How To Do Eyebrows - A Style Guide For Perfect Eyebrows
Last updated on : June 06 2017
They say that your eyes are the windows to your soul. Nowadays your eyebrows and eyelashes are a big part of how others see your facial beauty - so it is essential to get your eyebrows as perfect as you can.
In this article we touch on popular eyebrow shapes and styling techniques that we've gleaned through years of exposure. A lot of those years spent plucking and shaping, and now threading and microblading. Yes between us here at the shop we've pretty much done it all.
Transform your Look with Perfect Eyebrows
Full, defined, and perfectly arched eyebrows transform your look in no time at all and can make or break a fashionable statement in something sassy like a bandage dress. While you pay special attention to your eye shadow, liner, and lipstick it is a common fashion faux pas to forget about shaping and styling your eyebrows.
Eyebrows vary from woman to woman. Some women have brows that are not exactly symmetrical, others too thin or unruly. With a little bit of direction, expertise, and care, your eyebrows are easily shaped and styled.
The following reference guide covers the various shapes and recommendations for your eyebrows according to your face shape as well as styles and shaping techniques.
How to Shape Your Eyebrows
The shape of your eyebrows should be dictated by your facial bone structure. If you are at a loss as to which eyebrow shape is perfect for you, consider your facial structure and these insights.
If your face is widest around your cheek area, with the length and width of your face being almost equal, you have a round-shaped face. Miranda Kerr has a round face shape.
Your focus is to give your face the illusion of being longer and more lean. Steer clear of rounded brows as they only serve to make your face look more round. Instead create an eyebrow shape with a higher arch.
By creating a vertical lift, people’s eyes are going to be drawn up and down, thereby giving the illusion of a longer and more lean face.
If you have an oval face you have defined cheekbones, a wider forehead, and a face silhouette that narrows gracefully at the chin. Oprah has an oval shaped face.
Your eyebrow goal for your oval face is to simply maintain it. Softly arched brows are the perfect way to achieve this goal. Avoid too thinly shaped eyebrows and simply maintain your natural shape for the most complimenting look.
If you have a long face you may need to make your face appear a little shorter to restore balance. The best eyebrow shape for this type is a flat eyebrow that works as a horizontal border to divide the face visually and make it appear more proportional.
Often long face shapes face the battle of a face that appears flat. By reducing the arch in your eyebrows you will provide depth to your face and more definition.
Perhaps the most prominent feature of a square-shaped face is a strong, bony, and square jawline. Angelina Jolie has a square face.
If you have a square face shape the width of your forehead, jawline, and cheekbones are practically even. Your face may appear too strong without a counterbalance so your eyebrows are very important. Your focus is to soften your jawline and restore balance to your face.
Let your face dictate the ideal eyebrow shape for you. Start off with curved brows and gradually fashion a little more angle into the brow until it compliments your jawline. In general, the stronger the jawline, the more angular you need to go.
A defined and clear sharp arch at the top of your eyebrows offsets the square-ness of your face and softens your appearance.
This type of face shape is not very common. It is characterized by highly angular curves in a face that is widest at the forehead. The focus with a diamond-shaped face is to make your temple area appear a little less wide to soften your whole face. This is usually done with a curved eyebrow shape.
If your face tapers towards a pointed chin, you have a heart-shaped one similar to Lisa Kudrow, Julia Roberts, and Madonna.
Heart shaped faces also tend to have prominent foreheads. Again, the goal is to balance your pointed chin and draw attention away from your forehead. The best way to achieve this goal is to create a rounded and curved brow with a soft feminine low arch. Keep adding more volume to the brow till you feel like you have balanced your pointed chin and forehead adequately.
Your face shape and bone structure play key roles in finding eyebrows that compliment your style and look. When working to achieve or find the perfect arch and eyebrow shape for your face start with very minimal shaping at a time.
Avoid shaping in large portions and rather shape in very small sections to avoid over styled eyebrows. Remove one or two hairs rather than an entire line.
Once you have found your perfect shape you need to style your eyebrows.
How to Style Your Eyebrows
Follow this high level process if you're styling your brows at home.
Brush your brows
Many of us do not really bother with brushing our brows and yet we should. The truth is that this is one of the most important steps if you want absolutely stunning brows that lay the way you want them too.
