just brows-ing

The 5 Items You Need for Perfect Brows

From the best tweezer to a Hollywood-approved pencil.

Photo: Heather Hazzan
Photo: Heather Hazzan

The average eyebrow holds only about 250 hairs, but that doesn’t stop people from obsessing over every puny strand. With the advent of brow barsbrow extensions, and entire brands built around the two strips of hair above your eyes, we are living in a state of eyebrow mania. But what do you actually need to make your brows look full but not fake? Read on for the Cut’s guide to the best eyebrow-grooming products on the market.

A Barbie Brush

100-Pack Spoolies

The most important eyebrow tool is a teeny tiny brush called a spoolie (also known as a mascara wand). With a spoolie, you can comb haggard brows upwards to make them appear neater and more full. Unfortunately, spoolies get clogged with dirt and brow dust after a while, and they are difficult to clean, so you’ll want a cheap 100-pack of the disposable kind.

Miniature Scissors

Anastasia’s pointy scissors are slim enough to trim delicate hairs, but sturdy enough that they won’t bend with wear. To use, brush hairs upward with a spoolie first, and then trim the extra long strands at a slight angle, to mimic the hair’s natural growth pattern. Do this before tweezing, and you won’t over-pluck.

A Classic Tweezer

Tweezerman’s insanely popular slant tweezer has a laser-cut tip that’s just the right length for grasping hairs. The “springiness” of the tool makes it feel comfortable in your hand no matter how much time you spend plucking.

A Hollywood-Approved Pencil

You’re going to need a pencil if you want slightly fuller-looking brows. Anastasia’s easy-to-use Brow Definer has a wedged tip, ensuring that each stroke looks perfectly natural. Use the fat edge to fill in thin brows, and the narrow edge to outline your arches. As with any brow makeup, select a shade that’s a little lighter than the color of your hair; anything darker can get cartoon-y.

A Powder for Both Newbies and Experts

Pencils can provide a certain amount of “brow volume,” but you need a powder for the most natural-looking fullness. Admittedly, powders are a bit intimidating, but Benefit’s Foolproof Brow Powder makes it easy. Each tin is filled with two pressed powders: a light shade and a dark shade. Use the kit’s sponge applicator to brush the lighter shade on the half of the brow that’s closest to the center of your face, and the darker shade for the other half. Because the lightly-pigmented formula is buildable, it’s really hard to make a mistake. Your brows will be in tip-top form in no time at all.

This post was first published in November 2017. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The 5 Items You Need for Perfect Brows