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How to draw your eyebrows on when you have fair or no hair

IMAGE VIA FENTY BEAUTY

WORDS BY GEORGIE KIBEL

A Brisbane makeup artist shares her best tips. 

Much like the hair on your head, eyebrows can thin or fall out for a variety of reasons. Alopecia, chemotherapy, nutrient deficiencies and hormone imbalances are all reasons why eyebrow loss can occur. 

There is nothing wrong with having fair or no eyebrows. Influencers such as Kendahl Jung and Bee Cooper show just how striking the little to no-eyebrow look is. But many women experiencing hair loss feel as though drawing their eyebrows on makes them feel complete.

There are options out there for semi-permanent eyebrows via tattooing, but they don’t come cheap. They are also a bit of a commitment, as once they’re on, there is no turning back. For people experiencing hair loss, drawing eyebrows on every morning isn’t easy, but it’s often the most viable option. 

But by many accounts, drawing on eyebrows when you have no hair is a difficult task. The colour, shape, placement, and symmetry are all considerations that those with no hair or ‘template’ must consider. To fully understand the difficulties, I went to my bathroom and grabbed for my Benefit brow pomade to give it a crack. 

The results were… mediocre.

I guess you could argue that it does resemble a brow, but there were a few problems (obviously).

  1. It wouldn’t be big enough for my face. 
  2. I couldn’t draw two that look the same.
  3. I wouldn’t have a clue what type of placement would be best for my face.
  4. It took me 30 minutes.
  5. It is really terrible, let’s be honest.

After chatting with four Melbourne women who have experienced hair loss, I learnt that drawing on eyebrows from scratch is one of the practical challenges many women who suddenly lose their hair must face. 

On a mission to learn more, my first port of call was YouTube. I watched countless videos, from Nikkietutorials to Carly Severn’s ‘Foolproof Tutorial. The amount of information out there is overwhelming. The videos were often too long or not suitable for beginners.

Due to my novice abilities and my feeling of overwhelm due to the sheer amount of information out there, I enlisted the help of Brisbane makeup artist Penny Antuar

Product 

Pomade, pencil, powder. It’s all too much. So I ask Penny what she uses to create her gorgeous, bushy brow looks. “My absolute favourite brow products to use are MAC Shape and Shade Brow Tints,” Penny says. “They are basically a thin felt tip pen and they come in many shades, so there are options for all skin tones and hair shades.”

After a quick search, I found that while these brow products seemed like they would help you achieve brilliant results, they may not be easy for an amateur like me. “You could also use an angle brush and a brow powder if the pens feel a little daunting!” she assures me. “Zoeva have great quality, affordable angle brushes and Benefit cosmetics make some great brow powders.” 

Colour 

Colour matching is a struggle that many of us face when buying makeup products, however, when a person has no hair to reference, this can exacerbate difficulties. Penny let me know how she achieves a realistic colour match.

“I tend to choose shades that are on the cooler, ashier side, but that are a similar depth to the hair on your head. If you want to make more of an impact, choose a shade that is one to two shades deeper than your hair colour.” 

Penny acknowledges that in the makeup industry, there remains an inclusivity issue. “Most good makeup brands will have an array of [brow] shades to choose from to suit everyone,” she tells me. Fenty Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Bare Minerals and Mac Cosmetics are a few options she suggests. 

Application 

Soft strokes are key! If there is anything that I took out of the hours of videos that I watched, ‘soft strokes’ is the recurring message from makeup gurus. “You are absolutely right!” Penny confirms. “Soft, light strokes when it comes to all makeup application is always the way to go!”

“I like to create hair-like strokes. So in with a lighter shade to sketch out the shape and then add definition with a deeper shade. Try not to draw [the eyebrows] on too solid as it will look too harsh and unrealistic.

“Apply powder or gel products with a thin angle brush in upward and outward strokes. With the felt tip pens, also apply in a similar motion to create hair-like strokes.”

Placement 

Attempting to map where your eyebrow should be on your face is difficult without any reference. The most popular method I came across was the Golden Ratio created by the owner of Anastasia Beverly Hills

Penny tells me that this is the method she uses too. “To find these guidelines on your own face I like to use the end of a thin makeup brush. You can make little marks at each point with your brow product and then fill in using these guidelines.”

The marks Penny is referring to are the beginning, arch and tail of your brow. “I like to work with a straighter brow shape, so not creating too much of an arch,” she tells me. 

While I feel somewhat more confident in my eyebrow-drawing abilities after our chat, I can still imagine how difficult this learning curve might be for someone who has suddenly experienced hair loss. 

Penny tells me is the key to success is “Practice, practice and more practice!” And aside from practice? “Having great products and tools will also help you along the way. And if you get really stuck and just can’t get the hang of it maybe check out eyebrow wigs!”

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