06 Oct Put Down The Tweezers Ladies!
Put Down The Tweezers Ladies!
Nothing screams “old age” more than penciled-in, barely there eyebrows. So, STOP over-tweezing them!
If you are over 40, I challenge you to a one-month hiatus from plucking: For one whole month, don’t tweeze anything. Let’s see what you have left before you start plucking them out again. And do NOT look at yourself in a magnifying mirror during this time, or you are sure to fail the challenge.
A youthful eyebrow is full, long, and natural looking. Think Brooke Shields in “Blue Lagoon.” Now let’s face it, if you are in your 40‘s (as I am) and have been plucking them since you were a teenager (as I have), Brooke Shields brows are most likely an unrealistic goal. However, you can look years younger with a more filled-in natural brow.
The biggest mistake women make is over plucking in an attempt to create a ridiculously high arch. I’m sure we all know someone who has the McDonald’s arched eyebrows. I know quite a few in fact! We think that this makes us look alert and youthful. On the contrary, it actually makes us look old and well.. scary.
Most of us need to bring our eyebrows back down, closer to our eyes, and closer to reality. Our eyebrows certainly were not arched like that in our youth!
So, here is how to regain that youthful brow:
MAP YOUR BROWS:
- Hold a pencil vertically along side your nostril and up above the inner corner of your eye. Where the pencil lands on your brow bone is where your eyebrow should end. Do the same for the other side. Only pluck the stray hairs that fall inside these two borders.
- Line the pencil up with the side of your nostril and just outside of your pupil. Where the pencil hits the brow bone is where your arch should peak.
- Hold the pencil diagonally from your nostril to the outer corner of your eye. This is where your eyebrow should end. Any stray hairs outside of this area should be plucked since they make the eye appear heavy.
SHAPE YOUR BROWS:
- Start by plucking all of the hairs that fall outside of the middle and outer borders. Use a pair of slant-tip tweezers. Most people would say to hold your skin taut while plucking. I say, if you learn to pluck your brows WITHOUT pulling on your skin, you will have far fewer wrinkles and firmer skin in the long run. If you can’t get to a tiny hair because your skin isn’t pulled taut, come back to it tomorrow. It will still be there… and slightly easier to get to.
- Then, trim any long hairs with eyebrow scissors. Using an eyebrow brush, brush the hairs up. Hold them in place with one finger as you cut any stray hairs with a pair of straight eyebrow scissors.
- Next, define your arch. This is the trickiest part. You are going for subtle here. Pluck only one or two hairs at the highest peak of the arch on each side. Then stand back and check for symmetry. Look back at photos of what your eyebrows looked like when you were in 5th grade. They were NOT highly-arched, sparse brows. You are going for a cleaned up version of the 5th-grade you.
***If you are feeling slightly overwhelmed, and you simply don’t trust yourself to map and shape your own brows, Anastasia (the undisputed brow expert in Beverly Hills) has fool-proof templates to help shape your less-than-stellar arches. These stencils are made of pliable plastic. They are durable and easy to clean. They also come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit every face: Petite Arch, Slim High Arch, Medium Arch, High Arch, and Full Arch. Once you map your brows, simply line the template up with your map, fill it in with brow powder, remove the template, then pluck any stray hairs that fall outside the shaded area. Click HERE to purchase the stencils.
FILL YOUR BROWS:
Fill in the areas that are skimpy or lacking with a brow pencil or powder. The two week challenge was only the start. If you have been over-plucking, it could take months for your brows to grow to their full potential. And let’s face the facts folks…nearly ALL of us over the age of 40, need to shade them in a bit. Just like the hair on our heads, our eyelashes and eyebrows lessen as we age. (See the blog, The Dreaded Grey Roots). They will most likely never be as full as they were when we were younger. Ugh! It’s true. It fu#@ing sucks!
Now, let’s move on.
There are many products on the market to help you fill in sparse eyebrows. The three main categories being brow pencils, shadow, gels and waxes. Each product is designed for different needs.
- Brow Pencil: A brow pencil helps both to define the shape of the brow as well as to draw in little hairs in spots that are lacking. If you have a bald spot, if you want the brow extended, or if you want to sharpen up the arch, a brow pencil is what you need. My favorites are- Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows and Anastasia Brow Wiz. These are mechanical, super-thin pencils that stay sharp. If you are using a regular eyebrow pencil, make sure you sharpen it before each use.
- Brow shadow: You will want to use a shadow to shade the brow if you are wanting your brows to appear thicker and fuller. Um… HELLO… I think we all can use this illusion at our age. If your shape needs to be sharpened or extended as well, then use a brow pencil first, followed by a shadow. I like Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo.
- Gels: If you have unruly brows or hairs that are long, a brow gel will keep them in place. Be careful not to choose a gel that flakes off. Eyebrow dandruff is never attractive. I like M.A.C. Brow Set.
- Brow Wax: This is best if you have serious problems with bald spots. It has the most staying power of all the brow fillers, and some are even waterproof. My favorite is Ramy Miracle Brow.
If your eyebrows have been over-plucked for years, or they have naturally gotten skimpy with age, I suggest getting a prescription for Latisse from your local dermatologist or medi-spa. It’s commonly used to make eyelashes thicker and fuller, but I’ve been using it on my brows for the past year and have seen amazing results.
If you are still a little uneasy about tackling your eyebrows yourself, and fear you will look like Groucho Marks, for God’s sake, seek out a trained professional. In addition, my YouTube video, “How Your Brows Are Aging You,” may also help.