If you haven’t had the pleasure of creating a unibrow makeup look before, well, now you can – with complete confidence and a clear idea of how to go about doing so. I wanted to share the techniques I use to create a realistic monobrow, unibrow look as it’s well, kind tricky. Sometimes it’s not knowing where to start, or what materials to use, but inside here, I’ll give you some options with your approach that will have you ready and champing at the bit the next time the phone rings asking for you to create the one and only (literally) unibrow!

how to achieve a realistic unibrow look
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In This Episode We Cover:

  • The importance of preparation and understanding your model’s natural brow
  • How vital your technique and detail approaches to this look need to be.
  • Understanding the project’s context and using reference photos can be invaluable to achieving high-level finishes.


click here to read the transcript!


Episode 52: Show notes

a group of cloths with a picture of a man on them

‘m thrilled to share with you some tips for achieving a realistic unibrow makeup look.
Whether it’s for a creative editorial gig or just for fun, mastering this unique makeup style can be a game-changer in your skill set.
It feels like a makeup look that sometimes we can struggle with, making the right choices, or even using the best materials, so let’s start at the beginning.

Understanding the Unibrow

It’s important to consider the person you’ll be creating the unibrow for.

Matching their natural brow shade or deciding whether to darken or lighten their brows is the first step in achieving the desired effect.

Choosing the Right Products

It’s easy as pie to get bogged down in product choice, so by having a few key products that you know you can rely on to create your unibrow effect, you’re stepping off on the right foot.

The Mac Shape and Shade Brow Tint Pens are my go-to tool for painting individual hairs. I feel like I talk about these pens A LOT, in fact you can hear me talk all about them right here. I just love them and rely on them for so many different tasks.

The range of shades allows for flexibility across various skin tones and hair colors.

Techniques for Realism

Creating the illusion of dimension with the hair by using a lighter shade at the root and tip of each hair adds a touch of realism to the look.

Before diving into the details, soft underpainting is key.

By sculpting the broad shapes first, you lay the groundwork for a successful outcome.

This principle applies to various makeup techniques, not just unibrow makeup.

Starting with a soft shadow across the area between the eyebrows sets the stage for the detailed work that you will finish with.

When it comes to the actual painting of individual hairs, taking the time to feather upwards and outwards, harmonizing with the existing eyebrows, can yield a super cool finish.

Advanced Techniques

If you’re up for the challenge, hand-laying single hairs can take the look to the next level.

By knowing your model’s own brow shade and practicing beforehand, you can ensure the color match and a clean, three-dimensional appearance. And if you’re looking to push the envelope a little further, using animal fur can provide a softer, realistic finish.

This advanced technique demands patience, practice, and perseverance.

It’s not something to attempt for the first time on the day of a makeup job.

Tips for Application

Throughout the process, it’s crucial to step back and reevaluate your work.

Looking at the makeup from a distance or through the lens of a camera can reveal details and nuances that may be overlooked up close.

Another thing that may easily be overlooked, is considering the context of the project you’re working on.

A unibrow for a runway fashion show may allow for more avant-garde and dramatic looks than for a historical piece where accuracy is paramount.

Always be open to refining the makeup look based on the overall styling and lighting of the project.

Have fun creating that unibrow to perfection, and then doing your next one even better!

Click here to listen to this episode!


Episode Transcript

Yep, this is definitely something that can just pop up when you least expect.
It and not just when you have to do your Frida Kahlo makeup.
That is the dreaded unibrow.
Well, my friend, I am here to tell you today that it shall be dreaded no more because I’m going to make it super easy for you to create. And know that whenever the phone rings for that editorial gig where the models all require unibrows or mono brows, that’s what they used to be called. Should I be saying mono brows?

[00:00:36]: I’ve just realized that that’s what we called them back in the day.
But you get the point – one singular brow across the brow bone.
Right. Okay.

[00:01:19]: This look is on the rise, and I suspect that they may just come when you’re called upon to create it. And while it can be a little challenging with some simple products, tools, and a little know how you can do it, I promise you. I think sometimes.

[00:01:35]: I think sometimes we can be afraid of tackling things that we don’t do frequently or, for that matter, at all.
There can be this sense of unfamiliarity, and that can lead to fear and doubt about makeup techniques, especially in an industry like this, where you’re often expected to be able to do it all. And people often want to see that you’ve created a specific look right before they hire you.
This was the case for me years ago where I was called upon to have an interview with a couple of producers that were in town from somewhere in Asia, and they wanted makeup looks like the raging bull boxing injury looks, and I didn’t have that in my portfolio, and that basically lost me the job at the time.

And it was definitely something I could have done and had the skill for and would have done research and tests, but they wanted to see it in front of them. So I guess that’s where I’m going with this.

[00:02:30]:A mono brow. Unibrow.
Unibrow. Whatever can throw people. So let’s start at the beginning and get you creating unibrows in a heartbeat. Now, the first thing that is of the most importance is to know what the person you will be creating it on.

[00:02:45]: Looks like that way, you can make decisions as to what brow shade you can consider to match their own natural brows, or indeed, if you have to darken or lighten their own brows to create the effect that your creatives are looking for on the job in question.

