Tutorial: Using Eyeshadow to Fill in Eyebrows

I’ve noticed a lot of people have commented about how intimidated they are by filling in their brows with powder. I totally understand the fear. No one wants to have a pair of brows that are way too dark for their skin tone and hair, and powder just seems scarier than pencil. However, it’s really not as scary as you would think.

Using a matte eyeshadow on your brows will also last all day long, which isn’t always the case with brow pencils. It also looks much more natural in my opinion, and is easier to apply.


1. Make sure that you have groomed your eyebrows by brushing the hairs straight up in a vertical motion with a brow comb. If you have any hairs that are too long, now would be the time to trim them. If you have never trimmed your eyebrows, here is the link to a great YouTube video tutorial.

2. Line up a brow stencil with your natural arch. It is very easy to fill in your brows without a stencil, but for beginners it’s a good to use a stencil for the first couple times if your brows are particularly sparse or lack a good solid shape. I am using e.l.f.’s Essentials Eyebrow Stencil kit here, which was only $1 on e.l.f.’s website!

tutorial3,43. Take the shadow of choice and using an angled brush, start at the middle of your brow and work your way towards the end of your brow using light strokes. After, finish by lightly filling in the beginning of your brows. The biggest mistake you can make is having the start of your brows being too heavy. For my brows, I am using Maybelline New York Expert Wear Palette in Natural Smokes (bottom shadow). This is a matte dark brown eyeshadow. Unless you want a pair of glittery disco brows, DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT use a non-matte eyeshadow on your brows. 

They do sell special powder for your brows called brow powder, but to be honest there is no difference between brow powder and a matte eyeshadow.


4. Make sure that you set the powder to prevent any fallout. I like to use a Q-tip and gently run it over my brow to pick up any loose powder, but you could use your finger just as easily. To be honest, I’ve never had any problem with any fallout whatsoever.


You’re all finished! I told you it wasn’t as scary as you thought. It’s definitely easy to fill in your brows even without a stencil, especially if you already have a good solid shape.

Do you fill in your brows? Do you use pencil or powder?


13 thoughts on “Tutorial: Using Eyeshadow to Fill in Eyebrows

  1. Madam D May 8, 2013 / 10:38 am

    Nice piece! I’m glad I’m not the only one who pays attention to those things!
    I’m an Eyebrow Threader by trade and I run into clients with density issues all the time and shadows are definitely the way to go for brows like yours. The only time I’d recommend using a pencil is if you have gaps, holes, or otherwise missing parts of your eyebrows- like mine! I use a MAC fluid line gel liner in Dipdown with and angle brush.
    Stencils can be useful but I only recommend those as a last resort for the severely artistically inclined. Stencils come in different shapes but all too often they are not the right shape for the user’s exact facial anatomy. I teach my clients how to find the 3 main points of their brows and how to use those points to best fill their brows. That way their brows look perfect every time!

    • Sam May 8, 2013 / 10:56 am

      No, I agree that stencils aren’t always the answer, but like I said, I think they are a good option for beginners as long as they are lined up correctly in the 3 main points. I usually just eyeball it for everyday though. Eyebrows are tricky though. ;) I’ve heard about threading, but it’s always hard for me to find a set time to make an appointment, and then the whole paying thing vs. plucking for free. ;P

      • Madam D May 8, 2013 / 12:30 pm

        Yeah I hear you on finding the time, I work here and I barely find the time to get it done. I am slightly biased but I do think threading is well worth the investment.
        You have to make an appointment? Threading must not be a big thing where you live then, give it a few more months and I’m sure it’ll catch on and more people will be hired so you’ll be able to walk in. Or maybe try finding somewhere else to get it done. I have some clients who went to a hairstylist to get it done but she took like 45 minutes for one person where as I take about 10.

        • Sam May 9, 2013 / 11:30 am

          I don’t know. I guess I just assumed you had to make an appointment since you usually have to make an appointment to get your brows waxed. My roommate gets her brows threaded. I’ll have to ask her.

  2. Carina May 8, 2013 / 2:37 pm

    I use powder for my brows too! :) I like filling them in and not outlining so that its not as harsh.

    • Sam May 8, 2013 / 8:32 pm

      Yeah, I think pencil can be a bit too harsh just because you usually end up outlining.

  3. notquitecarrieb May 8, 2013 / 10:41 pm

    I actually use pencil. I tend to go for the lighter/blonde shades rather than a brown. Since my brows are pretty dense/decently shaped I just have some bald spots and powder doesn’t really cling to it.

    • Sam May 9, 2013 / 11:31 am

      Yeah, I guess it’s all personal preference. The thing I like about the powder most is that it stays all day. For me, I feel like with pencil sometimes it doesn’t last as long as it should.

      • notquitecarrieb May 9, 2013 / 4:20 pm

        Maybe I’ll try powder out again soon….I really like how yours turned out!

  4. MamaBear August 21, 2013 / 5:27 pm

    That was such a great tutorial! I had a HORRIBLE brow waxing experience when I was younger so now I am overly focused on making my brows look good and hiding any bald spots. Thanks for this!

  5. Rachel May 17, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    I’m a beginner and its the opposite for me? I fill in my brows with eyebrow powder because I’m scared of marker eyebrows. And I have noticed a different between using brow powders and matte shadows the prow powders seemed to have better pigmentation

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