Gigi Hadid finally earned her wings this year at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and we like to think it was her bodacious brows (along with her killer curves) that landed her the job. Makeup artist James Kaliardos believes that a strong set of arches creates an automatic air of confidence, and a 2013 study seemingly backs up his claims: Scientists discovered that women with "greater facial contrast"—specifically in the eyebrow region—were perceived as "younger" than those whose arches were not cosmetically enhanced. (Who needs Botox when you've got a brow pencil?) In other words, amp up what you've got, whether you're attending a casting in nothing but your underwear or negotiating a raise with your buttoned-up boss. We asked models and makeup artists to spill their tricks for crafting brows that mean business:
Cancel Your Standing Brow Appointment:
"Jourdan Dunn has naturally gorgeous brows, but one of the things that she's done to keep them that way is to not touch them," says makeup artist Yadim. "I always tell young models to never let anyone talk them into tweezing, plucking, or threading—overdoing it can kill the follicle and it won't grow back." And at the rate that trends change, we suggest hanging on to your hair—or if you have to tweeze, don't stray too far from your natural shape—instead of following the latest beauty craze. If the damage is already done, Yadim recommends using a growth serum (like RevitaLash) and camouflaging sparse spots in the interim with Maybelline New York's Brow Define and Fill. "It's almost like using a shadow and pencil in one without reaching for two different products," he says. Use short, upward strokes so that "it looks like a whisper of hair rather than a big block across," he explains.
"A good brow is not necessarily about density or darkness; it's about the depth," says makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, who relies on powder, pencil, and brow gel when working with Hadid. This approach results in a "layered," multidimensional look that's similar to a great head of highlights. First, he creates the shape with a cool or ashy powder. (Try Maybelline New York Brow Drama Pro Palette in Blonde, a taupe hue.) Next, he etches in hairs with a slightly warmer pencil in a light brown shade. "You get that push and pull with the tones," he explains. As a finishing touch, he adds a darker shade of brow gel to "intensify" arches, or "softens" them with a color that's lighter than the base. Not exactly doable in seconds, but nobody said being Gigi Hadid was easy.
Add a Toothbrush to Your Arsenal:
Behind the scenes during New York Fashion Week, Yadim was spotted with a rather unorthodox secret weapon: a toothbrush (seen in the photo below). The pro says scouring the dental aisle at the drugstore isn't a bad idea. "A soft toothbrush will drag color through your brows and blend it so that the shape doesn't look so hard," he explains.
Opt for Cream Over Powder:
"Black brow pigment on dark skin [like Dunn's] can go almost look blue-gray," explains Yadim. "You want to use something creamy with a reddish tone instead of a powder that is drier and can quickly go ashy." Try Maybelline New York Brow Precise—a wax-based pencil—in deep brown, or Maybelline New York's new Brow Drama Pomade crayon (available in January).
Fatten Up Arches Fast:
"My eyebrows are light and in the summer they kind of disappear," says model and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit vixen Emily DiDonato. Though the fairly laid-back beauty admits to not filling in her arches every day, when she wants to make more of an impact, she reaches for Maybelline New York Brow Drama and "starts from the inside and works out." To beef up your brows even further, begin at the tail and drag the mascara-like wand in short strokes toward the bridge of your nose—this coats the hair on all sides. Finally, sweep brows in the opposite direction and up towards the top of your ear for instant thickness.
Fake That Feathery Effect:
If you weren't #blessed with "sprouty bits" at the front of your brow like Gigi, simply add them in. "I do this with a lot of my clients, even those with already phenomenal brows like Suki Waterhouse or Bella Hadid," says Oquendo. "When you're etching in hairs with your pencil, go straight up and square off the front of the brow. As you move through the brow, go at a diagonal, and finish with horizontal strokes." Comb through arches with a spooly to diffuse any harsh lines and lend those freshly sprouted hairs a believable finish.
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