Drag 101: How to cover your eyebrows
Hi everyone! I’m Joe. I’ve been doing makeup on and off for about a year and a half. I haven’t got a makeup account yet (although one could be coming in the near future), but feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for the memes.
Before I start with this mammoth of a blog post, I just wanted to say a big thank you to Dom and Brad for posting this!
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’re interested in learning how to cover eyebrows either for drag or SFX purposes, or if you’re randomly here after a 12-hour internet binge… erm hi, hello and welcome.
Covering eyebrows is one of the hardest things to master, but once you’ve got the basic method down, it’ll become easier every time you do it. If you’re about to cover your eyebrows for the first time, don’t expect the perfection you see from queens on Instagram, because most things look 10 times better from further away and eyebrow blocking is one of them.
Don’t get disheartened if you’ve tried it a couple of times and it hasn’t worked out either. I still struggle with it now. Just keep trying – the skills will come in time.
I’ll leave a list/link to everything I’ve used at the end of the post!
Step 1: Preparing yourself for 7 tonnes of glue on your eyebrows
Try to relax and prepare a little. Put on some clothes you don’t mind getting covered in an obscene amount of setting powder – or even better, a dressing gown. Put your daily mix from Spotify or an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race on for some background noise. Try to set yourself up to have everything you need within arm’s reach, so you aren’t panicking trying to find something while coating the upper portion of your face with glue.
Just do whatever makes you get into the right headspace for doing makeup, make your own little ritual, sacrifice a chicken, do what makes you happy. When you aren’t stressing about how to apply makeup is when you’ll have your best results!
Step 2: Preparing the eyebrows
Before you’ve even taken the cap off the glue stick, it’s really important to clean the eyebrow area, as the hair and skin beneath the eyebrows produce oils that can stop the glue from being able to fully coat the hair.
I use a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton pad, firstly going with the direction the hair grows then against the grain. I leave the alcohol to evaporate from the hair for a minute or two before starting the actual gluing process. Just a quick warning – don’t make the cotton pad soaking wet with the alcohol, as it could drip down into your eye and I don’t have enough money to be sued!
Step 3: First coat of glue
You’re setting the entire foundation of your face with this step, so no pressure. Take the glue stick. The Elmer’s purple one is honestly the best thing ever for this. The mini version works better but literally any good quality glue stick will do the job.
Rub the glue in circular motions on the eyebrow, going with the grain of the hair then against. Keep rubbing it against your eyebrow until it seems you’ve dyed the hairs purple. Now flatten the eyebrow out by doing upwards motions. Take a hair comb, spoolie or the end of a makeup brush and brush the hairs upwards. I’d recommend a hair comb, as the tighter-bristled side really helps to separate the hairs. The excess glue that’s been brushed out will collect on the one side of the comb, brush end/spoolie so just brush that back through for extra coverage and separation.
Now the hair has been separated, take the glue stick and do upward motions again to “lock” the hair into place. Keep adding the glue until you feel like the hair isn’t going to budge from the upwards position. Let the glue air dry or use a hair dryer to speed up the process. You’ll be able to tell when the glue is dry as it will go from purple to clear.
Step 4: Keep adding layers of glue
Keep adding the glue in the upward motion to the eyebrow. Aim to try and get a completely purple layer over the eyebrow each time. Let the glue dry down between applying the layers and don’t comb the hairs up with the second layer, as you’ll disturb the hair and the layer of glue you’ve already put down.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can clean up the edges of the glue with a wet wipe. Just try not to touch the hair you’ve spent so long gluing down. Don’t use a pair of tweezers to remove the line of excess glue that may be forming on the bottom part of the eyebrow – it’ll stretch the glue and make the bottom of your eyebrow look more like a flap than a cleanish edge.
The tricky part is deciding when to stop with the layering. I normally do three to four layers of glue, but it depends how awkward your brow hairs are being. After a couple of attempts, the brow hairs are sort of in a way “trained” to get flatter when you start covering them, in the same way the hair on your head may be trained to go into a certain style/direction. So it’ll get easier the more you do it. There will still a slight lump at the top of the brow because hair won’t lie completely flat to your face, but don’t worry about it.
Step 5: Final layer of glue
After three to four, layers the hair should be completely coated. It should feel almost like the palm of your hand – if you can still feel the hair then you need to do more layers, or they’ll pop through when you set it with powder.
I do the last layer of glue a little different to the rest. After watching Trixie Mattel lick the glue stick to soften the last layer, my life has never been the same. So, if you’re a disgusting human being like me, lick the glue stick and apply the final layer. The added moistness (oh wow, I can’t believe I’ve just written that!) will smooth the glue and make it tackier. If you don’t want to lick the glue stick, put the last layer on like the rest then dip a finger in water and gently swipe across the eyebrow, just enough to moisten it.
Step 6: Smack that bitch with powder
Now the glue is moist, act quickly because it will dry down. Get some loose transparent setting powder, or if you’re on a budget, baby powder works just as well. Just try not to breathe it in!
Press the powder in firmly with a powder puff. It’ll set the glue and cover any gaps in the eyebrow. Let the powder sit on your face for a minute or two, to make sure anything won’t move.
Step 7: Colour correction time
If you’ve got dark brown/black eyebrow hair, you might want to colour-correct, so you won’t have a shadow beneath the foundation you’re about to put over your eyebrows. It’s not a necessary step so if you just want to get the hang of the basics you can skip over it. Give Face Cosmetics have a really good peach/red undertone corrector. Lightly apply it with a finger so you don’t disturb the work you’ve been doing under it. Blend it out and set it again with powder so it doesn’t mix with the foundation.
Step 8: Foundation, FINALLY
You don’t have to use the Kryolan TV Paint Stick all the Drag Race queens use, so if you can’t get your hands on one don’t worry – there’s a lot of amazing foundations out there to choose from.
You’ll want to choose a foundation that’s full coverage. Liquid, cream/stick – it doesn’t matter as they all do the same thing. It just depends on your preference. I used the Kat Von D lock it foundation, and that worked fine. I really love the Fast Base Foundation Stick and the Conceal and Define liquid foundation by Revolution. They’re so cheap too so it doesn’t matter if you use a lot.
I prefer to use a liquid foundation, as it doesn’t break down as quickly as a stick foundation can. I use a dense foundation stippling brush over a beauty blender as the brush doesn’t soak up the product, so you get the most coverage with the least amount of product. If you’re just starting use a beauty blender, you’ll have less chance of accidentally applying too much pressure on the brow making the brow hairs pop through the glue.
If you want to use cream contour for drawing on brows then don’t set the face after applying foundation. It makes cleaning up any mistakes so much easier! I’ve just popped on a quick five-minute eyebrow, so you can see what the completed product looks like.
Wow, I didn’t expect this to be as long as it is, but at least you have everything you need you need to know. There are loads of different ways of covering eyebrows so if this doesn’t work for you, there’s something else out there!
This post was written by Joe Davies. Go check him out!