You Can Have Great Brows! ~ lisa johnson :: makeup artist
As a professional makeup artist, I get a lot of questions about brow shaping. Nothing ages a face more than thin, overly tweezed brows - here are some general guidelines and tips to help you get a more perfect brow.
Determine the Correct Shape
Start the eyebrow shaping process by determining the correct design for your face and features. You will need an eyeliner pencil to start. First hold the pencil against the side of your nose, vertically, straight up to where it meets the brow. This is the spot where your eyebrow should start. As a guideline, make a small mark with the pencil there on your skin.
Next you will turn the pencil at an angle, holding it against the nostril, so that it crosses over the center of your eye. Notice where the pencil now intersects the eyebrow, this is where the peak of your arch should start. Make another mark on your skin as a guide here.
Lastly, keep moving the pencil at an angle against your nostril until it meets the edge of the outer eye. Where the end of the pencil now meets the eyebrow is your eyebrow’s ending point. Make another mark on your skin here.
Using these three marks on both eyes provides you a general guideline on how the shape of your eyebrow should be based on the shape of your face.
The other consideration for the correct eyebrow shape is the thickness. Ideally, the impact of your eyebrows should balance with the rest of your face and hair. If you have thick hair with larger facial features, your eyebrows should be thicker and more dramatic. In contrast, if you have thin hair and petite features, your eyebrows should be more subtle.
Before you begin your eyebrow shaping, gather all your tools – tweezers, brow brush and small scissors. Preferably, you should begin by checking to see if your eyebrows need a trim. Eyebrow hairs are longer than most people realize, and simply trimming them can be enough for some faces. When the hairs are lightly cut, not only will it decrease the brow density, it also helps the hairs to lie flat - instantly creating a clean line to your brow.
Always trim before tweezing, not after, as you might end up removing some hairs that just needed to be trimmed. Start by brushing the eyebrow hairs straight up with your brow brush, and then trim any stray hairs that extend past the upper brow line. Next, brush all the hairs straight down and trim the hairs extending past the brow line underneath. After you have done your trimming, brush all the hairs back into place.
Tweezing can be a painful process for some, so to ease the discomfort, you should pluck after a steamy shower or a warm face washing. This will help the pores to open and enable the hairs to remove easier. If you are particularly sensitive, slightly numbing the area with ice before tweezing will also help.
Always make sure that you have good lighting when eyebrow shaping. Using the previous method for ensuring the proper shape, follow the marks and tweeze the hairs in the direction they grow. Move back and forth between the brows after every couple of plucks, to ensure proper symmetry.
For those of you with sparse eyebrows, tweezing is not necessary. Instead, you will need to build your eyebrows back to a proper shape. Selecting an appropriate pencil color is crucial, so test a few at the makeup counter to be sure the color is right. One of my favorite brands of pencil is Lancome Le Crayon Poudre. Many artists prefer to use an angled brush with brow/eyeshadow powder, myself included. You can also find eyebrow stencils and kits to help guide you with the correct line. These come in many shapes and sizes - Eyebrowz makes great stencils and kits for this purpose.
Hire a Professional!
If you are still nervous about eyebrow shaping, consider a professional brow session. The technique is not usually an expensive procedure, depending on the thickness and amount of hair to groom. At the very least, you can pay for one session and then simply pluck the stray hairs at home for maintenance.