I used to have thick, Ali MacGraw–like eyebrows. Then I lived through the 1990s when all the makeup artists were plucking brows into barely-there lines, so I had someone make mine thin. Sadly, they never grew back. My mother’s generation used to shave theirs off to pencil them in, and they really didn’t grow back! But there are also more natural reasons for thin brows; as we get older, we lose hair all over. It’s normal, but you can fake your way to fuller brows—just know that it’s easy to overdo it, so be strategic. Here’s how.
Find your colour
Fill in your brows with makeup—the hue is crucial. Picking the best shade really comes down to your natural eyebrow colour, which is essentially the same as that of your hair. But colours tend to differ between packaging and actual results. I tell people to try a shade lighter than they might first consider. And if you dye your hair, the shade you choose should reflect that hue. No one should use black; instead, use a dark brown. If you have blonde, white, or grey strands, opt for a light taupe-ash colour.
Go to work
The magic of thicker-looking brows is all about creating subtle definition. You do that by using a light hand and making small strokes with an eyebrow pencil to fill in the sparse parts of your brows.
I’m a makeup artist and even I think this step can be tricky, especially with those skinny pencils that require short, feathery, precise strokes. I use my Jones Road The Brow Pencil. It’s a fatter pencil that is easy to hold and control and gets the job done fast by creating broader lines. It’s made of amazing teeny fibers that give the illusion of thickness.
Or, if you want to have a product that pulls double duty in your makeup bag, find an eyeshadow similar to your natural hair colour. You can use it on your eyes by lightly dusting it across your lids with a fluffy eyeshadow brush and on your brows by dipping a slanted brush with stiff bristles into the shadow and using tiny strokes to mimic natural hairs. I use Jones Road Beauty The Best Eyeshadow in dark brown on my eyebrows, with a dash on my eyelids; I also use it as eyeliner and to cover up white hairs coming through my part. Just be sure to use a heavier or lighter hand based on where you put the shadow.
Add a finishing touch
After filling in the brows, brush hair upward with a spoolie brush or an eye brush comb to blend out excess colour and give the illusion of a brow lift. Are your eyebrows too dark? Instead of undoing all your hard work, add face powder to a powder puff and then dab your brows. This makes your hair look lighter for a more natural appearance.
You can try microblading, a semipermanent tattoo technique in which the tiny needles of a pen-like tool add pigment. I wanted to try it but decided not to: Once you do it, you’re stuck with it for three to six months. Read reviews of the practitioners in your area and look at examples of their work before making an appointment.