Finishing Touches: The Eyebrow

In a previous post I looked at typical eyebrow fashions of the 1920s through to the 1950s, and I said we'd take a look at mine, so here they are!

On a typical day, I would take inspiration for my eyebrow shape from the 50s, BUT lets not get to purist about this, it's not often I aim for a period correct from head to toe, but I take inspiration from the 50s brow, not just because I like the 50s fashion but because on me, it's my favourite eyebrow shape. Maybe it's the artist in me but I do like the fact I can paint on and arch that actually isn't there, as you will see.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll have seen you've seen my brows dressed plenty of times, so now for the grand reveal. Yes, I'm getting naked. Well my eyebrows are and I think you will agree the difference when they are bare is dramatically different! When I say naked I mean my whole face is naked....brace yourselves!

eek! Happy little me....
Another naked brow pic to follow, I've chosen this one to show you that because my eyebrows are are fair, they look like they are barely there under some lighting situations!

     Apart from the brows, I've a full face of make up on, so you can actually see the difference    doing something with those brows actually makes to finishing of a look. Being Missy Vintage   the stylist AND an Historical Sauce, I encounter many ladies, many of whom don't do their eyebrows as part of the makeup look, but I promise you just defining them even a little can make all the difference.

So here's how I do mine. Firstly just to point out that I'd never do my eyebrows last, as soon as my base and powder is on, then on go the eyebrows. They act as the frame for my eyes and come in as a handy guide when applying my liquid eyeliner.


I've tried several brands of eyebrow pencil, but the one I can't be with out is Rimmel. It is my weapon of choice and at the £3 mark, it's as fab for your purse as your brows. Blonde ones aren't quite as easy to find as  browns, but Maybelline do one for £2.99 (Boots price) or if you're looking for a reddy coloured pencil, the Rimmel pencil in Hazel has a warm tone to it.  If you have black hair, or want to opt for an especially dramatic brow, then I do know ladies who use a black kohl eyeliner, but that is perhaps not for the faint hearted. 


One of the best powders I've tried is from VIVO, a good purse friendly brand available from Tescos and online. At £5, it's a good buy and can also double up as eyeshadow too. If your budget or tastes are more premium brand orientated then MAC also do a good powder. I have to say though that I tend to get quite hot very easily and I find that powder doesn't quite have enough staying power for me. 

You can also use just an eyeshadow, but before you shimmy off to rummage through your makeup bags, remember to choose a matt shade. Unless you especially want sparkly, shimmery eyebrows?......


Benefit do a great little wax and powder in a kit called Brow zings you brush the wax on to add colour and shape and then you use the powder to fill it in. I really like this but as £22.50, it's not cheap, but it is long wearing. The kit does come with little brushes to apply it, but I don't much like them, I find them too small and fiddly, so it's worth investing in a angled eyebrow brush, which you can get from places like boots/superdrug etc if your budget doesn't stretch to a branded brush like MAC etc.

Clear mascara/eyebrow gel (optional) 

My eyebrow hairs are very light and soft, so never need to be tamed in to position but if yours do, then a gentle brush with some clear mascara (or a dedicated eyebrow gel - they will do the same thing) will tame those wild hairs and keep them in shape. Another alternative is to use a brow brush sprayed with hairspray and then just comb those unruly rows into place. 

Women of the 40s often used vasaline to do this. Just use it very sparingly, the easiest way is to just gently glide a cotton bud over the the surface of the vasaline. Remember it's easier to add more than to try and remove it because you've slicked those brows down slicker than a gentleman's comb over! 

Depending on your eyebrow shape, you may find that you just need to add a small amount of colour to define the natural shape, or like me you might decide to change the shape completely.

Another look at those naked brows. I may look like I'm pointing at the scar on my forehead (Karaoke machine accident many years ago. No I wasn't drunk!) I am in fact using the pencil to demonstrate the 'ideal' place for the brow to start. Now I say 'ideal' because the fact is, that you may just want to work with what you have rather than overdraw too much. What's important is that you're comfortable. You could create the most killer of an eyebrow, but if you don't feel it's right for you, then you won't be comfy about them, and not feeling comfortable about how you look can and does ruin days/nights. I know. I've been there.

When you hold an eyebrow pencil (or thin make up brush or something similar) against your nose as I am here, the brow show start as if you have drawn a line up from your nose. 

The arch should be as if you have drawn a diagonal line from your nostril right through the centre of your eye. 

The brow should end as if you have drawn a line from your nostril to the corner of your eye.

If you're trying out a new eyebrow shape or defining your eyebrow for the first time, take your time. Use feather strokes and start on the inside of the eye, don't try and draw it all it one go.

I break it down in to three sections. I get the beginning if the eyebrow as I want it before working towards the arch.

You can see the difference already, I've use the pencil to gently build up the colour and work upwards to create the shape. Then only once I'm happy with that do I begin to work the other side of the arch by using feathery strikes with the pencil in a downwards motion.

You can see that the defined compared to the naked makes SUCH a difference non? So just to clarify, this is the guide to making your arch. There's no law that says you have to do one full eyebrow at once, you can work one section of one eyebrow and then do the other, working each brow one section at a time.

And here's a picture of the eyebrows, and me.

Other eyebrows worth applauding.......

Do you show your brows some love? If not will you be treating yourself to a pencil - at £3 and under, it's an experiment that won't break the bank.


  1. Love this! So helpful and you're right, eyebrows really do make a huge difference. I've only really been doing my brows for the last 6 months or so. Took me a while to get right but now they're my favourite part of my routine. I use MAC Omega eyeshadow with a little angled brush - works a treat! x

  2. You're one fine looking lady, eyebrows made up or not!
    Best thing I ever did was get my sparse blonde ones tattooed on, made a huge difference to my face and my confidence!

  3. Eyebrows have become my obsession. I saw a photo of me last night without eyebrow maintenance...oh Lordy!


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