There are long lists of beauty accoutrements and alterations that can completely change your look, such as a haircut or color, or certain styles of makeup. But the one change that can make a day and night difference is a complimentary eyebrow shaping.
While some might prefer thinner or nowhere-to-be-seen brows, most of us want to go thick. And for those of us who weren’t blessed with a lot to work with, we need some ways to create the illusion of plenty.
“The trend right now is thick eyebrows—the thicker, the better,” says Sam, co-owner, along with Azi and Nilo, of Brow and Blowdry in Beaverton, Oregon.
Here are a few tips to get you on your way to fuller brows.
1. Find the best eyebrow shape that fits your face
If you do just one thing new and nothing else, choose the correct eyebrow shape that flatters your face.
“The best shape that will work for you is the one that is closest to your eyebrow shape,” says Sam. “Straying too far from your natural brow shape is what can cause over-plucking, and an eyebrow that is less than desirable, i.e, the ‘tadpole’ brow. Our number one recommendation before coming in is to come with full outgrowth so we can have maximum hair to work with.”
Martha Bianco, owner of La Bellissima Expert Lash, Brow, and Beauty, says she will assess her client’s face shape (oval, round, square, triangle, heart, long), important facial markers (such as distance between eyes), eye shape, and nose length and shape.
“As a certified PhiBrows artist, I use a measuring tool to ensure that the golden ratio exists between head of brow and arch and between arch and tail, ensuring that the tail does not drop below the head,” says Bianco.
2. Avoid over-tweezing
This advice is pretty consistent across the board, but seems counterintuitive. You tweeze to make things perfect, right? Wrong.
“Sometimes it’s our best friend for those stray hairs, but it’s an eyebrow nemesis when it’s overdone,” says Sam. “Tweezing can create ingrown hairs or cause hairs to grow the opposite way so that it becomes a hook shape. Very uncomfortable and unsightly.”
“Over-plucking and even waxing can eventually damage the papilla at the root of the hair follicle,” says Bianco. “And never pluck gray hairs. If they’re graying, chances are they are thinning as well. Tint or put makeup on them.”
3. Fill them in
Part of creating amazing eyebrows is filling them in with a product, such as pencils, eyebrow gels, highlighters, etc. Brown and Blowdry prefers using powders to fill in brow and offers a complimentary fill after every brow service.
“We’ve found that powder works best for us as it leaves a softer and more natural finish, and is light enough that it doesn’t clog pores,” says Sam. “Our go-to powder is Young Blood Artiste Palette in brunette. It’s mineral-based, which means it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin, and comes with an angled brush, a must have for everyone’s makeup bag.”
4. Dye or tint them
One avant-garde way to make your brows look fuller is to dye or tint your brows. One caveat; it’s something that you should take as seriously as dyeing your hair.
“Always go to a professional and ensure that your brow artist is a licensed esthetician in the state that you live,” said Bianco. “Sometimes hair stylists will offer to dye eyebrows using hair dye. This is inappropriate. Brow tints use a different strength of developer than hair dyes.”
“An professional eyebrow tint will give you a filled in look and works wonders on brows that are lighter as it picks up on all the light hairs to give the appearance of fuller brows,” says Sam.
Bianco advises that if you can’t a brow artist to tint your brows, use pencil and powder or colored brow gel to get the color you want.
5. Don’t make them look exactly alike
Try not to pluck and shape them them into uniformity. Unless you were created in a factory, nothing on your body looks alike to that extent. However, they can still look uneven to someone else.
“Our mirror image is a reflection, and our eyes flip that image, hence why sometimes if we have eyebrows that are slightly uneven, we can’t detect it ourselves,” said Sam. “When we look at your brows, we can see the whole image. But remember: ‘eyebrows are sisters, not twins’”.
6. Eyebrow tattoos
Don’t think that someone is tattooing eyebrows on your face. It’s much more detailed and intricate than that. The results are strikingly realistic. There are three types: microblading, ombré/power with a machine, and a combination of both procedures, what Bianco calls “Blade and Shade.”
“Microblading consists of hairstrokes created by a manual tool, with a blade on one end that is really 18 or so tiny pins,” said Bianco. “I pre-numb the skin and begin making hairstrokes by cutting into the skin and depositing pigment.”
The cuts aren’t deep, so the procedure is considered semi-permanent. Sun exposure, natural exfoliation, and very oily skin will cause the tattoo to fade over time.
“For clients with more oily skin, which can be the case for darker complexions, or anyone with a more fuller look, I recommend the Blade and Shade,” said Bianco. “The hairstrokes may fade, but they’ll also have the ombre/powder shading.”
After the procedure, Bianco says it’s very important to keep the area clean and put sunscreen on just as you would with the rest of your face. For those with curly eyebrow hair, she recommends using Stridex pads, which have an exfoliating agent that will help avoid ingrown hairs and bumps.