Remember back in the nineties when pencil-thin eyebrows were all the rage? People plucked to oblivion and then re-drew a high, narrow arch for a permanently startled effect.
Fast-forward 20 years and now everyone seems to be after luscious, strong brows, thanks to the influence of Cara Delevingne, Emilia Clarke and Lily Collins. That doesn’t mean untamed chaos, though – even these celebrities’ thick brows are still well-defined and groomed.
Shaped properly, brows frame your face, balance your features and flatter you. Whether your look is arched and feathered or straight and bold, the key things are to go easy and subtly enhance the shape that Mother Nature has given you. Given the temptation to overpluck, it can be wise to have a professional craft your perfect arch (which you can then maintain at home). Here are our recommended options depending on how you’re wanting to hone those brows.
To go thicker and fuller: Microblading
Giving semi-permanent results, this process sees tiny strokes that look just like real hairs ‘drawn’ on. Microblading is perfect for those who want to fully reconstruct, fill in over-plucking or cover gaps, even if you have blonde ultra-faint brows or have lost the hairs due to alopecia. This is an extremely meticulous process that takes around two hours to complete, but results will last for up to three years before beginning to fade. Ensure the technician mixes you a custom color and uses several shades, so the effect is multidimensional and natural.
To shape and refine: Threading
In this ancient technique from the Middle East and Asia, a technician rapidly twists a long thread to trap and pull out hairs. Results last two-to-three weeks. It’s inexpensive, fast and can be used on shorter hairs than waxing. It’s also less likely to cause blockages and breakouts since you are not clogging up the skin’s pores with thick wax.
After something permanent? Electrolysis destroys the hair root entirely, as the technician inserts a thin metal probe into each follicle and delivers an electric current. After several sessions there will be no need to tweak, wax or thread again. Be warned, though, that brows typically thin with ageing so using this method may leave you with extra sparse brows in later life.
Groom and maintain: D.I.Y. Tweezing
Plucking at home gives you control over removing individual hairs. The cheapest and most popular technique, it guarantees a clean, shapely arch. A good trick for achieving the most flattering shape is to hold tweezers vertically against the bridge of your nose and on top of your nostril: this shows where your brow should start, so remove the strays that fall outside this. Next, find your natural arch by placing the tweezer on the tip of your nose and angling it straight across your pupil.
For best results, tweeze after having a shower or bath, as the warm water opens up the follicles allowing hair to be pulled out more easily.
Our other tip is to invest in a good toolkit: an eyebrow powder or pencil, comb, gel and quality tweezers, such as leading brand Tweezerman.
Lightly stroke the pencil (in a shade closest to your natural color) in the direction of the hair growth to fill in any sparser patches of hair, concentrating on the arches. Brush through a clear brow gel to keep hairs in place. Cara Delevingne eat your heart out!