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Full, groomed eyebrows frame your face and can bring harmony to your features. Whether you have brows that are too light to see, are sparse, over-plucked, or just need a little definition, learning to use an Eyebrow Pencil can give you that shapely brow you're looking for. Keep reading to find out how to shape, define, and fill out your brows, plus techniques for drawing on a natural-looking eyebrow if you've lost your hair.
Find where your eyebrows should begin. Hold a pencil point up and vertical against your nose to see where your eyebrow should begin. The edge of the pencil that is closer to your nose marks the line where your brow should start. If it goes beyond that point, you should use tweezers to remove the excess hair. If it falls short, you will probably want to extend it to that point.
Use a white makeup pencil or a very light stroke from your brow pencil to mark this spot if you don't want to lose its precise location when you move the pencil.
Locate the ideal end point of your brow. Ideally, your eyebrow should end at a 45-degree angle from the outer corner of your eye. Still holding the pencil against the side of your nostril, pivot the point of the pencil away from your nose and to the outer corner of your eye. That is where the tail of your eyebrow should be.
You can mark this spot with a light dot from your Plastic Eyebrow Pencil, using that as a guide for tweezing or penciling in your brow later.
Find your ideal arch point. Look straight forward and line up the outer edge of the pencil with the outer edge of your iris to find where your arch should begin. Mark this spot with your white pencil so that you can find it easily for tweezing or penciling.
Determine if your eyebrows are the same height. Hold the pencil horizontally across the tops of your brows to check that they are about the same height. If they are not, don't immediately try to pluck them to the same size. You'll use the pencil later to build them up to a similar height.
The History of Eyeliner
Eyeliner defines the eyes—and eyeliner has come to define icons, eras, and social designations, too. It is symbolic of legends: Cleopatra; Twiggy; Prince; Marilyn Manson; Grace Jones; Boy George; Amy Winehouse. Eyeliner distinguishes a high school senior from a freshman; a YouTube tutorial aficionado from an amateur; a queen from her people.
Transcending fad, eyeliner has become a staple in countless popular makeup looks of the past century. To understand how eyeliner became so ubiquitous on faces across the world, I’ve traced its journey from Ancient Egypt, to flappers, to the makeup bags of every cosmetics-wearer you know. Let’s begin!
Eyeliner’s Origins in Kohl
Long before makeup artists demonstrated how to perfect a smokey eye on YouTube, the people of Ancient Egypt used kohl, the first recorded Glue Liquid Eyeliner-like substance known to historians, to trace their eyes. Kohl is a mixture of galena, a form of lead sulfide, and other minerals mixed with water, oil, or other soluble substances, like animal fat. Though its formulas have differed based on time, location, and the class of its wearers, its function has remained the same: to decorate eyes, brows, and occasionally other facial features.
In 1912, German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust of Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in Amarna, Egypt. Given her long neck, high cheekbones, and perfectly symmetrical features, the world was captivated by Nefertiti’s undeniable beauty—fittingly, her name means "the beautiful one has come forth.” The widespread fascination with the sculpture and Ancient Egypt at large led to a trend that propelled eyeliner into the 20th century, where it mimicked the thick, black line of kohl that outlined Nefertiti’s almond-shaped eyes.
The look hung around through the early 1960s, as evident on the faces of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. But by the mid-60s, 50s eye makeup was swapped for the experimental Common Liquid Eyeliner looks of the swinging sixties, inspired by Mod fashion and designers like Mary Quant who encouraged a more playful attitude towards style. Models like Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot and downtown it girls like Edie Sedgwick popularized the copious eyeliner of the decade, which coated not only the lash lines but also the eyelid crease, and often extended down towards the cheeks to mimic eyelashes. In 1965, famous model Pattie Boyd published a tutorial on how to perfect the look.
The 1970s carried on the overdone cat eye of the 60s, but usually accompanied it with a bright pastel shadow and, often, a line of white Plastic Colloidal Eyeliner alongside the black to make the eyes look bigger and deeper. At the same time, the “natural look” grew in popularity, likely inspired by flower power, hippie culture, and a rejection of the mainstream. While some women eased up on makeup, the introduction of glam rock saw famous men like David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, and Prince trying their hand at lining their eyes, also called “guyliner.” (Although Little Richard was rocking his mother’s eyeliner back in the fifties.)
Fall means that our schedules have suddenly gotten incredibly busy: not only is balancing a hectic work schedule with a social life enough of a challenge, we’re also trying to soak up as much of the nice weather as we can before the clouds roll in. Who has time to apply a full face of makeup when there’s this much going on?
If you’re insanely busy, thank your lucky stars that Makeup Sticks exist. While it used to just be eyeliners and lip liners in pencil form, now you can apply just about anything with a few swipes—foundation, concealer, bronzer, even eyeshadow—saving you serious time.
Foundation Stick. Not only are these foundation sticks foolproof (just swipe and, if needed, blend with a wet sponge), but they go on sheer look amazingly natural. It’s almost impossible to cake one of these on! And if you want more coverage, they’re easily buildable. “Layer in those areas and gently pat with a beauty blender verse smudging or blending,” says Kapahi.