My Eyebrow Essentials

When it comes to eyebrows, I’m pretty sure we all went several phases before finding the right one for us. Even so, it’s still evolving because we’ll find different ways to improve it or adjust it every now and then. Moreover, finding the products that suit the skin and the color of the brows can be quite challenging on its own. One thing for sure, there are times when I look back and say “what was I thinking with these brows?!”.

After passing a few of awkward periods, I’m finally happy with the brow routine that I’m in. The product selections are right for my skin tone and work well with the natural condition of my brows; fairly thin, but dark hair and a little sparse.

Full details after the jump!

Before I start, I’d like to elaborate a little bit about the type of brows that I like. First, the Instagram brows-on-fleek aren’t for me and I don’t see myself practicing that.. ever? That type of brows require as much as made-up makeup, if you know what I mean. The look is too overly done and doesn’t go with my makeup style either.

My philosophy is creating believable brows. Not trying to fake it as if I was born with them or bragging with the overrated “oh, they look very natural” statement. I’m fully aware that my brows are made up but they are enhanced just enough here and there so they look more polished. I also adjust the intensity depending on the eye makeup, whether I wear less or none. I don’t pluck my brows unless it’s very necessary, e.g only if there’s a random stray hair that’s hindering. I think letting them the way they are helps to retain the integrity of my natural brows.

I generally use two different products because I find layering gives the best effect in the final look. By doing so, I get to achieve different depths/shadows instead of looking “flat” and too covered up.

First up, the base product that has been my best brow friend for the past 3 years, Burberry Beauty Effortless Eyebrow Definer Ash Brown No. 03. This is the first ashy shade I encountered. I prefer ashy, cooler tones for my brows because they fit perfectly with my coloring, including my natural hair color. From the first day I used it, I knew this is the one. Without hesitation, I went back to the counter and bought a couple more backups.

The unique feature is the slanted tip (which by now isn’t so unique anymore). Before I found out about Burberry, I was aware that Shu Uemura, several Korean brands and Tom Ford have this slanted type. But my pick went to Burberry because I love the brand and its aesthetics. The price is lower than Tom Ford’s and easier to use than Shu’s (back then, it was just a pencil, not automated). Sure, Korean ones are cheapest but the risk of blind buy without trying it first made me feel uneasy. I don’t want to end up with unused products because I don’t like them. So, when I had the chance of going to Burberry counter in Hong Kong, I went straight for it.

The slanted tip definitely makes the job easier compared to the conventional pencil type or super fine tip. The width will cover the brows faster and somehow fits the shape of the brows as well. If you’ve never tried this shape, I encourage you to. I’m a total convert!

As a base, I would fill in my brows generically while keep brushing them with the spoolie. I don’t aim to shape them perfectly, just basically to give more coloring on the brow area. By any means, I still can work and use it as it is. But, you know, I like to take it to the next level.

Oh one more thing, I find this lasts for a really long time.

This Burberry Beauty Sheer Eye Shadow in Taupe Brown No. 07 has been in my collection for years now and I’ve only managed to hit pan on a small area. It’s discontinued but the brand reformulated the line, renamed it into Eye Colour Silk and it still has Taupe Brown in the collection. However, I don’t know how it compares in terms of shade or formula because I haven’t gotten a chance to check it out.

I am a huge fan of the Sheer Eye Shadow formulas and I collected them almost to the T back then. Taupe Brown is absolutely one of my favorites because of its versatility. It can be used to deepen the outer V of the eyes, as a soft liner and of course, to fill in the brows. Thanks to its matte ashy, greyish tone, I immediately thought it would be suitable for this purpose as well. FYI, I have been using this eye shadow for a lot longer than the Eyebrow Definer. Before this, I used Anastasia Brow Wiz as a base – great product but it became costly as it ran out very fast.

I use Taupe Brown to fill in what the Eyebrow Definer is missing. Few sparse bits here and there. Using an angled brush with tiny, lightweight strokes while keep brushing the brows with a spoolie to keep everything blended and to retain the softness. Adding the strokes will give dimension to the brows and an illusion of thicker brows without being right-in-your-face. Since I use a brush, I’m able to define the tail of the brows as well.

Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer and the Taupe Brown eye shadow are the two products that I use 90% of the time. Thanks to them, I get the most queries about what I use on my brows to achieve that result you see in my makeup.

Next up, brow pen in the form of liquid. I knew about the existence of SUQQU Eyebrow Liquid Pen from none other than Lisa Eldridge. She uses this very often in her videos and it got me intrigued by how simple yet effective it is to create texture on the brows. Going back and forth, I decided to get 02 Brown. The shade leans on the warmer spectrum but it’s still doable. The sheerness of the product is what helps adding dimension into the brows. Using soft strokes, I am able to mimic the brow’s hair; giving the illusion of thicker brows. I am aiming to try Moss Green shade in the future. The name sounds scary I know, but the color translates well for natural-looking brows. The only downside about SUQQU is the gut-wrenching price, but one pen lasts almost forever LOL.

