One of the important lessons I've learned in nearly 25 years of using makeup is the importance of using the right tools and brushes. It's true for cream products, powders and everything in between. It's especially important when messing things up can make the entire face look off. Shaping and defining eyebrows is one such task (if you've seen the First Lady in the the Haiti PSA you know what I mean).
I'll skip the tweezers talk (You can't go wrong with Tweezerman. I own a few, one in a zebra print because everything looks better in zebra), because this is about eyebrow brushes. We all know these little two-sided combs, one half for lashes, the other side grooms eyebrows. For years I thought that was the only necessary tool, until I've learned the importance of using an eye shadow and an angled brush to fill and/or darken the brows, and how to work whatever product I'm using into the hair so it looks natural using a spoolie brush- the one that looks like a standard mascara wand.
You can find similar tools at Sephora and from several eyebrow specialists. I bought these three brushes from The Model Brow, a line created by makeup artist and brow expert Elke von Freudenberg. The spoolie brush is currently out of stock, but it's really a great tool- it blends the color evenly and softens the look to the point the brows look natural instead of drawn. I like this specific brush because the bristles are soft enough and not abrasive. The head is also flexible and can be bended into a more comfortable angle.
The slant brush is one of several I use. It's the most essential eyebrow tool as far as I'm concerned. A good brush for filling, shaping and adding color/length/volume should be thin enough to do a very precise work but not too stiff or narrow that the result looks painted and weird. This Model Brow brush is one I use very often.
The 3" dual-ended brush fits nicely in the smallest makeup bag and is a decent travel tool. I find it too small to use comfortably most of the time, but I guess it's good to have something like that in one's purse for brow emergencies. The more useful side is a slanted brush to fill the eyebrows. The other side is a fluffy eye shadow brush, meant to apply a highlighter under the brow bone. I prefer much (much!) wider and thicker brushes for this purpose.
The Model Brow tools by Elke von Freudenberg ($16-$6) are available online at themodelbrow.com, which is where I bought mine.
Brush photos by me.
Vintage photo by Yale Joel for Life magazine, 1953.