Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
Want to know the best ant-ageing trick without going under the knife? Perfectly groomed brows! They balance your features, frame your eyes and are an instant anti-ager. Here’s how to shape to perfection…
Beautiful brows with full arches frame your gaze, sharpen your features and can give your face a lift without Botox or any invasive surgery. “It’s the equivalent of a mini facelift,” says brow guru Shavata Singh, “giving a structure to your face that accentuates your eyes.” With just a little know-how, it’s never been easier to shape your way to a fuller and sexier arch.
Spanish actress and Hollywood star, Penelope Cruz, 45, has mastered this brow anti-ageing trick by always ensuring her brows are perfectly groomed. However, she claims that she doesn’t wear a lot of makeup and focuses on her skin-care routine instead.
Here’s how to master this anti-ageing trick…
3 steps to define your brows
1 Get the base shape right
“Leave it to the professionals,” says Shavata, “even if you go once to create the perfect arch, then maintain at home.” This is especially important if your brows are over-plucked and shapeless. If you think your brows aren’t too bad, check the shape with this method:
Put a pencil vertically alongside the outer edge of your nostril. About a finger’s space above the inner corner of your eye and aligned with the pencil marks the beginning of your brow.
Lay the pencil at an angle against your cheek so that one end is at the bottom of your nose and the other at the outer corner of your eye. The spot where it intersects your brow is where the hairs should end.
The bottom edge of your brow should be above any stray hairs and follow the natural shape of your brow’s top line; at their thickest, brows should be no more than 1cm wide.
Look straight into a mirror. The arch should peak above the outer rim of your iris and lie right on your brow bone. After the peak, the tail should be a bit thinner than the main part of your brow, tapering at the end.
Make it easy
Brow Master Stencil Kit, R80, allow for easy brow shaping. Included are four distinct eyebrow shapes. The stencils can be held up against the brow as an easy-to-use guide for defining and filling in with a brow pencil.
If your brows are really straggly, try Benefit Browvo! Conditioning Primer, R445, to improve the length and condition: the promise is that, in two weeks, brows and lashes are left looking fuller and longer – we’ve tried it and, yes, it works!
2 Fill in the gaps
Using a brow comb, brush brows in the direction of growth – most people’s grow up in the inner corners and down toward the ends – then step back and look in the mirror to determine which parts to clean up and intensify.
“Everyone needs brow make-up, as the groomed look can’t be perfected without it,” says Shavata. Pencils are great for drawing in a shape. Shadow is best for colouring the hair and skin, especially if you want to cover grey hairs.
Feather in your brows from the inner corners to the upper arches with tiny lines, says Lancôme make-up artist Shehla Shaikh. “Next, try to elongate the brows very slightly beyond the outer edges, as this makes a huge difference with only a few strokes.
I’ll usually stop and assess the shape and, if need be, soften a few lines with a short-angled brow brush, blending what’s already there, rather than adding more product.”
3 Seal the look
Eyebrow gel will hold the shape and make-up you apply in place all day. “I might use a tinted gel to colour light hairs,” says Shehla. “It thickens the brow and adds a little weight to the shape you’ve built up. Otherwise, apply a clear brow gel.”
Your brow kit
Estée Lauder The Brow Multitasker, R445, is an innovative 3-part brow tool with a pencil that glides on effortlessly for a natural look.
Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up, R390, comes in five colours, including clear.
Maybelline Brow Precise Brow Liner, R119,95, has a fibre-filled formula to fill in gaps while contouring too.
NYX Professional Makeup, Dual Brow Brush, R179,95 has a super-fine angled tip.
Spot stray hairs using Clicks Magnification Round Suction Mirror, R39,99.
Tweezerman Slant Tweezer, R359, picks up the smallest of hairs.
Brow pit stops
- Brow shaping and permanent male-up at The Brow Studio, Melrose, Johannesburg
- Brow tinting and sculpting at Lashes & Brows, Bryanston, Johannesburg
- Threading and tinting at The Beauty Bar, Morningside, Durban
- Microblading for brows at The Urban Beauty Lounge, Cape Town