I hate to say it y'all...I'm addicted to filling in my eyebrows.
Photo by @falieshagomezz
It's not necessarily a new concept, I know everyone that doesn't leave the house with nails undone and anything less than full face is looking at this like '...AND?', but it's something I never used to do! After the ladies of Luxe and Lotus got me in their chair the first time, I became kind of obsessed. I had never before approached my brows with pencils, powders, pommades, or even tweezers, and although there have DEFINITELY been some missteps along the way, now it's an obsession.
They got me hooked.
So if you're anything like the me I was a few short months ago, you're wondering how to best recreate what only a team of dedicated professionals has done before without actually putting in the years of work or booking any appointments. I still trend towards a more natural look, but this is how I make my expressions stand out like my giant hair and loud af outfits.
April B by Cassandra JK
The foundation to any good look involves initial grooming. If there's dead skin in your eyebrows (it's winter, it happens), or the base shape is uneven, you've got work to do. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate, AND moisturize afterwards to lift all that extra debris out. I prefer home tweezing to home waxing since I'm still just starting out, but using a light touch helps! Brows do take a while to grow back after all. Take your time, and take breaks—coming back to your work later helps show you both what you missed and lets you make sure you're not overdoing it.
Not harshing your mellow
I go to too many goth nights to pretend that in your face, on MY face type brows don't have a time and place. But if you're going for bold, yet not bizarre, not going farther than two shades down from your hair color is a standard rule. Ginger curlies are actually advised to use brow pencils and tints one or two shades LIGHTER than their hair color in order to maintain the bright fullness without any unnatural looking flame. Because my hair is naturally pitch black like literally most people on Earth (and also my soul) standard black eyeliner works fine for me. However, no matter what you're using, make sure to stroke in soft 'feathers' that follow the shape of your brows instead of solid lines. Follow up with a CLEAN brush and blend the color in. I may or may not have grabbed a brush with teal eye shadow still on it once to...interesting effect.
On the bright side, clean up is easy. I tend to reach for my Albolene, but for anyone that's not about that mineral oil life, jojoba oil is another great lightweight makeup remover that's totally natural. Bonus, its anti-microbial properties help fight acne!
Thick vs Thin
Eyebrow genetics are a blast. I inherited my dad's brow shape and hair length with my mom's patchy brow fill-level, which is some sort of low level cosmic hilarity I'm sure. But that means that I get to maintain with a little of column A and column B on this front.
If you have naturally thin brows, and want to go bigger and bolder–the only limit is your pencils and powders! But if you're a little worried about going overboard, you've still got plenty of YouTube tutorials and tools like stencils at your disposal. Just remember, like any hair experiment, you want to leave yourself plenty of time in case of error.
If your brows are naturally thick, or even curly themselves, you're already living the bold brow life! When you're opting for more of a traditional 'Hollywood bold' though, tweeze after a nice shower or facial steam when your follicles are open, and instead of trying to wax everything OFF, grab some mini-scissors, an eyebrow comb, and a magnifying mirror to CAREFULLY give yourself a little trim. Comb your brows upwards and trim from on top of the comb rather than directly from your brows. Then try shaping your brows with clear gel or clear mascara instead of colored products so that your textured brows aren't weighed down with excess pigment!
Going for Growth
Do hair growth products also make your eyebrow hair grow? Yes...and no. If you've damaged a follicle with a wax burn or if you're still in the pre-recovery stages of an illness, the hair might not come back the way you've hoped. And on a personal level, the genes that say 'You better stock up on that L'Oreal, girl' will let my favorite growth vitamin hit my hair literally everywhere else BUT the eyebrows. Still, it never hurts to try! Worst case scenario: your hair is down to your ankles while you're still penciling in your brows.
April B/Cassandra JK
Of course there's always the direct approach! Castor oil has been known to help stimulate edge growth, and now some of us are q-tipping it onto our brows to the same effect! Make sure you're using pure castor oil for this method, rather than a blend though. For one thing, while oil cocktails definitely have their place, castor oil cut with thinner oils isn't going to stay in place as it's much runnier. And if there are essential oils involved, your eyebrows are right where they've always been—right above your eyes. The skin there is extra sensitive, so be SURE you're using a less is more approach, and that you skip out on anything scented. Trust me, carrier oil or no, rosemary essence to the eye is...not fun.
Okay, so I'm not Solange yet.
But that doesn't mean my brows won't be subject to yet more experimentation. Meanwhile, what's up with yours, curly world? Let us know what you're doing with your arches in the comments, and if you're ever REALLY feeling your face and curls, @naturallycurly is just a tag away.