Sunday, 23 January 2011

Eyebrow, you brow... (part two, with photos)

[UPDATED: with new links!]

To accompany the video guide I recently posted on how to draw eyebrows back on, I thought I'd give you a step-by-step photo guide as well.

This simple powder-and-pencil technique works whether you're simply filling in missing parts of the brow, or drawing new ones on totally from scratch. Rather than simply pencilling on a flat, thin line, the aim is to create a 3d-looking brow that'll fool anyone into thinking you never lost yours in the first place.





Step 1:  Shading the shape with powder
Needed: Eyeshadow in black and brown (pictures: Rimmel London Mono shadows)

Make sure you start off with a nice dry skin surface - if you've just put moisturiser on, wipe off the excess so that the make-up you apply doesn't just slide straight off. If necessary (and I would recommend this), pat a little translucent powder over the eyebrow area.

Using a small slanted cosmetics brush (or failing that, a cotton bud / Q-tip), softly feather on the shape on an eyebrow on the brow area, using black and brown eyeshadows. It's best to use a combination of these two colours, as too often black looks way too harsh, and brown powders tend to come out a bit too 'terracotta' coloured, which on 90% of people looks fake.



Obviously if you haven't lost all of your brows, this will be much easier as you'll have a vague guide of where to draw. If, like me, you're 'starting from scratch', it'll take a little more practice. You can buy stencils for this, but I think you get a more natural shape if you just start lightly and softly. Any mistakes can simply be wiped away! Give the shape a nice soft arch, and don't extend too far into the centre of your brow.


Step 2:  Feathering in hairs with pencil
Needed: Eyebrow pencil in black-brown (pictures: Rimmel London Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Black-Brown)


You could leave it at the powder, but to look ultra-realistic your brows need some extra definition - by feathering in some 'hairs' using pencil. For this you want an eyebrow pencil, because they are very hard and non-smudgy. You definitely do not want a kohl eyeliner pencil, as they are designed to be soft and smudgy, which is not the look we're going for.

Sharpen your pencil to a very fine point - as sharp as you can. (As an aside, many cosmetics sharpeners are pretty terrible, so I often use a standard drawing pencil sharpener or this great one from Bourjois, although it's UK only unfortunately. If your pencil keeps crumbling, it's probably too warm, so try leaving it in the fridge beforehand.)



Then very gently feather in little lines over the top of the powder eyebrows you've just drawn on, so that they look like real eyebrow hairs. (Feather the lines away from the direction of your nose, so that you're drawing them outwards.)



Don't worry about them looking perfect - real brows aren't perfect, so yours shouldn't be either. Steadying your hand by resting your elbow on something often helps at this point!



Step 3:  Sealing the deal
Needed: Clear cosmetics lacquer or sealant (pictures: She-Laq by Benefit)


Now that you've drawn your masterworks on, it'd be a pain if they melted off in two hours time. This is where sealant comes in - to be precise, She-Laq by Benefit. This product , which looks a little like watery clear nail varnish, is pricey (given the size) yet worth its weight in gold for the bang-up job it does keeping make-up in its place. [UPDATE: She-Laq is no longer! But don't worry, Bald Girls Do Lunch's sealer is even better. Go grab it!]

Using the little brush in its lid, gently paint the lacquer over the brows you've drawn - it won't smudge the design. The liquid will then dry clear over the brows, making them water-proof, sweat-proof and (within reason) smudge-proof.


One tiny downside: lacquer does make your eyebrows slightly shiny (and this does tend to show up in photos). If this bothers you, just brush a little translucent powder over them to reduce the shine.


Treated well, they'll then last for around 24 hours - you can even sleep in them - and can just be washed or wiped off when you want to bid them adios. Job done!

(NB. If you still have quite a lot of your eyebrows remaining, go easy on the lacquer: it'll harden on any hairs and make them brittle, which, considering you're probably trying to conserve them at this point, isn't exactly desirable...)

26 comments:

  1. I just love this. They look so real! You sure have skills. I hope you get well soon. I find it super amazing that you have the guts to talk about it and help others with it. I watched all your video's, I find them really interesting eventhough I don't have any hairloss apart from the natural deal. Keep up the good work! Love, Sam.

