How to do your eyebrows: Guide to using gel, pencil and powder

Make your brows stand out!

Get Stuff We Love

Subscribe to our newsletter.
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

Once upon a time, eyebrows were simply an afterthought you hastily combed through after applying a full face of makeup. Now, beauty lovers are finally beginning to give these face framers the attention they deserve.

As eyebrows increasingly take center stage, a range of brow-perfecting products have exploded onto the scene, and figuring out which one to use is enough to make most scratch their heads. We'd love to step up our brow game, too, so we asked TODAY's Bobbie Thomas and makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes to help us decipher three of the most popular eyebrow product formulas: liner, gel and powder. These two makeup mavens are breaking down the pros and cons of each brow formula and sharing a few application tips, too!

Give brows a nice base with liner

When you really want to make your eyes pop, eyeliner can help add a quick touch of definition. As it turns out, eyebrows stand to benefit from a little liner too, just not the same kind.

"My secret is an eyebrow liner. Like, a liquid liner that flicks on little brow hairs, basically," Hughes said.

Stuff We Love

Get a daily roundup of items that will make your life easier, healthier and more stylish.

Eyebrow liner pretty much creates the same effect as regular eyeliner, but it has a denser pigment and comes in a different range of colors that are intended to blend in with your natural hair color.

Ready to get started with brow liner? Check out Hughes' tips for making the most of this makeup bag must-have:

  • Store your liner upside down: Sounds funny, right? But doing so will actually make application easier. "I store it upside down, so that the flow of the ink is always coming to the tip," Hughes said.
  • Frame your brows: Want a natural look? Hughes suggests framing your face by drawing out four lines across the bottom of your brows then filling in any blank space. Next, draw a few lines around the top of your brows to make them look a bit fluffy.
  • Match your natural hair color: If you color your hair, make sure to match your natural eyebrow color for the most seamless look possible.
  • Get up close and personal: For a precise application, use a compact mirror and hold it right up to your face. "The denser the brow hair, the more you have to kinda, like, get it in between the hairs," Hughes said.

Refine with a brow gel

Eyebrow liner can lay the the groundwork for showstopping brows, but brow gel can really help you polish things up a bit and solidify that natural look.

Not sure how to use this beauty bag staple? Follow Hughes' go-to tips:

  • Find the right texture: Hughes recommends opting for a gel with a "pomade-y, glossy, wet hold" to help make your brows really pop.
  • Cover up your makeup mishaps: Brow gels can help you match the natural stroke of your brows, and mask any splotchy spots you might have accidentally created with your liner.
TODAY

Get lasting power with a powder

For the most part, product formula is pretty much a personal preference. And much like eye shadow, brow products come in a range of formulas with their own set of advantages.

Thinking of trying a powder-based brow product? Thomas and Hughes broke down a few reasons you might want to try one:

  • Powder-based brow products have lasting power: "I find that sometimes I get a longer application out of powder. So when in doubt, if you're worried that you're gonna be in, you know, a really sort of humid environment, or where it's really hot outside, and you want staying power, consider a brow powder," Thomas said.
  • Keep an angled brush handy: Dip your brush into a powder-based brow product (a simple eye shadow will do in a pinch) and trace around your eyebrow in the same way you would with an eyebrow liner.
  • Add dimension: After tracing your brow, add an extra layer in a different color to make your brows look more natural.
  • Add a touch of glow: Frame underneath your brow with a contrasting highlighting shade to define your arch.