High Brow: Keeping Strays at Bay

eyebrow-flickr-aprilleToday I’m going to get a little preachy. Your eyebrows are a big, important, nearly religious topic.

I see beautiful women all the time. (Better than seeing dead people, I assure you). And some beautiful women really have a handle on makeup–they’ve got a light touch, and a keen sense of good taste. HOWEVER. Even beautiful women can have gruesome eyebrows, and not realize it.

And, no, what Nature gave you is NOT what Nature intended. We shave our legs, we color our grey, and we’d BETTER BE PLUCKING OUR BROWS! This is not an area on which to skimp.

Now, you mustn’t just “have at it”, and begin plucking willy nilly. The secret to fabulous brows is this: Pluck one hair at a time. Even if you have an entire forest of hair you intend to clear, you must do it one hair at a time. Why? Because some hairs are longer and thicker than others, and by removing key brow hairs, you can more easily and strategically achieve your masterpiece.

A good brow will lift your eyes, make you look more awake, and….you know what’s coming…. A good brow will make you look happier. What makes a brow good? A good brow looks as though it belongs on your face. It is not bushy. It is not thin. It has a gentle arch, peaking at the area above the outer side of each eye’s iris. It is clean looking, with no “stragglers”.

Shape: If you need help determining your best brow shape, see a professional at least once. It’ll cost about $30, but the effect and the lesson is so worth it. If you like what you see, take a picture. Once a week attend to any regrowing hairs.

tweezers-on-cotton-flickr-furlinedTools: Some folks wax, some folks thread. I pluck. Plucking is reliable, and you can do it anywhere. It doesn’t hurt (except in a totally pleasurable way), but if you’re sensitive to pain, pluck after you’ve had a hot shower, and your pores are open. The hair will slide more easily from a soft pore. If you ice the skin to numb it, you’re going to tighten the pore, making the whole exercise a bit more violent. Most importantly– you’ll need excellent tweezers. If you wouldn’t trust your current set of tweezers to perform minor surgery, then they belong nowhere near your brows. Tweezerman brand makes a good product (you can find them just about anywhere), as does Rubis (you can buy Rubis tweezers at Bobbi Brown). Spend $20 on tweezers, and forget about it. They’ll last a good long while, and your brows will thank you.

Color: I hate when I see a gorgeous redhead given away by her brunette brows. Don’t let this happen to you. If you get your hair colored, whether you lighten it or darken it, whether you’re red or blonde or brunette or blue– get your eyebrows colored as well. It is SO not a big deal. Yes, you might go blind if the color gets in your eyes. But it shouldn’t. Most color formulas are gel-like, and pretty much stay where you put them. If you do your own color, squeeze just a bit from the bottle onto an old toothbrush, and lightly brush it through your brows. Because brow hair is denser than other hair, I usually do my eyebrows first, then the rest of my head. If you’re a brunette, though, and just putting honey highlights into your hair, consider doing your brows last. Your brows should be the color of the darkest shadow in your hair. When rinsing hair color, remove the brow color first, so the it doesn’t run down your face when you shower. I usually wipe the majority off with my wet hand, then use a little shampoo in the shower to remove the rest. Simple, effective, important.

Thus ends the brow sermon. Oh, one more thing. DON’T use a pencil to draw on your brows unless you’ve shaved them off (and I don’t want to know why you did that). If portions of your brows are sketchy or missing (like you have a scar), use a LIGHT NEUTRAL eyeshadow, and a soft angled brush to fill in the whole brow. More on fill in techniques in another sermon. For today, eliminate the strays.

Let this thought guide you: You should treat each eyebrow like a piece of marble. Sculpt your brows the way Michelangelo would. Chip slowly away at the raw material to reveal the beautiful shape beneath. And don’t worry if they don’t match. They’re really not supposed to. Your eyes don’t match, either, you know!

Photos courtesy of Flickr’s: Aprille, Furlined

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