So my first go-to with painting on individual hairs will always be the MAC Shape and Shade Brow Tint pens. I know I’ve mentioned them before, but I find them really easy to use, and the range of shades gives me the flexibility for all skin tones and hair shades, in fact.
Plus, you can create the illusion of dimension with the hair by using a lighter shade at the root and tip of each hair, which will help the hair look like it is growing out of the face. And that means that the mid length of each hair is a darker tone, so it gives that illusion of depth. And honestly, you don’t need to use hair to create this look successfully, especially in an age where tattooed on eyebrows, i.e. Flat ones, are not even turning heads anymore.

Okay, next, you want to consider doing some soft underpainting before you get anywhere near the details. And this is a big principle for special effects makeup that can easily be forgotten or neglected at times. Look at the bigger picture first. Sculpt your broad shapes first, and then come in and finish with your details. Now, this pretty much applies to sculpting body makeup, airbrushing prosthetic makeup, come think of it, pretty much all of it.

[00:04:14]: Don’t get caught up in the details first, or you’ll get lost and end up wasting precious time. And this principle really does rely back to the principle of Mison police that we only just covered in episode 50. Check it out for a refresh. But yeah, do stay on track and.

[00:04:31]: But yeah, do stay on track and start with the big, broad shapes.

[00:04:34]:So by putting in a soft shadow across the area in between the eyebrows that joins up the left and right brows in their innermost points, you’re creating the first step of the illusion.

Now, I’d tend to stick to a soft tarp or a fairly neutral shade that is slightly darker than your model’s skin tone, and go from there. You can always go darker, which is much easier than having to lighten afterwards or indeed, remove a super dark shade.

Once you have that shape in place, you should know exactly where you’re going, and you can begin painting in your individual hairs. So start at the base of the unibrow and work up.

[00:05:13]: You can even use a tissue or a readymade eyebrow stencil and just draw or paint through it to give you your baseline. To begin with, and feather upwards and outwards, working harmoniously with the already there eyebrows.

Now, this might take a minute or two as it’s pretty detailed work, but this technique will get you there with a super cool finish. Now, if you want to push yourself and go the next step further, you can think about hand laying on single hairs to create a clean, three dimensional look.

Again, knowing your model’s own brow shade and even having a fitting before the day will allow you to match the color far more effectively and remove any on the day shocks or last minute stress about hair color and pre curl. Or use permed hair. And again, using an adhesive like Prosaide, Super Baldiez, or even Spirit Gum, begin hand laying the hairs. Now this time I would actually start from the top and work my way downwards.

[00:06:15]: And this is because the hairs at the top will be lying underneath the ones at the bottom, right?
Or at least on an angle.

[00:06:22]: And once you have dried and powdered your glue, you can trim the hairs, put some product through them, use a little sealer spray to remove the excess.

Kerrin [00:06:31]: Powder, and kind of brush them in at the angle that you’d like them to lay. Now, if you want to go even one step further and create the best looking unibrow you can, my suggestion to you is to use animal fur for this.

It will give you a softer, more realistic finish with a hair that is more closely reminiscent to human eyebrow hair than a cut hair, as in the previous technique. Now, this is super advanced and requires a lot of patience, practice, and perseverance. So my advice to you is to not try it for the first time on the day of your makeup job.

Now you’ll follow the same application technique as laying human hair, except the fur hairs will lie flat and they shouldn’t really require any dressing or curling afterwards. Perhaps just a little spray to keep them in place. And I only hope that you don’t have to recreate this makeup 50 days in a ro

[00:07:27]: If you did, I might suggest having some small lace pieces made that you will reuse. Or if you’re in a pinch with your budget, you could also get really creative and perhaps buy an off the shelf lace moustache and modify it to fit your client or performer.

Kerrin [00:07:44]:
Plenty of options and food for thought, for sure.

Kerrin [00:07:48]:
A few last things. Be sure to look in the mirror often when you’re doing this. This is one of those makeup looks that can look really different when you step away than, say, when your eyes are fixated on that tiny area for a fixed period of time. And look away from your work every.

Kerrin [00:08:05]:
Now and again, too.
Leonardo da Vinci was a big believer in the notion that to create, you must also not create. That is, step away from your work. Or look away from it.

Kerrin [00:08:17]:
And when you come back to your work, you have what is often referred to as fresh eyes. And I believe this is true of makeup as specific and honed in as this one is. And yeah, as I mentioned, don’t be.

Kerrin [00:08:30]:
Afraid to step back, like really step back from your work and view it.
From far, like 10ft away.

Kerrin [00:08:36]:
This will help you see the shapes with a broader sense and look for contrast and therefore balance far more easily than if you’re up close to it. Now, another way you can do this is to take photos and look at them on your phone or a large tablet device. Often you’ll discover things that you didn’t see in real life, despite staring at this one thing for such a long time. And remember that the finished hairstyle, costume and lighting will all have a massive impact on your finished look too. So be open to the potential of having to bump things up once the.

Kerrin [00:09:12]:
Entire look is complete and not just your bit.

Kerrin [00:09:16]:
And lastly, remember the context of the particular project you’re creating. Your unibrow for a Runway fashion show will have a far greater potential for avant garde and dramatic looks than, let’s say, a historical piece where you’re actually replicating Frida Carlo or the brothers from the band oasis. So just know your limits there too. And always use reference photos if that’s the case. Okay, my eyes are tired even talking.

Kerrin [00:09:46]:
About this, so I hope I’ve got you thinking with this episode and given.

Kerrin [00:09:50]:
You some ideas for the next time that your phone rings and you’re asked to create that wonderful unibrow look. Till next time. Bye.

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