9 Ways to Get Better Eyebrows, According to People I Trust
11.06.17

Eyebrows are the avocados of the face.

We (and by we, I mean SOCIETY) can’t stop talking them. We rank them. We post Instagrams about them. We devote entire Pinterest boards to them. We write and read articles about them.

It’s a little absurd, but also, I get it. Relative to the rest of my extremely low-key makeup routine, my eyebrows are the beneficiaries of copious tender love and care. I’m willing to devote more attention to them because when they look good, I feel like the rest doesn’t really matter (bare skin, zits, etc.), so it’s kind of a cost-benefit approach.

As a result, I am obsessed with gleaning eyebrow-related knowledge — beloved products, plucking tips, brow guru recommendations — you name it. I recently picked Team MR’s collective brains for their best eyebrow secrets. Scroll down to read what they divulged. Don’t forget to deposit yours in the comments section. That’s how an honorable eyebrow knowledge-sharing economy works.


Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Brow Gel

Who dropped this knowledge? Leandra, Founder

Why is it your best eyebrow secret?  I have never had them shaped or waxed or threaded or tweezed, and often I forget to remove my unibrow, too; I do pick them at the ends though (it’s a nervous habit), so I tend to fill them in. My favorite products are Charlotte Tilbury’s “Legendary Brow Gel,” which is tinted and replete with some version of a pomade that actually promotes hair growth, and her Brow Lift Three-Way Shape, Lift & Shade Eyebrow Tool, which is a pen on one side and a brush on the other. Sometimes it’s like the upper half of my face is a coloring book. A strong brow says something powerful about the woman who carries them and Charlotte’s products definitely promote weight lifter brows if you know what I’m saying.

How much does it cost? $22.50

How did you first hear about it? I learned about the gel when we were on set with Charlotte last winter, actually, as the launch partner for the product and I’ve been using it ever since.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? George Whipple in a Missoni bikini, eating a gluten free croissant off the coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.


Nicky Cayot for waxing and tinting

Who dropped this knowledge? Amelia, Head of Creative

Why is she your best eyebrow secret? Nicky is my friend and eyebrow hero. She waxes them, then dyes them (she also dyes my lashes — makes a huge difference, then does a little plucking and joojing around my hairline). She changes my face back to the way I like it each time I go. She’s great because she’s patient and won’t do anything crazy. If you were to say, “I want my eyebrows to look clean but not waxed, but I want them waxed,” she’d say, “Okay,” and do exactly what you imagined. I also just genuinely like going there to catch up with her.

How much does it cost? $45 for a brow wax and brow tint

How did you first hear about it? I met Nicky maybe five years ago when she worked at Benefit. She is the Nicky I mention in this very old MR story about comparing Brazilian Waxes to Soul Cycle.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? Well, I always say that I don’t wax my eyebrows, I wax my forehead and leave eyebrow shapes where eyebrows belong, so…


Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow

Who dropped this knowledge? Haley, Digital Editor

Why is it your best eyebrow secret? Since I don’t pluck or pencil my brows, a tool that casually shapes them while adding a little color was the perfect easy solve. Before I got bangs (which hides my brows and thus the maintenance), I wasn’t going for a full manicured brow look. I actually used this product to mess them up a bit, make them look a little wilder and bigger. The gel lets you do whatever with a light hand.

How much does it cost? $24

How did you first hear about it? I found it at Sephora a few years ago, immediately bought two and kept going back for more.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? My eyebrows are very middle-of-the-road. I wouldn’t call them sparse, but they certainly aren’t pronounced. If I do anything to them, it’s not pluck or draw, it’s just…fluff. I fluff them.


MAC Eyebrow Pencil

Who dropped this knowledge? Jasmin, Senior Partnerships Strategist

Why is it your best eyebrow secret? Very easy to use, fills in my brow gaps without looking filled in and it doesn’t smudge if I touch my face.

How much does it cost? $18

How did you first hear about it? I went to the MAC counter in 2009 and it’s the only thing I’ve used since. HOT TIP: After you’ve applied, run a dry eyebrow brush over it so it looks more natural.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? Strong and well-groomed.


