If you have any doubts about how important our eyebrows are to our overall appearance, check out the two pictures below of Anne Hathaway which have been circulating the Internet.
Pretty dramatic evidence that our eyebrows make a difference, isn’t it? Now close your eyes and visualize the evil Maleficent in Disney’s Snow White. In Disney products, eyebrows are definitely drawn to denote ‘good’ or ‘evil’ characters.
So, I think we might all agree that eyebrows are pretty darn important to our overall look.
Although, we all knew that many things would start to change as we got older, we may have been surprised by the disappearing act our eyebrows pulled. Not only do those brow hairs start to get thinner, but also sparser. And, on top of that, they may turn white, gray, grow overly long, or get wiry – or all of the above. And some of us may have jumped aboard the over plucking bandwagon a number of years ago and found that our eyebrows just wouldn’t grow back.
Now, you may ask, why go to all this extra effort to bring our brows back to life? The fact is that beautiful brows not only emphasize and frame our eyes, give our face a lift, and impart instant sophistication, but (dare I say it) they can also make us look years younger. And I mean years..
A recent scientific study holds a key to why eyebrows help us look our best. Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, this research found out what we’ve certainly come to realize with our eyebrows: facial features tend to stand out less as we get older.
The research also concluded that faces with more contrast were perceived as younger and more attractive. So, taking back the lusher look of our brows that we had in our 20s and 30s, which provided stronger contrast to our skin, can truly help us look our best and feel more confident.
The Good News
You might be surprised, but reclaiming our brows is one of the easiest things we can do to look our best! One caution: before heading to the makeup counter, do head to your doctor to get your thyroid checked. Sparse and thinning brows can signal a thyroid issue. Supplements, diet, and exercise have also been known to help. A good multivitamin that includes biotin and zinc can make a difference.
In general, blondes will probably want to go one shade deeper than their eyebrow color and those with darker brow hair should try to match their hair color or go slightly lighter. When in doubt, taupe can work well for many people. If you have grey brows, you can choose either grey or taupe – it’s up to your personal preference. And at all costs, avoid a harsh, ‘drawn on line’ look!
Whether you end up using a brow powder, gel, pencil, or pomade, always brush the brow with a brow ‘spoolie’ (which looks like a mascara wand and is often at the other end of a brow pencil) after you’ve used a brow product to give your brows the most natural possible look.
Some Additional Tips
Of course, there is more to it, and you can follow the tips below for guidance.
Seek Professional Help
If you feel uncertain of what you should be doing, it’s a good idea to go to a pro brow stylist once to get the perfect shape for your brows.
Use an Outline
Some people find it helpful to ‘outline’ the brow shape they want before filling it in. So, with short strokes to mimic the look of brow hairs, outline the top of the brow and then do the same with the bottom. Then, fill it in. You can also purchase brow stencils if you’d like more guidance.
Tattoos May Not Always Work
Though some people have had good results with eyebrow tattooing, you may want to give some extra thought to this process for two reasons. One, when skin sags, the tattoo will very likely go in a direction you’d prefer it not to go! And, two, tattooed brows can change into interesting colors as the ink fades.
Not a Mirror Image
Your brows are sisters, not twins. One will always be higher, fuller, or arched differently, so don’t aim for perfect symmetry.
It Takes Time to Accept a New Look
When you create a fuller brow with makeup, give yourself some time to adjust to this new look of your face. Any change (think new hair cut) takes some getting used to. Also, adding some mascara and/or eyeliner/eye shadow can help balance the look of a more filled-in brow.
Choose the Option That Works for You
Brow powder applied with an angled brow brush is perhaps the easiest approach. But if your brow hair is sparse, consider using an eyebrow pencil or pomade which can adhere better to skin.
Gels Can Be an Option, but Not Always
Brow gels can be used to control wiry, unruly brow hairs, but most likely you will still need to fill in with a powder or pencil to get adequate color. And here’s a makeup artist tip to save you money: try a little hairspray on a disposable mascara brush to keep those brows tamed.
Beginning to End, It All Matters
Where your brows start and stop is important. Hold a pencil vertically along the outer edge of your nose. Where the pencil ends is where your brow should start.
Now, gently move the pencil so its bottom is at the outside corner of your nose and the top is at the outer corner of your eye. This is where your brow should end. Be careful not to fill the brow in lower than this point to avoid a droopy look.
A Concealer Can Work Magic
For a beautiful, polished look, use concealer to draw a line right above the upper brow line. Then blend out the concealer.
Don’t Hesitate to Get Expert Advice
Since just about every major high-end and drugstore makeup line has brow powders, gels, pencils, pomades, and various brow kits, choosing the right product can prove difficult. That’s why I highly recommend making an appointment or stopping by any one of the department store makeup counters to ask if one of their consultants can recommend the brow product that would work best for you. Don’t hesitate to ask the consultant to put it on for you and teach you how to use it. It’s a good idea to try several different products at several different makeup counters to see which brand, product, and technique looks the most natural and beautiful.
Yes, this will take a little time, but it’s far better to invest time upfront to ‘test drive’ various products and techniques than to try them out on your own and experience the frustration of a product that doesn’t work well for you, returning it, and then starting all over again.
And hey, why not take a friend along and go on an eyebrow adventure together! A little extra socializing, laughter, and camaraderie can not only benefit your brows but also (and more importantly) your well-being!
What kinds of changes have you noticed with your eyebrows? If you’ve tried some eyebrow products, what type of product do you prefer using? Have you found that using eyebrow products can really make a difference in your appearance?