Every Question You’ve Ever Had About Eyebrows, Answered

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chanel temple hourglass brow tips
Photo: Courtesy of @hourglasscosmetics

Not only does makeup artist Chanel Temple boast some of the most beautiful brows we’ve ever seen – but she also happens to know a thing or two about how to get the perfect pair. During her recent trip to Dubai, the global makeup artist for Hourglass sat down with our Beauty Editor to reveal all her top brow tips and tricks. Here’s the inside scoop.


Who has the best brows?
Lily Collins is my eyebrow icon. I’m obsessed with her brows, and I always have been. Brooke Shields too, of course – she’s been another of my icons since I was a little girl and I’ve always wanted her eyebrows. I think she was such a trendsetter too, because in the early 90s everyone was tweezing their brows off, and she kept hers! She still has perfect eyebrows.

So, it’s safe to say you’re really into big, bushy brows?
Yes, big and full! Because mine are so unruly and can get really stringy and go in whichever direction they want, so I’ve always been inspired by people who have similar brows to me.

Why do you think brows are such a big part of beauty now?
Brows are the frame of your face, and your eyes are one of the first things that people see when they look at you, so I think that’s something that’s really striking. Brows are also an easy way to make a statement with your makeup — just changing the style and shape can change your entire look.

What’s the biggest mistake women make with their eyebrows?
I always say there are no rules with makeup, but there are tools and things that can help it look polished and even! I think the biggest mistake is choosing the wrong brow color, so someone going way too dark, too light, or not having the right undertones.

Also, going too heavy – pressure is so important when you’re applying your brow products. You have to be really light with them. Brow specialist Kristie Streicher in LA told us to pretend you’re not putting product on, to act as if you’re not even doing it. “Think about it and then it will go on”, she said! You shouldn’t have to tug at your brow to apply it. That really thick boxed brow makes me cringe. But you know, to each their own, if that what makes you feel beautiful, amazing! But it’s not for me…

lily collins beauty
Photo: Courtesy of @makeupvincent

If you could only choose one ultimate brow product, what would it be?
If I could only choose one it would definitely be the Hourglass ‘Micro Pencil’, which we just launched. I keep saying I don’t really know how I did my brows before it! It’s just so easy to use and it makes such a difference because of how thin it is. It gives you really nice structure and those natural hair-like strokes, so it doesn’t look too heavy or overdone at all.

What do I do if I’ve overplucked my brows?
I really believe that you should always work with the brow you have. I don’t like it when people try to create something that’s not there. But, having a little bit of texture and really playing with the shape is going to make the biggest difference. So, creating a little bit higher of an arch than you normally have – just a little bit – will open the eye quite a bit. Pulling the brow out, instead of down, is helpful as well. It’s like a little eye lift! And our ‘Shaping Gel’ will make the biggest difference. Even if your brows are super, super thin, the gel gives some volume and texture to the hairs that are there.

What if I have really unruly brows? What’s the best way to tackle and tame them?
I usually start with the ‘Shaping Gel’ before I use a pencil so I can tame them into place, and that allows me to see where I need to add some pencil. Our ‘Volumizing Gel’ gives a little bit of lift and color, so sometimes I’ll just stop at that if I feel confident and good about them.

Are there any natural ingredients or DIY remedies that are good for boosting brows?
Absolutely! Castor oil is a really popular one, and I personally use black castor oil because I think it’s a little bit more effective. I’ve seen people make concoctions with argan oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, but I have really sensitive skin, so coconut oil is like a bacteria trap for my face! So, I stick with castor oil. Buy a spoolie, coat it with the oil, and go against the hairs, really getting it on the skin and into the hairs. I do that every single night. You have to be so diligent and consistent otherwise it’s not going to work, but after about two months you should start to see some growth and length in your brows. I swear, it’s so strange but they start to get super long. It works!

There are quite a few serums too, and the ingredient that you find in things like ‘RevitaBrow’ and products like that is prostaglandin, but that’s not a natural ingredient, that’s an active ingredient that really works.

How would you use the products from the ‘Unrestricted Brow Collection’ together to create the ultimate brow look?
So, we’ve actually made it really easy as we have products to ‘Fill’, ‘Define’, ‘Build’, and ‘Set’. We find that our ‘Sculpting Pencil’, which is a little bit thicker and has more product to work with, is great if you need to create a full brow. If you have a really thin brow or you’re the over-plucked client, this is going to really help create that shape, quickly too! So fill with that, and then go in and define with the ‘Micropencil’. Its really thin diameter allows you to create those natural hair-like strokes and that microblading effect. Then go in with the ‘Fiber Gel’ to give that full, fluffy, feathered effect, and then the ‘Shaping Gel’ to tame and keep them in place.

What do you think about microblading and more permanent brow treatments?
I personally like to change the shape of my brows sometimes, so I don’t like anything that’s permanent or that I can’t manipulate or fix or change. But I know for some people it’s a life-changing solution, for those women who have over-plucked, or I’ve seen cancer patients who will never get their brows back and then they have them, which is amazing.

There are some true artists who really know what they’re doing with microblading; they make them look feathered when there’s no brow there, which is phenomenal! But, like with anything, there are some risks. I’ve seen some brow tattoos turn green! What I think is so cool in this region is the lamination trend, where the brows are pushed up and feathered and they last like three months. I can’t wait for that to get to LA!

How can I work out what the best brow shape is for me?
You see those mapping techniques, which are really popular. So, take a pencil and hold it at the tip of your nose pointing straight up – that’s where your brows should start. Then keep your pencil at that same point on your nose and point it up towards your pupil – that’s where your arch should be. Then point it to the outer edge of your eye, and that’s where your brows should end. That’s a good map.

I also have my client look in the mirror while I go behind them and literally feel along their brows, doing a little lift as we go. That really helps us both see where that lift is. Obviously, we aren’t going to get brows that give us a full facelift, but that’s a really great thing to do. It’s about what you feel comfortable with and what you want to see.

Also, work with the eye shape. If someone has a more downward-facing eye shape, you want to pull the brow up, never down. Like that really beautiful Audrey Hepburn look. You can really change your face just by pulling the brow out and up!

Brow mapping tips
Photo: Courtesy of makeup.com

What’s the biggest brow myth you’ve ever heard?
When someone tells you that you need to do a certain thing. You can do whatever you want! It’s the same with makeup – if someone tells me I can’t do something it makes me want to do it even more, even if it looks bad! It’s about having unrestricted brows — don’t feel like you have to confine your brows to look a certain way. Find your arch and just define them!

What do you think will be big in the brow world in the next year?
I think we’ve already seen the feathered brow become really popular globally, and we’re steering away from that overly ‘Instagrammed’ brow, thank goodness! I love that people are having fun with makeup, but it’s nice to see more of people’s faces and their brows and the actual texture of the hairs, I love it. I think we’ll see a bit more of the ‘unruly brow’, that feathered fullness but less structured, and I’m super grateful for that. We even saw in Fashion Week just now that there wasn’t much going on with the brows, it was really just about a beautiful, strong brow.

Complete the sentence: To me, beautiful brows are…
Unique and dynamic.

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