Shaping your eyebrows

Monday, 17 November 2008 | Tags: , , , ,

Eyebrows are often some of the most abused or neglected parts of a personís appearance. But a well-styled eyebrow can make a huge impact on your look. We call on expert eyebrow stylist Alisha Noon for tips on how to get the right shape to compliment your features.

The brow line is such an important feature of the face. Alisha Noon, a well-known eyebrow stylist at BeautyMark in Vancouver’s Yaletown district, truly transforms her clients, giving them “supermodel eyebrows”. She also has a large male clientele.

Alisha’s tips for at-home styling:

  • The shape of your face should dictate the shape of the brows. (See step 3 below.)
  • The goal is symmetry, not to be identical. Think sisters, not twins. (Making your brows identical is a futile effort!)

Step 1: Inner edge

You’ll need:

  • A ruler or straight edge (e.g. pen or pencil)
  • A light-coloured eyeliner to temporarily mark your points

 Start by determining where the inside (nose) edge of your eyebrow should be.

  • Hold the ruler or pencil against the side of your nose (parallel to your nose ridge) so that it touches the inner corner of your eye and your brow line. This is where the inner edge of your brow line should begin.

  • If you have wide-set eyes, leave a millimeter or two of hairs beyond where the inner edge point should be. This gives the illusion that your eyes are closer together.

  • If you have close-set eyes, try removing a few more hairs from the inner edge area to help give the illusion that your eyes are wider apart. Be very careful when removing the hairs, however, since you don’t want to take out too many.

 Step 2: Outer Edge

Next, determine where the outer (temple) edge of your eyebrow should be.

  • Hold the ruler  against the side of your nose. Pivot the ruler to line up with the outer tip of your nostril and the corner of your eye. Continue the line of the ruler to your brow line.

  • Mark this point with your eyebrow pencil. This is where your brow should end. If you have hair beyond the point, remove it. If your brows don’t grow that far (or if you’ve already over-tweezed), you’ll need to shade in this area. (See below.)

Step 3: Creating your brow shape

Aside from the outer edge and the inner edge, there are two other areas of the brow that require some styling help:

  •  The top of the eyebrows often have hairs growing sideways, upward, and downward, and is usually thinner than the main body of the brow. In this area, tweeze any wispy hairs from the uppermost area but be careful not to remove too many at once or tweeze down too far.

  • The arch of the brow varies on every individual. A general rule is that the brow should slope gently upward from the inner edge for about 2/3 the length of your brow, and the remaining 1/3 slopes downward for the rest of the length.

Your eyebrows can also help to balance out your facial features. If you have:

  • A long face, keep your eyebrows flatter rather than arched to help shorten your shape.

  • An oval face, use a soft angle on your arch.

  • A round face, try for a higher-arched look with a straight angle up to the peak of the arch. Avoid creating a rounded shape.

  • A square face, create a thicker brow with a soft arch to draw the eye away from your jawline.

  • A heart-shaped face, shape your brows with a soft, rounded curve (like the tops of a heart) for a feminine look.

  • A diamond-shaped face, style a soft curving arch to soften the angles of your face.

Step 4: Trimming & Tweezing

You’ll need:

  • Small, pointy-tip scissors
  • A sharp pair of angled tweezers

Now the important part. Many people trim their brows too thin in an effort to make them look neat and tidy. Our expert brow stylist says to leave the brows with some thickness to help them look more natural.

  • Using the guidelines in steps 1-3, lightly mark the outline of the brow shape. If you have a friend nearby, ask them to make sure it looks even.

  • Use your small, pointy-tip scissors to trim any stray hairs that won’t behave or that seem longer than the others.

  • Use a sharp pair of angled tweezers to remove hairs completely.

    • Don’t use a magnifying mirror or stand too close to the mirror. This can distort your view and cause you to pluck too much.

    • Don’t use ice to numb brows before tweezing. It shrinks the hair pores and actually makes it harder to pluck them (and more painful!) Instead, use a warm washcloth to open pores.

    • If you are very sensitive, use a numbing gel and hold skin taut.

Our advice:

If you don’t know where to start, make an appointment with a professional to have your brows done the first time by an expert. From then on, you’ll be able to maintain them at home using your professionally-styled brows as a guideline. Once you gain confidence in where to tweeze and where to leave, you’ll be able to style your brows yourself, or go back to a stylist every so often for a touch-up.


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