6 ways to achieve the brows you've always wanted
Ready for fuller, darker brows?
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
We don't make the trends, but we do follow them, and thick, feathery eyebrows are in. Between tweezing and waxing, tinting and filling in, people are catching on to the fact that well-groomed eyebrows not only frame the face, but can enhance your eyes and balance the rest of your features, too. But if your arches are looking sparse, there's no need to fret. We're not ones to give up on achieving luscious brows, so we tapped Los Angeles-based celebrity brow artist Stevi Christine to learn exactly how to achieve (and fake) fuller-looking eyebrows.
Why eyebrow hairs stop growing
If you notice your eyebrow hairs have stopped growing, there are a few reasons why this could be the case. The most common culprit: Years of over-tweezing or over-waxing can destroy your hair follicle, which can prevent new hair growth, Christine says. (In other words, the hairs just give up trying.)
There’s also a far less common medical condition that may be to blame. If your eyebrows seem to be thinning from the outside in and you notice a difference in the density of the hair on your head, it’s a sign that the thyroid may be either creating too much or too little hormones. If you're concerned, Christine recommends talking to your doctor.
1. Know when to stop tweezing
Fact: Many of us are a tad too tweezer-happy. But part of what will get your eyebrows to reach their full potential is knowing when to put the tools down. To prevent over-tweezing, avoid using a magnifying mirror, as this makes it easy to get carried away and harder to step back and see the full picture. Instead, a regular makeup mirror with lights will help you see your whole face and how your brows fit into it.
Once you have your setup, get stray hairs out of the way first—the ones that are way outside the lines of your brows, particularly between and beneath your arches. Then continue tweezing hairs out for natural-looking arches, sticking as close to your natural brow shape as possible. Tweeze in the direction of hair growth to avoid only breaking off half of the hair, and when it comes to trimming, use a spoolie to encourage the brows to lay in the natural direction of their growth (for the hairs toward the tail end of the brow, this means you'll trim while they're laying down flat). And, remember, if you're debating on whether to get rid of a certain brow hair, we have three words for you: Let it be.
2. Fill eyebrows in strategically
If you went a little too far during your eyebrow-grooming session, there are a slew of brow products available that can help disguise any trace of over-tweezing, threading, or waxing. "An eyebrow pencil is great if you have naturally full brows with some sparse areas," says Christine. "I suggest using an ultra-thin pencil to add depth and not overpower."
It's easy to see why Hourglass's Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil has over 600 5-star reviews. Not only is it one of Christine's favorites, but its formula claims to offer the ease of a pencil, the fullness of a powder, and the staying power of a wax.
If the goal is ultra-bold brows, try a brow powder. Though applying one requires a steady hand and a bit more artistry, a powder offers both definition and thickness. Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Powder Duo boasts a serious fan following—and for good reason. Inside the sleek compact lies two colors (one darker and one lighter shade) to achieve a natural—yet full—result.
Finally, use a brow pomade if you're looking to darken brows and desire a product with a stronger hold to keep hairs in place. Benefit Cosmetic's Ka-Brow! Waterproof Eyebrow Pomade comes with a built-in angled brush that attaches to the cap, and its opaque cream-gel formula makes even sparse brows look fuller.
When it comes to the color of brow product you choose, Christine's rule of thumb is to choose a shade that complements your features versus matches your brow hairs. For example, if you have red hair, you should stick with a shade (either auburn or brunette) that has warmth in it and isn't too cool-toned. Those with black hair can avoid a blocky brow look by choosing a cool, medium-toned brown shade. If you're a brunette, stay within one to two shades of your natural color, and if your brows are grey, opt for a cooler blonde hue.
No matter what product you choose, Christine suggests filling in your brows beginning at the arch, as this tends to be the area of the brow that is sparser and needs additional depth. After that, you can add to other areas where you need it. Whatever you do, avoid beginning at the front of the brows—this can tend to make the brows appear heavy, boxy, and too drawn-on, says Christine. If you're using a brow pomade, it's especially important to start at the arch and tail end, then use whatever product is left on your brush to work on the front of the brows. Use gentle, light pressure to create a natural look.
