13 Easy Tricks From The Celeb Brow Artist Behind Hollywood's Best Arches

Photo: on Jon Kopaloff/ FilmMagic/ Getty Images.
Eyebrows matter. Whether you skew towards a bare face or can't put enough product on your visage, your arches are the frame that holds it all together, giving structure and balance. Chances are, you either prefer your set thick, wild, and bold; or sharp, defined, and clean. But whichever team you play for, the brow master who regularly tames the arches of Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, and Zendaya is here to make your brow game even stronger. Enter: Kelley Baker.

This fairy godmother of eyebrows has been in the game for 15 years. Like many beauty experts who work with celebrities, she got her start under a top pro. After honing her skills under brow artist Damone Roberts, she stepped out on her own — and even created her own line of brow products.

Of course, social media helped. “Once I figured out how to use Instagram, that was it,” Baker tells us. She's since worked with Kelly Rowland, Solange Knowles, Mandy Moore, and Kourtney Kardashian.

Baker's mission is for her clients to be able to recreate her work at home using products and pro tricks — all of which she's sharing, ahead. This allows her to accomplish her second goal: to make every set of brows look like the best version they can be, instead of trying to fit them into whatever trend is en vogue. Read: This isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Sounds simple enough, right? It is — with the right guidance.

Ready for the raddest brow tricks around? Great. Let's get started!
1 of 14
Photo: Via @lucyhale/Instagram.
The Trick: Use a highlighter pencil — always!

The product she uses most often on her clients may surprise you — because it's not a wax or pencil — but rather a highlighter applied under the brows to make 'em pop. She uses her own formula, but one you have that's lighter than your skin tone will work.

“Everyone calls it the 'Magic Stick.' It just opens up everyone’s eyes,” Baker explains. For people who wear full-coverage makeup to someone who has nothing on, “It’ll make you look wide awake,” she says. Even if you want a full-and-natural look, the highlighter pencil is still her trusty comrade.

“Just use the pencil to make them look fuller,” she says. Yes, really.
2 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Go lighter to go darker.

The biggest brow faux pas? Choosing the wrong shade for your hair. Baker says you want your brow hairs to look a shade darker than the hair on your head, so go for a shade lighter that your 'do. When blended in and softened, it'll match exactly.

Baker says, “People go way too dark. Just picking the wrong color and too much product.”

But don’t think Baker doesn’t ever mix and match, because she does. While her own product line features three colors (blond, brown, and dark brown), she still customizes a hue for each client.
3 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Never outline the whole brow with shimmer — ever!

Don’t line your whole brow in a highlighter. Instead, for 360-degree definition, invest in a smudge brush. Why? When people outline their whole brow with a shimmery pencil, she calls it “the angel brow," because "the whole purpose is to lift your brow and eye. If you’re putting on the top part, you’re defeating the whole purpose,” she explains.

Instead, use a smudge brush to outline your brow with your go-to foundation or concealer. Her rule of thumb: “Light and bright on the bottom and normal on top.”
4 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Know your own strength.

It's simple: Stop pressing so hard with your brush or pencil, Baker says, “Less is more! Press very softy. It's one of the more frequent mistakes people make."
5 of 14
Photo: Via @chrisappleton1/Instagram.
The Trick: Trust your natural shape.

Keeping your brows clean is important, but overdoing it is a big no-no. Baker often stays away from dramatically changing the natural shape of someone's brow — she just works with what the person has.

“Personally, I enhance what they already have. With a rounder brow, I’ll fill in the outer corner. With pencil or powder, you can make the line more straight and turn it down for a more defined shape,” she explains.
6 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Avoid trimming your brows yourself.

As for trimming? Baker says it’s really, really hard for everyone. "I don’t trim at all," she says. "If you don’t want them too tame, let it do it’s thing and find the shape after the fact."

If you do want to freshen up your caterpillars, Baker says the one mistake people always make is they hold their spoolie onto the hairs as they cut. “Don’t hold the brow hair up, because when you let go and it falls back into place, you’ll have holes and sparse areas.”

Instead, brush up, let go, then trim. To be safe, consider trimming just a bit above the top line of your brow to avoid any mistakes.
7 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Gels are the cherry on top.

A good brow gel is perhaps the most important thing you can use, but be careful on what kind you choose. "I use a color brow gel for someone with blonde or thinner brows, because we fill them in a lot more. My KBB gel is tinted and has a slight stain in it with fibers that catch all your little hairs."

But if you're someone like Hale, steer clear of tint. "Go for a clear gel for thicker brows, so it doesn't appear overpowering for your face," Baker suggests.
8 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Want to go thick? Keep it 3-D.

Many people covet the brows they see on beauty Instagram pages for the definition, perfect arches, and sleek look, while other go for thicker, wilder arches.

Either way, you'll want it perfectly brushed-out to look natural — brush your brows up and out. “A lot of people make the mistake to brush to the side. But when you brush it up and out, it lifts and opens the whole eye and face," she explains.

Even if you want a defined finished product, always brush it out so your face doesn’t look two-dimensional.
9 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Spoolie brushes are the keys to success.

Baker agrees with us that spoolie brushes are key components to the perfect brow, regardless of your shape or thickness. No matter how many mistakes you make with your product, a spoolie brush (or even a clean mascara wand) can fix them ASAP by diffusing and softening the color.
10 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Highlight first, fill in second.

It's time to reverse your routine, says Baker. Before you choose your brow definer of choice (powder, pencil, or pomade), reach for your highlighter.

"I teach most people first to highlight the brow bone and smooth it up into the brow," she explains. "That way, you can see all the sparse spaces clearly."

11 of 14
Photo: Via @arianagrande/Instagram.
The Trick: Outline the right way.

Using a pencil to define your arches? Baker's technique is foolproof: "Outline the top part of your brow — just the top." Seriously, don't start on the bottom or the line will be too harsh — the highlight on the brow bone is enough to shape the bottom.
12 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Little flicks are the secret to fake brow hairs.

How do you achieve those lifelike hairs on the inner corner of your brow? With short, quick, and light-handed flicks drawn up, then smoothed out with a clean mascara wand. But if this isn't fleek enough for you, fill in the whole brow.
13 of 14
Photo: Via @kelleybakerbrows/Instagram.
The Trick: Trust the process — and love your brows through it!

When you catch yourself with an overload of green envy for these celebrity brows, Baker says to never forget that not everyone wakes up like that. "It's taken years for some of my clients to get their brows they way they are now — they don't always start this way," she says.

While Baker is still testing how how well serums and oils work for brow growth, she says the real secret is time and patience, "Wait two to three months of letting your brows grow out naturally, find an expert, and then get to work," she says.
14 of 14
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

More from Celebs & Influencers


R29 Original Series