Glossier Boy Brow

Who dropped this knowledge? Elizabeth, Market Assistant

Why is it your best eyebrow secret? You can just slap it on and you’re good to go. It’s so easy.

How much does it cost? $16

How did you first hear about it? I don’t think I could not know about it even if I tried, but it lives up to the hype.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? Unusually dark compared to my hair, and often misshapen thanks to my pillow.


Maral Balian at Warren Tricomi

Who dropped this knowledge? Caroline, Editorial Intern

Why is she your best eyebrow secret? Maral is a brow whisperer who will change your life. She’ll lift your entire face and make your cheekbones look as if they could cut glass.

How much does it cost? $89

How did you first hear about it? Julie Schott, Beauty Director at Elle. 

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? I know it’s all about the natural, bushy brow right now but I’ve always loved a dark, neatly trimmed brow with a well defined arch (the holy trinity). I’m currently working toward Olivia Culpo status right now.


Disposable Mascara Wands

Who dropped this knowledge? Reed, Social Media Intern

Why are they your best eyebrow secret? I have always had blonde hair, but my eyebrows have always been brown, so I don’t like them to look filled-in or super dark. Mascara wands are great for shaping them without making them look unnatural or over-groomed. They also come in handy whenever your mascara clumps. Every time I go to Sephora, I take a few from the makeup stations (thank you, Sephora!).

How much do they cost? FREE! But you can also buy them from Amazon in bulk for under $5.89.

How did you first hear about them? I think I read about some celebrity doing this and thought it was genius.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? My brows have been pretty thick/bushy ever since I quit waxing a few years ago. Sometimes they have a mind of their own, but brushing them usually keeps them in check.


Angela Marinescu at Exhale for Shaping and Tinting

Who dropped this knowledge? Harling (a.k.a. me!), Fashion Editor

Why is she your best eyebrow secret? She’s meticulous about tailoring your overall brow look to the shape of your face so it feels very individualized. ALSO: She puts a warm towel around your neck while you’re lying on the table!!! I would keep going just for that.

How much do they cost? Brow tweezing is $40 and tinting is an extra $25.

How did you first hear about them? Instagram.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? ISFJ.


SEPHORA COLLECTION Eyeshadow

Who dropped this knowledge? Ashley, Social Media Editor

Why is it your best eyebrow secret? I know it sounds awful but I use a light brushing of matte eyeshadow to fill in my brows and it works so well for me. It’s so easy I can even do it on the train. I also pluck once or twice a month to just clean away the random strays but it’s not a severe grooming, just light maintenance.

How much does it cost? $10

How did you first hear about it? I think I made it up.

Cool, and how would you describe your eyebrow personality? Simple and clean. I hope.

Collages by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

Get more Beauty ?
  • Imaiya Ravichandran

    omg 89$ for a brow wax?!! 😮 do they serenade you after? (the brows, not the esthetician. or maybe both)

    • … and $40 for tweezing.

      FORTY. For TWEEZING.

    • Leandra Medine

      they turn the hairs they wax off to gold and let you take them to one of those cash-4-gold shops to retrieve your earnings.

      • Leandra Medine

        my sense of humor is really drowning

  • Hayley

    Boy Brow is the only makeup product I wear every single day, I love it! If I want a little more volume/intensity, I use the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pomade in conjunction with Boy Brow.

    • Hayley

      I also coat my eyelashes and eyebrows in oil every other night because I hear it helps them become more magical…

  • Bmo

    I also use a sephora eyeshadow in my brows! I can’t find it online but it’s named cashmere something or other. Those eyeshadows are the perfect gray-brown.
    I’m also a fan of boy brow. I know I could find the same thing at drug store price but I’m susceptible to glossier’s shtick

    • Emily Stark

      Same. I am sure it’s simple enough to find anywhere but I will continue to get it shipped by glossier so that they like me.

