I know we have all been concerned with the lack of hairdresser appointments during lockdown but another area of hair growth that needs constant attention is our eyebrows.
The shape, style and colour of our brows comes in a close second on my priority list for beautifying myself after this lockdown. However, in the meantime, we need to address our eyebrows at home and give them a re-shape before we grow a monobrow or they go completely white (in my case).
Eyebrows have been big business for over a decade now – judged to be worth £20m a year in 2016. With our current working-from-home culture, and the new world of video conferencing, eyebrows have never had so much focus and attention.
However for many people they have always had them shaped by a beautician. Before lockdown, of course, eyebrow experts everywhere would have been much more hands-on. Like many women, I had a monthly appointment for an eyebrow tint. With the therapist touching my face a necessity, this is now on pause in the world of social distancing. Could the fact that no one can perform an eyebrow treatment two metres apart mean the eyebrow trend is on its way out?
Doing your eyebrows yourself is an unknown skill that you now must develop but we need to take care. If you’re over the age of 12, then you’ve likely been subjected to a tweezing incident gone wrong or an over-enthusiastic beautician taking her suppressed aggression out on your brows. Those who have experienced what I like to call “eyebrow trauma” know just how drastically the slightest change can alter your entire face shape, structure, and sometimes self-esteem.
Hair at your eyebrows, like hair on other parts of your body, goes through a regular growth cycle. Eyebrow hair grows actively for three to four months, followed by a resting phase, after which the hairs are released from the skin. Your body is constantly making new hair, so most people do not notice the shedding and renewal.
Filling in your brows is the quickest and easiest way to instantly make you look more polished and put together. However if you have overplucked your eyebrows then help is at hand with RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner – the sister of Revitalash which Grace and I are always recommending for strong, long, healthy eyelashes.
Step 1: Leave Them Alone
To reach your full brow potential beauticians experts recommend letting brows grow out for six to eight weeks to reach their full potential. The longer, the better as that lets you see your natural shape. Lockdown has been a perfect time to do this!
Step 2: Find a Laid-Back Shape
Find the beginning of your brows by holding a brow pencil vertically at the middle of each nostril and then mark that spot for later reference. Pivot the pencil to the outside of your iris to find your arch, and again make a mark. To find the tail end of your arch, swing the pencil until it grazes the outer corner of your eye and maybe pencil it in.
Step 3: Snip, Snip
Give your brows a trim while repeating that mantra – less is more. You want to cut down the long hairs without giving brows a too-close crop. The best plan of attack? Brush hair up with spoolie and one hair at a time trim only the very long hairs.
Step 4: Calm Down
To prep for plucking, gently massage a generous amount of your favorite facial oil on to the brow bone. This will lubricate your skin and hair follicle, prevent hair from breaking, and take the edge off the skin’s sensitivity from tweezing.
Step 5: Clean It Up
For unfussy eyebrows, skip the hot wax, as often used in a salon, and pick up a set of tweezers. Repeat this mantra: Less is more. To get the most painless pluck, tweeze hairs in direction of hair growth while holding the skin taut. Try and use natural day light but you will probably, like me, need a magnifying mirror. Start by plucking any stray hairs beneath the two dots at the beginning of your brows. (Remember a bit of bushiness is what makes a great boyish brow so baby hairs that fall within your natural shape should stay-put.) Then do the same with strays beneath your arch and beyond the end of the tail. To prevent overdoing it, step away from mirror to gain perspective.
Step 6: Get the Red Out
Plucking can really aggravate your skin so be sure to immediately calm any irritation and tighten pores by applying a cooling gel. I love this Aloe Vera, Cucumber and Mint gel which is also good for sunburn and so it is always in my washbag when I go on holiday.
Step 7: Fake a Fuller Finish
If you have some sparse spots, you can fake a bolder brow by using a brow pencil to feather in some “hairs” in a shade that matches your natural brow color on those areas and then combing through with a clear brow gel. Grace loves the brow lift perfecting liner from Studio 10 Beauty.
I love the Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Fiber Gel, 3 Medium Neutral Light Brown. It seems to colour my endless grey ones quite well and keeps the long, strong hairs in place. There are many shades available so choose carefully.
Step 8: Hands Off
Put the tweezers away for at least six weeks. Then you can go ahead and repeat steps two through six.