6 of the biggest brow dilemmas solved

Yes, there’s even a fix for overplucking

Beauty Crew Editor / May 25 2017

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a brow revolution taking place in the last few years.

Sparked by naturally-bushy browed celebs like Cara Delevingne, Lily Collins and Jennifer Connelly, full, defined and natural brows have become the golden standard, officially dethroning the thin and plucked-to-perfection eyebrows that were so big in the ‘90s and early 2000s.

And ever since, we’ve seen huge celebrity eyebrow transformations, new brow muses like Taylor Hill and Diane Kruger emerge, and more brow-enhancing products than one ever thought imaginable.

The downside to this beauty trend? That in the quest for brow perfection, there are now more hurdles to overcome than ever before. So we spoke to Benefit Australia National Brow Expert Hannah Terrett and Brow Artist Jazz Pampling to help solve some of your biggest brow dilemmas.

1 / You’ve overplucked your brows

The '90s trend of thin brows did no favours for the modern brow of 2016. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. According to Pampling there are a few steps you can take to try regain that fullness.

“For an overplucked brow, try and grow the hair. If they don’t grow naturally, try a growth serum, like LiBrow. And if a growth serum doesn’t work then you could look at seeing a brow expert to see how to fill your brow in a really nice way, with pencil or powder,” says Jazz.

To create extra width in your brow, Terrett suggests looking for a pencil that has a triangular or teardrop shape. “The wide base is designed to sit at the bottom of the brow, deposit colour to the base, and the pointed tip is designed to sit at the top and create that sharpness and definition through the top,” she says. By using the pencil in this position and following your brow shape, you can help create extra width.

Try: Benefit Goof Proof; Charlotte Tilbury Brow Lift; Ardell Pro Brow Mechanical Pencil

Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil

Charlotte Tilbury Brow Lift

Ardell Pro Brow Mechanical Pencil

2 / You have patchy or sparse areas

How does a sparse brow differ to an overplucked one? According to Terrett, “You would have very little density in your brows. So you’ve got hair there, but it might be fine and thin in texture.” In addition, it may look like you have gaps in different parts, so overcoming this dilemma could be two-fold – building up the volume, and creating the illusion of hair where it isn’t.

To fill in the gaps, you can use a brow pencil with a fine point or a felt-tip pen to create flicks that mimic a strand of hair. The felt-tip pens are a great option for extra longevity, as, Pampling says, “they hold quite well in the day. They don’t shift because they hit the skin and almost stain it, rather than pencil or powder, which just sits on the skin. It could be better for longevity, and more natural if you’ve got the technique right.”

Try: It Cosmetics Brow Power Super Skinny; Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

It Cosmetics Brow Power Super Skinny

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour;

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

TOP TIP: Pampling’s best tip for using a felt-tip pen? Don’t use it like a Texta and be heavy-handed with your lines. Rather create short, delicate strokes to replicate a strand of hair, and stick to filling in the gaps, not using the pen over the entire brow.

Now when it comes to building up density, Terrett recommends using a fibre gel that will adhere to your natural brow hair and build up the volume while depositing colour.
Try: L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plumper; ModelCo More Brows Eyebrow Thickening Brow Gel; Estée Lauder Volumizing Brow Tint

L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Brow Plumper

ModelCo More Brows Eyebrow Thickening Brow Gel

stée Lauder Volumizing Brow Tint

3 / They lack definition

If your brows don’t quite have the oomph you’d like, Terrett suggests it may help to give them more shape and structure with a cream gel or pomade.

Using a small angled brush with the long-wearing formula can help you create hair-like strokes, define the edges, and add some colour to your brows – all of which will make them stand out a bit more. For a more natural finish, use lighter strokes and less of your gel or pomade, and if you’re looking for a very defined Instagram brow, you can opt for more product and stronger lines.

Try: Lancôme Le Sourcil Pro Gel; Poni Cosmetics Mane Stain; NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade

Lancôme Le Sourcil Pro Gel

Poni Cosmetics Mane Stain

NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade

4 / Your powder rubs off too quickly

If you put in the effort to expertly fill and define your brows in the morning, but find that the colour has rubbed off come midday, you may need to prime your brows before you apply your powder.

Pampling recommends laying down a brow wax before your powder, as “you’ll get more longevity out of your powder, because powder just doesn’t hold the same way pencil does.”

Another option is to use an eyebrow primer, which acts just a foundation or eyeshadow primer would work to prep the skin and create a canvas for your brow colour to adhere to your skin for longer.

Try: Rimmel London Brow This Way Eyebrow Sculpting Kit; Benefit Browvo! Conditioning Primer; Natio Brow Kit

Rimmel London Brow This Way Eyebrow Sculpting Kit

Benefit Browvo! Conditioning Primer

Natio Brow Kit

5 / Your grey hairs are obvious

Grey hair is a problem that drives people insane, especially because it’s difficult to colour brows even with tint. If someone naturally has almost black hair, you can absolutely tint grey hair then, but when they’re a white-coloured blonde or grey hair, you can soften the colour but you’ll never make them brown," says Pampling.

But there is a solution, according to the brow expert. She suggests using a coloured brow gel through the brow to cover up any white hairs during the day for a temporary fix.

Try: Maybelline New York Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara; NARS Brow Gel; MAC Waterproof Brow Set

Maybelline New York Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara

NARS Brow Gel

MAC Waterproof Brow Set

6 / Your hair won’t stay put

If your expert brow brushing and spoolie-ing is no match for long, unruly and rogue hairs that refuse to stay in place, Pampling says a brow gel is something you’ll want to have your kit, because, “they can help set your brows so they don’t move as much. They’re still going to move, but they’ll move less with a gel.” For a more natural result, opt for a clear gel, and if you prefer a hint of colour, pick a tinted one.

Try: Billion Dollar Brows Brow Gel; Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up; Prestige Cosmetics My Brow Mascara


Billion Dollar Brows Brow Gel

Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up

Prestige Cosmetics My Brow Mascara

And if your problem is one stubborn hair that refuses to conform - a unicorn brow as Pampling likes to call it - she’s got another trick up her sleeve for you: “If a unicorn hair is sticking out really badly and it has to come out, don’t keep tweezing it out towards your mirror, tweeze it back towards your temple, because what you want to do is get that follicle to shift underneath so it starts growing back towards the temple in a neater fashion. One of two things will happen: you will either successfully change the follicle around or you’ll tweeze it out so many times that it doesn’t grow back. Either way, you win.”

Image credit: Getty

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.