Full, well-manicured brows are perhaps the hottest beauty trend in the market right now, and, if you haven’t taken notice of Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne or any of the Kardashian clan’s bold, bushy brows, then take a closer look at this major movement in the beauty world. Science and beauty experts say that brows are a powerful face-defining feature that not only protect our baby blues from dust and sweat and express our emotions, but when shaped properly, eyebrows can lend symmetry to our facial features, thus enhancing our natural beauty. “The Kardashians probably have a lot to do with the brow craze,” says Jennifer Lee of Tonya Jones SalonSpa. “If the Kardashians didn’t wax or maintain their brows, they’d probably be out of control.”
“Maintaining well-shaped brows is important, because it frames your face,” says Carrie Lewis, also of Tonya Jones SalonSpa. “When your brows aren’t shaped to complement your face, you just don’t feel like yourself.”
So, from waxing, tweezing and shaping to microblading, tinting and cosmetic techniques for a fuller look, we’ve got all the tricks and tips for getting the eyebrow that is perfect for you! We’ve partnered with Jennifer and Carrie, aestheticians and spa therapists extraordinaire, as well as local artist Kathryn Cooper, to bring you a fabulous and fun illustrated eyebrow exposé!
“The brow that you are born with is the brow that you are born with,” says Jennifer. “If you’ve noticed Natalie Portman’s brows, they are very straight. So, if she came in and asked for Angelina Jolie’s brows — that’s just not realistic. It’s not going to work.”
Carrie and Jennifer stress that people need to have realistic expectations when it comes to their brows. You want to enhance the natural shape of your brows to complement your face shape and features. “It’s never a good idea to try to ‘put on’ someone else’s natural brow shape, because it just isn’t going to look right on you,” says Carrie. “And there are lots of simple things you can do to enhance your natural shape when you’re on the go.”
Quick Trick #1: Clear mascara
Brush them with clear mascara. This holds them in place and makes them look more defined and coiffed.
Quick Trick #2: Two-toned concealer
Use two tones of concealer to define and highlight the shape. Apply lighter concealer under the brow and natural skin-tone concealer above to accentuate the unique contour of your brow.
“We have a lot of women who send their husbands in to get their eyebrows shaped,” says Jennifer. Carrie nods, adding, “They don’t want it to be super-manicured and end up looking like a drag queen, so we just clean it up to make it look natural.” Waxing is the most efficient method, but if the brows are thick and wiry, a little plucking or tweezing is sometimes required.
Thicker brows? Clean them up!
Maybe you are not seeking that bushy Kardashian brow and instead enjoy the thin throwback look, or perhaps your naturally bushy brows need serious taming. Our experts prefer waxing, but some people prefer (or require, for health reasons) tweezing, safety razors or threading, an ancient Indian hair-removal technique that removes hair by twisting a cotton thread. No matter the method — and each have their merits — Carrie and Jennifer both agree on three things:
Tip #1: Work with a professional.
Have an experienced aesthetician work with you to serve as an outside opinion and help steer you towards a brow beauty win. They recommend a brow touch-up every three to four weeks, depending on how quickly your brows grow.
Tip #2: Don’t tweeze between visits.
“I can always tell when people have tweezed or tried to trim their brows,” says Carrie. She explains that it’s better if you let it grow naturally, so at the next visit, the aesthetician can see how it grows, how quickly, in what direction, etc. That way, they can react accordingly. “Or, if something is bothering the client, we’d rather they stop by and we can even show them how we’d recommend they tweeze it.”
Tip #3: Don’t obsess over your brows.
This is a trap that even the most savvy beauty mavens can fall into, and it can be dangerous! “Sometimes people try to make their brows even, and they overdo it,” says Jennifer. Carrie adds, “Don’t get sucked into the magnifying mirror, because you’ll most likely overdo it.” Perception can be thrown off when you get so close to the mirror for an OCD nit-picking session!
Pencil thin? Fill it in!
Full, smokey, bushy eyebrows are all the rage these days, but how do you get that fuller look if you’ve naturally got a thinner brow? There is a way, say our experts, but it is more extensive than coming in for a wax. “It can be life-changing, especially for people who have alopecia or have lost hair because of cancer treatments,” says Jennifer. “Because then they don’t have to draw them on everyday, and it boosts their confidence.” But both Carrie and Jennifer warn that when going the distance to get that enviable trending full brow, be honest with your aesthetician about any medications you might be taking, as certain medications can cause averse reactions to certain methods.
Method #1: Microblading
Microblading is a cosmetic tattoo using blades by hand to create hair-like abrasions filled in with a dye. Numbing, of course, happens before this process. It is semi permanent, painless and safe with no smudging, smearing or legwork required for a fabulous, low-maintenance, fuller-eyebrow solution!
Method #2: Tinting
This is a process of darkening with an eyebrow-specific dye — not a hair dye — to make them look fuller and thicker. “People with very light or blonde hair will often come in to get their eyebrows subtly darkened,” says Carrie. “And men often get them darkened to look more masculine or younger.” Jennifer adds, “It’s all about finding the right color, because you want to look natural.”
Method #3: Cosmetic techniques
These crafty aestheticians have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves for making brows look fuller and more defined. “For people who don’t want to microblade or tint, there are all kinds of tricks — pencils, shadow, angled brushes, concealer, brow mascara,” says Jennifer. “We do consultations on how to use cosmetics to achieve the effect you want.”
So, there are generic guides you can find online and follow, but each person’s face shape and brow shape is different. It’s best to know your options, and then work with an aesthetician to enhance the contours of your brows, for a more symmetrical and stunning you!
Thank you to aestheticians and spa therapists Jennifer Lee and Carrie Lewis of Tonya Jones SalonSpa for the insider scoop on how to get the brows of your dreams!
And thank you to artist Kathryn Cooper for today’s fun illustrations! Check out Katherine’s colorful illustrations of iconic Birmingham landmarks, home renderings, tea towels and more at kathryntaylorcooper.com or follow her on Instagram at @kathryncoop.
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