The most defining feature of the face, eyebrows can not only be made to look different shapes and suggest a variety of moods, but are also the first place to show your age (if not made up), emotional reactions and state of mind. Much underestimated, the eyebrows are key to defining your look.
Change your eyebrows, and you totally redefine your personality. Just try to imagine Brooke Shields or even Elizabeth Taylor without their trademark eyebrows. While fashions for thicker or thinner brows change quite frequently, if you were born with a strong pair of eyebrows, hold onto them, or at least think twice before plucking them into obscurity. Many a 1960s sex siren now regrets the pencil-thin suggestion of an arc, which remains from years of plucking out a once strongly defined curve.
For those who are not blessed with naturally defined eyebrows, there are both permanent and less drastic forms of cosmetic enhancement available. Tattooing is a great option if you are absolutely sure of the shape and color you want, and it means you can go swimming without worrying that your eyebrow is going to end up drawn around your chin. Pencilling is fine, but use a pencil that is one shade lighter than your natural color to ensure it blends in without looking obvious.
When shaping the brow, use a really good pair of tweezers (I find that the ones with slanted tips are best but some people prefer pointed).
- Only ever pluck underneath the natural curve. Spiky regrowth on top of the eyebrow looks odd and unsightly.
- Avoid leaving a thick bulk of hair near the nose; this ‘tadpole’ look tends to close the eyes up and draws attention to the nose.
- Never pluck above the eyebrows. Instead, bleach unruly hairs above the brow until they are no longer noticeable, but be very careful or the eyebrows will become patchy.
- Always tweeze one hair at a time. Start at the nose end and work outwards, following the arch and plucking only underneath the brow. To avoid risk of infection, wipe gently with toner and a cotton wool tip afterwards.
- Get into the habit of using a brow brush to gently sweep the eyebrows upwards. This is a tip adopted by models and actresses to open their eyes up even further and look really groomed.
- There is one golden rule for using an eyebrow pencil, which seems obvious but is broken remarkably frequently.
- Always pluck hairs in the direction in which they grow. This is the least painful method and ensures that the hairs will grow back flat, as opposed to sticking out.
- For a gentle, sexy look, bleach the eyebrows about two shades lighter than your hair color. If you decide to drastically change your hair color, then make sure your eyebrows match. Facial hair lightener is absolutely fine to use when bleaching eyebrows, but be very careful when washing it off.
- Avoid the temptation to overpluck the browline. A single line of hair, added or taken away, makes a big difference to the overall look of a brow. Always pluck one hair at a time.
- If you are fervently anti-plucking, at least brush the brows. If you are pro-plucking, but can’t stand the stubbly regrowth suffered by anyone with hair darker than flaxen, electrolysis is a painful but permanent way to get rid of unwanted hair. Only take this route if you are happy for hair today to be gone tomorrow.