BROWS 101

Without a doubt, there has been an eyebrow revolution over the past couple of years. Goodbye to the days of thin brows, hello to bold, well-groomed arches that frame and define your face. Read on for a full, comprehensive guide to brows, from how to find the perfect shape for you to all of the different grooming methods to the best products for upkeep!

YOUR PERFECT SHAPE

The perfect brow frames your eyes. It is not overly tweezed. It is not thick towards the middle and super-thin at the ends. There is a defined arch. To determine your perfect length, hold a pencil straight along one side of your nose. Where it crosses your brow is where your eyebrow should begin. (If your eyebrow doesn’t reach that far, read on for how to beautifully and naturally fill in your brows.)

For the arch, angle the pencil across your iris and see where it hits. To determine where your brow should end, angle the pencil to the outer corner of your eye.

Use the image above, from Lauren Conrad’s The Beauty Department, as a guide.

GROOMING METHODS

TWEEZING: Tweezing can be done by a professional or at home. In terms of shaping the entire brow, it’s extremely precise and meticulous (perfect to achieve the Cara D look). Since it’s a slow process, you have a lot of control – it’s not easy to make a mistake – plus, it’s not very painful. The only con? Since it’s so time consuming, when it’s done by a technician, it will be pricier than other methods.

WAXING: The primary benefits of waxing are that it’s inexpensive and quick. Cheap is always good, but fast? Not necessarily. In my opinion, waxing is not the best bet for your brows – the wax is laid on in one sweep, meaning mistakes are common. I speak from experience of a waxing trauma I will never forget…there are pictures all over Facebook to remind me. If you find a good waxer who you trust, though, go for it – to each her own. As far as pain goes, it’s like ripping off a Band-Aid – not too bad, and whatever stinging you feel goes away quickly. Be wary: if you have sensitive skin, wax can irritate it or peel it off.

THREADING: Threading dates all the way became to the ancient times, and there’s a reason it’s stood the test of time: both inexpensive and precise, it’s the best of both worlds. A professional twists thread into a shuttle and pulls out the hair caught between the knots. Threading comes with a painful stinging sensation, but after a few times, you get used to it.

ELECTROLYSIS: Electrolysis is pricey, but consider it an investment: hairs are eventually destroyed permanently. A professional technician inserts a tiny metal probe into each individual hair folic. The probe sends out an electric current that will completely eradicate the root. You should know that it is painful and tedious, but the main benefit of the procedure – permanent removal – outweighs the cons. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t take off too much. As you get older, hair thins out, so you don’t want to electro the majority of your brows and be left with nothing in the future.

THE 411 ON BROW PRODUCTS

Brow products serve a multitude of purposes – some add definition, some keep your arches in place, some pack on color. Read on if you don’t know where to start!

PENCIL: Draw light strokes in the direction of your hair with an eyebrow pencil, like NYX’s Automatic Pencil or Anstasia’s famous Brow Wiz. A pencil is perfect for beginners because you can keep building until you achieve your desired look. After you sketch in the sparse areas, use the spoolie that usually comes with the pencil to blend for a natural look.

MARKER: Don’t worry, it won’t look like you drew on brows with a Sharpie! Markers are long-lasting, glide on and dry quickly. Since markers are softly pigmented, they’re ideal for filling in gaps and sparse areas. Give Laura Geller’s Brow Marker a try.

POWDER: If you’re comfortable working with your brows, powder is your go-to. Using an angled brush, powder gives you the boldest look. Try Anastasia’s Brow Powder Duo, which is pigmented so a little goes a long way.

POMADE: Pomades and waxes are extremely versatile. You can find them in clear (Milani’s Brow Shaping Clear Wax) or tinted (Anastasia’s Dipbrow) and they can be used on their own or on top of other brow products. Use wax to tame brows, keep them in place and add definition.

BROW GEL: Many makeup artists say clear brow gel, like MUD’s Brow Fix, is a must every day. It is ideal for girls with full brows that don’t need much product. Simply brush brows into your desired, neat shape and swipe the gel to keep them in place all day. For a bit more definition, go with a tinted option like Benefit’s legendary Gimme Brow or the waterproof Aqua Brow by Make Up For Ever.

How do you groom and maintain your brows? Let us know in the comments below and on PAMPADOUR.com!