If your eyebrows are thin and you’re looking to plump them up, there are three main routes you can take:
Start by brushing brows into place. Then take a brow brush, dip it into a pressed brow powder (like Billion Dollar Brows Brow Powder, $16 at Dermstore.com) and use small, light strokes to gradually build a thicker-looking brow.
The Caveat: Brow powder is very, very tricky to apply correctly and naturally—some argue that it’s a technique best left to professional makeup artists. Plus, it doesn’t cling to skin well, so it’s no good for filling in sparse patches.
Use brow powder if your brows are well-shaped, but you’d like them to appear a bit thicker or darker.
Choose a soft, waxy wand, which will apply more smoothly and evenly than a hard pencil. (I like self-sharpening models like Anastasia Brow Wiz, $21 at Anastasia.net, or MAC Eye Brows, $16 at Maccosmetics.com.) Use soft, feathery strokes to lightly apply the coor.
The Caveat: It’s easy to go from Perfect Browville to Joan Crawfordburg with a pencil, creating overly arched, painted on brows—especially if you have sparse patches.
Use a brow pencil if you need to fill in bare patches or create a shape that your brow naturally doesn’t grow in, but use a light touch.
Many dermatologists prescribe lash-growth products like Latisse to patients who are trying to grow thicker eyebrows—they work just the same way. Prescription products aren’t FDA-approved for brow growth, but they’re endorsed by dermatologists, and even famed cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler endorsed it in the pages of Allure.
The Caveat: Using Latisse for eyebrows carries the same risks as using it for lashes: darkened irises and skin discoloration. Also, it stops working once you stop using it, so the effect is purely temporary.
Latisse is a good choice if you’re committed to a long-term regimen.