Monday, April 8, 2013


When it comes to makeup, my brows and lips are very important. If I had to choose between eyebrows or lips, I would say brows are more relevant. In the 20+ years I have been wearing makeup daily, I have learned a great deal regarding what looks great on me and what I should avoid.

In the late 80s/early 90s, I started to wear brow products to help give my brows shape and pigment. My natural hair color is a Level 7 sandy taupe shade that leans neutral. When I was younger, my hair was a light strawberry blonde copper. I had no eyebrow color to speak of! In salon speak, my natural brows are a Level 10, white blond. Here is a picture of me in 1988. I am in 8th grade and I am 13:

In 11th grade, I found Maybelline's brow/eye pencil duo in Auburn (I think that was the shade name). Not only was the color way too orange, I applied the pencil with such a heavy hand even Joan Crawford herself would say, "whoa there, girl!"

As the years went on, I discovered brow tinting and waxing and I have never looked back. I get my brows done at my local salon every 5 weeks. I also use various products to maintain and enhance their hue and shape.

In the last few years, I come to love brow gels like Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow and MAC Fluidline Brow Gel Creme in "Deep Dark Brunette." I also use brow markers like MAC Penultimate Brow Marker and pencils, MAC Brow Crayon in "Spiked." To keep my brows' shape during the day, I "seal" them with MAC Pro Mixing Medium in Lash (yes, I know it's a base for making colored mascara but it makes a heck of a good brow set when used with a MAC 204 brush).

However, while I was at Viva this year, I visited the Pin Up Girl Booth and have a lovely chat with Micheline Pitt and I bought a bottle of an eyebrow sealing liquid called "Model in a Bottle." Let me tell you, this stuff is fabulous! I wore it over my brows and the color and shape lasted all day and night (even during the late night record hops!)

In conjunction with brow products, brow brushes are a must. I love the MAC 208, Smashbox Brow brush, and Illamasqua Brow brush. You can find the Illamasqua and Smashbox at Sephora. 

When it comes to brow shape, you have to go by the shape of your eyes and the measurements based on your nose. Holly from Temperamental Broad did an AMAZING post on her blog and believe me, she knows her stuff and just look at her! Stunning!!

Here's the post:

Micheline Pitt also did a fantastic post on brows too. I adore her and she is not only gorgeous, she is an extremely talented makeup artist who is also very down-to-earth and so so nice!

Here is her post:

So, when it comes to brows, remember to go by the measurement/distance of your eyes and nose. Also, for color: light-hair girls can go one to two shades darker and dark-haired girls (like me) need to stick to one to two shades lighter. Even though I have black hair with a cool blue toner, I use a dark cool brown with a touch of black. I once did black brows and it's too harsh. 


  1. Lol. Yeah I tried darker eyebrow shadow and I was looking like a chola. Not fun or flattering. Now that I've got lighter hair I've used a lighter brown to shade in my eyebrows. I've also dyed my eyebrows to match my hair and, although I love the way it looks, it only lasts a couple of weeks. Shading is so much easier on the skin and hair follicle.

    I agree that eyebrows and lips make or break a retro/pin up look. If you don't get either they whole look is off.

    1. I once used a brow powder and I had jet black brows. It was too harsh against my pale skin! I felt like they were done ala sharpie! lol! Not cute!

      I get my brows tinted with a dark brown shade that lasts about 4-5 weeks. Without that tint, my brows practically look non-existent.

      I have seen period movies were the actresses have modern brows with vintage red lips. Uh, no. Do these makeup artists know how to use reference and/or do research! Heck, google around for an hour and you can get a good grasp of how vintage brows should look! Naomi Watts in Peter Jackson's "King Kong" and Jennifer Connelly in "The Rocketeer" were the worst! Terrible brows for period films!

  2. Your brows look amazing!That is the first thing I notice on people is their brows and shoes.

    1. Thank you! The first thing I notice are teeth and brows. I am a teeth and brow snob! lol!

      I also notice shoes and the way clothes fit. Let me tell you, I see so many nice suits here in DC that get ruined by poor tailoring or a complete lack thereof! I recently spotted a woman on the Metro (our subway) wearing an attractive charcoal heather pant suit but it was destroyed by the fact her pants were so tight, the pockets ballooned out and I could see ((cringe)) the outline of her underwear. If a gorgeous suit is ruined by fit, then do not wear it. Wear clothes that fit and flatter, DC!

  3. Now that is what I call a stunning pair of eyebrows!

    I agree about the importance of brows in an overall look - they frame your face and can become a key feature in themselves (think of Cara Devaligne!)

    1. Oh, thank you for your very kind comments! Before I discovered tinting, waxing, and good brow products my brows were in a sad state. Now, I finally feel like I am getting it!

  4. I completely agree with you--brows and lips can make or break a vintage look!

    I still need to try having my brows tinted as I think it would make a big difference. I need to remember to book an appointment the next time I go to the salon!

    I recently began using a brow pencil by VanityMark (I think I saw it for sale at the Pin Up Girl booth) and it has to be one of the best pencils I have ever used. Very long lasting and the color Blondie is an excellent match, providing I use a light hand (they make a lighter color, Blondest, for platinum blondes, but it strangely turns orangey on me.)

  5. Brow tinting is a life-saver and a life-changer! I use the brow products to maintain color and shape but that tinting is just amazing! It is so great to wake up and look in the mirror and see brows! lol!

    For some reason, brow products tend to contain more of a warm base hence the orange color. I think the color also oxidizes due to oils on the skin. Even high-end products like Anatasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen in Universal Deep turns russet on me. It goes on a dark brown and turns reddish when I use a brow setting product. The best brow products are Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow and MAC Brow Crayon. The color in Lingering would be a great match for you! When I was a pale blond in 2006, that was my shade and it paired well with my light hair color!

  6. I set up an appointment to have my brows tinted; I'll report back after my appointment :-)

    I have tried MAC's brow pencil in Lingering and liked the color quite a lot--I just wish there was more product as I seemed to use it up very quickly. Although perhaps it will last longer once my brows are tinted as I won't need to use as much product!

  7. Yay!! I wish you luck on your first brow appointment! Now, to prepare, if you plan to do waxing, do not exfoliate or use AHA anything a few days before and after your appointment. This will spare your skin around your brows! Also, if you are sensitive to pain, take a motrin an hour before. The pain from waxing is not that bad but just in case you are sensitive, it helps.

    I use MAC's Brow Crayon in Spiked and I love it. Like you stated, I think mine lasts longer since the tinting does the trick. I just use it to maintain shape and color. Now, before I did tinting, I was totally going through pencils like crazy!

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