The Shutters to Your Soul
The importance of eyebrows
Want to know a simple makeup trick that can make you look younger in minutes? Look at your eyebrows.
Did you know that thinning eyebrows are one of the very first visible signs of aging? Unlike the crow’s feet and laugh lines that we’ve been trained to fear, eyebrow loss is somewhat a silent assassin.
Eyebrows are like shoes: You don’t notice them unless they’re exquisitely right or disastrously wrong. With that in mind, when it comes to your own eyebrows, unless they’ve gone missing already, you’re probably not concerned. If you’re like most, you chalk up your aging appearance to those dreaded crow’s feet, and in turn spend tons of money and time in pursuit of a miracle cure that will turn back the clock on your complexion.
The truth is: crow’s feet – along with fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots – have created a tremendous moneymaking opportunity for the beauty industry. Sadly, there’s no long-term solution for these concerns, unless you want to talk about cosmetic dermatology. Put simply it’s going to take some time and dedication to see an improvement in your wrinkles and lines – and even then, they won’t just “disappear.”
On the other hand, voluptuous, well-shaped brows make an immediate difference in your perceived age. If such a thing as an anti-aging miracle exists, it’s a brow makeover.
Brow Loss Facts Eyebrow loss tends to affect most people when they’re in their 30s, peaking by the age of about 45. But those who have tweezed avidly at any point in their lives will be hit the hardest. And age isn’t brow loss’s sole trigger. Certain medications – such as birth control and Prozac – can cause hormonal shifts that lead to loss, as can pregnancy, menopause and thyroid issues.
Brow Prep First, comb out brows with a brush – try a clean mascara wand. Examine brows for any sparse spots.
Pick a Pencil or a Shade Pencils and powders tend to stick to skin, not to hair, so if you don’t have a lot of hair you’ll want to shade in the skin where hair should grow. Hard pencils tend to be too waxy, so select a soft pencil that’s a shade lighter than your brows, and a powder that matches the color of brows. If brows are super fair, choose a pencil that’s a shade darker than your natural brows.
Pencil Fill Use the pencil to fill in the sparse spots with short, feathery strokes. Your pencil should be super soft, but if you have a pencil that’s too hard, warm the tip up by rubbing it between your fingers. Apply in the direction of hair growth. The key here is not to create a definite line, but to create the short stroke appearance of hair. Be careful not to pencil in the entire brow, which will result in an unnatural look. A great pencil is the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil – I like that it has a brush on one end to groom the brows into place.
Brow Powder Dip an angled brush or a clean mascara wand in powder shadow. Brush the powder along the brows. It should stick to the pencil, while also acting to blend in the color perfectly. For more staying powder, dampen the brush slightly before dipping it into color. One of my all time favorites is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo. I always finish by using a brush to give a more natural finish.
Two is Better Than One You can try two colors when filling in brows: A light powder where brows are thickest and a darker shade for the tail ends. My current brow palette is by Too Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit (it comes with everything and stencils, too).
Set To keep brows in place, I like MAKE UP FOR EVER Brow Seal Transparent Eyebrow Gel, or you can try a spritz of hairspray on your finger and brush onto the brow.
Shape Fuller brows are preferable to skinny ones. Have eyebrows shaped by a pro every four weeks. Use a good tweezer (Tweezerman is a hands-down favorite), to clean up the hairline in between visits. Also be conservative about tweezing – it’s easy to get carried away and if you’ve over-plucked, it will take a few months to a couple years for hair to grow back. If getting the perfect shape on both sides proves difficult, then use a brow stencil; it’s so easy and is like getting a brow consultation from Anastasia, the Beverly Hills “Queen of Eyebrows!”