The Big Eyebrow Mistake (Shaping Brows 101)

Recently I tweeted a picture of Britney Spears, where I had virtually shaped her eyebrows, because for whatever reason, I needed to show her and the world how much better she could look if she got it right. (I was a young fan of Brit’s during her prime, so I still secretly hope that she’ll get hot again and end up with Justin Timberlake. I see the brows as a part of this process.) When Britney was younger, she went through an array of brow-waxers and makeup artists constantly, so her eyebrows were always pretty decent (except when they dyed them bleach blonde.. that was weird).

Young Britney, with good eyebrows

Young Britney, with good eyebrows

These days, she does her own makeup. She’s not even in charge of her own money, so I doubt that Papa Spears thinks a brow-shaper is necessary. (It is, Papa Spears! She can’t do this alone!)

When Britney does her own makeup

When Britney does her own makeup

I felt an intervention was necessary. Many people underestimate the power of good eyebrows. They shape your entire face! A while back I wrote a why-makeup-makes-you-prettier post using a study which showed that the difference between a feminine face and a masculine one is the contrast of the features:

The exact same face can be made feminine or masculine by playing with the contrast. You can use makeup to do this, too!

The exact same face can be made feminine or masculine by playing with the contrast. You can use makeup to do this, too!

To look more feminine and therefore “prettier”, the contrast of the eyes, lips, brows, and skin needs to be heightened. Better brows make you look prettier. See the article here.

So I pulled up a recent photo and tweeted an example of how much better they could look. It’s a subtle difference up close, but when you take a step back and examine it, you can see how much better it is.

I know, I know, I misspelled “darker”, but it’s a pain in the ass to re-do a tweet, and they don’t have that handy “edit” option like Facebook does.

Anyway, a friend saw the tweet and shot back with an idea:

I usually shape my friends’ and sisters’ eyebrows in person, with makeup and tweezers. But I thought, if I could do a photo online, I could probably do anyone’s, right? So she sent me a photo, and I made her this:


I made sure that she could see where I filled in her brows by using a slightly different color, as opposed to Britney’s picture, where I tried to blend it in really well. That night, she tried out my suggestions and sent me pictures. They looked great! She wrote this Facebook status: “One of my FB friends virtually shaped my problem eyebrows… and I love them now! Thanks Sarah :)”

As you can see in the picture I sent her with all the black lines, to effectively shape your eyebrows, you should use a pencil to give you an idea where your eyebrows and arches should start, and end. HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART! Most people use the end of their nose to show them where to start their eyebrow. My friend had been doing this as well. I don’t know why ladies allow waxers to give them such bad advice. DO NOT use your nose. Use your nostril.

Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood is a good example of someone who uses their nose and ends up with a very wide glabella (that space in between your eyebrows):

Amber Portwood and her wide glabella

Just to show you how much of a difference it makes, using her nostrils instead, I filled in her eyebrows.

Amber Portwood with better eyebrows

In the first photo, she looks a little strange and unnatural. In the second photo, she looks great!

LADIES OF THE WORLD, stop allowing the waxers at the salon to physically mame you. This is not a good look.

You can use your nostril as a guide for your arch and the end of the brow as well. Ignoring Lauren Conrad’s bad advice to use the end of your nose, here is a picture (from Lauren Conrad) of how to do that:

Use your nostril and your eye to trace where the brow should end. It's just like connect-the-dots!

Use your nostril (NOT nose!) and your eye to trace where the brow should end. It’s just like connect-the-dots!

Here’s a photo of me and my brow-protege little sister.

Do we have better eyebrows than you? Nay! We just know what to do with them!

Do we have better eyebrows than you? Nay! We just know what to do with them!

Want me to virtually shape your brows for you? Send me a picture at (It’s free! And I love to do it!)

7 thoughts on “The Big Eyebrow Mistake (Shaping Brows 101)

  1. megestewart

    I’m definitely sending you a picture when I get off work and it’s not totally creepy to take a picture of myself…
    BUT I’m just looking for a piece of advice. I’m pretty sure the part of my eyebrow is just naturally thinner (less hair) on one side than the other. I’ve been using an eyebrow pencil every now and then, but it never seems to take properly in that spot (inside of my eyebrows, towards the nose). Not sure if that makes any sense, but is there anything I can do that won’t make it look like my eyebrows are totally drawn on? That’s my biggest fear.
    Also, how do you pick a shade of eyebrow pencil? My hair is sort of an auburn color… Again, just don’t want to look totally ridiculous. (:

  2. Brandie Sellers

    I miss old (young) Britney, too. 😦 I literally stopped and stared at that old picture. Everything was on point. I know looks aren’t everything, but we can tell NOTHING has been the same since Kevin. I mean really…I don’t even like her music anymore.

  3. lindy

    I can see your point and everything else, but making eyebrows darker and filling them in closer to fill that gap in between eyebrows can make your face look a lot harsher. I have naturally dark brown hair, but my eyebrows look lighter because my hair is so thin. I have used make up to fill in my brows before, and I never liked it one bit. In my opinion, I look a lot more aggressive and angry vs softer and “friendly.” I can see the same effect with the pictures here, and the ones you’ve manipulated. I just don’t think it’s a very good look.
    Darker eyebrows, a more filled in gap, and unshaped brows are all male/masculine traits. I rarely meet a man that takes care of his eyebrows. And you know that when they do meet these men that take care of themselves, people assume these guys are metrosexual.

    1. justsarahg Post author

      Hi Lindy! I agree that if you aren’t careful, this look can look too harsh. I suggest using a lighter touch, and to resist the instinct to fill your brows in completely. It’s not like a coloring book, where you want to completely color everything in between the lines!

  4. Jerney

    I really like this post and I totally agree with you! I was just looking through some pictures of Britney back in the day and now and I was wondering what has changed apart from the fact that she has aged of course. I came to the conclusion that maybe she had done something to her nose (either plastic surgery or harsh contour) and her brows… If her eyebrows would be somewhat darker and shaped better, as in with a higher arch, it would lift up her eyes so much
    more as they have become droopy over time. Also, her current make up routine of making her eyes really dark and her lips rather pale doesn’t do her any justice. I’d suggest her make up artist to use lighter colors on her eyes to open her eyes up more (which are quite hooded and deepset now) and to use more color on her skin and lips. Like a nice coral blush with some pink lipstick would do wonders!

    1. justsarahg Post author

      She looks like she got botox on her top lip. People do this to prevent your smile from showing too much of your gums. Some people’s top lip gets much smaller when they smile, and it’s a way to combat this. I think it’s hideous and I wish she would STOP!


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