Starting Products In The Middle Of Your Brow Is Key To A Realistic Look

Have you ever finished your eyebrow makeup, looked in the mirror, and something just felt ... off? As small as eyebrows are, they are finicky facial features that quickly go from cute to uncanny valley when done poorly. If you're struggling to figure out why your eyebrow makeup isn't makeuping, here's a hint: Look at the beginning of your eyebrows. The start of your brows, closest to your nose, have a distinctive natural appearance that can be tough to replicate with a stroke of an eyebrow pencil or gel.

This doesn't mean you should give up on having gorgeously styled eyebrows. To get the beginning of your brows to look perfect, you'll actually need to start by applying the product in the middle of the arch. A counterintuitive makeup technique, placing the bulk of your eyebrow product at the center of your brow and spreading it to the inner edges is the best way to have a soft and natural starting point for your eyebrows.

How to achieve natural-looking brows

Before you apply any products to your eyebrows, take a moment to appreciate how they look makeup-free. Consider the natural curve of your eyebrows and where the hair is thinnest and thickest, and hold on to that mental image as you do your makeup. For a majority of people, the densest area of the eyebrow is in the center. So while it feels natural to place your eyebrow product at the point where your eyebrow starts — at the front toward the nose — and drag it out, this can give you an unnatural look by creating the thickest and darkest part at the beginning, especially if you're using a pomade and the makeup applicator has a lot of product on it.

Instead, take the eyebrow product of your choice and start applying it in the middle of your eyebrow, wherever the hair is naturally darkest and thickest. Then you can take the product in towards the beginning of the brow, shading gently. Don't go against the grain of your hair growth — use short, gentle strokes that follow the natural direction of your hair, gradually starting your strokes closer to the bridge of your nose until the eyebrow is fully filled in. As for the eyebrow tail, this section of your brow is usually thin and doesn't need much product to be defined, so only a few light strokes should do the job.

Avoiding uncanny eyebrows

It takes a delicate touch to get your eyebrows right. Of course, if you want a dramatic statement brow, don't be afraid to experiment with your eyebrows and get adventurous with colors and techniques. But if you're looking for simple, natural-looking eyebrows, there are a few rules you'll want to remember. First, as we've discussed, keep the product at a minimum — eyebrows are relatively small compared to other features on your face, and even thick eyebrows don't need that much makeup to look nicely styled.

Additionally, be attentive to the color of your eyebrow hairs. If your eyebrows are a light color, you may want to opt for product shades such as taupe or blond, while folks with darker eyebrows can experiment with various deep browns. For natural makeup looks, only use black eyebrow products if your eyebrows are truly black since pure black can stick out quite a bit against dark brown hair. And when in doubt, use a clear gel so your natural coloring can shine through.

Lastly, be thoughtful with your brush or pencil strokes as you do your eyebrows. Follow the length and curvature of your eyebrow hairs. The result will be a very organic texture that blends seamlessly into your natural shape. Doing your eyebrow makeup can be tricky, but by using a steady hand and focusing on the centers of your arches, you'll be well on your way to sporting some beautiful brows.