beauty

"A brow expert showed me this simple hack and it's changed the way I do my eyebrows."

Hands up if you’re a tad confused about how you’re meant to be doing your eyebrows? Thought so.

Don’t worry, it’s not you.

In the last few years, the eyebrow cosmetics category has exploded and it’s only continuing to grow. Where we used to have an eyebrow pencil, and maybe some clear mascara, we can now choose from eyebrow pencils, eyebrow crayons, brow pomade, brow gel, tinted brow gels, brow mascaras, eyebrow powder, eyebrow primer and eyebrow serums. It’s a lot.

Put simply, more products = more confusion = more money spent on products you never use.

Our resident makeup artist Nat put together this handy Brow 101 tutorial to get you on the right path, post continues after video.

Video by MMC

According to Benefit Cosmetic’s National Survey, 76 per cent of us reach for an eyebrow pencil to put our brows on every morning. I’m one of those people, too. I use eyebrow pencil most days to make my brows look natural and full. Only, I didn’t know the way I was applying my eyebrow pencil was doing… the exact opposite.

The thing about eyebrow product is once it’s on, it’s really hard to go back without starting from scratch. Much like your subtle cat eye eyeliner that accidentally turns into a very dramatic wing when you unintentionally apply too much product, natural brows can quickly become dark caterpillars if you’re not careful.

One minute, you’re colouring away and the next, Groucho Marx is staring back at you in the mirror.

But how much eyebrow product is too much eyebrow product? And is there a ‘right’ way to apply eyebrow pencil/gel?

When I put this question to Benefit Australia’s National Brow Artist Hannah Mutze, she showed me where I was going wrong.

“Really, you should only apply product where your brows need it – think tweaking the shape, and filling gaps and holes,” she told Mamamia.

“Instead of applying colour opaquely through the brow [i.e. colouring it in], outline your shape and apply a little colour where you need it, then blend the colour upwards and inwards with a spoolie [brow brush] to soften the colour for a natural finish. You want to see skin underneath your brows, they’ll look 100 times more natural and you’ll be saving product.”

That’s great advice, but how does it look in practice?

To demonstrate just how much of a difference tracing and blending makes versus ‘drawing’ your brows on, I tried both on my brows at the same time.

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Hello, this is my mug without anything on/done to my eyebrows (other than a fresh tint last week). Image: Supplied.
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Here I am with the two eyebrow techniques (tracing, and colouring in) - can you guess which side is which? Image: Supplied.
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On the left, we have a brow done by tracing and brushing with my spoolie. Natural and full. Image: Supplied.
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On the right, I've used the same product to draw and colour in my brow. The result is a bit harsher. Image: Supplied.

On the left, I present: a traced brow (I used the Benefit Brow Contour Pro eyebrow pencil/pomade). The coloured in brow is on the right.

While I'd be perfectly happy to leave the house with either of these eyebrows, you can see how the technique used on the left creates a fluffy, naturally full looking brow, whereas the right-hand side looks a tad more... full on.

It's only a subtle change, but for me, it's the difference in my eyebrows looking 'done' and just naturally good.

And, as Hannah so helpfully mentioned above, tracing around your brows uses less product, which is a win in itself.

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