One day, I saw Catrice and noticed it has a similar product called Longlasting Brow Definer. I chose 020 Flashy Brows because it’s, well, ashy! The price was a total steal, so I didn’t even think twice to get it. I really, really like this one. The tip is fine, a little stiffer than SUQQU‘s but it dispenses product fluidly. It has the same sheerness quality that lends to its easy-to-use, never-overboard result. I can define and add those finishing touches in my brows easily. In terms of color, Catrice is darker than SUQQU so I adjust it according to the rest of the makeup. I actually ended up buying a spare because I’m afraid it might be out of stock, especially after writing it down here *HA*

In terms of usage, I can use these brow pens over the Burberry Eyebrow Definer or on their own. On days where I don’t wear base makeup or any eye makeup, I can take the brow pen and slowly “paint” the brows. Filling the empty spots gently. Even though it’s quite effortless, using the brow pen on its own can take longer depending the kind of detail and result I want. I do the strokes to follow the direction of the hair growth to ensure uniformity while adding my own flair to it. The result is my-brows-but-better.

While it’s a wonderful product, I think these brow pens are more suitable for people who have more prominent brow hair. It lacks depth compares to using darker pigments when there is less hair present. If I may say, it doesn’t offer a lot of contrast, especially if you’re looking to achieve that fuller-looking brows. However, this is a fantastic second product to use after doing the base color to add more interest. This is also very handy to carry around in the bag for touch ups.

Next up, the tools of the trade. The first one is a spoolie. Never underestimate the power of spoolie because it’s a life saver. I like to keep a spoolie handy on one hand, brushing the brows every now and then, making the sure the products are blended into the brows and skin. It offers a quick fix when I applied a little too much, just brush it several times until the pigment fades. I like to brush the brows upwards at the very end so there’s a little bit of crisscross going on. One thing to note is the spoolie needs to be cleansed regularly, because it can get really grimy after a while.

The second tool is my trusty Hakuhodo J163H. I use this to apply Burberry Taupe Brown eye shadow. The angled brush combined with its thin features is perfect to create hair strokes. The horse bristle isn’t the softest but that’s exactly ideal for what I’m trying to achieve. I dip the brush lightly on the eye shadow and barely touched the brows, flicking it several times before going back reloading the pigment. This brush is an absolute must-have tool in my routine. I do not go without it!

Note: Burberry Taupe Brown was applied with Hakuhodo J163H.

 After all this talk and so much “brows”, of course I’ll give you before-after shots:

On my lips is BLP Beauty Lip Coat in Burnt Cinnamon and Lavender Cream.

Here’s the thing. Aside from finding the right products, it’s equally important to practice until we find the technique that works for us and the brows. Trying to find the shape that (I think) goes with my facial features is not a walk in the park. Achieving the shape that I want took so many tryouts. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. This whole brow thing is very personal.

Adjustments are important. It’s clear I can’t rock the same brows as above if I wasn’t wearing any eye makeup. That would be odd and out of place. That’s when I’ll resort to just use a brow pen or lightly color with the Burberry Eyebrow Definer. When my eye makeup is heavier or my lipstick color is bolder, I’d opt of lighter brows so there’s a balance. Sometimes, they’re cleaner and the other times they could be messier. Simply depends on my mood really. It’s just a matter of application, tweak it here and there until I go “OK, they’re good!”.

Of course, there are some bad days where my brows just won’t cooperate and they take forever to be tamed. I could ended up spending 20 minutes alone trying to somewhat rectify them. I’m sure you all can relate to that *LOL*. In the end, it’s a work in progress. There’s always a new lesson to be learned and another curveball to be crossed over.

As of now, I’m pleased with them :)


  1. Udah lama on and off mau Suqqu brow pen karena nggak yakin dgn ‘moss green’-nya…….daaaan skrg ada ‘grey’. HAHAHAH rese ih jadi kepengen lagi deh. Tapi untuk yg alisnya cuma kyk setengah (alis ikut rontok as side effect, nggak cuma rambut lol..), hasilnya bakal keliatan nggak, or it will take me forever utk bisa keliatan? Since you mentioned abt its sheerness. Btw yg Catrice itu beli dmn? Menggoda juga hahahah..


    1. Hehe sebenarnya moss green itu warnanya gak hijau gimana kok, it looks natural on the brows from what I’ve seen.

      Keliatan sih keliatan, but as I’ve said in the post, the liquid brow pens lack the depth because of the sheerness. Jadi gak bisa create fake textures gitu lho. You’d need deeper pigments to do that. But if you’re okay with it then go for it.

      Catrice dijual di Guardian :)


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