Whether you like a precise look or lean towards wild and unkempt, start with brushing your brows. Some brow combs tend to irritate the skin with their harshness. Reach for the Tarte Shape Shifter Double Ended Bamboo Brow Brush ($22) or try the e.l.f. Studio Lash and Brow Comb ($3).
A good eyebrow brush helps you separate and soften your brows without removing any of the makeup you may have on. The rule of thumb while brushing is to start at the roots and brush in the direction of the growth of hair.
Create your Shape
Use the shaping techniques above to determine your ideal brow shape and arch. Outline your preferred shape with a brow pencil and then remove only the hairs that fall outside this outline. Consider using an eyebrow stencil to help, these can provide additional confidence and symmetry to your shape.
As compared to waxing or spot shaving, tweezing is a sensible way to maintain your eyebrows. Though tweezing is a bit uncomfortable initially as you continue to tweeze overtime you’ll hardly feel the pain. Tweezing is recommended for eyebrow maintenance because it gives you a lot more control so you do not end up removing too many hairs at one go.
For healthy skin and to prevent infection be sure to keep your tweezers squeaky clean as to avoid any breakouts due to bacteria. Prior to tweezing relax the follicles on the brows by lightly pressing a warm cloth to the area. Hold each hair as close to the root as possible, and pull out one at a time.
If you have a proclivity of going tweezer-happy, steer clear of the slanted tips because they allow you to tweeze lots of hair at one time and may lead to over-plucking. Pointed tweezers like the Tweezerman Stainless Steel Point Tweezer ($22) lend themselves to a precise and conscious use.
Fill Them In
For women with thin or patchy eyebrows, adding depth and color opacity to the brows is of prime importance. There are a number of different tools and techniques that you may use to achieve this goal.
Perhaps, the most common way is by using an eyebrow pencil. Find one that offers a very fine tip to ensure you are able to create precise strokes that look like actual brow hair. Some recommended eyebrow pencils include Joey Healy’s Brow Architect Stylo, Anastasia Brow Wiz ($21), and Brow Power Super Skinny ($24) which receives an extra thumbs-up for being available in so many different shades—if matching your brow color is important to you, reach for one of these.
Other than eyebrow pencils you can also use an angled brush and powder or brow pomades and markers when you want to actually reconstruct the shape of your brow dramatically. Some good options include the Eyeko Brow Liner ($20), Kat Von D Tattoo Brow ($19) for really sparse hair, and Anastasia Beverly Hill Brow Powder Duo ($23).
Irrespective of which brow filler you settle on, the trick is to choose a color that is a little more muted than your actual brow color. This helps you achieve a natural look. In case you find that you’ve put on too much, just dab the brow with your fingertip to soften the shade.
Time to Finish
To achieve fabulous eyebrows - reach for a good brow gel. Available in tinted as well as clear gel options, these are a must-have in your makeup box. Good tinted gels are perfect for hiding those pesky grey hairs, while clear gels are a boon to those who want to keep their eyebrows tidy and precise through the day. A brow gel allows thinner eyebrows to gain volume so they appear thicker.
Your eyebrows are an intricate part of your style and look. Overzealous plucking, tweezing, or waxing is a no-no. Be nice to your brows, and encourage them to grow by treating them right.
When it comes to creating fabulous eyebrows, your point of view matters the most. The best way to get the right perspective is to stand at least a foot away from the mirror and assess your look. Take into account your face shape and style goals to get the facial style and look you desire.
Eyebrow Shaping Techniques
There are a number of ways to shape and style your eyebrows, from doing them yourself at home with a set of tweezers or at an eyebrow salon following the latest threading trend.
Tweezing or Eyebrow Plucking
The key to plucking properly is the right set of tweezers. Ideally you want a pair that are sharp and can isolate individual hairs, grip them properly and remove them effortlessly.
Instead of tweezing at any random time of the day, pluck immediately after you get out of the shower. Your skin will be softer and more pliant at this time, allowing you to pluck with ease. If any redness appears, try a salve like the Milk Makeup Cooling Water ($24) for instant relief.