- Get the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil on Sephora for $34
- Get the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo on Sephora for $23
- Get the Benefit Cosmetics Ka-Brow Waterproof Eyebrow Pomade on Ulta for $24
3. Try brow tinting
If filling your brows in daily just isn't in the cards, consider brow tinting. The treatment is ideal for those with sparse brows, as it darkens lighter hairs, which gives the appearance of fullness and more dimension. Unlike brow henna, brow tinting doesn't stain the skin underneath, but it's still a great option for those looking for a fuller brow appearance as it can darken grays and even tiny baby hairs.
You can get tinting done in a salon, a doctor's office, or even at home with the right kit, and results last roughly four to six weeks before beginning to fade. No matter what option you choose, it's a quick and painless process that alters the shade of your eyebrows with a semi-permanent dye to make them look more naturally defined. If you tint them at home, you first want to apply petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding your brows to avoid accidental staining. Next, gently apply the already-mixed dye onto your brows. Depending on how dark you want your brows to be, leave the dye on for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove with a paper towel.
For an at-home eyebrow tinting kit, try Godefroy's Instant Eyebrow Color. Reviewers claim it's easy to use (even for beginners), makes eyebrows appear fuller, and results last four weeks.
4. Apply castor oil
Of all the oils in the beauty world, castor is high on the list of reputable ones. Though there aren't any scientific studies confirming its ability to regrow eyebrow hairs, anecdotal evidence from reviews supports the idea that the oil can promote healthy growth over time. The ricinoleic acid found in most castor oils is what's to thank—it's a fatty acid that's said to encourage hair follicles to grow back with repeated use.
For castor oil to work, you'll need a cotton swab, clean brows, and roughly six months of consistent use to see results. To apply, saturate a cotton swab with the oil and gently rub onto the brow hairs, making sure not to get any in your eyes.
There are endless brands and types of castor oil on the market, but what makes the Sky Organics a prime pick is the fact that it's 100% pure (meaning there are no added fragrances or preservatives) and unrefined (meaning it's been minimally processed), so you're getting the most potent product.
5. Consider an eyebrow serum
If you're struggling with growth or aren’t satisfied with makeup fixes, an eyebrow serum may be worth trying. Eyebrow serums are formulas housed in mascara-type packaging that are designed to thicken the brow hairs over time. According to Christine, eyebrow serums can also assist in "waking up" hair follicles that may be "sleeping" or inactive due to years of tweezing or waxing. "I suggest looking for growth serums that contain proteins, peptides, amino acids, and vitamins for fuller, healthier-looking brows," she says. "With all serums, you have to be consistent in using; if you apply once a day for four weeks, you will start to see results."
These aren’t for everyone: The package insert for these types of products suggests avoiding if you are pregnant, undergoing chemotherapy, or seeking treatment for a facial skin condition. Consult your doctor before use if any of these things apply to you.
Christine is a fan of NeuBrow's Brow Enhancing Serum if your goal is lusher brows. It's loaded with essential oils, peptides, and proteins and promises fuller arches within 30 days of use.
For a more affordable option, try RapidBrow's Eyebrow Enhancing Serum—it has a conditioning formula that includes biotin, keratin, and polypeptides, and fans of it rave about how it fills in patchy areas.
- Get the NeuBrow Brow Enhancing Serum on Nordstrom for $85
- Get the RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum on Ulta for $39.99
6. See an esthetician for microblading
While not an at-home solution for fuller brows, microblading is an option if you're willing to visit a pro. The process involves using small, fine needles to deposit semi-permanent pigment onto the skin. The brows appear dark at first, but within a few days, the pigment fades to more natural, but beautifully thickened brows. While results can last anywhere from one to three years, some find the procedure uncomfortable and costly.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.