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As you likely know by now, killer eyebrows are way more than just a passing beauty trend. Big, beautiful brows are in fact a beauty staple! As you probably also know, achieving and maintaining picture-perfect brows is not always an easy feat. We consulted celebrity makeup artist and Brand Ambassador for L'Oréal Paris, Sir John, for the ultimate expert opinion on a very important subject matter—eyebrows. From the latest brow makeup trends to how to choose and use the best brow products, read on for Sir John’s top tips on all things eyebrows.
Most likely, when it comes to eye makeup products in your makeup bag, you keep a mascara and an eyeliner on hand, maybe even an eye shadow or two. But when it comes to eyebrow products, between all the different pencils, gels and powders, it can be confusing to figure out which products are best to have at the ready. Sir John shares that pairing an eyebrow pencil with a longwear product is the ideal combination. Getting specific, he prefers to pair a pencil with the L’Oréal Paris Unbeliva-Brow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel. “A brow pencil gives hair-like definition and precision, and Unbelieva-Brow gives overall full coverage and long-lasting power,” he says.
We tend to blindly trust product recs from pro makeup artists, but in case you want to know more about one of Sir John’s favorite products, here’s the scoop: Unbelieva-Brow is formulated with longwear polymers that form a waterproof film to seal in pigments—meaning your brow makeup can last all day, if not longer. Here’s what Sir John has to say about it: “Unbeliva-brow is the right product for someone who needs their brows to last a very long time or for someone who loves the longevity of a longwearing pencil but has less time to reapply.” He also adds, “It has staying power that lasts all day and you'll really enjoy the hair-like texture it provides.”
Ready to try it for yourself? To use, apply the product to sparse areas in the brow, then use the included angled brush to outline and define your brow shape with feather-like strokes. Finish off by brushing through brows with the included spoolie—conveniently located on the opposite end of the angled brush. Pair Unbelieva-Brow with a slim eyebrow pencil that allows for precise strokes, like the L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Mechanical Pencil.
Okay, so, not everyone needs their brows to be filled in 24/7. We love longwear makeup but it isn’t right for every occasion! If longwear brows aren’t your bag, use an eyebrow pencil, like the L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Shape & Fill Mechanical Pencil. From there, you can decide if another product is necessary. “If you have time, I like to use a powder as well,” Sir John says. “Powders take away the waxy appearance that a pencil may leave behind.” Use an eyebrow setting powder for the second step or find a kit that includes both brow powder and wax, like the L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Prep & Shape Pro Kit. You can use a small, angled brush to apply both the wax and the powder.
Do your brows not look quite right, even when you’re using the perfect products? Well, just as the right shade of blush or highlighter ultimately depends on your individual skin tone, so does the right shade of eyebrow makeup. There isn't a single answer to whether your brow product should be lighter or darker than your actual brow hairs because it should be based on your skin tone. One question that can be answered definitively is whether to wear warm or cool shades. In Sir John's expert opinion, “You should always veer on the side of a cooler brow. Something that doesn’t look too warm or too red because that never photographs well.”
When you see perfectly-sculpted, overly made-up brows on Instagram, it may make you think that in order to achieve social-media worthy eyebrows, the more makeup the better. However, according to Sir John you should think twice about layering on more product. “I don’t suggest using a concealer to shape the brows because it begins to look unnatural,” he says. “If you have a good shape, you don’t necessarily need to spend so much time on your brows.”
Now, you need to know what look to create with your new go-to products—and from the runways to fashion advertisements to city streets, there are certainly plenty of brow looks to choose from. In the past couple of years alone, we’ve seen plenty of eyebrow makeup trends, from feathered brows to glittery arches. But what’s the most trendy? Sir John let us in on something that’s not-so-secret, the most popular eyebrow look of the moment is lateral brows. Seen on many a supermodel, lateral eyebrows aren’t arched—instead, they run parallel to the lash line.
Of course, you may not want to embrace a trend that could be fleeting. If you’re all about keeping it classic, Sir John says one look will always remain. “Voluptuous brows are not a trend,” he explains. Rather, they’re a traditional outlet for looking beautiful, as more hair around someone’s eyes is proven to make them look younger. Yes, please! If you think a fuller look is for you, you can grow out your brows, use eyebrow makeup to fill them in, or do a combination of both.
If you see a brow shape you love, but it isn’t the shape recommended for your face shape, is it a total no-go? Sir John weighs in, saying, “If you find the right brow shape, it becomes more universal and will look great on all facial shapes.” And remember, when it comes to the shape(s) of your eyebrows, despite what pop culture may show, they shouldn’t be absolutely identical! It’s just like the old adage says, eyebrows should be sisters, not twins. As Sir John says, “As long as they are going to the same party you are in a good place.”
You’re practically an eyebrow expert in your own right now, but how do you get eyebrow makeup off at the end of the day? If you’re wearing long-lasting formulas, in particular, you may need to put a little thought into the makeup remover you use. Sir John recommends looking for an oil-based makeup remover or a cleansing oil.
Editor’s tip: Using a cleansing oil? Why not double cleanse while you’re at it! Here’s How to Double Cleanse.
Ready to take your eyebrow makeup game to the next level? Read our article on How to Contour Your Eyebrows.
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