A key problem with tweezing is removing too much of the eyebrow, especially if you are using a magnifying glass (this makes it look like you have more brow than you actually do). Also it's easier to damage the structure of the brow by removing hairs that look long and out of place but are important structural parts of the brow, making it collapse slightly.
Eyebrow waxing is the same process as waxing your legs although a lot more precision and delicacy is required. As a result it is better to get it done professionally than risk doing it yourself. The principle benefit you get from a wax is that the brow hairs will take longer to grow back compared to tweezing, plus you are left with smooth and softer skin. Hairs tend to grow back softer over time as well.
However waxing can be painful and leave some swelling and redness that could last a good few hours (so don't get it done on the same day you plan to go out). This is because the process removes a fine layer of skin and many hairs at the same time rather than individually.
Hairs also need to be long enough for the wax to grip so you may need to live with longer brows than you'd like in the weeks before you have your wax. You'll need about three weeks between waxes for hairs to grow long enough.
Eyebrow threading originated in Asia and the Middle East where it has been practiced for millennia. It involves using a thread or thin twine to grip and remove individual hairs in your brow. In the USA it has grown in popularity as it tends to be more accurate and less painful than tweezing or waxing.
Threading needs to be done by a brow professional who is trained in the practice so is normally done at a brow salon. The experience can be quite liberating and leave you with a perfectly formed brow that often looks thicker than when you started.
There are a few considerations when it comes to threading. The first is that you'll be handing over your brow styling to a specialist as it cannot be done by yourself. Secondly you'll want to make sure you consult with the specialist before the threading starts to ensure you actually get what you want.
Eyebrow Tattoo and Microblading
Usually required when you have naturally sparse or irregular eyebrows and are tired of filling in the missing pieces everyday with makeup. An eyebrow tattoo will permanently take the role of eyebrow makeup to replace missing hairs. The process requires tattooing in your preferred brow shape in your natural color.
Although I've used the word permanent it is in fact not as permanent as a regular body tattoo. This is because the brow tattoo uses a less concentrated ink and doesn't go as deep. The effect will fade over time eventually disappearing, so you'll either need to go for a touch up every 12 to 18 months or wait for it to fade away completely over time.
There are two ways to get eyebrow tattoos, either through micro-pigmentation which is done with a machine or by microblading which is done by hand. Both will give you a hair like tattoo but microblading provides thinner wispier hairs that possibly look fuller. Your artist should be drawing on individual hairs in both procedures so don't settle for anything less.
It can be quite a painful but very bearable experience and you can ask for a numbing cream not normally available for regular tattoos. It takes about a week to completely heal and during this time there might be some scabbing and itchiness. You will need to protect the area, so some activities like gym or swimming you won't be able to do.
This is similar to applying hair coloring and lasts about four to eight weeks depending how much you put your brows through. Regular gym sessions and perspiration will shorten the time the tint lasts, as an example. Usually done where the brow still has its thickness but the color of the brow hairs is fading, either naturally through age or through damage.
It's preferable to a pencil because it doesn't look like makeup has been applied. Instead you get natural looking and more evenly colored brows that look fuller and can take years off your looks.
These are individual hairs that are either glued directly to your skin or to existing hairs. Done by a specialist the procedure is very delicate and can take a few hours, starting with a trim and a shaping of your brows before the extensions are added. The individual hairs come in a few forms, usually thick or wispy, straight or curly so they can be properly matched to your existing brow.
Depending on how much you put your brows through they can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The hairs glued directly to your skin usually fall first with those attached to your hairs lasting longer. On the day of application and overnight you need to ensure you don't rub your brows or sleep on them in bed. Always some sacrifices for beauty!
Eyebrow extensions are usually a temporary fix for a special occasion although can be solutions for cancer patients who have lost all their hair.
Questions About Eyebrows
We get a number of questions about eyebrows, here are the most frequent.
Do Eyebrows Grow Back?
So many of us have plucked away our brows over time and now, with fuller brows more in vogue, we want them back. The lucky answer is that eyebrows will grow back. You just need patience, some time and to leave them alone to grow.
Each person will have a different growth rate but usually most will grow back within three to six months, with real outliers at a year. Try encouraging the process by following the same steps you might take to encourage normal hair growth.
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