  • Lauren

    I use eyeshadow in my (red) eyebrows too LOL. Looks better than my anastasia pencil every time

    • Ashley Hamilton

      Truly thought I was crazy for this one I’m thrilled to not be the only one

      • Lynn

        Nope, not even the only two, I do it too. My brows are blond and my skin very fair so often heavier treatments and products look like I drew brows on my face. Not a good look.

        • i am a red head but totally feel the light and super pale thing. Most things just look too groucho marx. totally do the eye shadow.

      • Jade

        I do this too. The taupe eyeshadow from Urban Decay Naked 2 works pretty well.

        • rachel

          I use the Naked Basics 2 taupe shade for mine 🙂

    • autillicautnullibi

      I did this too! It’s so hard to find a good product for redheads…Anastasia used to have the perfect color called Strawburn but they reformulated it. I still use the Auburn Anastasia Dipbrow and then Glossier Boybrow in Blonde over that to lighten it up a little. If I didn’t do anything, it would look like I had no brows since I have the blondest eyebrow hairs and the whitest skin.

    • i do too. soooo haaard to find pencils for redheads!

      • Kendyl Stephanie

        I’m a redhead and I’ve been tinting my eyebrows and lashes since I was 11! Which seems crazy in retrospect but anyway. I’ve always found the brow tint loses it’s reddy warmth about a week after getting them done and goes quite brown and cool, and I like to look like I have actual ginger brows. MAC does a really gingery brow gel called “Boy Girl” which I like, and is great for when I can’t be bothered pencilling in my brows which is almost every day. They also have pencils called “Redhead” and ‘Strawberry Blond” in their Veluxe Brow Liner Range. Ah, if only I’d been born with visible facial features!

  • The “fluffing” your brows thing is my new go-to method. My brows are kind of tragic on their own (my right brow is particularly disappointing, theres a weird bald spot in it??? ugh) so i comb them through with brow gel as straight as I can to sort of… splay the hairs out from each other, making them look bigger. I realize this sounds nuts but it totally makes a difference.

  • I have this weird thing with looking at guy’s eyebrows and wishing we (as women) could just leave them like that. My boyfriend has magic eyebrows (He NEVER needs to pluck a unibrow, like he grows no hair there). Why can’t we just let our face caterpillars be face caterpillars?

    I still can’t give in to my unibrow though. That sucker gets plucked…

    • Kat

      I think, sadly, that had we left them alone and never plucked, ours might have looked like that 🙁
      I absolutely destroyed my eyebrows at one point – basically just a thin line one hair thick – and gave in to the sperm brows trend too. My brows have been through some bad shit.
      My mission now is to go for “shaped but full” and try not to pull them out too much (trichtillomaniacs unite!)
      Holy grail product is the Maybelline Brow Satin – pencil at one end and a sponge applicator of powder at the other! I pretty much just use the powder unless it’s an event.

  • Ash

    I picked up Maybelline’s brow drama something or other in the lightest brown. It’s not terrible and it holds my normally droopy brows in whatever arch I can get. The brush is ridiculous, though. I have to really pay attention when I’m applying it or I get a nice brown line right above my brows.

  • MM

    Just for Men Beard Dye. The $8 box lasts me a year and dey flawless.

    • kes

      truth.

    • Sophia F.

      Same idea, but Clairol Nice n Easy Root Touch up, generally purchased on sale. Comes with a nice little mixing tray and everything!

    • Erica Williams

      This is my first time hearing this, so it works like a tint?

  • Abby

    Benefit Gimme Brow is great! I find it’s more full coverage than Boy Brow, which as a very sparsely browed person I desperately need.

  • DonutEverLetMeGo

    Essence makes a great dupe for Gimme Brow! It’s called Make Me Brow. It’s cruelty free and under $3, too. 🙂

  • the fox forgot

    I tint my brows with Just For Men Beard Dye. I’m a golden strawberry head 🍓and the light brown color is perfect 👌
    I get them threaded every month and try to maintain them with my Tweezermans.

