Reader question: Best products for sparse eyebrows

Hi! What's the best product type for girls with sparse brows? Brow pencil, brow gel, wax, powder or what? Thank you! - J

Hi J! The thing with sparse eyebrows is that it's easy to overdo them with broad, heavy strokes. They tend to look like painted blocks of color instead of, well, eyebrows made of hair! My best tip is to go for eyebrow makeup that can pull off the appearance of real hair, and then to thicken the hair strands that you do have on there. The perfect way to do that is to use a pen-type shader topped off with a matching brow mascara.

Eyebrow pens are the best for sparse eyebrows because they can be used to draw individual hair strands to fill in gaps in your brows. They are typically water-resistant so you don't have to worry about your "hair" falling apart in the middle of the day. They also come in a wide variety of colors to match your locks - just make sure to use something that's as close to your actual color as possible. Some go too light or too red, and this looks unnatural.

They might sound super fussy to use but a bit of practice should streamline your technique. Just draw following the growth of your eyebrows; if the hair is growing upwards, draw the line upwards, not exceeding the natural eyebrow shape and length. Draw in downward strokes if the hair is pointing down. Easy peasy!

I highly recommend the Happy Skin Eye Love View Pencil and Marker (P799) and the K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow (P950). Both are extremely long-wearing and also come with a dual tip - the pen and a pencil/powder to set it with. The pencil/powder tip creates depth and lushness  on your eyebrows; you won't even need a mascara afterwards! Just make sure to use a light hand.

Above you can see how the pen looks like alone and then topped with the pencil (Happy Skin) and powder (K-Palette). Happy Skin has a blonde tint to it while the K-Palette in Natural Brown has a bit of red. Both are perfect for my brunette hair and Asian coloring.

Eyebrow mascara is another option. You can use them alone on your brows or as a topper for your pen, if you'd like the finish to look thicker. Mascara gives the illusion of volume to sparse hair; it thickens the strands and sets them in one place (useful if they're unruly). 

To use, just brush the wand up, downwards, and/or outwards, again following the natural hair growth. If you're using mascara alone, the trick is to press down on your brows to touch the skin. You want to actually color the surface, not just the hair! Otherwise you'll see gaps.

My favorite brow mascaras are the MAC Pro Longwear in Quiet Brunette (P1,000) and the The Face Shop Color My Eye Brow in 02 Light Brown (P395). I love using Quiet Brunette alone - it suits my hair color! The TFS Light Brown is too light by itself, but it's the perfect topper for a darker base. It highlights and gives my brows a nice blonde tint without actually looking blonde.

Below, I'm using the K-Palette Natural Brown pen topped with a light layer of Quiet Brunette. It's how I usually do my brows. ^_^ I don't like them looking too heavy, sharp, or solid. The ideal is to have something that is defined yet slightly imperfect and unbalanced. It's better to stop just before you think you should, to get a more natural finish.


So there you go! I hope this helps, J!