The Beauty Memo

How To Do Your Brows Now, According To This Red-Carpet Expert

Makeup artist DANA DELANEY knows a thing or two about the power of great brows. The soft-glam makeup look she created for Ayo Edebiri at this year’s Golden Globes focused on naturally full, defined arches, setting the tone for the year’s most-wanted shape and texture. Here, she tells MALENA HARBERS her top tips for creating a Hollywood power brow, and what makeup to wear with it

Actor Ayo Edebiri on the red carpet at this year’s Golden Globes

Find your most flattering shade and shape

While the spring/summer runways took a playful approach to brows, with bleached, dramatically arched and bejeweled iterations on display, these are tricky looks to pull off IRL. “My client [the actor] Alexandra Shipp loves a bleached brow,” says makeup expert Dana Delaney. “We’ve done it several times, but it takes a very confident and playful person to want to do something drastic like that, especially with brows.” Instead, fluffy, feathered, natural-looking brows with a little structure (courtesy of the right brow products) – as exemplified by Ayo Edebiri on the red carpet – is the most wearable and coveted brow look for the year ahead. Where to start? Delaney stresses the importance of getting the right shape to suit your face for the most flattering effect. “You shouldn’t stray too much from your natural brow shape, but I realize some people require a bit more help,” she says. “Typically, having a slight arch that lines up with your eye pupil is universally flattering. It shouldn’t be too square; think softer at the edges.”

What to avoid

Since brows can completely transform the shape and look of your face, tread carefully when grooming them, advises Delaney. “For instance, a very thin brow can really age you if you aren’t careful. Plus, try to avoid trimming the tops of the brows, as it makes the shape look a little squared and unnatural and takes away the natural feathering effect.” Also outdated? “A big, blocky brow that’s overfilled and looks obviously drawn in.” When it comes to tweezing, Delaney stresses the importance of restraint: “Don’t overpluck, unless of course that’s your vibe, but hair thins over time, so hold on to it as long as you can.”

Fill with pencil only

“I have almost always exclusively used pencils for filling in brows,” says Delaney. “I like a fine-tip pencil because it gives me more control and can mimic the hair growth of the brow. I use multiple colors – typically a shade lighter than the brow to fill and define, and then I go in with a darker shade for areas where I want more definition. Sometimes I’ll add this extra definition to the arch, and other times I like to define the end of the brow a bit more, depending on what area needs a little help. I almost always use a clear brow gel to shape and hold them in place – I love Benefit’s 24-Hour Brow Setter for that.”

Consider your overall eye-makeup look

“If my client doesn’t have a lot of eyelid space, I’m not going to overwhelm her eye with a lot of eye makeup in addition to a big brow. I like to keep the eyes [looking] open and visible,” says Delaney. Stick to neutral eyeshadows and lashings of mascara at a maximum. “But for someone who has a lot of space, a power brow and strong eye makeup can be quite impactful.” Here, a heavy-handed eyeliner or jewel-toned smoky eye can really up the ante of a brow-focused look.

Rock the ultimate power pairing

“A strong brow and a bold lip is a classic and timeless look. You can’t ever go wrong there,” affirms Delaney. “For a bright lip, paying attention to the undertones is essential, as is noting the natural pigment in your lips. If someone has very pink lips already, it’s going to change any color you layer over the top and turn pink lipsticks more purple and neutrals more orangey. When I do a bright lip, I like the lip line to be defined and sharp. I use a tiny cotton swab to clean around the lip line and then a little concealer to define the edges.”


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