Brows are one of the most highly requested topics that we get from our readers and friends alike, so we were super excited to have gotten the opportunity to sit down with Benefit Cosmetics’s Global Brow Expert, Jared Robert Bailey, to hear his thoughts on all things brows.
Jared has been at Benefit Cosmetics for a whopping 11 years, and has been acting as their International Spokesperson for the past four – you can bet he really knows brows!
From crazy brow trends (we’ll show you his candy brow) to the brow mapping technique for beginners, Jared spilled the beans and told us a ton of things about brows we’d never have thought about.
- He hates the lizard brows
- Lining your brows is a thing on the streets of America
- The craziest brow look he's ever seen in the USA?
- He thinks most people can pull off this brow trend
- If Jared had to wear this brow trend for a month, it'd be this one
- Jared created this crazy brow look at home on a whim
- Would he ever consider tattooing his brows?
- He tints his brow as often as he gets a hair cut
- Professional brow tinting will never make you look unnatural
- He's sporting a Korean straight brow too
- There's a reason why Asians tend to go for straighter brows
- How to do brow mapping to find the best brow shape for your features
- Jared's tips for drawing eyebrows for beginners
He hates the lizard brows
As you can expect from the Global Brow Expert from Benefit Cosmetics, Jared has seen a lot of crazy brows around, but he’s not yet seen the gecko brows that’s gone viral in recent months.
“That really makes me a little nauseous,” he says as he looks at an image we showed him. But whatever he thinks about the lizard brows, he thinks the various crazy brow trends that’s been gripping social media over the past few years has been a great sign.
“We’re in a very interesting time for brows,” says Jared. “The eyebrows are becoming a new canvas for self-expression. Personally, I love it when I see these trends happening, it’s a great sign to prove that brows are no longer just a trend, it’s become a fundamental piece of your look.
“Trends come and go, but when you take this one feature and you start really playing with it, creating products that help you to do things like that – that’s when you know something is moving past a trend phase and now it’s fundamental.”
Lining your brows is a thing on the streets of America
It may not have caught on yet in Singapore, but according to Jared, browliner is not an uncommon thing to see worn by regular people on the streets of America.
“There are runway looks, and then there are on-the-street looks – it’s all about how it gets translated. On the runway, we saw gold brows that were gilded all the way across, and that got translated into what I would call browliner,” he explains.
“This was a big thing in the U.S. just maybe five months ago, where people were taking electric colours and doing a line underneath the brow, just like how you’d do eyeliner. You follow the angle of your brow bone as you draw a line underneath your brow shape to give it an extra pop. I saw a lot of people with that on the streets!
“Some people were playing with monochromatic looks, where they use a colour similar to their brows. I’ve also seen neon colours for festival season, or metallic colours as browliner for the holidays.”
The craziest brow look he’s ever seen in the USA?
We know that Americans tend to be more unabashed about the makeup looks they wear out, so what’s the craziest brow look Jared has ever seen there?
“I saw this lady in New York once who had words tattooed where her brows used to be,” says Jared, almost cringing at the memory. “That’s like a commitment. I’ve done some crazy things in my life, but it’s never gotten to that.”
When asked what the words were, Jared says he doesn’t remember. “Perhaps ‘Mistake’? No, I’m just kidding. When you see someone like that, you don’t go close enough to see what it says.”
It wasn’t even meant to be an optical illusion meant to pass off as brows, according to Jared. “The words were in cursive script and tattooed in black.”
He thinks most people can pull off this brow trend
Brow trends may be fun to look at, but most people would never even dream of attempting that type of look for fun, much less wear it out. The squiggly brows for work? No, thanks.
So what does Jared think is a brow trend that most people should be able to pull off?
“The rainbow brow trend is pretty wearable, where there are multiple colours through the brow,” says Jared excitedly. “You can also adjust the level of saturation. We launched a product to help create that kind of look, the new 3D Brow Tones by Benefit.”
This product is even better suited for brow beginners who are hesitant about the kind of brow looks they can pull off. “The metallic formula actually highlights the brow hairs,” says Jared. “It’s like a glaze rather than a mascara which coats hairs from root to tip. It comes in colours like rich purple, deep blue, and copper, so it lets you have fun playing with different colours.”
If Jared had to wear this brow trend for a month, it’d be this one
We had initially asked him what brow trend he’d try out for a day, but Jared gamely says that he’d do any of them. “Besides the lizard brows,” he makes sure to quantify.
So we had to change our question and asked him which brow trend he’d be OK with wearing for a whole month. Jared first considers an unconventional choice, “I think the dragon brow would be kind of cool for me. I’d probably go with that and be into that.
