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Julyne Derrick

How to Fill in Sparse Eyebrows

By November 25, 2011

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Few of us have perfect eyebrows. A famous makeup artist once said he had never seen a model who didn't need to fill in her brows. But how to do it perfectly? Do you use a pencil? Should you splurge on special brow powders? And what's the best way to mask graying brows?

The best brow tips I've read come from makeup artist Bobbi Brown.

The trick, according to Brown, is to use a dark eyeshadow (dark brown will suit most women) and a slanted eyeliner brush. Simply dab the brush into the shadow and the sweep onto brows in upward strokes. This will fill in the sparse spots and cover over gray hair.

How to keep the shadow in place all day? You might try "setting it" with hairspray. Spray onto finger and "dab" onto the newly colored brow. For a more elaborate version of Bobbi Brown's eyebrow tips, check out, "How to Fill in Sparse Brows."

More on brows:

  • My biggest beauty pet peeve (aside from fake nails and French pedicures, go ahead and berate me in the comments section, I'm used to it) is an untweezed brow. Here's how to tweeze your own brows.
  • Skip the wax, get your brows threaded.

Photo: Digital Vision for Getty Images


November 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(1) Zoe says:

I have tried threading. It worked wonders, but let me tell you – even with numbing cream it is SO painful. It should be on the “no go” list as torture. Give me wax. Zip! All off at once.

November 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm
(2) Tehomet says:

Bobbi Brown is so right. I’m a pale-skinned woman with strawberry-blonde hair. My brows are so fair and fine that they are invisible, like the downy fluff on the rest of your face is. So I use Bobbi’s Sable eyeshadow and her eyebrow brush to fill them in. Properly groomed eyebrows totally transform a face; in fact, I’d say darkening your eyebrows, darkening the eyeline by applying some mascara or liner, and putting on some lipgloss or lipstick are the Holy Trinity of makeup (at least for me). :) If there’s any other people out there with oily skin like mine who find that filling in the eyebrows is hard to do, either because the oil skin ‘grabs’ too much colour, making it hard to be subtle, or because the colour slides after a while, I’d strongly suggest using translucent powder before -and- after filling them in. Then it go on easier, look subtle, and last all day. :)

November 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm
(3) Vanessa Evelyn of Petra Alexandra, Inc says:

I dont mean to be forward but I can give you better brow tips than that, where the storkes are a close resembalance to the natural hair, i have a technique that has not yet been marketed, many for the brows you can see on that URL is hair replacement.

December 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm
(4) Bonnie says:

I am a fair skinned golden blonde with eyebrows the same color as my hair. If I try darkening them even slightly, they overwhelm my face and and make my eyes large eyes look smaller. For this reason, I always left them blonde until now that I’m 58 and they are thinner due to age. I don’t like my sparse, sickly looking eyebrows & I don’t like them darkened, even though I do it to fill them in. Even “golden blonde” eyebrow powder is too dark. The only pencil I ever found that came close was “Sun Blonde” by L’Oreal & it’s now extinct. Light brown doesn’t work either. Any product suggestions that are true golden blonde & not light brown? I have tried major drugstore brands.

December 18, 2011 at 4:40 am
(5) Lisa says:

I am 52 and when I was a young teenager, tweezing was very popular, so popular in fact, that over the years I plucked my eyebrows and they grew thinner & thinner. I ruined the hair follicles. This was before Brooke Shields and her lovely full eyebrows changed what was considered attractive and beautiful. I read once that if you pull out a hair follicle several times, it will never grow back in that exact spot. I imagine that there is some truth to that because this is the situation I face today. I am embarrassed by my sparse eyebrows and wonder what other options are out there to replace or permanently give me back some eyebrow? People mention it from time to time and It makes me self conscious.

December 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm
(6) diandmika says:

must check , for special offer , just clicks away

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