Beauty trends: Brow Contouring

The New Contour, sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics

Get that perfect brow!
Get that perfect brow!

Contouring has been the sculpting secret-weapon for A-listers, and celebrities alike for decades.  A technique once reserved for mostly makeup mavens has now flooded the web with tutorials and seemingly simple how-to’s guides.  But for any gal who’s tried and failed knows – these things are never as simple as they seem.

What if there was another way to help women define their features and navigate this contouring conundrum?

San Francisco based beauty brand, Benefit Cosmetics, has been helping women contour their faces since the mid 70’s sans the concealer, highlighters and multiple foundation shades.  The method to their madness… eyebrows!

“Brow shaping has the power to transform someone’s entire look,” said Mark Rogers, National Brow Artist for Benefit Cosmetics.

Mark at work!
Mark at work!

The contouring process all begins with Brow Mapping, a 3-step custom technique that company cofounders, Jean & Jane Ford, created when they opened their first boutique in 1976.

Brow Mapping is based on the origin of the face, which is the nose.  Similar to contouring with a deeper shade of powder or bronzer, “Finding the perfect start to the brow really effects how broad or how slim the nose will appear,” explained Mark.

Measuring straight up from the dimple of the nose to the beginning portion of the brow is where the ideal brow should start.  If the bridge of the nose still needs to be slimmed down a bit, bring those two spots closer together.

Brow Contouring Tip #1:  The closer the brows are together the slimmer the nose will appear.  

“The further apart your brows begin, the wider your nose will appear,” Mark quipped, “but not many women come to a Benefit BrowBar asking for a wider-looking nose”.

The second step to contouring through Brow Mapping is finding the perfect place for your brow to arch.  Benefit Brow Mapping tells us to measure from the outer portion of the nose, across the center of the iris, and that will point to where our brow is naturally the highest.

Brow Contouring Tip #2:  Using the highest portion of the brow as a shaping point can help round the appearance of the eye.

“The higher the arch the more round and open the eye will appear,” explained Mark.  “The lower the arch the more oblong the appearance of the eye will become.”  This creates an illusion that many makeup guru’s have only achieved through highlighters, multiple eye shadows and other clever concealer tricks.

Get the brows you want!
Get the brows you want!

The final step of Benefit Brow Mapping begins to contour the overall face shape by playing with proportions.  Measuring from the outer area of the nose, past the corner of the eye to the tip of the brow bone will show you where the ideal brow should end.

Brow Contouring Tip #3:  Extending the length of a brow can narrow the look of a more round face shape.   Shortening the length of the brow will “plump up” a more narrow face shape. 

“When making the correct Brow Mapping measurements, people with a rounder face shape will find that their brows tend to be a bit longer,” said Mark.  “This helps to block out the proportions of a round face and make it appear a bit more oval.”

The opposite rule applies for those with a bit more of a slender or longer face shape, he explained.  When the proper Brow Mapping measurements are taken these brows tend to be a bit shorter giving the face more full, oval illusion.

“Filling and shaping the brow according to YOUR face shape will totally transform your over all look,” said Mark.  Finally, contouring and sculpting has suddenly been made a whole lot simpler.


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