Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just Brows-ing

Brows are big. Like, Robert Pattinson big. OK, maybe not quite that Cro-Magnon, but more natural-looking brows are the order of the day.

This information immediately struck fear into my heart because I'm worried my brows, particularly at the ends, aren't thick enough. BK (Before Kids), I spent a fair amount of time getting those caterpillars waxed and plucked into submission to avoid that Russian leader look.

These days, I've been hittin' the brow products pretty hard, trying to cover up possible overpluckage. Powder, pencil, wax, gel, you name it, I've tried it. So, I figure I'm qualified to offer some opinions on what's out there along with tips on how to determine your brow shape, although you should definitely leave the shaping to the professionals. Trimming at home, if you have a light hand, is OK, but the light hand part is key. I had to do an eyebrow combover for weeks because I got a little carried away with the scissors. Not pretty.

• Powder. This is good for filling in sparse brows. I've tried the sets that come with wax, and frankly, they get all gunky. You don't need the wax. Sephora used to carry a cheap brow powder kit that works pretty well. If you want to go higher-end, the Anastasia brow kits are also good.
• Pencil. Today, I like the pencil better than powder. That could change tomorrow. I've been using MAC's fine point pencil ($15) to draw light, feathery strokes in the sparser part of my brows. This can look harsh, though, so you need to use an angled brush to blend. Pencil offers the same look as powder but requires that extra step of blending. It's a personal choice — do you have time for that extra blending step?
• Highlighter. Using a highlighter along the underside of your brows highlights the arch and makes you look more alert. Couldn't we all use a cheat like that? Two favs: Anastasia Shimmer Highlighter ($21) and MAC's cream colour base in pearl ($16.50). The MAC stuff has a slight frosty sheen, and you need to blend it well.
• Gel. Skip it. The brands I've used make your brows crazy stiff, or the stuff flakes off. Yuck.

Use a makeup pencil and place it alongside your nose. By following this line straight up, you can see where your eyebrows ought to begin.
Next, keep the pencil's lower end against your nose. Move the top of the pencil so it's lined up with the outer edge of the iris. Now you've found where the arch should be.
Again, keeping one end of the pencil against the nose, line up the pencil's far end with the eye's outer corner. This shows where the brow should end.

Next we'll cover dealing with those straggly chin hairs. What's up with those anyway? Another one of Mother Nature's cruel practical jokes as you age. Just kiddin'. I'm not actually going to write about that, but don't they suck?


jcrewphd said...

I've been looking forward to getting my brows some more shape since it has been neglected after kids. Thanks for the tip and I may have to try the pencil or the highlighter you recommend. :-)

Kcookski said...

i never, ever would have thought of highlighter, but it was a sephora free gift one time, and i really like it! on weekends, i'll only use that on my eyes and it just gives that extra bit of polish to make you look done. and during a "MAC"over one time, the makeup artist used the cream colour base, and it looked good, too. not as subtle, but still good.

Lisa said...

I need to try some of those tricks. I had this brief but really weird period when I was in 9th grade and "discovered" tweezers, which meant I had pencil-thin brows for a few months. It took FOREVER to grow them back and have always been super-cautious about my brows now, years and years later.

Desert Flower said...

I love a defined brow. I use a pencil and a highlighter under the brow, tricks learned from What Not To Wear :)