like the difference a little colour and shape makes :)

J. Schultz

I recently stopped the makeup artist who was in Whole Foods for the day to promote and instruct on the organic makeup (which always intrigues me) they sell. What actually stopped me was how Perfect her brows were. I was in a hurry and said that I would return, but wanted the cliff notes on her product, or rather the secret of her perfection. She said there is no one secret. A good brow is a combination of at least three products to have a completely natural look. No one product will do that. Wow… She deserved her brows!


Vicki, thank you for broaching this subject. Having had thick dark eyebrows when young & told not to over pluck by my mother, I actually obeyed. However, as the years wore on I did thin them out a little as you described, bushier in the beginning & tapering down to fine point. Now at 64 I’m finding the odd grey hair (so unsightly & unbecoming) & I’ve not known how to tackle them, until now. Wonderful advice & can’t wait to try these products.


Perfect post at the perfect time, Thank you!
My brows…I think look good before I see them in a photograph. How could I do that to myself is my usual reaction. Several months ago, I stopped tweezing them on a regular basis. One has round curve and the other has an angled curve. I try not to pay attention to them anymore. A specialist is needed when one can’t quite make what’s on their own face look good.


I am sure if you have a good shape created by a brow specialist it will be easier for you to follow afterwards :)


I had my brows microbladed last year; a “temporarily permanent” process where they first shape your brows and then add in hair-shaped lines, pigment that is bladed into the top layer of your skin. I had three appointments, a minimum of 30 days apart, adding a different color each time. They are very natural-looking, and I love that they are always there, and perfectly shaped. I add makeup to them if I want a darker brow sometimes; but they are great as they are; and it’s so easy having the shape already evened out, to follow. I need to go for a touchup about once a year – if you did nothing they say that it would be gone in about three years. This is not tattooing – no needles. I love it!

Bungalow Hostess

My brows have thick coarse white hairs peppering the brown and they are resistant to the dyes used by the spa. I am so disappointed that I cannot have them tinted as I used to do. I have been using Bobbie Brown’s eyebrow pencil and gently combing them after…it’s not perfect but it does help me feel better about my thinning and increasingly disappearing eyebrows!


Ask them to try layering the tint on in multiple tries… I have to do mine 2 or 3 times in a row for some of the greys to take.. Annoying but eventually they do and it is worth it :)

Susie Martin

Thank you once again Vicki for your valuable advise & discussion A topic close to my heart Having always had unruly eyebrows, somewhat over plucked when younger & now as the grey ones pop through I have been worried about becoming bald in that department!! Thankfully I have been blessed with a wonderful local beautician trained in France who has been my savior as well as my daughters! Sadly she inherited my wild eyebrows but with the fashion of having them thick & dark she hasn’t been tempted to make our same mistake of over plucking! Long may that last!! XX


Currently, I have been using a brow stencil for the perfect arch and fill in with the various products you mentioned (I have blonde thin brows naturally)..but I am looking into microblading in the near future!


The best approach for my 71-year-old brows (my hair is a multi-colored “dirty blonde”) is to use medium brown mascara to color all the grayed bits and then apply a brow brow gel to thicken them up. I rarely pluck my brows. If I’m going out at night I’ll give a more dramatic look to my brows by filling them in with a light brown pomade to match my darker evening eye makeup. So far, that’s doing the job.

Gina O.

I love the Kristie Streicher, Co-Owner, STRIIIKE approach to brows. I used castor oil on them and they truly did grow in. Kristie schedules her appointments 6 weeks out and you are to not tweeze! No wax ever! She is the only person I will trust to do micro blading!

Quoted here in NY Times, “Kristie Streicher of Stiiike, a Beverly Hills, Calif., beauty studio she shares with her makeup artist and hairstylist sisters, is one of the best in the brow-shaping game. After an initial grow-in period, Ms. Streicher creates a natural looking, softly angled arch that looks youthful and effortless.
“I urge clients to look at photos of themselves as a teen to get an idea of their natural eyebrow shape,” she said. Her “microfeathering” technique merges her brow-shaping philosophy with microblading, a procedure in which pigment is deposited into superficial handmade incisions on the skin, creating semipermanent “brow hair.” “It may diminish, or even eliminate, the need for makeup,” she said.”

Splendid Market

Such good tips, I think the brows are the most important thing on the face. I agree, the French do like to keep theirs more full and dark, and I like that look. I picked up a MAC eyebrow pencil, with the brush on the other end at the airport the other day when my old product had run out and really love it, so easy!


Just a thought, I have a few gaps and in spite of the tinting like you, I have to fill in. I have recently had micro blading, done by a brow expert and it has made a huge difference. The ‘microblader’, for want of a better word, scratches little nicks into the gaps and then floods with a carefully matched dye, like a tattoo, so I am told, this then lasts for a couple of years and I am thrilled with the results. But like everything that is permanent or semi permanent, you need to do your research and go to the best person, someone you can trust!


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