Beauty · Make-up

Brow-how: all you need to know how

In my last video (Cheap and easy eyebrows in 30 seconds!), I mentioned that I was working on a detailed post about eyebrows and how to know what shape is best for you.  Here it is…

Eyebrows are one of those make-up trends that come and go… They have a fickle and temperamental history, much like their willingness to grow back (or not!) after a brutal plucking session. Once upon a time it was fashionable to pluck them to within an inch (or millimetre) of their life. In the 1930s people would shave them off and draw them back on again with pencil. Not so long ago came the ‘power brow‘: thick and full to give confidence and add depth to the eyes. Now it’s all about sleek and on fleek

It’s a lot to keep up with but that’s exactly my point today: is what’s currently on trend going to suit everybody anyway? I don’t think suitability for the masses is really a focus when trends are established…  So how do we know what’s going to suit us and what trends we should really steer clear of?

When I teach with eyebrow shaping and make-up, we look at face shapes and how we can have an impact on them when we shape eyebrows or apply make-up.  It’s not complicated; there are just a few simple things to consider to know how to work things in the best way for you.  Firstly, you need to know your face shape:

Image taken from
If you’re going to have a look at your own face shape, make sure your hair is scraped right back off your face: the shape your hairline makes is a big part of your face shape and you need to see it properly.  You face shape is created by your hairline, your jawline and your chin.


A heart face shape is wider at the forehead and narrower at the jaw.  The hairline around the forehead includes a ‘widow’s peak’, either side of which, the hair line may recede (when I say recede, I’m talking about the shape your hair line makes, not suggesting you’re losing hair!).  The chin also narrows to a point (be it a soft point or a pointy point).


A long face shape tends to be the same width at the forehead and the jawline, with an oval shape to the chin (as opposed to a pointy or a broad chin).  The face is longer in length that it is in width and it can therefore appear somewhat narrow.


A triangle face tends to be wider at the forehead and narrower at the jawline, with the chin creating somewhat of a point.  Rarely (although I have seen this!) a triangle face can also be the reverse of this: wider at the jawline and narrower at the forehead, with the hairline creating a peak at the centre of the forehead.


A square face will have a wide forehead and an equally wide jawline.  The hairline at the forehead will create ‘corners’ and the chin will be flatter, perhaps only slightly lower than the jawline.  The outer part of the jawbone (on both sides of the face) will have quite a strong shape, creating ‘corners’ to the face.  The length of the face will be very similar to the width of it, appearing quite short.


This will have a round curve created by the hairline at the forehead, the jawline will equally appear quite rounded and the chin will be flatter, perhaps only slightly lower than the jawline. The length of the face will be very similar to the width of it, appearing quite short.


An oval face is very well balanced and relatively symmetrical.  It will have a slight curvature of the hairline at the forehead and a gentle curvature at the jawline, with the chin creating a soft point.  It will be longer than it is wide but not narrow in its appearance.  When shaping eyebrows and applying make-up, this is the face shape that we aim for, as it doesn’t have dominance in any one particular feature and is therefore considered balanced.

When we know what someone’s face shape is, we can decide what we want to do with it.  Generally speaking (in eyebrow shaping and make-up), we want to balance face shapes that have dominant features.  Take a long face shape for example: it can appear narrow, so we can shape eyebrows and use make-up to add width.  It is long, so we can use make-up to partially hide length…  Make-up artists do this all the time and we don’t always make a big deal about it but Kim Kardashian is one celebrity who comes to mind who has made public some of her artists’ secrets in changing or correcting her face shape and facial features.  I think it’d be a nice thing for everyone to know the basics of this, so that we can all make the best decisions for ourselves.

There are different eyebrow shapes (that people naturally have or that can be created) and each one will have a different effect:

Excuse my terrible sketching!
The two shapes that are most tricky are rounded and oblique: you need to have the hair in the right place to create these shapes in the first place, so they’re not possible for everyone. Also important to say, is that rounded eyebrows are not the most desirable because they can appear quite ‘clown’ like…  The oblique shape is quite theatrical and expressive, a little like what Dame Edna had!  The main players tend to be: straight, arched and angular.

Straight eyebrows are great at adding width to a narrow face shape, so if your face shape is long (and narrow) or if you have a narrow forehead compared to your jawline (a triangle face shape), then a straight eyebrow will really help to balance this.

An angular eyebrow balances faces that are predominantly rounded; it adds angles to a face that doesn’t have any. So this would suit round and oval face shapes.

An arched eyebrow is the most popular, versatile and flattering eyebrow shape: it suits every face shape. The main effect it has is to soften face shapes that have angles (triangle, square, heart) but it’s also good for wide foreheads, as it doesn’t focus on width.

So when these eyebrow fashions come out, I tend to look at what the fashion is and decide what it’s going to do for my face shape. If it comes down to thickness of eyebrow, instead of shape, then I think that’s personal preference and it’s always fun to have a play to see what suits! I personally don’t suit thicker, ‘power brows’, as they’re too dominant and tend to darken and shrink my eyes, whereas I’ve always wanted my eyes to be big and bright instead.  The arched, sleek and perfectly manicured eyebrows that are everywhere at the moment are actually one of the best eyebrow trends because they suit almost everybody.

I hope this post has been helpful and you’ve found the information easy to follow, so you can determine what would suit you the best. How do you go about creating the shape, once you’ve determined what you’d suit? Well that’s for you to have a go at yourself or for you to ask a professional to create it for you!

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Thanks for reading x


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