Eyebrows. The one facial feature that rarely gets any attention...unless of course, they're screwed up! With the economy still sub-par and many of us pinching our pennies, having your brows "done" is more of a luxury than a necessity. Lucky for you, we've scoured the country in search of top tips and tricks for at-home brow maintenance.
K. Moehr esthetician and makeup specialist (and editor of agelessmojo.wordpress.com) says we should all be looking at current trends to avoid over-plucking. "Right now, it's a full brow and slightly less 'manicured' but still very clean." Rochelle Rae, makeup artist and founder of Rae Cosmetics, says this season we'll also be hearing about the "bold" brow, but that "doesn't mean extremely dark, just very well defined."
The brows of Beverly Hills have been seeing Valerie Sarnelle for over 15 years at her Valerie Beverly Hills studio. The biggest eyebrow mistake Valerie sees is without question over-exaggerated arches. "They are too high and it is not natural looking or flattering." Her recommendation is to go for a less dramatic arch. "If you look at a young girl's natural brow, it is almost a straight line - the arch is slight. Follow the natural path of the brow and you will be getting a prettier, more youthful look."
Something we heard over and over again has to do with the dreaded magnifying mirror: "A big mistake people make is getting a magnifying mirror, and tweezing hairs without pulling back and looking at the overall picture," says Stacya Silverman the Allure insider pick for Best Eyebrow Waxer in Seattle. "The magnifying mirror has a place, but it is not for the obsessive compulsive types, who are trying so hard for 'perfection' that often times they have tweezed out way too many hairs, or plucked the brows into a shape not found in nature."
Another big no-no that seemed to echo through each of our expert's voices was a pair of dull tweezers. Achelle Dunaway, Creative Director of ELF Cosmetics says that, "tweezers may get dull with repeated use, making them ineffective when grabbing onto and removing small hairs. Take them to a knife shop for sharpening."
Most of our experts agree that seeing a professional is best at least for a shaping, afterwards, according to April Meese owner of Customized Beauty Ltd. "You should try to tweeze the stray hairs twice a week to preserve the original design."
Another point of agreement, after hearing from so many experts, it's evident we all need a brow pencil in our makeup arsenals. Rae also recommends, sharpening your brow pencil before each use because "a very fine point makes it easier to produce fine, natural looking hair like lines."
Something you might not be familiar with when it comes to brows but makes sense once you hear it, comes from Heidi Evora Santiago of Damali NYC. " Just as you brush your hair to stimulate the scalp, you should also brush your eyebrows to stimulate the hair follicle. Brush brows upwards every night."
Brow Expert Robert Bolanos whose worked with the likes of Jessica Alba and Queen Latifah out the Lukaro salon in Beverly Hills prefers tweezing opposed to waxing because "if you go too far, there's no going back!" Bolanos also suggests "only taking out strays from the bottom of the eyebrow shape working on one side at a time. Take a step back once you've taken a few out and see what ones you want to take out on the other side."
Tonya Crooks, celebrity makeup artist and brow expert (a favorite for Megan Fox, Molly Sims, and Fergie) and owner of Mirror Mirror Beauty Studio in L.A. says "If you want to tame and groom unruly brows when professional waxing and tweezing isn't an option, you can do so by brushing them up and grooming them with brow gel, and tweezing stray hairs sparingly."
Let's face it, we all make mistakes. It's inevitable. So what do we do when the tweezers have become an enemy instead of our friend?
To fill in sparse areas or to hide small errors Cindy Barshop owner of Completely Bare Spa (CompletelyBare.com; with #1 hair removal ratings from Allure, Marie Claire, NYMag, and InStyle) says to "use a brow pencil/powder one shade lighter than your brow color to hide mistakes and fill in any over-tweezed areas."
If a major mistake has been made, take this advice from Dunaway, "Brush the brows straight up with an eyebrow comb. With the eyebrow pencil, draw short, feathery strokes on the hairs around the sparse areas. Use and eye-shadow, which matches your brows to make the desired shape. Press some powder lightly onto the area. Then brush them back to their natural shape."