All About Eyebrows
The right shape can make all the difference
What do Groucho Marx, Frida Kahlo, Brooke Shields and Spock have in common?
That’s right –– famous eyebrows.
Whether thick or thin, arched or straight, eyebrows have the ability to completely change one’s face. That’s why it’s important to find your best shape and keep your eyebrows groomed.
“Eyebrows frame the face,” says Kiralee Hubbard, founder of EyeMAX Professional Makeup Studio in Broad Ripple. “They balance all the other features.”
Anastasia Soare, founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills and eyebrow pro to celebrities like Oprah, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, says eyebrows are essential to facial proportion.
“Every makeup artist knows that you can’t achieve a glamorous red-carpet look without good brows,” she says.
Even if you’re not gracing a red carpet anytime soon, use these tips to get your brows looking their best.
To find your best shape, Soare and Hubbard recommend following the method Soare calls the “Golden Ratio” (right).
Imagine a line from the bottom of your nose straight up. This is as far inward as your eyebrow should go. To find the ideal spot of your eyebrow arch, imagine a second line extending from the bottom of your nose diagonally through your pupil. And to get an idea of where your eyebrow should end, envision a third line from the bottom of your nose extending to the outer corner of your eye.
If you’re still unsure, seek the help of a professional.
Tweeze with caution
There’s a good chance your preferred method of brow shaping is tweezing. But overplucking can leave you with a pair of brows that are too thin. To prevent this, fill in your brows to create your ideal shape. Hubbard recommends using black eyeshadow. This makes it easy to see hairs outside your preferred area –– and you can avoid plucking any hairs that should stay.
Stick to plucking hairs between your brows and on the brow bone. Tweezing hairs above the brow bone can lead to gaps and an uneven shape.
Tweezers with pointed ends make it easy to pull hairs. For less-painful tweezing, do it right after taking a shower when your pores are open.
Get your fill
Once you have their shape figured out, your brows may need some help in the color department, especially if you’re blonde. Don’t worry if they’re a little sparse. You have choices when it comes to filling in your brows, each option achieving a different look.
“My first preference is brow powder,” Hubbard says. “It’s soft, natural and easy to correct.”
Powder also works well on full brows that need just a touch of color, Soare says. Using a stiff brush is best for powder since it allows greater control and color placement.
Brow pencils are ideal for thin or overplucked brows, Soare recommends, as well as filling in gaps. Just be careful of that “penciled-on” effect that makes for an unnatural look, Hubbard points out.
Tinted brow gel works well to add color and keep brow hairs in place all day.
Be mindful of how your brows can change as you age.
“The ends of our brows start to droop with age as they are pulled by crow’s feet and overall facial sagging,” Soare says. “For my older clients, I strive to lift their brows to open up their eyes.”
She does this by making the overall brow slightly shorter with a straighter arch as opposed to one that is curvier and higher.
“This allows the brow shape to remain natural yet lifted to avoid being pulled downward,” she says.
Hubbard points out that eyelash conditioners can be used to help “beef up” thinning brows. Be sure to also change your brow color to match your hair color.
If you’re tired of filling in your brows every day, an option is to have them permanently applied.
Those who are allergic to makeup or have alopecia, a form of hair loss, or vitiligo, a condition in which areas of skin can no longer produce melanin, may also benefit from eyebrow tattooing.
Permanent makeup color is placed into the dermis, the inner layer of skin, according to the American Academy of Micropigmentation. As you heal, the outer layer (the epidermis) flakes off, so the final result is lighter than it appears immediately after the procedure.
As with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks to be considered, including infection, scarring and an allergic reaction. It’s possible you may need several sessions to achieve the look you want. And, although it’s frequently referred to as “permanent,” fading may occur over time, requiring a touch-up.
In 2003 and 2004, more than 150 reports of adverse reactions to permanent makeup ink were reported to the Food and Drug Administration, mostly swelling, itching and bumps. In 2004, Premier Products, the ink’s manufacturer, recalled the line in question.