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  2. Thank you for the lovely comment Sam! I actually have alopecia, which is an auto-immune condition but thankfully doesn't actually make you ill, it just changes the way you look. A surprising amount of women - and guys - have it, and I wanted to share the skills I've learned over the past few years with it :)

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  3. I love it. Your eyebrows look so amazing and real. It's like makeup art. <3 your blog!!

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  4. Thanks Kelsey! It's taken me a long time to get them just right :) I like to think of it as art too!

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  5. I'm thrilled! Felt so ugly recently (AU for almost five years now) but your blog shows perfectly how much beauty and charisma there can be in a bald woman!
    Thank you so much for your videos and all the tips!

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  6. You really did a good job!

    I lost my eyebrows because of a skin disease and I'm unable to do as well as you.

    You look very pretty! :-)

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  7. You truly are talented. Thank you so much for sharing this with others! I appreciate it.

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  8. My goodness, you are beautiful!

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  9. Love it! It's gorgeous. Totally going to try it. Please keep on helping those of us with Alopecia.

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  10. Hi Carly,
    awesome tutorial, you are SO talented, your eyebrows look fab and SO natural!
    Can I ask which eyeshadow you use, the link you have here isn't available anymore.
    Best wishes, Angie.

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  11. Thank you Angie -- and thank you also for alerting me to the problem with the links, it's incredible helpful! The eyeshadow I use are these Rimmel London Mono eyeshadows in black and brown -- but to be honest, over the years I've come to the conclusion that any old eyeshadow will do really. It's the pencil that's important!

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  12. Hi Carly -
    Just wanted to thank you for your tutorials and videos. As a 10-year alopecia universalis sufferer, the loss of my head hair is just the tip of the iceberg, as you understand. Until now I have not seen a method that looked natural enough to me, to the point where I wouldn't feel as though people were staring at me. I think I have found it. You are absolutely gorgeous with a radiant, infectious smile and I think it is very brave and selfless of you to post your methods online for the rest of us to benefit from. You have done such an outstanding job, and for the first time, I feel some hope. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Also, what pencil(s) do you use for your brows?

    Thanks so much,
    Becky

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  13. It's not my very first time to visit this blog; I’m visiting this daily and acquire superb info from here day by day.orogold

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  14. Thank you! Great job! My eyebrows haven't grown back after chemo, so I'm going to try your method. Love your blog!

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  15. You draw on the eyeliner perfectly, it looks like it does matter that the liner is very sharp!

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  16. where i can buy the lacquer please told me

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  17. where i can buy the lacquer please told me

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  18. An unbelievable blog. This blog will indisputably be definitely recommended to my friends as well.OROGOLD Reviews

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  19. I have used Mary Kay Brow Gel, with good results....its only $10.00,and is readily available in the USA.

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  20. Hi Carly, I have trichotillomania and I've been trying to figure my way through the process of making it look like I have brows and lashes. I've tried false lashes and they work, most of the time. But sometimes they droop sadly. The brows are a more difficult thing for me. But now that I've found your blog, it seems like it will be so much easier to try and make it look like I have something that I actually don't.
    Thank you so much <3

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    Replies
    1. Hey Kaelie! Really glad to hear you've found this blog -- let me know how you progress with the brow and lash tips! The big 2 things with false lashes for me are 1) curling the lashes and setting them with hairspray first and b) trimming the length of the strip down (it's even helpful at first to cut them down to "half lashes" and start wearing them at the outer corner of your eyes.) Good luck!!! xo

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  21. Carly,
    Thanks to you I can feel pretty again. I lost my brows to chemo two years ago and they never grew back. With your guidance, I can draw on brows any shape I want and no one is the wiser. I appreciate your excellent tutorial.
    Vicki M.

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    Replies
    1. Vicki, I am SO glad to hear this! Here's to brow power! xo

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  22. eyebrows become an important part of the interface to use penebal alis ampuh

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  24. I really appreciate your work and very amazing and important information about the eyebrow shapes which have share in this blog.
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