Eyebrows. We get it: they’re tricky customers. Here’s how to create A-list arches, every time
I’m not late the game, I know brows have been a ‘thing’ for a few seasons now - and it’s a case of the bigger the better - but, it was back in January that the message truly sank in when I spotted actress Jennifer Connelly riding FROW at the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. The woman is 45 yet her brows are as full and fabulous as they were back in 1986 when she starred opposite David Bowie in Labyrinth. I was enthralled and subsequently determined to overhaul my own pathetic excuses for brows.
Thankfully the brow market is booming with options. Julie Bell, executive vice president of global marketing at Benefit explains, ‘There are 23 million brow searches on Google every year, which is huge! We’re even predicting the brow market to be as big as the mascara market within the next five years.’
This global obsession with brows has led Benefit to launch a huge collection of brow enhancing products. Benefit already own the brow market; they have 1,800 brow bars in over 45 countries around the world and their brilliant Brow Zings has, not surprisingly, been the no.1 selling brow product in the UK for the last seven years. Now, they’ve launched a collection encompassing 10 transformative products and 3 genius tools. If you haven't managed to get your hands on an August issue of Marie Claire, I suggest you high-tail it to the shops because you'll find a treat in the form of a free sample of Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!
So, help is at hand for us former over-pluckers, whose brows look a little starved. There’s now some serious brow-enhancing tricks, products and services out there to regain your brow power. Here’s everything you’ll ever need to rehabilitate your brows back from the brink.
Over-plucked or seriously neglected – whatever your dilemma, our brow pro, Benefit’s head make-up artist & brow expert Lisa Potter-Dixon, has the solution.
Issue: ‘My brows are seriously thinning – help!’ The Fix: ‘Firstly, don’t panic. Use a thin brow pencil to draw on fine strokes of “hair”. Follow with a brow gel containing fibres that deposit on to the skin, so it looks like you have some natural hair-like texture there. The temptation, when you have very little to work with, is to draw in a heavy brow. Do. Not. Do. It.’ MC loves: Benefit Precisely, My Eyebrow Pencil, £18.50
Issue: ‘I have red hair, what shade should I use?’ The Fix: ‘Redheads tend to have fair brows, so look at the underneath of your hair at the back of your head – where it’s naturally darkest – and match that shade. Lots of redheads have green or hazel eyes and, by making your brows a touch darker, you’ll accentuate your eye colour.’ MC loves: Benefit Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit, £24.50
Issue: ‘My hair is turning grey’ The Fix: ‘When people go grey, their brows don’t necessarily follow. Making your brows lighter will completely change your face. Instead, use a shade close to your old natural colour so your brows are darker than the rest of your hair and it will enhance your complexion.’ MC loves: Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, £18.50
Issue: ‘My hair grows downwards’ The Fix: ‘This tends to happen to Asian hair and can cover your brow bone, making your eyes look smaller. You’ll never be able to create a high arch, so fill them in to add definition, then use a clear brow-setting gel to sweep the hair sideways. The gel will set the hairs in their new position, lifting the whole area.’ MC loves: Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!, £18.50
Issue: ‘I have hooded eyes and I don’t have much lid space.’ The Fix: ‘Brush up the front of your brows, rather than in the direction of growth. This gives the illusion of a lifted brow area. Fill in your brows and blend a highlighting pencil underneath on the brow bone for lift.’ MC loves: Benefit High Brow Eyebrow Highlighter, £17.50
Issue: ‘I have wide-set eyes – there is a lot of space between my brows.’ The Fix: ‘With wide-set eyes, your brows may be too far apart. Use a fine pencil to sketch life-like hairs on to the skin to bring them closer together. Wide-set eyes can make your nose look wide and by narrowing the set of your brows your nose will look thinner, too.’ MC loves: Benefit ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Colour, £18.50
Issue: ‘I have a square-shaped face and my features can look a little angular.’ The Fix: ‘As with any face shape, it’s so important to make sure your brows are correctly positioned. Place a make-up brush at the corner of your nose and point it upwards – that’s where your brow should start. Then angle your brush straight through your pupil and mark the skin – that’s where the highest point of your arch should be. Finally, angle the brush so it passes the outer corner of your eye – that’s where your brow should end.’ MC loves: Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil, £18.50
If all else fails, the following treatments should do the trick
The non-surgical brow lift: Medical thread made of polylactic acid (PLA) is woven under the skin to lift the brow. You’ll need five-to-seven days to recover and you’ll be sore and bruised afterwards, but no scalpels are used and the treatment has the added benefit of stimulating collagen production. You’ll see results immediately and they should last around 18 months. Try: Silhouette Soft, from £1,600 at Absolute Aesthetics (lasting two hours).
Semi-permanent make-up: Microblading is a less daunting prospect than brow tattooing. A pen-like machine is used to draw individual fine hairs on to the skin. The results last around three years, but you will need a follow-up session for touch-ups. Perfect if you have no eyebrows to speak of or if you’re undergoing treatment that causes hair to fall out temporarily. Try: KB Pro Microblading at Karen Betts, £895 (lasting one hour).
Temporary filler: Hyaluronic acid can do more than just hydrate skin; it can plump and lift it, too. Gel-like hyaluronic acid is injected beneath the skin around the eye area to fill hollows that may have appeared with age, and lift contours to their former position. It naturally breaks down over time with results lasting around 15 months. Try: Juvéderm Volift from £595, available nationwide
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