Need to know the secret to perfect eyebrows? Just ask your teenage daughter, says Tamsin Blanchard
Need to know the secret to perfect eyebrows? Just ask your teenage daughter, says Tamsin Blanchard.
I just asked my 14-year-old daughter if she could give me some top tips on how to achieve the perfect brow.
She spends most of her waking hours watching people online instructing her on the best make-up tips and, to be honest, she’s become quite good at applying it, so I thought she might be able to help me…
Now, what is right for a teenager is probably definitely not right for me, women in their fifties, sixties or older. But by utilising some of the classic techniques, it seems reasonable we can all work something out?
After all, brows have become really big business. I can’t walk through a make-up department without being confronted by brow bars, threading stations, and endless products – in fact entire brand ranges have been built around the humble brow. It’s not just about plucking anymore!
So it’s about time I got on the brow band wagon and took notice of mine…
Loving your eyebrows
Great brows are well defined, and – with the perfect arch – can really transform your face, no matter what your age.
The tutorials my daughter has spent hours studying say they can help frame my eyes, balance out my features and act as a starting block for a range of looks from ‘natural’ to ‘va va voom’.
There are endless treatments you can book depending on whether you want your brows coloured, textured, polished, natural or a little more dramatic. If you aren’t particularly “well endowed” to start with, as hair often thins with age, you can even have brow extensions that will really transform your face and make you feel like Brooke Shields within minutes.
What shape works best?
For a round face, like mine, a good angle at the outer corner works best. If you have a square jaw, try to make your brows softer and rounder rather than angular.
Always important, though, is to choose the right colour if you are filling them in, don’t over pluck – we often suit what nature intended (just perhaps a little more refined) – and have the upper-most point of the arch aligned with the outer edge of the iris.
It all comes down to balance, though. By spending a little time on your brows, you can actually cut down on the rest of your make-up because you immediately have some definition to your face making you look – and feel – more confident.
Time for action
Even at our age, watching a video online can be a great way to learn something new.
Don’t feel like this is stuff that you should have known 30 years ago – your hair and skin tones might have changed. Maybe they have lightened or your eyebrows and hair are a little greyer these days. If so, adding definition can really help – and it’s the perfect excuse to develop new, seemingly ‘teenage’ skills you simply never needed before now.
- First off I’ve learnt I need something called a ‘spoolie’. It’s like a mascara wand but without the mascara and I use it to brush my brows up before applying any colour. This means the hairs are lying flat and are smoothed out and prepped for any colour or make-up application.
- Using a brow-defining pencil, I draw in the tops and the shape underneath following my natural shape. Then I fill in between the lines. There are lots of products out there including eyebrow gel, shapers, shadows and groomers. See what’s out there and don’t be shy, always ask: “how does this work?”
- A good tip that stood out for me is to use some brow gel (yep, another product - I’ve realised I really need to update my make-up bag big time!) to gently tint the hairs at the beginning of my brow followed by some clear brow gel to coat the rest. This works particularly well for days when you need a quick fix.
- Then it’s all about ‘carving’ my brows out using a highlighting concealer. Sounds painful, but it’s not. It’s just quite miraculous the way it gives your brow shape total definition. Simply add some brightening concealer on the underside of your brow (along the eye socket) to help lift and open up your eyes.
- Finally, I’ve decided I need a trio of shadows to fill in any patchy bits. A light touch is needed to build up and blend the colour so the result isn’t too hard. Be careful not to overdo it.
Be patient, artist at work
I have to say, I’ve been really reminded why make-up artists are called “artists” – but feel my daughter has managed to successfully teach herself and would give them a run for their money.
My new brows are going to take me a lot of practice (plus a lot of product and at least four new brushes) and I’m not sure I’m ready for the whole new-brows experience, but I realise mine really do need an update.
But first, I need to go shopping. I’ll take my daughter with me. She’s the expert.