Article by BR Tabatha
"Why let someone else do for you what you can do yourself, except in the case of eyebrow maintenance."
Elle Woods - Legally Blonde
Eyebrows are the feature of your face to get right. Whatever else is going on, be it breakouts or a bad choice of lippie colour, it's bad eyebrows people will notice first. And even if everything else is going right with your makeup and overall look, bad eyebrow game will bring it down immediately.
Over plucked, under pluck, too sparse or unkempt are the main eyebrow faux pas, and unfortunately they are all very easily done by the amateur brow-scaper.
So let's talk about how to step up your brow game by investigating the different options of maintenance.
Unless you incredibly blessed, your eyebrows will need some sort of shaping and as always there are several options to choose from. Let's look at the most common options.
Waxing is quick and easy for a professional to do and it generally lasts for 3 to 4 weeks. It's no more nor less painful than plucking and just how painful depends on your pain threshold.
It's going to set you back around $15 in the salon, but a trained technician and eye is invaluable. You'll need about 1/4 inch growth though, so you could look a little bushy between appointments. It's also important to note that waxing isn't for those with sensitive skin or those using retanoid products as it can cause the skin to tear.
You could DIY at home, but it's very easy to take too much off and very difficult to create even shapes by yourself.
A trained threader will use a thin cotton to pull the hair out. It's generally quite less painful, but it does depend on how good you are with pain. Threading lasts around 3 - 4 weeks but you only need 1/16th inch of growth, so you're going to look less bushy between visits! There are no chemicals involved, so if you have sensitive skin this is a great option.
Prices vary from $5 threads to $20+, but you might want to bear in mind you're probably going to get what you pay for - with an experienced threader the experience is going to be quick and more precise than waxing.
Hands up, who has plucked their own eyebrows? Yeap, that's what we thought! Where would a woman be without her trusty tweezers? Well dare we say it, they might be with better eyebrows!
Once you've bought yourself a pair of tweezers, plucking is the most economical way to maintain your brows. But like scissors, tweezers have a quality scale. A decent pair of tweezers are going to set you back around $25 - $35. Don't scrimp! Your tweezers should have a slanted tip and you might find it useful to have a pair of super pointy tweezers for ingrown or very short hairs. Square tips may allow you to remove more hairs at once but this can lead to ingrown hairs. The inside of your tweezer tips should be scuffed to help them grip the hair. They should be matte coated on the outside so you can grip them lightly without them slipping.
Plucking puts you in complete control of your brow shape, which is great if you're a control freak, but if you get carried away and over pluck, you might just end up cursing yourself!
There's a whole science behind shaping your eyebrows to suit your face shape and features - this is why seeing a professional, at least for an initial shaping is your best bet.
But here's a general guide for all eyebrows:
- Hold your tweezers (or a pencil) vertically against the side of your nostril. This is where your eyebrows should start. In particular, don't pluck them shorter than this guide. Just as you don't want a mono-brow, you don't want too-far apart brows either.
- Hold your tweezers diagonally from your nostril to the outer corner of your eye. Where the line intersects your eyebrow is where they should end.
- Stare straight at the mirror. Your arch should begin level with the far edge of your iris, right on the brow bone.
Dos and Don'ts of eyebrow shaping.
- Do schedule your plucking sessions after a warm shower, the hair is more easily removed
- Don't continue plucking if you've over plucked. Stop! Do not attempt to 'even' out the other one. Grab your eyebrow kit, fill it in and wait for it to grow back!
- Do use a white eye pencil to draw a guide line - stick to it!
- Don't pluck from above your arch unless you have errant strays.
- Do brush your brows to your advantage - upwards for sparse brows and to the side for thick brows.
- Do trim ridiculously long hairs carefully with a pair of nail scissors
And there we have our guide to eyebrow maintenance and shaping. How do you maintain your eyebrows? Have you had any disasters or do you always leave them in the hands of a pro?