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Eyebrows Part 1: Eyebrow Shaping for The Totally Clueless

I used to get my eyebrows shaped and threaded every two weeks. But I decided that I should just learn how to shape and groom my own brows to save time and money.

The first thing I did was watch hundreds of youtube tutorials and read as many blog posts as possible. After consuming all those resources, I still couldn’t get it.

All I keep hearing was:

“go this way”

“start from this point until you reach that point”

In my head, I’m like “where is THAT way?” and “what POINT is that again?”

I don’t know how to draw and I absolutely do not have any art skills.

My brain doesn’t and can not process information from an art or drawing perspective. So even if I slow-mo a video of someone drawing an eyebrow, I won’t get it.

I had this brilliant idea of looking at it from a math perspective, geometry to be specific. I looked at pictures of good looking pairs of eyebrows and tried to see what they all have in common.

After what seemed like a million pairs of eyebrows, I reached a light bulb moment.

So, if you can relate to not getting it, like I once was, I lovingly dedicate this to you.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets it, you might find my technique very silly, please consider not reading through, this is potentially embarrassing. :D

Also, disclaimers:

  • The post is for grooming the hairs only, shading and defining will be discussed in the next installment(s).
  • This is catered more to someone with dense & bushy eyebrows.

WHERE THE BROW STARTS

You know those angled-arrows guideline from the nostrils? It doesn’t work for my anatomy.

Eyebrow Arrow 2014-09-11 06.30.37
Just imagine if I shave all of my inner brows to follow the nostril line. THE HORROR.

If I do that, my brows would be too far apart making my nose look even wider. From the center of my face, my brow starts here (aligned from the bulb*, not the nostrils):

Eyebrow Arrow 2014-09-11 06.28.20

Also, as you can see from the arrows above, my brows aren’t arched where they say it’s supposed to be arched. I don’t force it anymore. I’ve accepted the fact that I have straight-ish brows and I’ve embraced that. After knowing where to start, the next question is “where should it go”?

NICE BROWS ARE GENERALLY OF THE SAME WIDTH FROM THE BRIDGE OF THE NOSE TO THE “ARCH”

2+ years ago, I asked Gellie if I could use her BrowHaus-groomed eyebrow photos for this post. Her BrowHaus entry was written in 2012 (that’s how long this post is overdue).

Anyway, here’s a photo of her un-groomed brows:

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There’s a natural shape there. I know you can see it. You just have to remove the stray hairs to make it look a little neater. If you can’t see it. See the photo below:

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From the end that is nearest to the nose (let’s call it “head”) — draw an imaginary line towards the direction of the highest part of the brows. It helps if you start with the top line first (line #1) — let’s not deal with “where the arch should be”. The arch will reveal itself — or not.

Our brows have a natural point and you’ll be able to see it. If you don’t have that ‘point’, just draw two straight lines that are somehow parallel to each other (lines #1 and #2) in the direction where your brow goes. Look at the photo immediately above this paragraph, see how lines #1 and #2 are of almost equal width apart… AND, line #1 reaches an “end” where there’s no more hair — there’s your point, the upper arch.

THE TAIL

From the highest point of the upper arch, draw a line that goes downwards (line #3) — towards the direction where the eyebrow tail hairs grow.

Draw line #4 starting from the point where hair changes direction or when it starts going downwards — towards the direction where it meets line #3.

Then, remove all the hairs outside the eyebrow shape you created — pluck, shave, or whatever it is that you do, remove them all. Not everyone looks good in Cara Delevingne brows.

The groomed version should look like this:

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As you can see, Gel’s brow shape was not dramatically altered. BrowHaus merely cleaned it up.

WHAT IF YOUR BROWS DON’T HAVE A TAIL?

Some people do not have a tail that goes down. So you can either draw a donwards tail or embrace your straight-across brows.

Below is a photo of my brows without the tail drawn:

Eyebrow No Tail

Here’s a photo of my brows with the tail drawn:

Eyebrow Arrows2014-09-11 04.07.31

My brows are quite short and bitin so I extend it a little bit downwards (towards the direction of the hair growth).

You can also do it how Ae of An Artechoke does it:

She extends it (just a little) to the side, not downwards. Notice how her brows follow the same concept of being the same-ish width from the “head” to the “arch”, only instead of a downwards tail, they’re tapered on the sides.

SO, YOU PREFER ARCHED BROWS…

You can also make your brows look a little bit more arched by tweaking the technique.

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  1. Draw Line #1 first (refer to Gel’s photo) from the head to the arch.
  2. Draw Line #2 but instead of drawing it parallel to Line #1, draw the line at an upward angle slightly approaching the upper arch’s highest point.Do NOT make abrupt curves, else you’ll end up with brows that resemble tadpoles in love.

Look at the lower arrow on the left brow to see what I mean by abrupt curves:

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Now look at the right brow — see how the lower arrow moves slightly upwards and towards the arch instead of parallel to the upper arrow line.

A good example of an arched brow that can be achieved using the tweaked technique is Jes’ brow below:

The width of the brow from the head slowly narrows as it approaches the highest point of the brow in a stream-lined fashion. No abrupt curves. No tadpole there, people.

WHERE THE BROW ENDS

To be honest, I just eyeball it.

The arrow from the nostril kind of works for me, but I don’t think it applies to everyone, esp those with straight brows like Ae. If she follows the arrow-from-nostril guideline, she might end up with strangely long brows.

With my brows, I just imagine how they would encase my eyeshadow. Maybe this is what they mean by the brows being able to “frame” the eyes???

