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How To Get Full And Fluffy Eyebrows, According To The Pros

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Eyebrows have seen their fair share of trends throughout the years, from the pencil-thin and sky-high brows of the ’90’s and 2000s to the ultra-carved “brows on fleek” trend of the 2010’s and now, in their most lawless form, the bushy brow.

Benefit’s global brow expert, Jared Bailey, describes this perfectly imperfect brow as “lived in layers. These brows don’t have crisp defined edges, they are fluffy and full of contrasting colors that embrace a more a natural, lush-looking brow.”

Bailey has had a front row seat to the many eyebrow evolutions over the years. He suggested that bushy brows, á la Brooke Shields in the 80s, actually became popular as a kind of opposition to the overly-done days of “baddie-Instagram” yore.

“I think this trend is relevant given the times we’re living in. After the last year or two in lockdown, most of us have said goodbye to a full face of makeup and the carved out ‘Instagram brow,’” he said. “We’re wearing less makeup and reaching for products that are quick and easy to use, look natural and help our features pop.”

Images Press via Getty Images

Brooke Shields circa 1982 in New York City.

Brett Freedman, a Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist with a knack for eyebrows, described the key elements to achieving what he called “non- cookie cutter brows.”

“Brow hairs are brushed up and out so brow gel is a must ― the furrier the better. In the past, a properly tailored brow would be defined and the brow hairs were pomaded into place and directed toward the temple in line with the top of the brow. Now we want those ‘spikes’ to break the top brow line,” Freedman said.

Bailey recommends product layering as a way to create dimension and realistic volume.

“Layering multiple shades and formulas together is key. Similar to your complexion, when you use one color alone, the result is flat and one dimensional. The same is true for brows: One color will will result in a lifeless look. Always opt for multiple shades, but with the same undertone,” Bailey said.

Freedman added that no matter which way you choose to style your brows, they “are the one feature we can change ourselves (without surgery) that can alter our appearance.”

“Over the past few years, brows have become the new playground of self expression. [They] bring balance and proportion to your face and eyes and are fundamental no matter which type of brow look you are leaning into,” Bailey said.

Now, if you don’t have naturally lush brows, don’t fret, because there are some tricks and products that can help create the illusion of volume. Put down the tweezers and keep reading to see what products these makeup artists and brow pros use to get beautifully trendy unkempt brows.

HuffPost receives a share from retailers on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

A complete Glossier brow routine

Jane Meng, a New York based makeup artist, said brow products like Glossier’s Boy Brow eyebrow gel marked the beginnings of the no muss, no fuss brow look. Six-odd years later, it’s still a popular choice.

This brow essentials set from Glossier contains their tinted grooming pomade Boy Brow, which fluffs and shapes brows, and their Brow Flick pen, which you can use to sketch eyebrow-like hairs in a matte finish.

Get it from Glossier for $30.

An at-home brow tinting kit

For less-defined, lighter or sparser brows, nearly all of our brow experts recommended tinting to provide a fuller yet natural-looking base. Ardell’s eyebrow tinting kit is an easy way to tint brows that can last for up to two weeks.

Get it from Ulta for $14.99.

A precision eyebrow pencil that can mimic hair strokes

Bailey recommended a technique called brow mapping, which entails identifying a shape that’s going to bring balance and proportion to your face.

“Start by finding where your brow should begin by following a straight line up from the dimple of your nose to the front of the brow and make a mark,” Bailey said. “Next, find where your brow is naturally at its highest by measuring from the outer edge of the nose across the center of the eye and make a mark. Finally, mark where your brow should end by following a diagonal line from the outside of your nose to the outer corner of your eye. This will show you where your brow should end. After you make the points, connect them by lightly sketching from point to point. Any hair that falls outside of the shape can be removed. The hair that falls inside the shape is what stays.”

He uses Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow defining pencil to provide ultra-fine strokes that can also be blended out to create a more feathered look.

Get it from Benefit Cosmetics for $24.

