Make-Up Masterclass

18th December 2009

Great eyebrows lift not only the eye area, explains Mary Linehan, but the whole face – instantly making you look younger. Now, that they’re back in fashion, here’s a lesson from top make-up artist Ariane Poole on how to get great brows.

Follow these tips and you’ll definitely be the belle of the ball this Christmas and New Year.

“To find the most flattering shape for your eyes, use the pencil test before plucking to tell you where your brows should start and end,” says Ariane. The pencil test? Here’s how it’s done:

• Starting on the right side, place a pencil vertically along the side of your nose up past your eyebrow. Make a little mark with a white eyeliner pencil to remember the point where the brow meets the pencil. Anything lying to the left, pluck out or it’ll make you look like you are scowling.

• Next, place the pencil diagonally from the edge of your right nostril up past the outer corner of the eye. Again, make a mark with a white eyeliner. Pluck anything outside or below this mark. If the brow doesn’t reach the white mark, you can fill in the gap with a good brow powder or pencil.

• Your brows should arch gradually, starting over the pupil, to give the illusion of lifting the eye. Looking directly into the mirror, place the pencil vertically along the outer part of your iris. This is where the highest point of the arch should be, so again make a mark. I use the white pencil to white out the bits I want to pluck so I see what the brow will look like. It helps avoid mistakes and also allows me to make sure my brows are even.

• Now repeat on the opposite side.

That all seems very straightforward, but, of course, there are always those little errors to consider, little imperfections to correct. Ariane has an answer for that, too… “If you’ve overplucked, or have gaps in your brows, filling them in will cover a multitude of plucking sins.”

• Take a good brow powder – my Universal Brow Powder! Brush your eyebrows down using the toothbrush end of the Double Ended Brush – I know this sounds odd but it works! Then using the opposite, angled edge dipped in the brow powder, go lightly along the top of the brows.

• Brush the eyebrows back up. You'll see an immediate difference. You can fill in the gaps from underneath using the same technique. Finish with a brush of Brow Gel to seal.

For great brows, try:

Arianne Poole’s brilliant Universal Brow Powder (£11), from

Ruby & Millie Brow Colour (£10.50) a gel that comes in blonde, beige brown and black. Available from Boots.

The fab Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil £15,
available from leading department stores including John Lewis.

Ariane Poole holds excellent Makeup Masterclasses.
Check out to find out more.

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