    Also, Billion Dollar Brows in “Nordic” is great for fair hair colors!

    I get my eyelashes tinted every month… I used to do that myself but trying to effectively dye the root of the lash is beyond my skill level.

    • Olivia

      I do this too, in the same shade! Saves so much $$

    • Chloe

      What product did you use to tint your eyelashes yourself? I got it done once and loved the result but also felt like it was something I was capable of doing at home if I had the right dye….

  • Kristina

    I have very light blonde brows that are fairly sparse by today’s standards – thanks to plucking before I even reached Junior High – and very fair, cool-toned skin, the combination of which make it difficult to find brow products in a natural looking shade since most of them veer orange or overly warm. My two holy grail products that are not only the best performing products I’ve ever found but the most amazingly natural colors as well are the Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro in Almond (#7) and the Blinc Brow Mouse in LIght Blonde.

    Also – Castor Oil really does work with some patience and a full commitment to abstinence from plucking, though expectations must be managed; it definitely helps to re-grow, but it will not cause hair to sprout from where it never was. And I read recently that the caffeine in coffee oil activates blood flow to help reawaken over plucked hair follicles so I’ve begun mixing Castor Oil with the S.W. Basics Oil Serum and so far the results seem promising.

    https://www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com/makeup/eye-makeup/eyebrow-makeup/eye-brow-maestro/A099.html

    https://www.blincinc.com/us_en/eyebrow-mousse

    https://store.swbasicsofbk.com/products/oil-serum

    • Cristina

      WHAT. I have an eye serum with coffee oil but will be running it over my brows stat now. I’ve been trying to see if I can grow and thicken my brows… alas.. I think these are what I’m stuck with. Always have been, always will be. Excellent point about managing expectations though. My natural brows aren’t even close to Lucy Hale yet I feel like that’s what I was wanting lol!!

  • Alessia

    I found Boy Brow to be too sticky. Gimme Brow is soooo much better!

  • Rootfilling

    Colour Wow – brilliant for colouring greys and equally brilliant for filling brow spaces.

  • Cristina

    I too got thrown after an $89 eyebrow shaping. Holy moly.
    Also, a bit saddened said recommendations were not accompanied by pictures of that persons brows.
    Also, also. I love boy brow but got annoyed at shipping (can Glossier just get to Sephora already) but found a miraculous dupe called Make me Brow by Essence. It’s literally $3 and works the same. I’ve used both, I can attest.
    I’m in the natural but messy and fluffy camp. My face is a “no instagram eyebrow” zone.

    • JennyWren

      I didn’t care for Make me Brow, but I really like Elizabeth Mott’s Queen of the Fill. $15 on Amazon and free shipping with Prime. It worked great for my pale ‘n patchy brows.

    • suede

      Essence products are ah-ma-zzing

    • Eszter Sólyom

      I always get amazed when people praise Essence products cause for me and everyone I know (I’m from Hungary), Essence is this kind of girly brand for tweens who just start to be interested in makeup. With that said some of their products are GREAT, but some are.. well imo you get what you paid for.

  • Kittybat

    what about downward growing asian arched brows that break in the middle? I’ve been to anastasia brows and literally it didn’t help at all. Where do i look for help that’s not asia. asking for a friend thanks!

  • Jessica Amento

    Harling I adore you and all of your content, but there is a recall on the Gimme Brow right now!! I purchased some in August and subsequently got chronic eye infections… It’s a real bummer because it was my favorite product. Hopefully they resolve the issue.

  • elpug

    Province apothecary full brow serum! I use it every night (and sometimes in the morning) and it works wonders. It has taken about a month to see results but it really has filled in my brows and given me thicker hairs.

  • Elif

    My threading lady is the person I trust most in life, and charges $35 for my entire face 🤷🏽‍♀️

  • eizhowa

    I BLEACH mine off. It is partly a protest and partly because I think it looks stunning on me.

    • Nancy Shugan

      Please post a pic?