A conditioning oil

A micro-fiber brow gel to make sparse brows look thicker

Benefit’s Gimmie Brow tinted and volumizing brow gel is what Bailey recommends for brows that are not naturally thick, largely because it contains tiny micro-fibers that stick to the hair, creating the illusion of greater thickness.

“Try a stipple-and-sweep technique,” Bailey said. “Simply stipple the tip of the wand onto your skin to add the pigment and then, sweep the bristles of the wand over that exact spot to create a natural, hair-like texture.”

Get it from Benefit Cosmetics for $24.

A tinted eyebrow gel that won’t make brow hairs stiff

When she’s working on eyebrows, Meng told HuffPost that she likes to start off using Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Brows tinted gel, which contains glossy emollients, conditioning vitamin E and a natural elasticizing wax that offers a softer hold.

“I apply it up, down, right, and left to grab every little hair possible. I focus on just the hairs, to make sure it doesn’t transfer to the skin,” Meng said.

Get it from Sephora for $23.

A way to get the laminated brow look

Meng told HuffPost how to get the latest iteration of the bushy brow look: the laminated brow. “I apply a thick layer of the Refy Brow Sculpt and Shape gel in an upward motion. Using the attached brush or a clean mascara spoolie, I brush it up while pressing against the skin. This gives the glossy pressed look versus a textured one,” Meng said.

Refy’s consistency is unique because it’s more of hybrid between a gel and a conditioning wax that’s extra effective in keeping hairs in place. Its formula also contains a moisturizing and antioxidant complex.

Get it from Sephora for $24.

An affordable micro-fine eyebrow pencil

To fill in any sparse gaps after using a brow gel, Meng told HuffPost that she likes to use NYX’s Microbrow mechanical pencil to achieve “quick upward strokes to mimic hair.” This pencil has an ultra-fine tip for precise application and a slightly waxy formula for a longer lasting wear.

Get it from Target for $11.29.

A long-lasting waterproof eyebrow pen

Bornales’ favorite way to fill in the gaps is to use something more dimensional, like this inky eyebrow pen by K-Palette. Create a few dark hair strokes over a powdered base. Those with oilier skin may find this stays on longer than more traditional brow pencils.

Get it from Amazon for $25.

A velvety powder duo to help add depth to your brows

To help create fuller brows, Freedman recommended using “a brow powder that’s a touch lighter than your brow hairs. You want a ‘shadow of definition,’ not a solid fill in. This will give depth. When you brush your brow hairs up and out with gel (which even clear gel will darken them a touch) you want them to really pop against the ‘drop shadow’ definition underneath,” Freedman said.

Anastasia Beverly Hill’s brow powder is finely milled for smooth application and is buildable to customize the look of fullness that you want to achieve.

Get it from Ulta $23.

A double-ended tool to brush brows and apply product

This double-sided brush by Morphe can be a great tool to have in your eyebrow arsenal. The spoolie side can evenly apply waxes, gels or tints, while the ultra-thin angle brush can apply powders and liners with precise strokes.

Get it from Ulta for $6.

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Ask Amy: Readers offer their own advice

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Dear Amy: I was troubled by your response to Cathy S., who told her family to leave all their old hurts and issues at home for the holidays.

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20 Best New Year’s Eve Movies of All Time

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The spirit of reflection and resolution is a popular theme when it comes to a lot of Hollywood classics. So it’s no surprise that a holiday marked by such sentiments has been featured across so many films. Perhaps your resolution this New Year’s resembles the hero’s journey: a call to action and commitment to change against all odds. Maybe you’re more of the rom-com type, just focused on securing that midnight kiss with the one that got away.

Either way, if you’re already imagining the trailer of the coming year, or reminiscing on the highlight reel of years past, there’s a perfect New Year’s movie out there for you. Whether you’re looking for some festive film to play post-ball drop during your New Year’s Eve celebrations, or scrolling for some hungover inspiration on New Year’s Day, the possibilities are endless. So, grab your champagne (or Pedialyte) and ring in the new year with these New Year’s movies.

