Wednesday 21 January 2015

Eyebrows - "For Your Eyes Only.."

Everyone wants to have fabulous eyebrows so this post is as much to help me as you. I want my brows to be fantastic but as yet I haven't done enough to actually achieve this. I want to change this!  I do believe great eyebrows give definition to your face, accentuate your eyes and help finish off your makeup look. Helping us to look polished and glamorous. All those grown up things I want to be in my "40 & Fabulous" year!

I get asked a lot about eyebrows and how to do them. I think eyebrows are a tough area. It's quite personal as everyone tends to have a look they like and also you have to work with the eyebrows you have, your colouring and your face shape.

This is a little guide from my beauty course on which eyebrow shapes are meant to be best for which face shape:
In the daytime I like to go for a more natural brow but for evening I like to go a bit darker.  I do need to be careful though as there is a fine line between a dark eyebrow and a very scary, dark eyebrow. We have all seen them!

I brush my brows through and upwards first with an eyebrow comb, then using a matt brown eyeshadow I fill in my brow. I use the MAC 266 brush.  Small, upward strokes make the colour look as natural as possible. Brush the shadow just so it fills in gaps between the hairs and don’t allow the shadow to go beyond the edge of your brows or it will look unnatural. Once I have applied colour to my brows I brush them upwards again with a spoolie to keep them natural looking.
Finding the right colour for your brows can be tricky and can take a few attempts to find the right shade but as a general guideline blondes should go one shade darker, brunettes one shade lighter, redheads a sable colour and greys for a taupe colour. 

Some experts say to start at the arch of your brow and work down to where your eyebrow would naturally end, then go back to the front and up. (If you begin at the end of your brow, you may get an obvious dot showing where you first started, so it's better to start in the arch, where you can blend outwards more easily.) But to be honest I always start at what I would call the top of the brow by my nose as I just find this easiest.

I am not a fan of a pencil for applying colour as I tend to be a bit heavy handed. But saying that there are some fabulous new pencils out there that I want to try.  I have heard so much about the Anastascia Brow Whizz and then on the more affordable end there are a lot of good reviews of the Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush.  I definitely want to try these two out. If you do use a pencil be sure to apply it with fine, feathery strokes and not a hard strong line. Though I know my beauty blog readers wouldn't do this!

I just use any matt powder from my collection (matt being the key word. I don't think anyone wants sparkly or shimmery eyebrows!) but there are specific brow sets from Benefit, and a more affordable one from Rimmel. The Benefit one has a wax as well as powder. I haven't used a wax before but they are meant to be good for covering sparse patches in your brows and for good, long-lasting coverage. Writing about this makes me feel the urge to go and buy a wax product.

For an evening brow look I do the same as before but I use a coloured brow gel to add a bit more colour and volume. I like the Maybelline one but there are plenty of others out there including this one by Anastasia. Lots of people like to apply a clear eyebrow gel in the daytime such as this Body Shop one but I must confess it just feels one step too far for me in the morning. The gel though would set your look for the rest of the day.  If you have lighter hair, you should always make your brows one shade darker, so a tinted gel is preferred. If you have dark hair, to make sure that the darkness doesn't overpower the frame of your face, you should go one shade lighter or stick with a clear gel!
Eyebrow shapes (like most things) are affected by fashion and at the moment a fuller and more natural look is on trend compared to the skinny brow of a few years ago.  Your ideal brow shape should be a better version of your natural eyebrow and one way of getting this shape is to outline your desired shape with an eye pencil so you can simply remove the hairs that fall outside the lines. Most brows should have a natural curve or arch and this should be exactly above the centre of your eye.

The outer edge of your eyebrow should be about 45 degrees past the outer edge of your eye. Determine the right spot by holding your eye pencil against your nose and lining it up with the outer eye. The point at which the pencil meets your eyebrow is the correct spot for your eyebrow to end.

The main thing I would say with eyebrows is not to over tweeze but also to invest in a good pair of sharp tweezers such as these Tweezermans. Tweezers with a slanted edge give you the best results. Tweezers do get blunter over time and so you should replace your tweezers every so often. And we should really be cleaning them in alcohol to get rid of any oily build up on them but that does seem quite the effort unless you really love your tweezers.

Plucking 2 or 3 hairs can make a big difference to the shape of your brows so pluck one hair at a time in the direction of hair growth. I remember on my beauty course that we were told not to pluck any hairs from above your eyebrow but I can't think why you shouldn't and I merrily do this and big thick hairs haven't grown back.

Now, this is so not glamorous but I like to pluck my eyebrows in the car. There is something about the light and that little mirror in the visor that works for me. So if you see someone plucking away in Waitrose car park, don't worry it's only me working on maintenance! If you want to be a bit more discreet with your plucking invest in a magnifying mirror as this is really the best way to see your brows up close and personal.   

It is so hard I think to get the exact shape on both of your eyebrows yourself which is why I think it's good to go and get your eyebrows shaped by someone else. Then if you are happy with the shape you can stick with that at home. Though there are many stencil kits you can buy now so you can see what shape would work best for you. Such as this one from Shavata.

I like to have mine threaded.  This works for me and I find it quick and easy. I am a big wuss so I haven't tried waxing but I imagine you do get a lovely shape with this.  Though I don't know how good waxing would be if you have sensitive skin around your eyes. Anyone tried this? Electrolysis is another option and this would remove your hairs permanently but as someone who is scare of waxing I don't think this is an option for me.

One reason why I do like a pencil is that I have a scar in one of my eyebrows and brow pencils are more corrective and great covering a gap or a scar or making your arch more defined. But brow powders are best for adding plushness to the brows rather than dealing with brow issues .

If you have over plucked you can buy products now to encourage your eyebrow hair to grow including this serum. I have never used a product like this so I have no idea if they work or not. If any of you have any experience of a product like this I would love to know if they worked or not.  Or apparently, you can even get an eyebrow transplant for a few thousand pounds!

Do leave me a comment below. I have now opened these up so you don't need to sign in to any strange things first!



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