Midlife makeup mastery: How to fake perfect brows

Brow-blessed beauties over 40 like Brooke Shields may not have to worry, but years of over-plucking coupled with age can cause midlife brows to thin or lighten to the point of invisibility. The September issue of More, the lifestyle magazine for women over 40, shows you how to fake face-framing brows that flatter:

Go to a pro — once. A trained brow stylist can makeover your entire look just by giving you the perfect brow for your face, which on over-40 faces usually means putting hair back rather than taking it away. “What looks best on a mature face is a medium-full brow with a gentle arch,” says Anastasia Soare, brow stylist to celebs such as Madonna and Kim Cattrall.

Don't simply rely on brow powder — instead, learn to layer the right products to create a fabulous faux brow. To achieve the cleanest shape, apply a wax priming balm to the brow and powder on top to fill spaces where hairs are sparse. Top with a tinted brow-gel top coat, which can help cover gray or white hairs. Try Lorac Take a Brow ($22), a powder-and-wax combo, and Lancome Brow Expert ($21), a tinted gel.

To replenish over-plucked brows, dip a Q-tip in the Rogaine for Men formula — it's stronger — and dab balding brows twice a day. Rogaine contains minoxidil to revitalize hair follicles and shift them from dormancy to an active growing phase.

Avoid matching your brow color to your hair color exactly. Blondes look best with dark blonde, taupe or light brown brows; redheads and brunettes, with light to medium brown; raven-haired brunettes, with dark brown. Le Sourcil de Chanel Perfect Brows in Brun 20 ($65) contains three brow-powders plus mini tools and a magnifying mirror in one convenient compact.

Try a template to create a new shape — it's a foolproof way to get the proportions right. Kits usually contain several plastic cutouts, so use trial and error to find what works best for your face.

Cut the stragglers. Trimming long brow hairs is tricky, but essential for a groomed look. First brush the brow straight up with a spooley (that wiry brush often found at the end of a brow pencil), and then use a small, straight scissor to snip hairs evenly in line with the top of the brow. Repeat, brushing the brow downward this time.