A Tip to Get a Relaxed Brow Look That Still Looks Sharp: It’s All in the Brush, Naturally

Published in: Eyes, Makeup

makeup tips for eyebrows

Using a MAC 239 brush to fill in mah brows!

My fellow eyebrow enthusiasts, STOP! Lend me your ears…your brows and your favorite flat eyeshadow brush. 🙂

Instead of filling in the sparse areas of your little caterpillars with a brow powder and an angled eye brush, try using a stiff, flat eyeshadow brush with a rounded edge instead.


I think it just creates a really natural brow look, but still one that’s sharp and put together.

Wish I could say that the idea struck me like a bolt of makeup lightening, BAM! — but it was more a product of necessity being the mother of invention.

One day I couldn’t find my MAC 266 Small Angle Brush — the same one I’ve been using for years to fill in my brows (it must have fallen and rolled under the dresser or, more likely, Tabs hid it) — so I grabbed a MAC 214 Short Shader Brush instead.

Don’t ask me why. It just seemed like a decent idea at the time.

And I guess it was because I loved the results! It’s a more natural, relaxed brow look. They’re a little thicker and slightly undone, but I think it’s a great look for casual makeup.

If you don’t happen to have a 214, try another flat eyeshadow brush, or a perhaps something like the MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush or Laura Mercier Smudge Brush. I’ve also used them for this, and you get basically the same look.

I think the key is to try an eyeshadow brush that’s a little stiff, ideally one with a slightly rounded head.

Did that into your favorite brow powder, tap off the excess, and fill in those sparse spots…

brushes for filling in eyebrows

From the left: MAC 214 Short Shader Brush, Laura Mercier Smudge Brush, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush

makeup tips for eyebrows

I haven’t tried this yet with brow wax or a brow pencil, but I want to. Let me know if you do and how it turns out. 🙂

Greetings from Napa!

Well, technically Yountville. I drove up here today to have lunch with my parents and some cousins who are visiting from the Philippines. The cousins wanted to see Wine Country, so we met at one of my favorite restaurants up here, Bottega Napa.


I’m glad the cousins got to enjoy a nice, sunny day and see the vineyards and rolling hills. The weather’s been hit or miss here lately.

I’m just about to head back home to Novato, and it’s about a 40-mile drive, so I better get to it.

Hope you’re having a good day so far. See you in a few.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 15 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I really am loving these softer, slightly fuller brows on you. This is how I like to do my brows too. I have a fear of overdone, angular, too-obviously-filled-in brows so I like to keep both the color and the brush really soft for a more natural-looking brow.
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: NEW Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Dark Circle Concealer #2 and #3 Review & Swatches

  2. Teri says:

    Ok, this is really interesting Karen! I am a big fan of the 266 but I can totally see how a short shader brush can give a softer line. May I ask which colour that mac eyeshadow is? Just curious :p. I use Mac Concrete, it’s ashy enough and the perfect shade without being too dark. Anyway, I must look into an extra shader brush now! Thanks for this Karen!
    Teri recently posted … How I Correct My Eye Shape

  3. Marla says:

    I don’t think I could give up my Mac 208 eyebrow brush. That along with my Maybelline 24hr color tattoo eyeshadow in “tough as taupe”, and I have perfect eyebrows that last all day.

  4. Ashley says:

    Just tried this using my Sigma E20 and MAC Charcoal Brown… AMAZING!!! Thanks for the tip!

  5. Denise S says:

    Can’t wait to try this trick! I use a angled brush and Benefit brow zings which has a wax and powder. When I tried using eyeshadow on my brows without wax or gel to set it, it doesn’t last through the day.

  6. Hanna says:

    This is a great idea.
    Hanna recently posted … Book Review: The Publicist

  7. Chelsea says:

    Love your brow look! I’m hooked on the MUFE Aqua Brow in 15… I apply it with a spoolie so it goes on like a brow mascara, and it seems to work for me! (Especially since I have a hard time finding a powder or pencil that works – my eyebrows are a blondy-taupe color, but my hair is red, and finding something that doesn’t make it look awkward is difficult!)

  8. Jennifer says:

    I learned this trick when I worked in the corporate offices of Shiseido!

  9. RM says:

    Lovely brows! But I must know what lipcolor you are wearing? It’s gorgeous.

  10. R says:

    RM read my mind.


  11. liza says:

    My fav for brows lately is the Kelley Quan wave brush (#17). Have you tried it?

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