Thin Or Sparse Eyebrows? Here’s How To Draw Them On Perfectly
Thin Or Sparse Eyebrows? Here’s How To Draw Them On Perfectly

Thin Or Sparse Eyebrows? Here’s How To Draw Them On Perfectly

5 minutes read

There are so many reasons you could have sparse brows or no eyebrows at all – anything from medical procedures to years of over-plucking could be the cause. And if you want to create the look of full eyebrows again, we know how tricky it can be. 

Of course, you can consider long-term solutions (like microblading); however,  as with any of these longer-term semi-permanent beauty treatments, they will require upkeep for years to come.

However, if you prefer to take matters into your own hands, we have all the guidance you need. We asked Clarins Training Manager and make-up artist Charlotte McHale what the secret to creating realistic eyebrows with make-up. These are her best tips.

Woman brushing her brows

Brow mapping 101

“I’m not a fan of brow templates or stencils you find in the market,” says McHale. “Quite often, you can place them incorrectly, or the stencil doesn’t suit your specific face shape, and it just doesn’t work.”

She offers a better solution: brow mapping. “Mapping ensures that the brows are right for your face because you’re using your features to determine its shape and size. So, this technique will work for everyone.”

Find the correct placement for your brows

First, find the right location for your brows. This is particularly important if you’re entirely lacking brow hairs. Follow these steps:

  1. Place three fingers above your eyelid, and feel for the edge of your orbital bone, just before your eye socket begins. You want your brows to be above the area where your fingers are placed. 
  2. Then, hold a pencil vertically against your face and parallel to your nose, with one end touching your nostril. The pencil length will go past the inner corner of your eye and touch the orbital bone. Draw a small mark there – that’s where your brow should begin.  
  3. Next, tilt the pencil, so it sits diagonally across your face. Now, the bottom end should skim the edge of your nostril and the top end should touch the corner of your orbital bone. The latter is the point where your brow should end. Ensure this end marking isn’t placed lower than the front marking of the brow. “Or you could end up with very sad-looking eyes,” warns McHale. “So, you want them to be at the same level.” 
  4. Hold the pencil diagonally across the face to find the perfect spot for the arch. This time, angle the pencil so it starts from the edge of your nostril, goes past your pupil and then touches your socket bone – draw a mark there for the arch or the highest point of the eyebrow. 

Draw the shape

Brush any brow hairs you may have downwards before beginning to pencil anything in. Then, join the three dots using your eyebrow pencil. This should give you the basic shape of your eyebrows.

You can now decide how thick you want your brow to be and draw a mark just underneath the first dot. “Ideally, it needs to be less than a centimetre. So I’d say about 6 millimetres in thickness should work,” says McHale.

Do the same thing under the arch (middle) marking. This time, decrease the thickness slightly. “You want the brow to be slightly tapered as it goes along. So, if the front is 6 mm, make the arch about 4 mm.” Leave the last dot as it is.

Then, if you’ve got some brow hairs, brush them upwards. If not, skip this step and proceed to connect the bottom three dots.

How to fill sparse or missing eyebrows 

Find a good brow pencil

“If you’ve got no brows hairs to start with or very sparse brows, pencils will look the most natural, compared to powders,” advises McHale.

You need a brow pencil with a soft, slightly waxy texture that can be sharpened to a point. This will help you draw on natural-looking hairs.

Try:The classic Eyebrow Pencils have a creamy, long-wearing formula. They also come with a brow brush on the other end of the pencil – so you don’t need any extra tools.

Clarins eyebrow pencil

“No matter what colour your hair is, your brows are nearly always a cooler tone,” McHale says. If you have very dark hair, you can choose a shade that’s slightly ashier (and maybe even a tad lighter) than your natural hair colour. On the other hand, if you have light hair, consider going for a shade darker for more definition. But always ensure the brow product has a cool undertone.

“If you’ve got red hair, you don’t need red eyebrows,” says McHale. “Even Ariel from The Little Mermaid hasn’t got red eyebrows.” So instead, choose a cool-toned auburn.

Master the technique

So now you’re armed with the right pencil and have your shape ready; it’s time to fill the brow in. Sharpen your pencil, so it has a precise tip.

Begin by drawing tiny little hairs in the front of the brow. Brows in the front tend to grow straight up. Mimic this when you’re drawing them. 

Use short, light strokes to draw these vertical lines. “Keep drawing them in an upward direction until you reach the arch. This is where brow growth tends to change direction and go sideways.”  

Once you’ve finished, take a cotton bud and wipe off the dots. You can then give the hairs another brush or set them with a gel.  

“Try not to worry too much about getting both brows to look the same,” McHale says. “Mine have their differences too, but I’ve got enough on my plate to be worrying about having identical eyebrows, and I’m sure most people are the same. So don’t sweat the small stuff.” 

Next read: Eye Make-Up For Over 50s: Your Complete Guide

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