They say your eyes are the windows to your soul. You wouldn't want ratty drapes blocking anyone's view, right? No matter how beautiful your eyes, or how meticulous your eye makeup, unruly brows can ruin the whole effect, drawing attention away from your peepers and making your face look unfinished or unbalanced. Luckily, there's lots of brow beating technology in the cosmetics world now, so worrying about misshapen, patchy arches becomes a thing of the past.
There are basically four tools to pick from if you want a quickie, one-step brow shape-up: pencils, powders, waxes or gels. Traditional pencils, like Dianne Brill's Eye Lingerie Dual Brow Pencil ($24) are easy-to-operate precision tools that let you fill in patches with small, swift strokes and allow you to trace along your natural arch. Stick to pencils if you've got a steady hand and if your arch shape is easy to identify. Don't go too heavy—drawn-on brows (especially thin, too-perfect ones) are just as bad as bushy brows.
Pick a tinted brow powder or wax, like Benefit's Brow Zings ($30), for the most un-made up look. Brow Zings' split palette contains a contouring wax and a complementary setting powder for a one-two punch of arch support. Choose a powder that's one shade darker than your hair color and pat it into your brows with an angled, stiff-bristled brush, following the natural direction of hair growth. You can get a long-handled brush from Bare Escentuals ($24) if the brush that comes with your kit is too stumpy and you want more control. Lorac Brow Wax ($16) is another no-nonsense option you can smooth on with your fingers or a Q-tip. After trimming brows (go easy—it's always better to trim too little than too much!), use your index fingers and smooth up and outward, starting at the insides of your brows by your nose. One quick slick and voila! Brow beauty.
Brow gels are another simple way to go. They're the best option for extending the life of salon-perfect brows after you've had a professional wax or thread job you want to maintain. Benefit's Speed Brow ($16) and Paula Dorf's Brow Gel ($19) work just like mascara for your arches. Sweep it on and let it set for a sleek look (think of what hair gel does for your ponytail). In a pinch, a bit of good old fashioned Vaseline will work, too.
If your brows are more of a mess than a single makeup product can cure, you may want to invest in a whole-hog brow shaping kit to clean up your arch act. Anastasia of Beverly Hills, browmaster to the stars, has cleverly packaged her tools of the trade into one chic Brow Shaping Set ($75) that includes two-toned brow powder, a two-ended shaping and filling brush, brow gel, a highlighting pencil, tweezers, and four foolproof eyebrow stencils. (Just need a little color-inside-the-lines assistance? Get Anastasia's Stencil Kit for $20). Tarte's Toolbox ($32) is a pocket-sized version of Anastasia's kit, with mini brushes, gel, tweezers, stencils and a pencil tucked into a tiny palette. And if you feel more comfortable leaving it to the pros, have a little touch-up kit on hand. Bliss Poetic Brow Shaping Sugar Wax kit ($40) comes with easy-to-apply sugar wax, muslin strips, and calming gel to target the little bite of waxing.