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Phantom Thread

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as an acclaimed London dressmaker who must tailor his lifestyle to fit in his newfound muse. One of the most gorgeous sequences of the film occurs amidst the aftermath of a wild New Year’s Eve party.

Amazon AppleTV+

The Godfather II (1974)

It’s at a New Year’s Eve party in Cuba that Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone plants the kiss of death on Fredo and tells him: “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.”

Amazon AppleTV+

Trading Places (1983)

Two brothers who run a commodities brokerage in Philadelphia try some light social engineering when they switch the identities of their employee, Louis Winthorpe III, played by Dan Aykroyd, and a hustler, Billy Ray Valentine, played by Eddie Murphy. Jamie Lee Curtis is there to help them sort it out and get even. Undeniably a classic comedy, this is also a holiday movie, because one of the film’s most crucial scenes takes place at a New Year’s Eve party aboard a train.

Amazon AppleTV+ Hulu

Carol

If its lead lovers meeting during December can make Carol a Christmas movie, then surely their first kiss happening on December 31st can make it a New Year’s Eve film. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 romance novel Salt, Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women in 1950s New York who become enveloped in a forbidden love affair.

Amazon AppleTV+

Sleepless in Seattle

Few arcs capture the holiday’s spirit of hope quite like Sam Baldwin transitioning from a heartbreaking scene about talking to his deceased wife on New Year’s Eve to seeking new love on Valentine’s Day. This classic rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will have you running to the Empire State Building to profess your feelings for the one you love.

Amazon AppleTV+

About Time

When 21-year-old Tim Lake, played by Domhnall Gleeson, learns that he has inherited the ability to time travel and can do anything so long as it doesn’t alter history, his plan is simple: Get the girl. Of course, winning the heart of the love of his life, played by Rachel McAdams, proves to be the last of his worries as time unfolds.

Amazon AppleTV+ Netflix

The Gold Rush

Sure, watching Charlie Chaplin get stood up on New Year’s Eve is one aspect of The Gold Rush, but the slapstick charm of this classic silent film is perfect for reflecting on how times have changed. Not to mention, its silent nature makes for perfect background for a New Year’s Eve gathering.

Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Probably the greatest romantic comedy of all time, When Harry Met Sally… defined the genre for a generation to come. The dialogue is whip smart; New York shines; Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal charm and delight. The New Year’s connection comes at the end during a New Year’s Eve party.

Amazon AppleTV+ Hulu Showtime

The Apartment (1960)

Jack Lemmon is a young man on the make who lets his company’s executives use his apartment for extra-marital affairs. After an office Christmas party, he finds his boss’s mistress, a young woman played by Shirley MacLaine, whom he knows from the office, at his apartment, where she’s tried to overdose on pills. They strike up a complicated relationship with multiple entanglements, both professional and personal. It’s a remarkable movie (and a Best Picture winner) that ends on New Year’s Eve.

Amazon AppleTV+

Snowpiercer (2013)

This isn’t just one of the great New Year’s movies, this is one of the best dystopian thrillers in years. Forced to live on a train that circles the world in an endless loop, the back half of the carts, who live in squalor, decide to rise up under Chris Evans’s leadership and take down the wealthy upperclass who’re toasting to another year of splendor.

Amazon AppleTV+ Netflix

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

The ’70s were a golden age for disaster films, and not just for the high stakes either. This Gene Hackman-led drama about a luxury cruise liner that capsizes during a New Year’s Eve party is pure adrenaline.

Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max Hulu

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

In this romantic comedy, Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones keeps a diary of a year of romantic misadventures. The movie begins and ends on New Year’s Eve, and it’s delightful as hell.

Amazon AppleTV+ Paramount+

An Affair to Remember (1957)

A weepy romance classic featuring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr begins on New Year’s Eve, where the two main characters, engaged to others, promise to meet up in six months atop the Empire State Building. (If you decide to watch this one, considering following it up with Sleepless in Seattle, which references the movie.)

