Beauty

Eyebrow Perfection: Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Eyebrows are a fantastic feature to accent, and for me, it’s become an essential in my makeup routine. In my quest for fabulous brows, I’ve discovered a few items and tricks that make it downright easy to give your face that extra POW of gorgeousness.

To start, there are two kits that are my absolute must-haves, and they’re at two very different price points.

  1. First, ELF Cosmetics makes a cheap but highly effective brow kit in four colors. Within the kit are two products–a pomade and a powder. The directions aren’t entirely clear on the packaging, but blogger Jaime McLaughlin (blog here) provided the perfect way to use the kit and shared it in her amazingly helpful Instagram stories. Basically, to sum it up, after a quick brow groom, dip an angled brow brush (yes, she recommends a brush separate from the one included in the kit, and I definitely concur) in the pomade. Once you have a small amount of pomade coating, put the brush in the powder, then use the mirror to smash the two products on the brush together. It may sound a little crazy–stay with me here! Once that’s done, start carefully filling in your brows with small motions. Once you’ve applied the pomade/powder mix, run a spiraled brow brush through your eyebrow for a natural look. The beauty of this method is that you can brush through your brows several times as needed to get the level of pigment and drama you want. ALL credit goes to the beautiful and talented Jaime McLaughlin for this method!
  2. The second kit I love is at a higher price, but it has a very cool attribute. The BrowGal’s Convertible Brow has three powder shades in the kit. What’s so cool about just powder? Well, it’s not just powder. If you wet the powder, it becomes a pomade! Not only that, but if you let the pomade dry, it reverts back to a powder. It makes the kit especially versatile. If you go to the bottom of the product page, Tonya Crooks (The BrowGal herself!) gives exact instructions on how to get different looks using the kit. For me, I wet an angled brow brush with rosewater and dip that in a lighter shade, and then a darker shade. This mix works well for my particular brows, and using a wet brush in the powder gives it a perfect consistency. In terms of technique, it’s the same idea–dip your brush, carefully fill in those brows (reapplying/redipping as needed), and then brush them out.

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(ELF and The BrowGal palettes)

With both kits, keep one very important technique in mind: put the least amount of color where your brow starts, and the most amount of color where your arch is. And if you, like me, don’t have that killer arch, just be mindful of where you have the most color, and how an actual brow would look (i.e. not dark from start to finish)

I’m not willing to put one kit over the other as the “best” or a favorite, because both work SO well, give a natural look, and are perfect for travel. If you can only afford the ELF kit, don’t feel like you’re missing out! With Jaime’s method, you’ll have perfect brows.

So now I’ve mentioned two tools–an angled brow brush and a spiral brow brush. An important thing to remember is that you don’t have to use a “brow” brush for the angled one. A brush meant for eyeliner will work equally as well, it’s just about having a thin, angled head with bristles that won’t fall out.

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For the spiral brow brush, please, please, please don’t use the cheap straight brush that is so commonly found. That brush will work fine for the initial grooming of your brows, but it won’t provide as natural a look as a spiral brush. A true spiral brush should look like a very basic mascara brush, but smaller.

For both the angled brush and spiral brush, my recommendation is this: a duo brush, one that has each of these brush types on either end of it. This makes it easy to flip from one to the other, instead of handling two different brushes. Both ELF Cosmetics and The BrowGal make their own versions (see links) and both are equally fabulous–again, it’s just about your price point.

Once you have your brows filled in, there’s one more step to take them to next level. For a long time, I put a small amount of a light shade of highlighter just under my brows. This lifts the brow and gives you that extra “hello I’m awake!” look that all of us can use (*ahem* late nights, *ahem* not enough sleep). My preferred highlighter for this particular use is Mary-Lou Manizer from theBalm, an overall lovely and hardworking highlighter.