My personal rule is: all the eyeshadow should fit within the brows. If I won’t be wearing eyeshadow, I just make sure that the tail doesn’t end just right above the outer corner of my eye. I extend the tail to the side not going lower than highest point of my eyes to avoid making my eyes look droopy-er.

Eyebrow Bobbi Brown Crushed Plum 2

I don’t know if I made sense there.

Anyway, I really hope I helped at least one person with this. I also listed the links to Ae’s Ultimate Brow Guide:

She’s an architect (maybe that’s why her guide is digestible to me.) I wish she wrote these in 2011. Her brows are two of the AWESOMEst in the universe.

40 Comment

  1. I love this post Rae! Very detailed! A classmate of mine from way back asked me for a brow tutorial… I guess I’ll lead her to your blog na lang. You totally nailed it!

    P.S. Glad to be part of this post through my brow photo :)

  2. OMG this post is amazing!
    My brows can be hard, specially because of my bone structure. They are meant to be naturally arched but sometimes If I don’t warn the person that it’s doing them at the salon they end up chopping half of the left brow (it has happened and it wasn’t pretty at all!).
    And your brows are so pretty <3

  3. This is the informative brow tutorial I’ve ever come across! thank you for this! x I used to spend so much money going to brow salons to have my brows groomed and shaped which is why I forced myself to learn how to do that myself. I’m no pro at it yet, but this tutorial really helps!

    x Francesca of http://primpandpaper.blogspot.com/

  4. I love how technical this post is Rae! I wish I can apply it to myself and I would save money from going to brow salons. I even asked Ae about it before and she said practice lang and kaya din hehe I tried to but I couldn’t get the trimming part down. I can shape (I basically follow my natural shape) but I couldn’t figure out how to trim with those tiny scissors. I felt like I would always over trim. Plus I had a phase where I really wanted straight brows. As in everytime I look at them I want to force them into a straight line. I can see them but I was too scared to majorly alter my shape. Huhu chicken much. But now your post has inspired me to do my own brows for the next time maybe. Hopefully I don’t get into a frenzy and straighten them up when I really can’t

    1. Will look at your brows sa fotds, I think you can force straight brows pero you’d have to do a lot of trimming and you might have to cut the tail and re-draw.

    2. By the way, where do you go? Browhaus? Gusto ko pa din try. I also practiced lang din, and I’m still not even that good. Passable, pwede na. :D

      1. I used to go to Browhaus but it’s a bit expensive plus hard to get to so I go to Brow Lounge now. I also have a former brow tech from Brow Lounge that does home service. Haha I’m super lazy when it comes to doing my brows.

        I agree with you that I can force straight them kaso I’m scared they might end up too short and too thin. :(

  5. Hi Rae, thanks for tagging me in this post! I’m always all for in-depth brow conversations, haha! Galing your lines and editing! I love how you really THINK about your brows, and that you’re not pressured to follow conventions–our brows should be our own business, di ba? That’s also why I never go to brow salons. :p

    1. I haven’t gone to specialty service shops. I used to just get mine threaded at Piandre — whomever is there who can thread. I still want to try BrowHaus. I’m intrigued by their grid-technique and I want to know what they think of my self-groomed brows :D

  6. Aaaaahhh!!! The technicalities of ze brows. I actually wish I have your or Ae’s brow shape, less mataray looking. Yung sa’kin kasi, bitch face na nga ko, may natural arch pa ang kilay ko. Haha. Pero infernez ah, ang galing ng pagkaka-associate mo ng brows with Geometry. I wish I have a certain way of looking at it too.

  7. I’ve always felt off about the traditional brow map. You’re right. It should be anchored to the septum, not the edge of the nose. Unless your nose is super thin, I guess. The tail is really flexible for me. I sometimes emphasize the arch (like Jes). I’ve also tried forcing it to be flat a few times- I asked Ae before doing this and she says she tweaks her natural shape to be a bit flatter.

    1. So that’s what it’s called — Septum. Thanks Tellie! I also tweak mine to make it look flatter, well one of them, because one of my brows is arched and the other is flat. When I’m in the mood for flat brows, I just pattern the shape of my arched brow to the flat one. :P

  8. YES! It makes so much sense! I like that geometry photo you have. As a math person this convinces me to finally give diy brow shaping a try. Thank you so much for sharing!

    PS I don’t suppose you have tips for people who have gaps in the brows? :P

    1. Thanks Pat. I do have tips for filling in gaps :D Most of the time I just fill in the gaps. I don’t do anything else :) That would be Part 3 or 4, I’m not yet sure. Haha! I don’t plan that far ahead. :D

    1. Di din pantay sakin! I swear. Usually, I do one of the brows, tapos pipilitin ko lang maging ka-shape yung kabila. My other brow is slightly raised, when I was a kid, kirat ako :)

  9. I love your brows!! I find that my brows are bushy too, but how I wish it was a bit more straighter like yours, so I’m postponing my brow threading session to a later date. :)

    P.S. I just skimmed through your pics, as I’m still doing my thesis, but I’ll definitely come back and read this in depth! ‘)

  10. Very informative, Rae! How I wish I have a thick eyebrow. I don’t have a tail either. Huhu. Thank you, brow products but it’s such a hassle to groom them always. :-(

    1. Hassle nga. Pero mas hassle sakin to go to a brow salon. I can’t not groom my brows because if you see it ungroomed, my brows would look like caterpillars pasted on my forehead :P

What do you think?

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