      • eizhowa

        Okay… I am taking it down in a few days though :S This was the best I could find on my computer.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/afbf793eed0964b43d6a8a420f77da2d9c121559f11a9c6de52e7a21eaf0401d.jpg

        • Nancy Shugan

          Wow! You are right about it looking stunning on you. They look amazingly natural. What are you protesting, if I may ask?

          • eizhowa

            +Nancy Shugan Thank you 🙂 i am only protesting the Big Brow Mania, really. I wish I could say it was some important political protest, but oh well… Sometimes I feel like people forget that Big Brows was not always considered the only type of flattering brows.

          • Nancy Shugan

            Oh, I agree with you. It’s their judgmental attitude. Too much trying to follow the Next Big Thing, which is ok, until you start beating yourself, or judging others, for having straight hair when curly or wavy is au courant. We need to broaden the definition of beauty, just like we need to broaden our acceptance in so many other areas of life.

        • Jill Placko Perlstein

          Love!

  • Mun

    I’m interested in trying out the brow gel!

  • Whatwould Slashdo

    OMG. I have them threaded for £5 (and after 5 sessions I get one free). It used to be £3.50 and I was outraged when I moved and 5 was the cheapest I could find…. Product wise, yes some cheap mousy eye shadow applied with a qtip 😉

  • Therese Oliverio

    Any real products out there that actually help your eyebrows grow or is that not possible?? Any suggestions?

    • Kara

      This is my first ever MR comment after years of reading because brows are my LIFE, and after YEARS of hunting I found something to give me those thick brows of my dreams (I am a reformed anxious tweezer). Plume Science makes a lash and brow serum, as well as a brow pomade. I won a tube of the serum, and it started giving life to my brows after a month of use. After two months, I didn’t feel the need to fill them in anymore.

      The pomade has growth enhancing ingredients (like castor oil), but you get the benefit of having a “finished” brow when you use it, instead of having the much more potent, but undeniably stickier serum all over your eye curtains.

      I only found I needed one tube of the serum to get my brows to grow enough that I was happy with them, and then I use the pomade now for maintainance and adding a little drama (I’m blonde with light-ish brows). In the two-ish month’s I’ve had the pomade, the leftover inner corner sparseness that hadn’t been fully eradicated by the serum has almost fully grown in now with bits of hair.

      I am forever a Plume Science disciple after this experience and will forever help out a fellow sister.

      • Kara

        I forgot to mention the price on both of these are steeper than what I’ve ever spent on brows before (the serum was free for me though). But after trying almost everything Sephora had (and then some – ABH, benefit, Glossier, MAC, tubes, wands, pencils, pots, pomades, powders – I swear I really tried it all), and still being disappointed, the $40ish pot of pomade seems like it will last a year (even if it shouldn’t), and IS WORTH IT! I’m all about an investment that has multiple benefits (growth + grooming + color), and my brows are my only real vanity vice (literally the only product in my makeup drawer), so I justify the cost that way. And I’m no longer shelling out close to $30 for the next ABH something or other for my brows history says I’m going to hate any way. 🙂

        • Therese Oliverio

          Kara thank you so much! I’m going to try this, nothing works for me and it seems like my eyebrows are dead and will never grow again. I was part of the 90s girls with the tweezed thin eyebrows lol gross!! I sure pray this works, I’ll pay anything to get my beautiful brows back!!!

    • Chloe

      My eyebrows have been balding over the last few years – a mixture of over-plucking and age (my mum has no eyebrows left & my sister’s are quickly disappearing). I did eyelash extensions a couple of times this year and the girl gave me a tube of “Rapid Lash” to help strengthen my natural lashes. I noticed that it said you can also use it on brows, so I have been. Within a few weeks my brows were thicker than they have been in years. I don’t have to fill them in anymore, which is fantastic. They also make a “Rapid Brow” product but idk if it’s any different.

      • Therese Oliverio

        Thank you Chloe, I’ve heard of that and was thinking of trying it but wasn’t sure because of the reviews. It worked on some people but not on others I would like to give rapid lash a try. I’m willing to try anything at this point but don’t want to be too disappointed. I’ve tried a lot!! It’s nice to hear someone that actually used it and says it worked.

