Ask anyone who’s had their eyebrows shaped by a pro and they’ll harp on about what a difference it makes – it’s the next best thing to a face-lift (and a darn sight cheaper and less painful way to go from OK to OMG!)
With your white carpet moment on the horizon, this really is the time to get them shaped… but do me a favour, especially if you’re a virgin of eyebrow grooming. Go to a professional. Just as great eyebrows can make the rest of your face look gorgeous, bad ones can make you look surprised/angry/scared/unfriendly/all of the above. Personally I prefer threading where the hairs are pulled out by a tensioned thread but I’ve also had mine waxed a few times too. What’s so brilliant about having them pro-done is that not only will you score the most flattering shape for your face, but it makes your at-home grooming regime a cinch.
Like fashion, brow trends change but when it comes to your wedding, take my advice and stay natural. Not too thin but not too bushy. (Why do I suddenly feel like Alan Titchmarsh pruning my conifers?) Back to brows, if you have been a bit heavy-handed with the tweezers in the past, start seeing your pro plucker around 6 months before the big day so they can help get you back to the shape and slug size that enhances you best. (Oops Alan T again!)
Anyway, back to tending to your eyebrows. Ensuring they look their most beautiful on the big day is as easy as…
1. USING A NIGHT TIME SERUM
I’m an absolute sucker for eyelash serums and a few months ago began using a tube of NYK1 Lash Force Eyelash Growth Serum. Seeing as the small print stated it was good for brows too I thought in for a penny in for £34.95. Streaking the serum across my top lash line and brows like a liquid eyeliner twice a day, I didn’t have to wait too long to reap results. My lashes felt thicker and stronger (they’re naturally quite long anyway) but definitely the biggest difference was that my brows were noticeably fuller. My go-to threader thought so too – and she reckons thicker brows make you look younger! Apparently the formula works by stimulating blood flow and delivering a potent cocktail of nutrients right into the roots. Within a few weeks I dropped the morning applications and have only just finished the tube after using it every day for 4 months.
2. PLUCKING LIKE A PRO
In between your appointments you may need to tend to the odd straggler. The least painful time to pluck is after a shower while your pores are still open. Try to oiled doing it before or during your period too when your skin is a lot more sensitive. Sit in front of a big mirror in natural daylight to get an overall view of your face. Use a magnifying mirror to spot the downy hairs that need plucking. Following the natural shape of your brows, stretch the skin and pluck the stragglers from underneath. Pluck. Look. Pluck. Look. And remember, eyebrows are sisters not twins. They’re rarely the same so don’t get carried away with the tweezers in your quest for an identical pair.
3. COLOURING FOR DEFINITION
I’ve seen too many Robbie Rottens to be brave enough to give microblading a go still. I know that the tattoos are semi-permanent and that they’ll fade after they’re first applied but I’m still pretty happy with what a basic old tint like Eylure Pro-Brow Dybrow, £7.50 will do. I can do it myself too and it’s fun and really satisfying. After mixing the colour and developer, you just skim it over one brow at a time with a mascara wand, wait a minute then wipe it away with damp cotton wool.
4. FILLING THEM IN
Fill in any gaps and define your arches with a special eyebrow powder, pencil or cream. If you’re using a pencil, grip it in the middle rather than at the tip and go gently as if you’re drawing little hairs. I have quite an extensive brow product collection but have whittled it down to my favourite three. So: For pencil I like the softness of MAC Deluxe Brow Liner, £17.50 and use one in a shade lighter than my hair colour. For powder my vote goes to Hi Brow 24hr Compact, £18.95. Though I’ve never used the stencils, I’ve used the powder and (nicely firm) brush for donkeys. It also comes with a highlighter to brighten up your brow bone. For cream (and if I’m honest this is my pick of the bunch, it’s Benefit Gimme Brow, £17.43. I liked this even when I was using it wrong! I was pretty happy with the results when simply skimming it along my brows from the inside out to my temples. But if you work against the direction of hair growth, you get a much fuller look as the tiny fibres stick to your skin and hairs. They still look home-grown though and last all day.
5. HIGHLIGHTING YOUR BROW BONE
The finishing touch? Some blended creamy pink on the brow bones just under your arches to really make your eyes pop … as well as shave years off you! Benefit’s High Brow Eye Brow Highlighter, £19 is an absolute dream to apply. I love that it has a matte finish as shimmery ones make me feel like I’m off to an 80s party.
I hope this post helps if you’ve been feeling ‘browed off’ with your brows. As soon as you’ve had them shaped you’ll see the difference they can make. I’d love to know what tips, tricks and favourite products you have…