More recently, however, I’ve been ditching the highlighter for a cheap, easy alternative: Wet n Wild’s Ultimate Brow Highlighter. I randomly decided to try this after seeing it (and the low price) in the store. I was pleasantly shocked by this stubby pencil! When you first see it on your skin, it seems too light, but once it’s blended, you’re left with an incredible lifting effect that even the powder highlighter can’t beat. IT Cosmetics makes a higher end version of this product (Brow Power Lift Pencil), but I’m honestly so happy with Wet n Wild.

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In regards to the method, I draw on a few quick swipes under my brows, then gently tap the skin with my ring finger to blend. It’s literally that easy! It’s the extra punch to your filled in brows that you didn’t even know you wanted.

Let’s say that you don’t have the time or patience to carefully use a duo brush and a kit and highlighter, or you simply want a single product you can throw in an emergency makeup kit.

  1. Option 1 – Maybelline Brow Drama which is a “crayon pomade” a.k.a pomade in a stubby crayon form. Simply fill in your brows with soft, gentle strokes and voila, your brows are done. (I still recommend running a quick spiral brush through.) Your brows won’t be quite as defined, but for a quickie, this crayon works.
  2. Option 2 – IT Cosmetics Brow Power, a pencil with a spiral brush on the end (obviously I’m a fan of this). Using the pencil, you carefully draw in lines like brow hairs, and finish with the spiral brush. This one has great staying power and comes in travel sizes too.
  3. Option 3 – Chella Eyebrow Pencil that comes in both a “spoolie” (spiral brush) version and one without a spiral on the end. This works similarly to the Brow Power from IT Cosmetics, but has a finer tip and a creamier consistency. Between the two, it’s truly a matter of preference.
  4. Option 4 – Benefit Gimme Brow not only lets you fill in the brows, but gives them a volumizing effect. This one is different from all the others in that it’s liquid product in a tube, and is applied with a spiral brush. This makes it easy to groom and fill at the same time. I’ve also used this one to “fill in” for touching up during the day if I used a less effective product to begin with.

Ultimately, there are so many different choices for brows! Whether you have fine, sparse brows or full, defined brows, there are products to amp them up and help you define your entire face. If you have a favorite I didn’t mention here, please let me know, as I’m always on the hunt for fun new products!

xoxo

Beauty

Travel: My must-have makeup palettes!

I have amassed quite the collection of makeup, so when I travel, I have to be very selective about my products. I don’t want to carry too much, but I don’t want to be without my faves either. After taking a week long trip and then a weekend trip within the span of less than a month, I found that two palettes were especially versatile.

manizer-sisters

First, The Manizer Sisters from theBalm. I purchased this palette after receiving a sample of Mary-Lou Manizer in an Ipsy bag. I originally used the shade for highlighting my brows and as an inner corner eyeshadow, but once I had the palette, I began using the shade as an all-over highlighter.

That’s what’s so great about these shades–they work in multiple ways. You can use the whole palette for contouring, or for eyeshadow, or just blush and bronzer, etc. It may only have three shades, but I’ve found from using it almost daily that it’s a hard-working palette!

eyeshadow-palette

Second, the StudioMakeup On-The-Go eyeshadow palette, which came in a Boxycharm box. On my first (longer) trip, I brought a different eyeshadow palette, and wished the entire time that I had this one. When I brought it on the weekend trip, it confirmed that it’s perfect for any event. I used the shadows for casual lunches, a wedding rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, and the “hangover” event the next day!

I love brown/nude colors, so that may be why I love this one so much. The extra shimmery yellow shade in the upper corner is so perfect for brightening up eyes and making you look more awake than you are, while the darker brown and black are perfect for creating a smudged liner look that creates the illusion of bigger eyes. Overall, I love the shades in this palette and they have good staying power, so this will be a top choice for eyeshadow palettes when it comes to travel. Though I will say, I do own more eyeshadow palettes than any other type of makeup, so the race is always changing!

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Since all the traveling has died down, I’ve discovered other palettes and must-haves for travel, all of which will be reviewed in upcoming posts! 🙂 Thanks for reading!