Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beauty Tips Tuesday - To pluck or not to pluck?

Today we tackle brows. I am sure most every woman has either seen, heard, or experienced a bad brow job. And by "job" I mean either self inflicted or the unfortunate "victim" of an under trained/unskilled brow tech. But lets face it, bad experiences or not, every woman's brows should get at least a little attention! A well shaped brow can not only define, highlight, and open up the eye (read, make you look more rested and youthful) but also frame the face. Before digging out your tweezers though, there are a few things you should know.
First of all, thin is NOT in! I am not sure who started the whole fad (my Mom says she used to pluck her brows withing an inch of their lives back in the 70's.) And though many amazing fashion trends came from that era, tweezing your brows to the sparsest of lines should have stayed there. Naturally full brows are a much better look and less work to maintain. If you have never had your brows shaped, then it is always my recommendation to seek out a great brow technician at a reputable salon to shape your brows for you. After that, you should be able to maintain the shape yourself fairly easily, only needing to make a trip to the salon a few times a year for "clean-ups".

Word to the wise, do not skimp on your brow tech! I would rather pay more knowing I am in good hands, then sit, hold my breath, and hope for the best. Just because the local "snip and save" is running a deal doesn't mean you should take them up on it. I did this once (and only once) when I was much younger. I ended up asking my brow butcher how she got into the "business" and she said, "Oh, well none of the other stylists really like doing waxes, so my manager gave me a shot at it. But don't worry, I have watched this done many times before." I had asked this only after she had already completed a brow, and hot wax had been applied to the other. I am sure you all can imagine how that turned out.

So to keep your brows in tip top shape, you need only to follow a few simple steps and some great visual pointers!

Trimming Yes, get out the snips! Believe it or not they do actually sell little scissors just for this purpose and I recommend picking up a pair. Using a set of mustache or manicure scissors works well also, and they can be found almost anywhere. Start by combing the brow hair straight up and clipping those that extend passed the natural hair line. This may only be necessary for those with long brow hairs. Do the same in the opposite direction (down) and trim. Then use a clear brow gel to groom your brows (hair gel/clear mascara works in a pinch), so that all the hairs lay in the same direction. Get your tweezers out. A good pair of pluckers will get you better results, (they grab more easily and don't break the hair before the root). I recommend those with a slanted edge because they aid in getting at the itty bitty new hairs just as they are coming in. Use these to clean up any strays above and below your arch, and in between your eyes. (DO not, I repeat, DO not go overboard!)

Here are a few helpful hints. How do you know where your brow should start and where it should stop? Simple! Take a pencil or eye shadow brush and place it vertically against your nose (that is up and down people), so that it runs the length of your nose and crosses over the inner corner of your eye. This is the starting point for your eye brow. Next, (using your nose as the pivoting point) place the pencil diagonally so that it runs from the center of your mouth, skims the corner of your nose/nostril (pivot pt), and runs across to the outer edge of your iris (colored part of the eye). This is where your natural arch should be. Lastly, pivot the pencil so that it the it runs to the outer corner of the eye. (Make sure the tip of your pencil is not at the corner of your outer eye, rather the edge of the pencil should skim your eye and the pencil tip should rest on your brow bone.) This is the ending point for your eye brow.

Wow that is helpful, but what if I don't have much brow to speak of? As a make-up artist, this is one of the most common issues and one of the most simple to fix. There are many lovely products available on the market designed just for you! I personally do not recommend using brow pencils to fill in thin areas, as pencils are most often made of waxes and usually leave you with that "drawn in look" and tend to fade and smear with heat. I much prefer powders because of their more natural result and staying power. Here are two great options.
Bare Escentuals - Essential Brow Kit (comes in many color options) - $32

Tarte - Tarte the toolbox: brow know-how - $32

Working within your freshly measured start/arch/finish guidelines, take a stiff angled brush (both kits provide one), and fill in sparse areas with feather light strokes. Always begin application in the center of the brow working your way towards the front (starting point), to eliminate a harsh "edge" at the front of your brow from a freshly "loaded" brush. Set your color with either brow gel or brow wax (depending on the kit). As a last little FYI, a closely matched eye shadow will work in a pinch and in some hard to match cases, is the best way to find your perfect color. voila! ♥

1 comment:

we chirp said...

Your blog is fantastic - I can't wait to read more and more!