Well, if you have “barely an eyebrow to work with” it means you have SOMETHING that resembles hair above your eyes. Please do not underestimate the little hair you have.
Neatly groomed and properly trimmed, that tiny bit of hair will act to soften the look of your penciled/stenciled/angle brushed eyebrow handywork.
The first thing you need to do is identify the best shape for your eyebrows (use my “Eyebrow Do’s & Don’ts” article as a guide). Once you’ve established the right starting point, arch and end point — use an angled eyebrow brush, dipped in matte eyeshadow or brow shadow that’s at least 1-2 shades lighter than your hair (unless you’re very blonde, in which case you go a shade deeper) and mark those points. Now, with gentle short strokes, fill in the spaces between your three marked points. Take a step back every few strokes to make sure that you’re on track. I’d do the front of both brows, then arch to tail of both brows. It helps to keep the two looking similar.“Whether you have thick brows or a few sparse hairs, they still need to be groomed in the shape that’s most flattering to your face.”
Once you’ve drawn in your perfect eyebrows (this may take a few tries, don’t get disheartened!), pluck out all of the eyebrow hairs that fall outside of your perfect brow shape. I know, I know … if you have hardly a hair to spare, why would you pluck any out?!
The answer is this: Whether you have thick brows or a few sparse hairs, they still need to be groomed in the shape that’s most flattering to your face. Your sparse brows are doing you no favors scattered haphazardly across your forehead. So, pluck out the hairs that don’t fit in to your perfectly groomed brows.
*If you don’t plan on filling in your brows and you have “barely a hair to spare,” then simply clean up the distant vagrants and leave the rest of your brows in their general shape.
At this point, your brows should be taking shape. Go ahead and deepen them a bit with your appropriate brow/matte eye shadow.
You can use a little more pressure (like drawing a line) on the tail end of your brows, but be careful to only use small, short strokes at the front end. Full-pressure line-drawing is where many a cheerful brow has gone grumpy.“You can use a little more pressure on the tail end of your brows, but be careful to only use small, short strokes at the front end.”
Whether you choose to fill your brows in with a pencil or powder (I prefer powder, applied with a stiff angled brow brush), make sure you don’t go too dark and you don’t fill too hard.
If you’re desperate for brows but can’t seem to nail the shape down … go ahead and try a stencil. You can find them at Sephora or Ulta. Now ESPECIALLY when it comes to stencils, I suggest using a soft touch and a powder to fill. That perfect “cut-out” shape really gets people drawing. I’ve seen way too many animated Betty Boop eyebrows caused by “this is so easy” stenciling accidents.
At the end, if you feel your brows are too heavy, use a clean Q-tip to remove some of the excess in little gentle strokes.
I hope this helps! Send me a picture if you need more guidance so I can see what we’re working with. Good luck with the pluck!