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A Guide to Eyebrow Makeup for Beginners

Everything you need to know to get the brow look of your dreams.
  • Wendy Rose Gould
June 28, 2024

Brows may seem like a tiny detail, but good eyebrow makeup can make a notable difference in facial symmetry and enhance your already gorgeous features. This is true whether you’re experimenting with trendy boy brows, leaning into the ‘90s thin brow resurgence, or just want to keep things naturally groomed and defined. Keep scrolling to discover the best brow products for your desired look along with some of our favorite shoppables. 

Types of Eyebrow Makeup

When it comes to eyebrow products, you’ve got a handful of options at your disposal. There are classic eyebrow pencils, with their precision tips, eyebrow crayons that give a bit more oomph, and even mascaras that swipe on in seconds. Use our quick eyebrow makeup cheat sheet to help you figure out what to use for your brows. 

Eyebrow pencil

An eyebrow pencil is arguably the simplest and best eyebrow product to use, no matter your skill level. This classic makeup tool helps define and thicken the look of brows. You can also use a pencil to easily fake a different shape. 

To define your brows with the help of an eyebrow pencil, draw the outline of your brow shape before filling it in with light, feathered strokes. It’s a good idea to fill in starting from the center of your brows and working your way out. If you start closer to your nose, you risk an overly harsh, drawn-on look. After shading your brows, use an eyebrow brush to gently brush through them, pushing the hairs upward to blend in the pencil strokes.

Eyebrow crayon 

Eyebrow crayons are similar to pencils, only they’re thicker and often have a wax-like formula that provides a long-lasting finish and a hint of healthy shine. You can use an eyebrow pencil on its own to fill in sparse brows, or you can pair it with an eyebrow pencil. 

If using it with a pencil, outline your desired shape with the pencil and then fill in sparse areas using short, feathery strokes with the crayon. If using alone, do the same just without the pencil. Using both pencil and crayon allows for more controlled and precise definition, while using just crayon makes for a soft and natural look. 

Eyebrow gel

One of the best eyebrow products for sparse brows is eyebrow gel, and some say it’s also the one that’ll get you out the door the fastest. A fiber-infused brow gel formula temporarily thickens the look of your brow hairs by coating each individual hair in hardly any time at all. 

In addition to giving brows a denser appearance, brow gels can be used for a natural-looking tint, as well as to tame brows and keep individual brow hairs in place. Who doesn’t love a multi-tasker? To use, comb the product through your brows in upward strokes to set them in place. Start from the inner corners and work towards the outer edges for a polished finish.

Eyebrow pomade

When you see a pair of stunningly sculpted brows on #beautytok, it’s safe to assume they may have been achieved with the help of a brow pomade. These lightweight, creamy mousse formulas are used to help define your brows while giving them an overall thicker appearance. 

Even if you barely have any brows at all, you can draw on bold brows that actually look natural with a pomade—as long as you use the right technique. On that note, to use brow pomade, dip an angled makeup brush into the product and then fill in sparse areas while shaping. It’s best to start at the inner corners and move outward.

Eyebrow mascara

Yep, you can use mascara for eyebrows. And similar to a brow gel, this type of eyebrow makeup is super easy to use and great for beginners. These are especially helpful if you already have pretty full brows but just need a little more definition and/or want to keep your hairs in place. You can even use them in tandem with other products for that purpose. Simply comb through your hairs, applying it much like you would regular lash mascara, for a defined, polished finish.

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InArticle Complete Guide To Eyebrow Makeup Unbelieva BrowWaterproofGel

How Can I Choose the Right Eyebrow Makeup?

The short answer to this question is: It depends. Even if you’re going for a full, defined, and bushy brow look, you may have a preference on how to achieve this. Plus, the product you use for your eyebrows will also depend on the type of eyebrows you’re already working with. 

