Makeup trick – How to Block Out the Brows (safely!)
We’ve seen all kinds of posts and videos on how to block out the brows, and some are a little scary. This is a tried and true method that’s been used by professional makeup artists for years. And we like that we can use safe products to make it happen!
We’ve had a lot of questions from viewers who have seen other methods and had a hard time making them work. So I’ll explain our perspective on each of the following methods and how well we think they work and why we favor the soap scum version which we show in the video:
MOST COMMON WAYS TO PROFESSIONALLY BLOCK OUT THE BROWS
1. SOAP SCUM
This is the method we demonstrate in this video and we think it’s the safest, simplest and most effective way to block out the brows completely. As you’ll see in the video, layering it in thin layers is one of the tricks to making this technique look amazing every time. We also layer it with morticians wax, which can be purchased at a theatrical supply store or online, and is very cheap. Again, it just takes thin layers. We don’t recommend mustache wax or molding wax, because they don’t blend in as well. I think the secret to morticians wax is that it is a very pliable wax that melts slightly at body temperature, making it blend into the skin beautifully.
2. SPIRIT GUM
We don’t have a problem with spirit gum as it is a natural adhesive, which comes from tree sap. It can be used in layering, but is harder to get off, a lot messier, and we’ve heard from actors who have had bad experiences with makeup artists getting it in their eyes, either during application or removal. That’s a little scary. So overall, we feel it is an okay option, but needs to be administered really carefully and once you’ve used the soap scum method it just really doesn’t seem necessary at all.
This method is our least favorite because of the potential problems with latex. We’ve seen some actors swell up instantly with latex application because of an allergic reaction. Most people don’t know if they are allergic to it until after a bad reaction, so theres always a concern. You can smell the strong ammonia in latex as soon as you open a container because the ammonia content in the formulation is so high. Another concern with latex on the brows, is that if a good barrier isn’t laid down first, it will literally rip the brow hair right off. And yes, we’ve heard horror stories from actors who have had that happen. So for those reasons, we avoid this method completely.
4. GLUE STICK
This is a new method that appears all over youtube, but we’ve never seen it used in a professional makeup trailer. One thing that happens to MU artists all the time is either the director throws something at us or for some reason we have to invent something on the spot… a glue stick seems like one of those make-shift ideas that someone came up with in desperation. Sometimes those inventions out of desperation are the best, but, unfortunately, we don’t think this is one of those cases. We actually tried it on a makeup to see how well it worked. We liked the idea that it was non-toxic, but when it came to performance we weren’t impressed at all. It is actually too tacky and doesn’t dry or change in tackiness, making it hard to smooth and layer. It actually was way too thick. By comparison, with soap scum, as you keep working it (like in the video) it starts drying and thickening so you can smooth it down flat…but with a gluestick, it just added bulk, so the brows were hard to visibly erase and too gooey to cover well. So our vote for this option is a big thumbs down.
Enjoy and please let us know if you’d like to see the makeup tutorial for the look in this video! In the mean time, stay safe! 🙂