But in the end, he picks the safer choice of rainbow brows for the trend he’d wear for an entire month. “Colours are a fun way to go, it’s easier to play with than shapes. It’s a safe way of self-expression whereas shapes are a commitment. When you change your shape to do the dragon brow or the wiggle brow, that’s when you know you’re in deep.”
Jared created this crazy brow look at home on a whim
Having done creepy crawly brow looks for Halloween parties before, we had to ask Jared what’s the craziest look he’s ever done on himself, and we were bowled over by his answer. “I think the candy brow was my favourite.”
He bought a bag of lollipops, crushed them up before using tweezers to pick up individual crushed pieces and dipping them in water. “It becomes really sticky, then you just stick it on your brow and it doesn’t move. Once it dries, it isn’t sticky at all!”
Jared crusted his entire brow with crushed hard candies and the end result was nothing short of fabulous.
“I call it the Edibrows. I just did it one day for no reason, when I felt like playing around with some things. It looks like a kaleidoscope! It doesn’t hurt your skin, it doesn’t hurt your hair, it’s just sugar. When you get into the shower, it just comes right off.”
That’s quite a bit of effort, but definitely something we’d consider doing for Halloween parties!
Would he ever consider tattooing his brows?
The short answer was a quick negative. “I love tattoos, but I don’t like brow tattoos,” says Jared firmly.
When we pressed him on what colour he’d tattoo them if he had to, he took a while to consider the question. “I would probably pick something really futuristic, like silvery gray or a gunmetal type of colour. My hair’s not getting any darker, so with that sort of colour, I could go in and add texture with something like Precisely My Brow. It could be kind of fun!”
He tints his brow as often as he gets a hair cut
For many brow beginners here in Singapore, brow tinting can be a little intimidating because of its semi-permanent nature.
We’re sure that many of us have also seen botched jobs where the eyebrows look like thick solid strips above the eyes, making the whole face look cartoony and unnatural. If that has scared you off brow tinting, hear what Jared has to say.
“It sounds scary, but go to places that are known for good quality brow tinting services. Benefit has been doing brow tinting since the 70’s, and we use tints and dyes that are specially made for brow hairs and lashes, so there’s really no risks.”
His tips for beginners is to start light and take baby steps before finding out your ideal shade. After all, the tint will eventually fade away, and will be gone completely after two to three weeks. “Every day, you’re saying goodbye just a little bit to your brow tint. I live just a block and a half away from a Benefit boutique, so I get mine done every three weeks. I’m in pretty good shape.”
Professional brow tinting will never make you look unnatural
We never knew this, but there’s a huge difference in the end results between professional brow tinting and those peel-off products that you can use at home.
“With the peel-off products, it’s really hard to get a defined shape because those are staining your skin. With the tints that Benefit uses, we are really tinting the hair. In fact, we use a barrier cream to protect the skin while the hair is being dyed,” says Jared, who also expresses his love for natural-looking fullness in his brows achieved through brow tinting.
“Those peel-off things, it’s like, you don’t want to peel anything off your brows. Protect the hair that you’ve got!”
He’s sporting a Korean straight brow too
When we met up with Jared, we were surprised to see that his brows were full but not bushy, straight but not squarish. In other words, it was a perfect balance that complemented his face shape and features.
“My brows are pretty straight, especially for an American. I deliberately shaped them this way. I tweeze them to be straighter, then I fill it in to make it even straighter then,” he explains his process of achieving that ideal brow shape. “It’s a really modern look! I used to have pretty arched brows five years ago, but now they’re really straight.”
The straight brow look was unquestionably popularised by Korean celebrities. While it’s not surprising in the least that Singaporean women should be fascinated by this Korean beauty trend, we expressed some surprise that America is following suit as well.
“I think Korea is ground zero for beauty. A lot of trends and technology start there. It then spreads throughout the Eastern world and it’s making its way in the Western world as well.
“It’s becoming more and more popular to have straight brows in the U.S. People like Kendell Jenner and Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, have straight brows. A lot of figures in popular culture have that and then people take their influence from them as well.”
There’s a reason why Asians tend to go for straighter brows
Jared really lives up to his name as a Global Brow Expert when he elaborated on why arched brows had always been more popular in the Western world, and why Asia is now kickstarting the straight brows trend.
“I travel to about 50 countries a year so I see brows all around the world. With Westerners, as you can see with my brows, the hairs tend to grow upwards, whereas for most Asians, their hairs grow down.
“When hairs grow down, it does not expose the brow bone as much and it makes [the brow] appear straighter. When the hairs grow up, you expose the brow bone more and it looks more naturally arched.”