If you have sparse brows, you’re likely not going to use the same product as someone with a thick brow, or someone with curly brow hairs. So, choose your best eyebrow makeup based on your needs, your desired look, and how effective the product is on your existing eyebrow hair.

Eyebrow pencil vs. eyebrow powder

Think of eyebrow pencil as your go-to for precise definition, perfect for outlining and filling in sparse areas with fine lines. On the other hand, eyebrow powder is applied by dipping an angled eyeliner brush into a powder formula and then drawing it on. This still creates some definition, but tends to have a more soft and diffused finish. It’s great for a super natural finish or for filling in larger areas. Both have their own benefits, and many people even choose to use them together. 

Eyebrow pencil vs. eyebrow gel

The biggest difference between an eyebrow pencil and an eyebrow gel is (aside from the fact that one’s a dry formula while the other is wet) is how much precision each offers. You’d reach for an eyebrow pencil when you want a polished and defined look, and opt for eyebrow gel on casual days or when you want a quick, fuss-free way to groom and set your brows in place. Of course, you can use both together. In this case, you’d fill in and define your brows with the pencil, then lock it in and create some shine with the gel. 

6 Eyebrow Makeup Products To Try

On the prowl for the best eyebrow pencil on the market or an eyebrow mascara that’ll help you get ready in record time? Here are some of our favorite makeup products for eyebrows. 

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Up To 24H Wear Brow Lamination

Laminated brows involve brushing brow hairs upward and setting them in place with a specialized solution for a super sleek and structured look. For a long time, this expensive technique was exclusive to professional studios, but now you can recreate the look at home for way less. All you need is the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Up To 24H Wear Brow Lamination. Inspired by in-salon brow lamination, this non-sticky, zero-residue formula lifts and holds brows for a laminated look that can last up to 24 hours. Simply lift and laminate, define and fill, then enjoy those amazing arches. 

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InArticle Complete Guide To Eyebrow Makeup BrowStylistDefinerWaterproofPencil

The best eyebrow pencils have an ultra-fine, retractable point like the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Mechanical Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil. This eyebrow makeup product makes the art of eyebrow shaping easy to master with its 0.5mm ultra-fine pencil tip that allows for total precision and a gradual-shading effect. It offers supernatural definition and does a great job of filling in where needed.

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L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Kabuki Blender

The L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Kabuki Blender is a soft and creamy crayon that glides on smoothly and easily for a quick and even application. It comes with a kabuki brush to help blend in your strokes for full-looking brows that have a soft, natural finish. How you wield the crayon will make all the difference in how your brows look, too. You can apply it lightly for a natural look or use firmer strokes for a statement-making brow.

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L'Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel

Always in a rush before heading out the door? Your new BFF might just be the L'Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel. The brow gel’s long-wear polymers create a waterproof seal on your brows for a smudge-proof, transfer-proof, sweat-resistant finish. Use the angled applicator to apply the eyebrow gel in short, gentle, upward strokes that follow your brow shape, then use the accompanying spoolie to comb through to blend and plump your brows.

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InArticle Complete Guide To Eyebrow Makeup InfallibleVolumizing24HMascara 03

If you’re all about a simplified beauty routine, hybrid products are a must. This brow mascara, which works like a brow gel and pencil in one, definitely fits the bill. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Volumizing 24H Wear Brow Mascara has a fiber-charged formula that instantly thickens and volumizes brows, making them appear twice as full. Swipe the 3D brush, which perfectly coats every hair, through your brows in short, upward strokes. Once you finish, your look should be locked in, thanks to the long-lasting, transfer-resistant, and smudge-resistant formula, which can wear for up to 24 hours.

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L'Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Brow Topcoat, Waterproof Universal

Finish your eyebrow makeup with L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Brow Topcoat (Waterproof Universal Transparent), which can be layered over your eyebrow pencil or eyebrow crayon. Or, use it on its own to create a more groomed look. The clear, quick-dry formula is waterproof, smudge-resistant, and transfer-resistant, giving you up to 30 hours of control.

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