  • Shevaun

    I second the benefit and also will say I was disappointed by Glossier’s boy brow. Too goopy and smeary!

    The Benefit brow stuff worked much better for my feeble Irish brows.

  • Chloe Roach

    the godefroy eyebrow dye is amazing!!! i dye my blonde eyebrow hairs once every three weeks or so and the color changes my entire face. the actual pigment comes in 5 capsules and the instructions say to use one per use, but dumping the powder inside the capsules into a little travel jar and using a little each time has gotten me through four months of eyebrows so far with a lot left to go! lily collins brows in ten minutes!

  • C. Killion

    It was time to woman up, when my hair turned bright white, but my brows stayed black. Nothing for it but to play up the contrast: I use Browfood Powder and Pencil in dark charcoal to emphasize the arch. No plucking, never waxed, just brushed into shape.

  • Lorange E

    If y’all like the Glossier Boy Brow, hot tip: Essence Make Me Brow at Target is a great dupe. And it’s $3. That’s right, less than a latte! $3! It’s my go-to.

    • TinySoprano

      If the hold is good I am there. I inherited my dad’s eyebrows that grow weirdly long and sometimes decide to stick out, resulting in being told we look like John Howard, an Australian ex-politician famous for his… aggressive eyebrow game. Not cool.

      • Lorange E

        The hold is pretty good. If you try it and find it isn’t enough for you, Maybelline’s Brow Drama has even more hold. I like the Make Me Brow a bit more because it is less liquidy than the Maybelline product so it seems like I can’t go wrong with it. I also have long eyebrows I got from my dad! LOL at the description of John Howard. My dad’s eyebrows have gotten more voluminous as he’s gotten older–now they’re like caterpillars! I’m hoping mine don’t somehow go that way.

    • Eszter Sólyom

      I tried it and it was amazing for a couple weeks but it went dry suuper quickly for me? Still at this price it is worth it if you’re happy with the results, I was just annoyed at having to repurchase.

  • Permanent Bishface

    I plucked my brows too thin for years in the 90s and for years after. I couldn’t get them to grow back in until recently when I tried Jamaican black castor oil. Even though I’m the worst at remembering to use this nightly, it’s made my eyebrows start to grow in FINALLYYYY. 😫 I still have some bald patches in between the growth but even that is now starting to sprout some hairs.

  • Kelsey

    So….has anyone done microblading?? Like the eyebrow tattoo?
    My interest was piqued mainly via Instagram but I need to know how it looks IRL.

  • My newfound and ongoing brow trick is (lol) ceasing any/all plucking. I’m currently in eyebrow rehab. I stopped plucking cold turkey in June, but I’ve heard it can take upwards of a full year for things to fully fill out. Even still, my regrowth has been kind of astounding so far. Lots of little tiny hair babies have popped up under my man-made browline (and, perhaps most excitingly, inside my too-high man-made arch).

    The weirdest part for me is that some of them want to stick straight out until they get longer. I naturally do not grow a unibrow, so I didn’t have to worry about that particular issue. I get this wouldn’t work for everyone and every brow.

  • Jen Akuna

    LOL’d @ISFJ

  • Valerie

    This has been so educational!! I have tried everything available at drug store, as well as benefit, Anastasia, some others from Sephora. My problem is getting the product to stay. I am spending soooo much time on my brows it’s so irritating. I look in mirror 15 minutes and one of them is half gone!! Every product comes off too easily! I’ve overplucked forever, and I get these bumps in between that seem to be ingrown hairs which I cannot leave alone

  • pamb

    Advice from a 52 year old: your brows will thin as you age, so err on the side of leaving them bigger your whole life. I have insisted my 16 yer old daughter just tweeze the unibrow only. She isn’t ready to commit to upkeep, but when she is, only a professional will wax or thread them.

  • Hannah

    Gimme Brow has been tragically recalled. I hope Benefit comes back with a reformulated version asap.