A few months ago, I left a threading session with mismatched eyebrows — so mismatched that no amount of reshaping or filling in would help. I am a low-maintenance makeup girl, so I surrendered to my uneven brows for four months to give them time to grow back in. After my botched brow experience, I wanted to learn more about face mapping, because it seemed to offer a more personalized brow experience. The only drawback for me was the pricing, since I saw brow mapping services that ran from $30 to $120 and beyond. I love all things beauty, but I enjoy seeing my savings account grow too.
Before adjusting my beauty budget, I thought it would be nice to talk with an expert to see if it was worth it to give up my $12 brow appointment every six weeks (which can be hit or miss), or double my brow budget and save money in another area.
With my curiosity in mind, I reached out to Jared Bailey, the Global Brow Expert for Benefit Cosmetics. I got the deets on what brow mapping is, how the technique can help find the ideal brow shape for your facial structure, and what to do when you find yourself with eyebrows that are too thin or uneven.
So What Is Brow Mapping?
“Brow Mapping is a three-step custom technique that helps find the ideal shaped brow on any face,” Bailey explained. “I love the brow mapping process because it takes brows from ‘cookie-cutter’ shapes and styles to something completely couture that brings balance and symmetry to your face and eyes.”
Jared gave us a step-by-step guide as to what to expect when you’re going through the brow mapping process with a professional, or if you opt to try the technique at home.
Many of us already have a brow pencil we know gets the jobs done, but finding your brows’ three points — the start, the arch, and the end — can help shape your entire face balancing the eyes, creating lift, and defining the face:
- To find the start, Bailey advised measuring straight from the dimple of the nose to the beginning of the brow.
- Seek out your arch by starting at the edge of the nose, then pass through the pupil to the highest portion of the brow.
- Lastly, identify the end. Measure from the outer edge of the nose past the outer corner of the eye.
You may be thinking that it’s is a lot of extra work for brows, but Bailey explained, “by using one point of origin to shape and design each brow, brow mapping helps create an illusion of symmetry to the eyes and face; even if your face and eyebrows are uneven from side to side.”
We’ve all probably had a brow horror story or two, but don’t fret, “hair grows on a cycle and will, in time, grow back in,” he said.
In the meantime, he suggests a micro-lining pencil like Precisely My Brow Pencil, whether you’re growing your brows in or filling in sparse areas to keep the brows looking natural. But, you’ll want to follow a few basic steps to find your perfect pencil.
How to Find Your Perfect Pencil and Use It Correctly
First things first, invest in a pencil that matches the undertone of your hair. “If you’re cool, keep it cool. If your hair is warm, keep the pencil warm,” Bailey recommended. “If you’re neutral or have both warm and cool highlights, pick a neutral pencil.”
To achieve a natural-looking brow, there are few things you can do. Start with hair-like strokes that follow the same direction of your hair in the thinner areas of your brows. “Alway leave pops of flesh between each stroke, so it looks like a real hair. Don’t erase the definition you’ve created by brushing your brows with your spoolie,” Bailey said.
Filling in brows is excellent for daily quick fixes, but what can you do to stimulate brow growth?
Castor oil is an age-old remedy that many look to stimulate hair growth. But, if you’re looking for another brow product that promotes growing full, healthy brows, Bailey suggested looking for a primer with “soy and keratin proteins” to use day and night. He recommended keeping whatever option you choose by your toothbrush so you won’t forget to apply it.
If you’ve ever ended up with two brows that were severely mismatched, learning to hide and enhance is the key. “You’ll want to hide the outgrowth and enhance the brow shape you’re aspiring to,” Bailey said.
How to Hide and Enhance
Hiding and enhancing doesn’t have to be complicated, you just need three items you probably already have in your makeup bag: powder, pencil, and waterproof concealer.
The powder creates a base over the brow shape you’re hoping to create, while your pencil while fill in your “problem” areas.
Once you’ve enhanced the brow, it’s time to hide that outgrowth. If you ever watched a brow tutorial on YouTube, you have likely seen your favorite beauty expert use a concealer when creating a crisp brow look. Bailey recommended using full-coverage, waterproof concealer with “waterproof grip,” and a small concealer brush to clean up around the brows. For those of us with darker, coarser hair types, pat your concealer with your ring finger as you “will cover more than just blending with a brush,” Bailey noted.
Mastering your brows takes practice, time, and sometimes a professional. Many brow experts offer brow mapping services at Ulta stores, Nordstrom, and boutique salons worldwide, so there are plenty of well-versed pros to help you achieve your dream brows.