Talk about learning something new every day! However, Jared emphasises that it’s important to work with what you have, instead of forcing yourself to pull off an unsuitable look.
“What’s starting to trend more and more is working with your natural facial features. If you have big eyes, big cheeks, big lips, you tend to have bigger, wider brows. People are now looking at their facial features and going with what suits them best. You want your brows to mirror your features, not overpower them.”
How to do brow mapping to find the best brow shape for your features
Obviously, Benefit Cosmetics is renowned for their brow services on top of their brow products, so it’s unsurprising that they are experts in the brow mapping technique that they have been using since the 70’s to help their clients determine the best brow shape for their features.
Jared taught us how in a few simple steps, “Take your favourite brow pencil and put it straight up against the dimple of your nose, where nose piercings usually are. This is where your brow will start. The closer your brows are together, the closer your eyes will look.”
After this, find our where the highest point of your arch will be – this is important whether you’re filling in an arched or a straight brow.
“Measure from the outer part of your nose across the center of the eye to see where your brow will be the highest. This will help to open the eye and make it look rounder.” If you’re doing a straight brow, you can create a flatter line between the first and second point, but you still need this point to know where to start tapering your brows.
Finally, you need the last point to know where to end your brows. “To find the ends, you measure the outer portion across the outer corner of the eye, this should be the point where your brow should end.”
So why is this whole brow mapping technique important to you, even if you’re just doing regular everyday makeup?
“Brow mapping could change your entire face shape. The longer your brows are, it will make your face shape look more oval. If the brows were shorter, the face starts to look rounder. So you need to find those three points and fill in your brow shape based on that.
“When you work with Mother Nature, rather than fighting her, the end result usually looks better.”
Jared’s tips for drawing eyebrows for beginners
1. Understand how to map your brows
As a beginner at brows, you want to make sure that your end result is at least of a flattering shape, even if you haven’t gotten the drawing techniques down pat yet. The brow mapping technique Jared outlined above is essential for this.
2. Pick the right product to fill it in
Make sure you know what’s the difference between the different brow products now available in the market, and try them out! “Choose what’s right for you and what makes you most comfortable,” says Jared.
“If you want something more natural, choose a pencil,” explains Jared. “There are two different types of pencil. There are microliners that create those little, hair-like strokes with which you can fill in the brows. Then you have those broad-tip pencils that have creamier formulas, with which you can create a wash of colour across the brow, something like a a glaze.
“If you want something that really mimics hair, go for fiber-based gels like Benefit’s Gimme Brow. If you want something super defined, go for creams and pomades. They’re highly pigmented and they come with built-in brushes with which you can sculpt and define any brow shape you want.
“Lastly, there are powders, which are the simplest, easiest and safest. Women are used to powders, and they’re easy and not intimidating because they’re not super saturated in colour.
“They’re usually packaged in a duo, there’s always two shades and not just one. Benefit has ours in the shape of a brow so you know exactly where to place them. You should be using a lighter colour at the head of your brow and a darker one at the tip for a more contoured look. This give you a bit more definition.”
What if Jared had to pick one product for any beginner out there who doesn’t even know what they’d want?
“I’d probably pick Benefit’s Precisely My Brow, a microliner. If you want it natural, you do these little hair-like flicks to the brow from start to end. You want to leave space in between each stroke because you want to see skin to make it look natural.
“If you want it more defined, you can also use a microliner to start sketching the outline of the brow after identifying the three points from brow mapping. Microliners are probably the most versatile type of tool.”
3. Pick a shade that matches your hair
You may think that this sounds like a no-brainer, but many of us are still going for eyebrow shades that are one or two shades lighter than our hair. This is primarily because our hair is mostly jet-black here in Asia, and the idea of having jet-black brows sounds too harsh and odd.
Jared acknowledges this phenomenon. “A lot of people, especially Asian women, are really afraid to pick products that are the exact colour of their hair because they think it’s really dark.”
He doesn’t agree with this, however. “You don’t use pencils on your face the way you use it on paper. You’re not pushing hard, you don’t use the same amount of pressure. Pick a brow shade that’s identical to your hair, and adjust the pressure when applying to change the saturation instead of picking a lighter shade.”
4. Draw your brows with intention
Just like the rest of your makeup, Jared believes that drawing your eyebrows should be done with intention. Nobody puts highlighter, bronzer, and contour at random spots on their face, after all.
“It’s the same with brows,” says Jared. “You don’t use one product and go through your entire brows with them. You change the pressure, you lighten it up, you deepen it in certain places, and then it becomes a no-brainer, it’s easy!”
With practice, we’re sure it will be as easy as Jared make it sound!