What Is an Eyebrow Marker?

T. M. Robertson

An eyebrow marker is a makeup tool used by professional makeup artists and the general public to fill in and enhance the color and shape of eyebrows. In order to look natural, the chosen eyebrow marker shade should closely match the natural color of the eyebrow. The primary advantages of using an eyebrow marker are that just one tool and no sharpening are necessary. Some disadvantages are that the markers tend to dry up quickly and there are limited color offerings, compared to pencils and powders on the market. For optimal results, eyebrow markers should only be used on groomed and cleaned eyebrows.

Eyebrow markers are used to fill in and color brows.
Eyebrow markers are used to fill in and color brows.

Before using an eyebrow marker, it's best to first use tweezers to pull out any stray hairs and shape the eyebrows in a manner that suits the wearer's face. Without plucking first, the finished eyebrows will appear messy and unkempt instead of sculpted and defined. Also, just as with applying any type of makeup, eyebrow markers should only be used on a clean face. Washing one's face is recommended before use, especially if there's previous residual eyebrow makeup still present. After the eyebrows are prepped, an eyebrow marker that closely matches the natural color of the hairs should be chosen to begin filling in color until the desired effect is achieved.

Pluck any stray hairs prior to using an eyebrow marker.
Pluck any stray hairs prior to using an eyebrow marker.

Using an eyebrow marker versus using other forms of eyebrow makeup, such as powders or pencils, has several advantages. Unlike powders that require additional applicators for use, using a marker means only needing to use and carry one tool. Another advantage is that a marker doesn't require sharpening before each use, as a pencil does. This can be especially handy while on the go or when a sharpener isn't available. In addition, markers are designed to be user-friendly and don't require any special artistic talent in order to get great results.

Cosmetic tattooing may be used to permanently simulate eyebrow marker.
Cosmetic tattooing may be used to permanently simulate eyebrow marker.

Using an eyebrow marker also has disadvantages, however. While pencils and powders tend to last a long time, markers tend to dry up quickly and without warning. There's no way to monitor when a marker is going to run out, so it may be necessary to always keep a backup on standby. Another disadvantage to using markers is they aren't as readily available as other forms of eyebrow makeup. This means not as many manufacturers make markers, which means not as many color options are available for purchase.

Eyebrow marker can be used to make brows look fuller and healthier.
Eyebrow marker can be used to make brows look fuller and healthier.
A professional makeup artist may use an eyebrow marker while applying other cosmetic products to a client's face.
A professional makeup artist may use an eyebrow marker while applying other cosmetic products to a client's face.
Mascara can temporarily change the color of eyebrows.
Mascara can temporarily change the color of eyebrows.

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Discussion Comments

candyquilt

I love eyebrow markers but it always seems like a risk to use one, even if I buy from the same brand multiple times. Once I got an eyebrow marker at discount from the pharmacy and it was completely dried out. Another time, the marker was not dry but it reacted strangely with my skin and the color changed into something strange. Another time, I didn't powder my face and it was a particularly hot day. The marker ended up leaking and coloring my skin.

Now there are great eyebrow markers out there, I'm not saying that all of them have these issues. Maybe I'm unlucky, I don't know.

burcinc

@ZipLine-- Whether an eyebrow marker looks natural or not is partly up to you. If you use the marker to make short, light strokes in the direction of hair growth (versus coloring in your brows entirely), you will achieve a natural look. It might take some practice in the beginning, but it's not difficult.

ZipLine

I heard that eyebrow markers do not fade during the day and do not require touch-ups. In fact, one brand calls its eyebrow marker an "eyebrow tattoo" for this reason. I'm looking for this kind of product but the word "marker" kind of puts me off. It sounds like the product will turn my brows into a block color which will look overdone. I certainly don't want overdone and very apparent brows. I want them to look defined but natural throughout the day.

So is an eyebrow marker a good option for me or not? Can anyone who has used this product comment?

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