If you hadn’t already realised, the shape and style of your eyebrows can more dramatically change your look than any other feature on your face. Check out how different Taiwanese actress and singer Rainie Yang looks between her teenage years and now.
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The photo is taken more than 10 years apart, and while Rainie doesn’t look a day older, you can tell there’s an obvious difference in her appearance. The reason? It’s all in the eyebrows.
The arched brows she was sporting back in the early 2000’s were in trend back then, but it didn’t suit her face shape and features. Since then, she has gone for a softer, natural arc which dramatically softened her face while adding femininity and grace.
Now we know that eyebrows are all-important in someone’s look. What tips do our local makeup artists have to impart to us about what you should be looking out for when you’re drawing them? Read on to find out.
1. Straight brows don’t suit everyone
The Korean straight brows might be all the rage now because of how successfully Korean celebrities have pulled it off, but they’re actually not suitable for everyone. In fact, veteran makeup artists Benedict Choo and Cynthia Oh prefer a natural brow shape.
“Not everyone looks nice with straight brows,” says Benedict. “Having a slight arch is perfect, that’s how our brows grow naturally.”
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Gin Chia, another top local makeup artist, thinks it can look good on some. “It can give you a more youthful look, but many local young ladies overdo it and start looking like Crayon Shin-Chan. Try not to go on too straight or too thick and remember to give it a subtle arch to make it look more natural.”
“Your brows should be drawn according to your facial features,” says TG Goh, celebrity makeup artists with more than 10 years of experience in the field. “Try giving your eyebrow more arch if you have a rounder face – this will help to elongate your face shape and counterbalance the roundness.”
“If your forehead is slightly higher and narrower, you can go for a straight, slightly arched brow.”
2. Play it safe with eyebrow embroidery
We have seen a skyrocketing of interest in eyebrows here in Singapore over the past few years. With that also came a new popular wave of eyebrow embroidery, a semi-permanent procedure almost akin to tattooing your brows.
Eyebrow embroidery makes your brows look naturally fuller and thicker, and also negates the need to draw your eyebrows every day.
The makeup artists generally agreed the eyebrow embroidery is a great invention that would be especially useful for those who naturally have sparse or thin eyebrows. Furthermore, it saves a lot of time and is super convenient.
“Don’t over do it, though,” Cynthia warns. “Go for a natural brown colour that won’t look too harsh on you, and don’t do a super thick or straight shape. If you embroider them on the thinner side, you can always thicken them up with drawing. Your eyebrow embroidery will be stuck with you for a long time, while eyebrow trends come and go.”
TG also feels that eyebrow embroidery is perfect for those with faint eyebrows, but has these words of caution. “Embroider a shade lighter than your regular hair colour so that it looks less fierce. For those who love to change hair colour, please think twice about embroidering your brows. The permanent shade of your brows may not go well with your different hair colours.”
3. The makeup artists’ favourite brow products
We asked them what their favourite brow products to create the perfect brow, and this is what they had to say:
- Benedict Choo: Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil
- Cynthia Oh: Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil, Patty Brow Gel Mascara, Chanel eyebrow powder
- Gin Chia: L’Oreal Paris brow pens, Etude House eyebrow pencils
- TG Goh: Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil for shoots and personal brow grooming, brow pen liners for staying power from brands like Stila and Eyeko
You can already tell that the Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil was a unanimous favourite amongst our makeup artists. It was rated 4.5 stars on Makeupalley.
Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil retails for SGD33 at all Shu Uemura counters and at Tangs.
Check out some of the other best eyebrow pencils in this listicle!
4. How to find out the brow colour most flattering on you
In general, most of the makeup artists agreed that your brow colour should closely match your hair, but they still do have some tips on how to pick the right one for you.
“Your eyebrows should be the same shade as your hair, but if you have jet-black hair, then go for a slightly lighter shade for a softer look,” says Valerie Tang Yong, established makeup artist.
TG agrees with this, and adds, “For vibrant hair colours or highlights, choose a natural light brown shade that would not overpower the colours in your hair.”
Cynthia, however, feels that a natural brown can’t go wrong. “I always use a natural brown colour for the brows. I feel that it flatters almost everyone.”
With Gin, she once had a client tell her that her brows needed to match her eye colour instead of her hair. “What if you had blue or green eyes?” Gin retorts. Instead, she advocates using brown brow mascara sparingly. “It does make quite a bit of difference to your overall makeup look. I use the one from Etude House on myself.”
5. Make your eyebrow stay all day
Eyebrow colours typically should stay in place for most of your day, unless your skin is on the oilier end of the spectrum, or if you’re heading to an outdoors event on a hot day. What can you do in those circumstances to make your brows stick around?
“Draw the outline of your brow shape with an eyebrow pencil first, use brow powder to fill in your brows, and then seal it all with a good brow gel mascara,” says Cynthia. “You can even waterproof your brows with a waterproof sealant.”
Gin has a slightly different method of setting her brows. “I like to pat setting powder onto my brows to make sure they stay, and also to soften the colour of the brow. This can make my brows look a shade lighter than it did originally, so I typically draw them a shade darker so that the colour is correct after I put on the powder.”
TG also employs this method, using “either fine loose powder or eye shadows in natural brown” to set the brow colour after drawing and shaping. If needed, he would also set the eyebrows with some brow mascara, but using gentle strokes.
The experts we spoke to
Having been in the makeup artistry line for the past decade and more, industry veteran Benedict Choo’s work is not only seen regularly in local magazine photoshoots, but also on international celebrities. He has worked with big names such as Eva Longoria, Roger Kwok, Kenneth Ma, Zoe Tay, Quan Yifeng and Carrie Wong.
Having graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business and Marketing, Cynthia originally began her foray into makeup artistry as a hobby. What was a sideline interest soon became a career motivation, as she eventually took a Professional Diploma in Advanced Bridal, Fashion, Glamour, Period, Photographic and Creative Makeup from The School of Makeup in Singapore. Since then, she has developed a strong style in editorial makeup and hair styling, and her works have appeared on cover pages and editorial spreads in magazines such as Singapore Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, and Today.
Facebook: Gin Chia Makeup
Website: Gin Chia Makeup
Armed with a Diploma in Bridal, Photographic & Fashion Makeup from Cosmoprof Academy, Gin Chia has established a successful makeup artistry brand specialising in bridal makeup and hairstyles. Having earned her reputation in makeup artistry, Gin has been featured in numerous magazines under lists of influential top local makeup artists
Facebook: TG Goh
TG Goh has been making people beautiful with his makeup artistry skills for more than 20 years now. He is a regular makeup artist for many local bridal magazines, and has worked with stars such as Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Sharon Au and Vivian Lai.
Valerie Tang Yong
Facebook: Tangyong Hair & Makeup
Website: Tangyong Makeup
Valerie is an award-winning makeup artist that has been featured in several bridal magazines and top makeup artists features over the past few years. She is not only a full-time makeup artist, but also a full-time mom, so Valerie is definitely something of a Superwoman by her own rights. Her successful makeup artistry brand, Tangyong Makeup, has won numerous awards in various local magazines.