Amazon AppleTV+

Ghostbusters II (1989)

It’s a far cry from Ghostbusters, but when the movie came out in 1989—five years after the first one—audiences delighted in seeing Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston back in action. The movie reaches its conclusion on New Year’s Eve, with a chorus of New Yorkers singing “Auld Lang Syne” in an attempt to defeat an evil spirit terrorizing the city.

Amazon AppleTV+

Highball (1997)

The writer and director of this film—in which a group of friends meet at three different parties: on Halloween, a birthday, and New Year’s Eve—is Noah Baumbach, who made Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and others. It’s one of his earliest films and, as such, it’s rough and feels as low budget as it is. But the movie captures the rhythms and dialogue of young adults simply hanging out.

Amazon

Ocean’s 11 (1960)

For a time in the 1960s, the Rat Pack could have released a two-hour film of themselves sleeping and it would’ve made money. Ocean’s 11, which inspired the 2000 remake, is better than that (the team’s 1964 effort, Robin and the 7 Hoods, is not) but it’s not a great film. This is a fun movie, however, with some of the 20th century’s greatest performers clearly having a great time—especially, you can tell, when the cameras aren’t rolling.

AppleTV+ Hulu

Four Rooms (1995)

A bellhop goes into four different rooms on New Year’s Eve, and each room becomes its own short film, with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez directing. The stories themselves are based loosely on Roald Dahl’s adult fiction.

Amazon AppleTV+

200 Cigarettes (1999)

In this 1999 comedy, a group of people make their way to a New Year’s Eve party in New York in 1981. The best part of the movie—which features an ensemble cast, including Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Gaby Hoffmann, and Christina Ricci—is the setting: New York in the early ‘80s. That’s worth the price of admission.

This movie is not available to stream.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986)

Charlie Brown frets over a book report, a New Year’s Eve party, and a red-headed girl. And unlike A Charlie Brown Christmas, in the end, nothing turns out well for Charlie Brown in this 30-minute special.

AppleTV+

New Year’s Eve (2011)

In the pantheon of Gary Marshall films, it may not be his best, but there’s something about ending the year with a feel good movie that features an ensemble cast.

Amazon AppleTV+ HBO Max

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Miscellaneous

Wallice, an Indie Pop Sensation from Los Angeles

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Name: Wallice

Age: 23

Hometown: Los Angeles

Currently Lives: In a three-bedroom bungalow house in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles with her longtime boyfriend, Callaghan Kevany, and a friend.

Claim to Fame: Wallice (whose full name is Wallice Hana Watanabe) is a singer-songwriter best known for “Punching Bag,” a song about self-deception in toxic relationships; her follow-up hit, “23,” about the perils of living with her mother during the pandemic, has had three million streams on Spotify. Sample lyric: “I’m terrified of the future/ Scared that I’ll still be a loser.”

“I credit the pandemic to be able to find an audience, because I think a lot of people had time to listen to music and find new artists,” Wallice said.

Big Break: In 2020, shortly after Wallice released “Punching Bag,” Spotify decided to feature the song on its Lorem playlist — an influential list that showcases new artists and now has more than 900,000 followers.

“A lot of my friends are indie artists that are coming up in the scene,” she said. “They kept reposting the song, and that’s how I got Spotify’s attention.” The song took off from there and has been streamed more than four million times.

Latest Project: In October, Wallice signed with Dirty Hit, an independent record label in London that’s also home to the 1975, an English boy band. In November she released the single “Wisdom Tooth,” a bubbly pop tune that was written the night before she went to the dentist. “I was so nervous,” she said. “I had a recording session that day and was like, ‘There’s no way I can write about anything else.’”

Next Thing: In the new year, she’ll join the band Still Woozy on tour. “I’m really excited about going on tour, especially since my bandmates are my best friends,” she said. “My boyfriend is our guitar player, and my bass player I’ve known forever.”

What’s in a Name?: Wallice went without a name at birth because her parents thought they were having a boy. A few days later, her father named her after Wallis Simpson, the American socialite who later became the wife of Prince Edward, after he abdicated the British throne to marry her. “I really like my name, and I love how it is unique,” Wallice said.

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