By Marissa DeSantis
Supermodels of the ’90s like Kate Moss and Christy Turlington helped shape (quite literally) the super-skinny eyebrow trend that carried us through the early aughts. But after decades of neglecting them (or, more accurately, overplucking them), eyebrows are finally getting the attention they deserve. And appropriately enough, we have a new generation of models like Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid to thank for bringing fuller, fluffier brows back into style.
To build a better brow, we’ve seen a surplus of products hit the beauty shelves for helping with everything from shaping to filling. But knowing exactly how to perfect your eyebrows and which products to use to do it can get confusing. To break it down for us, we spoke with makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez, who has groomed, shaped, and filled the eyebrows of every major supermodel — from Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima to Gigi Hadid.
Whether you’re cleaning up your brows yourself, or you prefer to turn to a pro, Gonzalez shares her method for determining her ideal eyebrow shape. “I like to take the handle of an eye brush and place it at the edge of my nose,” she says.
“Follow that upward, toward the brow, and that’s where the eyebrow should begin.”
If you’re going the DIY route, you can place a pencil mark at the point where the brush meets your brow and tweeze any hairs that go beyond that mark. You’ll want the arch of your brow to be about two-thirds of the way to the outer corner (never at the center of the brow!), and Gonzalez says you can use the eye brush to determine the exact end point of your eyebrow, too. “Tilt the brush toward the outer edge of the eye, and follow that outward, past the eye and to the brow — that’s where it should end.”
If you’ve ever been confused by all of the brow powders, pencils, and gels out there, Gonzalez’s two must-have products will simplify your routine. Her first go-to product is the Armani Beauty High Precision Brow Pencil, which has since been replaced by the brand’s Smooth Silk Eyebrow Pencil. The sharpenable pencil consists of a powdery formula (in three color options) that’s easy to draw on and stays in place for 12 hours. Plus, it has a spoolie on the opposite end to comb brows into place and help blend the color more seamlessly. I’m also partial to the Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow, which is a mechanical option that comes in 12 shades if you need a more precise color match.
For a multi-tasking product (or, if you just prefer a powder), the Armani Beauty Eye & Brow Maestro is another of Gonzalez’s favorite products. The creamy, waterproof formula not only helps to shape and fill in brows, but it also works as an eyeshadow, eyeliner, and an all-over contour.
As for what color to choose, depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you may want to opt for more than one shade. “I shade match to fill in, but if I am creating hair where there isn’t any, I will go with a shade darker,” Gonzalez says, “That way, it is undetectable.”
“After cleansing and toning the face, I like to pencil in the ideal shape just before applying moisturizer,” Gonzalez says, going back to her tips for creating the right brow shape. After that, she trims the brow hairs and plucks any hairs that sit outside of the shape she’s marked off. “This is the goof-proof way,” she explains.
“You avoid plucking the wrong hair, and you’re left with flawless brows.”
With the shape set, you can fill in any sparse spots with your pencil, using short strokes in the direction of your hair growth for the most natural finish (aka not stamped or stenciled). “For extra staying power, you can always use a setting spray,” Gonzalez adds, noting that she likes both the Armani Prima and the Urban Decay All Nighter.