While all of the other girls in my 7th grade were chasing short-lived Trysts, I was busy changing my life. One week in December, I got braces, my first period and … permission to grow my eyebrows for the first time. Until then, I was only allowed to pinch. Huge, huge things, people!
My relationship with waxing lasted just a little longer than that of young love – a few years later my waxer, known only by her first name, may have lost too much weight. It forever transformed my most distinctive feature, the bushy brow I inherited from my Syrian grandfather, into a fixation. I became a skilled brow filler even before I graduated from the clear mascara, going without toothpaste when it meant I could keep all of my brow products. And based on all of my years of practice, you could say that I am an expert in eyebrow makeup. I’ve tried almost everything! But to fill in the gaps, I turned to Kristie Streicher, the famous forehead nurse behind most of Hollywood’s browbones. Below is the ultimate list of all the products and techniques that will help you with your PTSD. I know I’m not the only one out there who needs them.
Benefits: A quick and efficient way to gently fill in your eyebrows. It is particularly suitable for people with dry skin, as natural oils can cause soiling in the skin.
Disadvantage: Only adds color to the skin, not the hair.
Tips: For a soft and natural effect, first brush the browbones down and lightly shade the skin under the hair with gentle back and forth movements. This technique pushes hair out of the way so you can draw directly on the skin. When you’re done filling in, brush up your brows to blend the product for a natural look. Streicher’s favorite pencil is the Expressionist Brow Pencil by Surratt, the bonus! – is refillable.
Benefits: A super fine pencil is ideal for realistic hairlines. It delivers the most natural, filled forehead and is suitable for all skin and hair types.
Disadvantage: Requires practice and a very precise, steady hand. Brow pencils work best when applied directly to clean, dry skin. Hence, you may need to wipe off extra moisturizer or makeup before you begin.
Tips: Since the look can get tough really quickly, start at the center of your forehead first and work towards the end when you are used to the flow of ink. Place your pencil where the hair follicle would be and swipe up with gentle, precise strokes. Once you get to the front of the eyebrows, apply less pressure so they don’t look too angular or heavy. Streicher’s top 2 are the Suqqu Eyebrow Liquid Pen and the Bushy Brow Pen from Lime Crime. She suggests keeping them with a cap for best performance.
Benefits: A tinted gel works for all skin and hair types and is by far the easiest to use. It gives color to the forehead hair and gently shades the skin underneath. It is Streicher’s most popular “one-and-do” product of choice.
Disadvantage: Sometimes can’t be enough for a full, filled look.
Tips: The key is to use small strokes and brush your brows in the opposite direction of the hair growth first to separate color and add texture. Then brush the browbones in an upward motion, just as the hair grows naturally, so that they look fuller immediately. A multi-bristle brush can tint even the tiniest new growth. “I like to use the Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel,” says Streicher. “The microfiber-infused formula builds volume, and the multi-bristle brush stains even the tiniest new growth.”
Benefits: Not to be confused with the gel above. This is a K-Beauty product that tint the skin under the eyebrows for two to three days. Plus it’s cheap – Maybelline is now making a version.
Disadvantage: It only takes two to three days, bad news if you were expecting an actual tattoo. Also, #maybellinetattoobrowgeltint has 12.7,000 views from TikTok – as I would advise on many (most?) Outings, be careful.
Tip: First, create an outline of your browbones to use as a guide, then fill it in with a generous amount of tint gel – enough to look like a Disney villain. It’s dry enough to peel off after 20 minutes. Once the gel is removed, brush the hair up so the hairs blend together.
Benefits: Pomades can help you look more artistic and flexible. Since they’re usually smudge-free and waterproof, pomades are great for oily skin, warmer climates, and long affairs.
Disadvantage: Requires makeup remover to remove it. It’s also easy to go overboard and have an Instagram forehead.
Tips: Streicher recommends the Jacque Mgido Eyebrow Pomade Gel as long as you promise never to apply it directly to the forehead! To make sure you have the perfect amount of product needed for application, dip the stiff bristles of an angled browbrush into the pot and brush or dab them on the back of your hand first. This will allow you to remove excess product and see how much has built up on the brush.
Benefits: Are you looking for something that won’t wash off? Microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment that uses a small blade to create hair-like pigment lines in the skin. It’s a great option for those who fill their brows on a daily basis and wish they didn’t.
Disadvantage: For one, the high price of microblading can range from $ 500 to $ 2,500. A session can last up to two hours and may be painful depending on your pain tolerance. The results also vary. “The blade, pressure, and pigment used can all affect the look of your brows. In the worst case scenario, unwanted pigment will remain in your skin, which can change color over time, ”advises Streicher.
Tips: Do as much research as you can before booking your appointment and even ask for IRL samples or photos of their clients or what your eyebrows can look like after a year. Also keep in mind that it is not permanent. Microblading takes one to three years, depending on skin type (it fades faster with oily skin).
Benefits: Micro-feathers use soft strokes to fill in gaps and sparse areas of the forehead, creating a more subtle and sophisticated version of microblading. It deposits pigments in more superficial layers of the skin than microblading.
Disadvantage: All clients must follow a Tweezers Strategic Growth Plan prior to their appointment. This can take six months to a year for your brows to grow out. The process can cost around $ 2,500.00. Because the pigment lines are so subtle, the micro-suspension rarely lasts longer than a year.
Tips: The visual difference between a real eyebrow hair and a micro-springy pigment coating is almost impossible to decipher. Streicher invented this unique technique (and registered it as a trademark). The best way to get her right is to visit her at her salon Striiike in LA.
– Caroline Dweck
Photo via ITG