It's official: Everyone is obsessed with brows in 2019. In actual fact, I think it's fair to say that this has been the decade of eyebrows, with brow products one of the fastest-growing product categories within the beauty industry. So it's safe to say that I thought we had come a long way since the era that brows would rather forget: the '90s.
How very naive I was. While our penchant for Drew Barrymore–style overplucked arches might be in the past, there are plenty more brow mistakes that we're all making over on this side of the millennium. Turns out that we might have all the right tools, but it's no good if we don't know how to use them.
To make sure that we kick our bad habits ahead of the next decade, I caught up with Lauren Hogsden, senior makeup and brow artist for Benefit Cosmetics, to get her expert advice on all things eyebrows. As one of the few ladies that I trust with my own brows (seriously—if I don't see Lauren, I pretty much just leave my eyebrows to do their own thing and suffer the consequences), I knew she would fill me in on not only the most common brow mistakes but how to solve them.
Bambi = actual brow goals.
Keep scrolling to discover the three most common brow mistakes, how to avoid them and top tips on how to actually do your own eyebrows like a pro.
1. Front-Loading Your Brows
Rosie's eyebrows are all kinds of perfect.
"Often, I see people add far too much colour and definition to the front of their eyebrows, making the brows look harsh and blocky," explained Hogsden. "Naturally, our brows are slightly weaker at the front, so keeping the application of brow products lighter in this area will achieve a beautiful brow. Use an ultra-fine brow pencil, like Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil (£22), which will deliver believable hair-like strokes. It's perfect to build the front of the brow in a natural way."
2. Holding Your Mirror Too Close
Turns out that Laura is the queen of the arches.
"People tend to hold their mirror very close to their face and brows when plucking. This can lead to overplucking, as the brow will look fuller the closer up you are," said Hogsden. "Make sure you take time to step back from the mirror and look at your face in its entirety to ensure your brows look balanced and maintain a full shape."
3. Not Knowing Where Your Brows Should Start and End
Alexa has a seriously strong brow game.
"A common mistake that people make when shaping their own brows is actually not knowing where their brows should start, arch and end," said Hogsden. "You can brow map at home simply by using a brow pencil or the end of a makeup brush. Mapping your brows will give you the perfect guideline to understand where your brows need growth, where excess hair can be removed and where you need to fake it until you make it with brow products."
Lauren's Guide to Finding Your Perfect Brow Shape
"Start with a makeup-free brow. Use a brow brush and brush your brows through so that all hairs are sitting in the correct place."
"Hold a pencil parallel to the side of your nose, and move it until the top of the pencil meets the inner corner of the eye. The inner edge of your brows should start here. Using a brow pencil, mark this point."
"To determine the highest peak of your eyebrow arch, place the pencil at an angle from the outside corner of your nose through the centre of your pupil. Using a brow pencil, mark this point."
"Hold the pencil diagonally from the outside corner of the nose to the outside corner of your eye. This will tell you where your brow should end. Using a brow pencil, mark this point. Using the brow pencil markings, you can now use this as a guide when tweezing and styling your brows with brow products. It's also a great way to understand your personal brow shape."
Shop My Favourite Brow Products
On most days, this is the only product I wear on my brows. It fills in sparse patches thanks to the fibre-rich formula that tames unruly hairs.
The latest brow launch from Glossier is seriously good and allows you to create precise, realistic, hair-like strokes exactly where you want them.
When you want proper power brows, you can't go wrong with this creamy pigment that's best applied with a sharp, angled brush.
For those few blissful days after I've had my brows professionally waxed and tinted, this volumising gel all I use to keep them in check.