My brows have never been my most glamorous feature. They are, to put it plainly, stout and short. Many a well-meaning professional makeup artist has filled them in within an inch of their life, so they not only look stout and short, but also harshly dark. And when I look at my brown eyes, with what is certainly very artfully applied shadow and nice, fluttery lashes, all I see is that each is topped off by its very own carbon copy of Groucho Marx’s stache. In short: Bad brows can ruin a look, and good ones can be the look.
Here’s how I create my ideal arches: First, I use a pencil or powder to extend the tails of my brows a bit. Then I grab Benefit Cosmetics’s Gimme Brow, which does absolutely everything else: thickens the beginnings of my brows, brushes them up so they aren’t going every which way, magically erases any patches or gaps I have, and sets them without looking shiny.
How, you might ask, can one brow product do all of this? The little silver wand has a teeny, tiny brush on the end of it that’s about a centimeter wide and looks like a tapered pipe cleaner. It’s loaded with a tinted gel-like formula filled with so-small-you-can’t-see-’em fibers, and it comes in three shades (I use Deep on my naturally black brows, while Jenny Bailly, our executive beauty director, uses Light on her nearly blonde ones).
The gel grooms and holds hairs in place while the fibers stick to individual strands so they look like themselves, only bulkier. And the tint, along with the fibers, helps darken brows so they look fuller and bolder, but not — and this is key — drawn on. It’s the most realistic brow filler I’ve ever tried, and once it dries you can pile on one or two more coats to make brows look even fuller without overdoing it and totally covering up all the individual hairs. And therein lies the magic: As much as playing up your brows makes them beautiful and believable, so does letting a little skin show through.