Quick Makeup Tip: Fill In Your Brows First

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

fill in brows first final

Here’s a quick cosmetics contractor tip to help with your look construction: try filling in your brows before you start applying your eye makeup, instead of filling them in after you’ve finished with your eyeshadow, liner, mascara, etc.


The reason? Well, you may have heard the phrase, “Brows frame the face,” which they do by creating a strong reference point around which to build the rest of your look. When my brows are filled in, it’s easier to tell how far out I need to take my eyeshadow, or how far up I can bring my transition colors, or how long I can make the wing for my winged liner.


Since my face and my brows aren’t perfectly symmetrical (seriously, most aren’t), filling in my brows first and getting them to look symmetrical sets me up for a more polished, symmetrical finished makeup look.

Mastering Cat Eyes, by Jeremy Renner and Tabs the Cat

I know you wish this book was real!!

That saying, “Brows frame the face” — I really want to give credit to Jeremy Renner for that phrase, LOL! But I don’t think he was the first makeup artist to say it — it’s true. They really do.

Give it a try one of these days if it isn’t something you already do, and fill in your brows first. It makes a huge difference for me. I hope it helps you too. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Tulipthecat says:

    How funny that you mention brows first. I’ve been putting on moisturizer, then primer, then doing my hair, then foundation, then my brows, then concealer, then powder, bronzer, blush, then eye makeup. I was trying to figure out what to do in order to let my foundation sink in as you recommended in one of your posts so I started doing my brows while I waited 🙂

    • Karen says:

      It makes a difference, I think! (Both letting the foundation sink in and doing brows first.) It’s a subtle thing, but it helps. 🙂

      I hope that you and Tulip are doing well. Tabs has been napping all day. I think he’s just happy that it’s not raining outside. He was really scared yesterday because we had thunderstorms in the morning. Poor Tabby!

      • Tulipthecat says:

        I think it does help because my makeup seems to look better.

        Poor Tabs…it can be scary to hear thunder and see lightening. Tulip was in the house all of yesterday but I think she was just sleeping. There weren’t any thunderstorms where I was. I do know that she gets frightened when it’s windy and when there is lightening at night because she jumps all over the place. Jazmine definitely doesn’t get scared. She use to live in upstate New York where they have frequent thunder and lightening storms.

        As I was walking around campus today at work I saw a feral Tabby cat and it made me think of Tabs. We have lots of feral cats here on campus and near the bay trail. They usually come out onto the trail around 11am or noon because that’s when the people come to feed them. I love going there and seeing them. Here on campus people have built little cat houses and there are bowls of food and water around for them.

        I loved that sweater dress you posted about the other day. Next time there is a Loft sale I’ll have to get one. I’m glad that you and baby girl are doing well 🙂

  2. Chelsea says:

    I would so buy that book!

    I’ve been doing a slightly more natural brow look lately, since mine are behaving, and I’m digging a more natural look. I’m just using the Glossier Boy Brow. I bought some of their other products with varying levels of success, but this holds my brows in place without crunchiness and adds a bit of color while still looking completely natural. Color was pretty good too (my brows are dirty blond, my hair is red – red eyebrows look terrible, but too-ashy colors look terrible too).

    • Karen says:

      I wish you could! And I wish I was the ghost writer. LOL!

      How are you and the fur kids doing this week? Good I hope!

      • Chelsea says:

        The feline furkids are great, except that Mina ate a pink feather off of a toy the other day. Silly kitten!

        Quincy is still on antibiotics and dewormer, but is in very good spirit and super adorable. He and Mina were playing a lot last night.

  3. Kwmechelle says:

    I do this too. And I agree, it totally helps with figuring out how far to take my eyeshadow & winged liner.

  4. Louise says:

    Hmm interesting… I also read recently that it helps to put highlight on before contour and bronzer but I keep forgetting to try it!

  5. Lauren says:

    I have always done this! Mainly because brows are the most boring part of makeup to me so get it outta the way!! I also do my eyes before foundation in case of fall out, mascara smears, etc.

  6. Okay, so foundation/concealer, brows, eyes, powder, blush, lips is the right way to go? I need to write that down somewhere…
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Inspired by… Chanel Rouge Noir Absolument 2015

  7. I usually do foundation first, then brows, then eyes, then cheeks + powder. I used to do brows last though, but it makes more sense to do them first or at least earlier in my routine.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | EviDenS de Beauté The Make-up Remover Oil

  8. Bree says:

    I always do my brows first that away if I get heavy handed or color out of the lines my foundation will help correct it. I’ll run my brow gel through them as my very last step. I do my eyes, then face.

  9. Kim says:

    OMG, this is (one of the many reasons) why I love you! HAHA! As soon as I read the headline, I thought “Brows Frame the Face…. sigh, Jeremy Renner…”. 🙂 You can imagine that my smile only got bigger as I scrolled.

    I usually do mascara first, then clean up my lids, slather on the Pro Prime and then do my brows (then liner and sometimes shadow). So my face is framed before any of the lid work. 🙂

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