Once you realize what brows can donamely, widen your eyes and let you get away with less makeupyou'll never neglect them again. "You wouldn't think it matters, but without a defined brow, the entire face looks washed out," says Heidi Waldorf, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Problem is, where brows once required taming, they may now be fading, thanks to pregnancy-or age-related estrogen dips. Luckily, these easy steps add up to a look that's vibrant, natural, and a lot like the old you.
Step 1: Discover your best shape
The golden rule of shaping is to find, and stick with, your natural arch. Don't over-tweeze (it'll create kooky, high arches that make you look angry) or wax away too much (it'll leave ultra-skinny sperm shapesnever flattering). Whether you go pro or DIY using our diagram or a handy tool like the Brow Buddy, it's important not to overdo it. "Brows thin out over time, so the last thing you want to do is to make them skimpy on purpose," says Hilary Foote, a San Francisco--based aesthetician and global brow expert for Benefit Cosmetics.
Step 2: Fill 'em up!
Coloring in your brows will give them long-lost length and depth. As for color, brunettes should go slightly lighter than their brows (so they don't look like Groucho Marx), blondes should pick a shade darker (pale brows are the most no-show with age), and redheads should use a browner version of their hair hue (to avoid orange brows), says Gina Daddona, a makeup artist and brow expert at Stephen Knoll salon in New York City. Here's how to find the right brow solution for you:
To enhance naturally (and fill blank spots): Brow powder is user-friendly. "It blends easily and you can control how soft the results look," says celebrity makeup artist Brett Freedman. Apply color in tiny, hair-like strokes. Finish (and tame wiry hairs) with clear gel.
For easy application: Pencils require extra-careful blending but are easy to maneuver. Follow the same steps as you would with powder.
To add definition: Tinted brow gel is all you need if you have fairly full brows. Try Laura Geller Brow Tint & Gel Tamer ($21; laurageller.com).
For a lasting look: Liquid brow markers have great staying power, and they're more sheer than you'd think, Daddona says.