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How to Use Eyebrow Pencil to Draw in Brows Like a Pro


When it comes to caring for brows and mastering an all-around makeup routine, properly filling in eyebrow hairs with eyebrow makeup is among the most important steps. Much like eyeshadow and mascara, you don’t want to ignore the brows if you’re going for a complete look. Eyebrow powder, wax/pomade, pencil, or light strokes from a dark-brown ink pen (that resembles eyeliner) are the most common options for filling in sparse areas and giving off the appearance of hair growth. Whether the sparseness stems from over-plucking or having naturally thin brows, we could all use a little eyebrow tutorial to take our natural eyebrows to the best brow look. And though microblading exists to help give the impression of thicker, natural hair with more pigment, the procedure is also expensive and semi-permanent, so it’s not for everyone.

Brow pencils seem to be the most popular option, perhaps because they’re beginner-friendly, and they allow you to achieve a natural look. Some are super thin or slanted with a fine tip, and others are shaped like a normal, everyday pencil—but they all serve the same purpose, according to makeup artist Lucy Gargiulo. “Eyebrow pencils fill in patchy or uneven brows to create a desired brow shape,” she says, adding that you can smudge the tint into the brows with a spoolie (more on that below).

But if you’re new to eyebrow pencils and someone hands you one, what are you supposed to do? Rest assured we’re here to help you achieve a full eyebrow shape and create the perfect eyebrows you see on social media. Our experts provided a detailed, step-by-step guide (with brow product recs) on how to use eyebrow pencils to give off the impression you have more brow hairs than you do. So, what do you say? Keep scrolling for a makeup tutorial to get your best natural-looking brows yet.

About the Experts: 
Lucy Gargiulo is a freelance makeup artist with more than 14 years of experience in the film and television industry.
Heather Raffaela is an ad and editorial makeup artist.

How to Use Eyebrow Pencil

1. Grab a Spoolie Brush

First things first: You’ll want to shape the brows, or at least brush them in a uniform direction. This can be achieved using a spoolie, a little tool that you often see at one end of a dual-ended eyebrow pencil. We recommend the BILLION DOLLAR BROWS Eyebrow Brush, which comes with a thick spoolie on one end, and a thin angled brush for achieving small strokes on the other end. The non-spoolie side can be used for applying pigmented powder or wax.

2. Brush Brows With Spoolie

Makeup artist Heather Raffaela recommends taking the spoolie and brushing brows in an upward direction. “This allows me to see where I need to fill in and what areas don't need as much attention,” she explains. “This step helps me determine how I’m going to map everything out.”

3. Sharpen (or Twist) Pencil and Apply Gentle Strokes

With whatever eyebrow pencil you choose to use, you’ll want to make sure it’s got a fresh point. Sharpen or twist, and then “fill softly where you need more pigment or want to thicken or extend your brows,” Gargiulo suggests. “If you’ve gone in a little too strong, you can brush through the hairs with the spoolie again to blend and soften the pigment.”

You’ll typically want to apply lighter strokes in the front and get darker as you go. Of course this depends on your personal preference, but for a natural, everyday look, this is what our experts suggest.

When it comes to the best eyebrow pencils for beginners, we stand by the HAUS LABS The Edge Precision Eyebrow Pencil. Its superfine tip allows for precise, fine, hair-like strokes. We also love the DOMINIQUE COSMETICS Brow Frame Pencil in Cool Deep Brown, thanks to its angled shape and pointed tip. 

4. Reapply Gentle Strokes in Select Areas

After one application of brow pencil, you can quickly scan to ensure the pigment is evenly spread throughout both brows. Again, you’ll still want areas in the front to appear lighter than the rest, but if there are any spots that still need pigment, it’s encouraged to gently reapply as necessary.

5. Apply Brow Gel 

And now for the grand final: locking your hard work into place with a spoolie covered in gel. “I go in with a stronghold brow gel, which keeps hairs in place while blending everything together,” Raffaela says. “This will help you achieve a very natural fluffy brow.”

Our brow gel of choice? You can’t go wrong with the iconic ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS

Clear Brow Gel. Take the gel-coated spoolie and brush through the brow upward and in the direction you initially sought out to achieve.  

Want in on all the IPSY brow fun and more? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated April 16, 2024 12:00 AM