Makeup How To: Filling In Your Brows

Tutorial: How To Fill In Your Brows

This is a pretty straight forward tutorial, and it’s really a process that’s not at all complicated–promise! Most of us aren’t blessed with lusciously full, well-groomed brows, so in comes learning to how to make them that way.

What You Need: powder eyeshadow (that matches your brows–I’m using MAC Espresso); stiff, angled brush (e.g. MAC 266 brush)

See step-by-step instructions


1. Start with a naked eye and un-groomed brows!


2. You can groom brows with a clean mascara wand before you start to get an idea of your shape. Since I do my brows nearly everyday, I tend to skip this step. I start filling the lower portion of my brows first. I press my 266 brush into Espresso eyeshadow, and then I follow the direction of my brow on the bottom.


3. I move back and forth, and then I move slightly upwards towards the middle area.


4. This is what you’ll see — a slight powdery line.


5. Now, I do the same thing, only I follow the top line of my brow.


6. I flatten out the brush and use short brushstrokes to blend out the eyeshadow and make it less obvious. Once you have the fuller portion set, you can lightly follow the tail of the brow if you desire.


This is the end result. You’re only going to see the powder if you’re standing about 1″ away from me–or in this case, seeing my eye several times larger than it actually is. If you’re ever unsure about whether your brows look unnatural, just look in the mirror. If it looks overdone at a foot away, you can probably take it down a notch. I usually use a mascara wand or a fluffy eyeshadow brush to help blend out the color more. You can also use clear brow gel to set more unruly brows, too, as a final step.

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37 Comments

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Thanks Christine. Now I know the secret of your perfect brows. Since it’s pretty humid here, I add an additional step, using groundwork paint pot. It lasts and lasts!

No problem! 🙂

That’s a great idea, Pia! I’ve never thought to use that before. I know one lady who uses liquidlast liner for her brows–now THAT’S staying power!

I also like the brow pencils put out by Rimmel London (for a drugstore pricepoint.) The pencil comes in shades of blonde, auburn, and brunette, and the cap has its own brow brush. Brush brows, apply pencil, brush again to soften and *voila* perfect brows!

My HG brow pencil is the YSL one in shade 4. Perfect for blondes like me! No red/orange/yellow tones in this one and a perfect balance between soft/hard!

I like your tip about checking your brows from a distance. I do my make-up using one of those lighted magnifying mirrors but I have to remember to glance up at the big mirror to double check my brows and shadow. What looks really awesome close-up can be so overpowering as part of a total look.

So agreed! I also feel we can be overly critical if we spend all our time close-up, too 😉 Nobody else is gonna be that close, LOL!

Even those of us with ridiculously thick brows can benefit from a little filling in, I promise. I never, ever thought I’d need to do anything to my super thick (carefully waxed) half Italian eyebrows…and then one day, I brushed them with a little Spiced Chocolate. I have never loved my strong, lush brows more!

Haha! I definitely feel like it can make any look seem more polished, but fuller brows can get away without the step if they’re in a rush!

Thanks Christine 🙂 I always struggle with my brows, often I feel that if I fill them in that they look overdone….I am going to try and play around with variuos brown colors and some of the tips you gave 🙂

Just thought I’d suggest something: Have you ever trimmed your eyebrows? Brush them up and trim, then brush them down and trim.. it cleans them up and makes them more manageable 🙂

I actually already do, Kella! These are just on the tail end of the “about to be trimmed” timeline, lol. I don’t often plan tutorials, I just squeeze them in when I have the time 🙂

Christine, I have a question. My eyebrow hairs are very, very sparse, and when I use powder to fill them in (even when professionals do it) you can clearly see the powder sitting on my skin, between the eyebrow hairs! It looks terrible. Do you have any suggestions for me? Pencils look unatural also – are there any gel pen products, or felt tip products that can be used to make natural looking brow hairs? Any help would be appreciated! Also – I have med. brown hair, and am very cool toned – no red highlights at all.

I have the same problem, except that my eyebrow hairs are very blonde. Maybe I’m just not used to seeing them darker, but especially at the tail end, I need some advice to making them look more full without being too obvious. Thanks!

Hey Jaime,

MAC has colored brow gel, which might make you feel less obvious. I know someone who uses liquidlast liner for her sparse brows, too. Have you thought about using clear mascara, perhaps, that lengthens?

I always think filling in with pencils and powders looks too unnatural. I have quite thick eyebrows, so don’t need too much filling and used to just use clear eyebrow gel to keep the hairs in line, but since I’ve been dying my hair darker, I’ve been using Mac’s Show-off brow gel which is brown (was part of the BBR Brunette collection, but is permanent), my brows actually match my hair. That’s the only thing I don’t find unnatural.

I have dry skin around my brows, so I always rub a bit of eye creme on my brows and then comb them into place – just enough to make them look groomed. I only fill them in if I am having my picture taken or for a big event.

Love your site! I have a question for you – how in the heck do you get such good photographs of your eyes? I was trying to take a photo of my eye makeup to send to a friend and I couldn’t figure it out to save my life! Do you have any photography tips or tricks?

p.s. Awesome tutorial!

Macro mode, that’s really THE key! I totally suggest skimming through your camera’s manual to make sure you’re using that. If the flash washes you out, try putting a tissue over the flash 🙂

Thanks, Ingrid!

LE is limited edition 😉 Not a brand, just products that are only available for a short period of time.

Hey Christine, unlike your brows, my hairs are thin and spaced far apart from eachother. What can I do without completely filling them in with brow pencil. They look nice when they’re drawn but it’s totally obvious I draw them in. They are black like my hair and also, some hairs are alot thicker than the others. Help! Please! Also I was wondering what color eyeshadow would you wear with a white top?

You might try using a colored brow gel instead — or even clear mascara that lengthens, then use colored brow gel to color it 🙂

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