Speaking of eyebrows, it’s kind of like the Swiss army knife of the human body. You’ll find that they are essential, and botched eyebrows ARE A DISASTER. So how do you keep your brows in tip-top shape?
Lucky for you, the answers you seek are right in this article.
Get To Know Your Brows
First things first though, you need to know what kind of eyebrow shape will suit your face. There is no one size fits all, when it comes to brow shaping and there is nothing more disconcerting than an arch gone wrong.
Be it round, oblong, or heart shaped, different face shapes need different eyebrows. You might want a professional’s opinion on this. There’s no sense in getting it wrong from the start and ruining the whole process right? It is not impossible to get it right yourself but it will take a bit of figuring out. Decide what face shape you have then the specific type of eyebrows that suit that face shape.
Each person has a different eyebrows. But, they usually fall within these five categories:
- S- shape
- Hard- angled
These different eyebrow shapes suit different face shapes. For instance, a long hard-angled eyebrow shape goes well with a rounded face. Those with oblong faces will look good with shorter brows that have a soft arch. To make this decision easier, you can use a brow pencil to draw the various shapes on your brow and see what it looks like. Usually the best shape for you would follow the natural contours of your brows. Be sure to get a second and third opinion before proceeding.
What Are The Different Eyebrow Techniques?
Grooming your eyebrows doesn’t always mean a lot of maintenance. But it does require consistency and know-how. Let’s look into the easier DIY techniques then we’ll proceed to the more complex and professional.
The Occasional Trim
This involves the use of tweezers, to pull hairs from their follicles one by one. It sounds quite painful but a numbing cream can be applied to reduce the pain. This method is easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of expertise, all you need are the right tools. You’ll need a spoolie brush, tweezers, blade or tiny scissors and a steady hands. All you need to do is use the spoolie to brush your brows upwards towards your hairline. Then, snip off the tips of the extra long hairs that exceed your desired shape. Comb the hair to the side then tweeze out any extras that don’t go with your natural arch. Brush again and then trim any loose ends.
Note: When trimming, take your hair off a little at a time, so you don’t leave a patch missing from your brows.
Another cool trick is to use a brow pencil or stencil to outline your desired shape before you begin. That way, you have a guideline to work with.
Although this can look a bit intimidating, threading isn’t complex at all. It is an accurate technique for pulling out unwanted hair. It is more time consuming and painful than waxing. But, if you are looking for precision, threading is appropriate. Twisted thread-like strands are used to catch the hairs and pull them out in a smooth, straight line. Though it’s not so difficult, the hand coordination involved will take some getting used to. Threading usually lasts 4- 6 weeks. It depends on how fast your hair grows before another touch up is necessary.
Waxing can be very useful, especially when you have full eyebrows and don’t want to pluck, waxing is the way to go. Waxing has been around for quite some time and is popular when it comes to removing unwanted hair. It is possible to wax your eyebrows yourself, but due to the small area involved in brow waxing, precision is key. You don’t want to rip out large chunks of your eyebrows. Although it might sting a bit, the results are well worth the pain as it leaves your brows smooth and neatly shaped.
More Professional Eyebrow Techniques
Now onto the more professional and semi-permanent eyebrow techniques:
Also called embroidery, feather touch or hair like strokes, microblading is the latest fad in makeup all over the world. It is not the only semi-permanent method out there, but it is becoming the most popular.
Microblading goes as far back as 25 years ago and is said to have originated in Asia, like threading. It is like tattooing. It is achieved by drawing individual hair like strokes with a small hand held tool made of many tiny needles. This is unlike the more traditional methods of tattooing, which are done with a machine and single needle. Microblading deposits semi-permanent pigment in the top most layer of the skin (the upper region of the dermis) by making fine slice like strokes with several needles.
Microblading is often used to replace individual strands and enhance or reshape eyebrows. It is a miracle worker for individuals with scanty or patchy brows and has a very natural look about it.
This particular method is more time consuming than your walk in wax job, taking up to two hours to complete. First an appointment must be made with a specialist. This isn’t some run of the mill production and it requires special training. It is a meticulous process. The first hour is dedicated to drawing the brow outline with an erasable pen. This part is crucial as this is when the shape of the eyebrows is decided. The next hour, the small handheld needles are used to make the incisions and deposit the pigments accordingly.
It is not usually a painful process, as a numbing cream is applied before you begin. Some people may experience slight discomfort though. After the two hour or so marathon, you brows are ready for a selfie and you are good to go. It usually takes about 25-30 days to heal up, after which a pre scheduled touch up is required. Once that’s taken care of, your new brows are good to go for about 8-12 months.
Ombre powder fill
Yes, microblading has taken the makeup world by storm, but ombre powder fill has actually been in existence for decades.
It is actually a longer lasting eyebrow technique, with about 12-18 months without need for a touch up. Ombre powder fill is achieved by applying thousands of tiny dots of pigment that is inserted into the upper layer of the skin. These gradually build up a color and a defined shape.
It initially created darker and more solid looking brows. This is probably the reason why it didn’t gain much popularity. But in recent times it has been able to achieve a more natural looking and flawless brows. On the plus side, if you have oily or combination skin that doesn’t work well with microblading, this might interest you. If you like filled in eyebrows without the extra 30 minutes every other morning, the Ombrè powder fill is right for you.
A hybrid brow, also called combo/fusion brow, is a combination of micro pigmentation, used in Ombre powder fill, and microblading. Micro-pigmentation is a method done with a digital machine that implants pigments a little deeper into the skin. This creates a soft, smooth powdery look.
This micropigmentation and blading combo give a natural looking brow. It looks a bit more shaded than microbladed brows. But, it is also more defined and less dramatic than the ombre powder fill.
Typically, the hybrid brow costs more than either of the combos but not enough to break the bank. It also lasts longer as well. It works well for everyone. Each brow is tailored to suit each individual based on their skin type, bone structure, coloring and desired look.
Nano blading expert Laura Kay, founder of Laura Kay London states, “Nano blading is a new brow treatment that uses ultra- sharp nano needles that can actually mimic the diameter and dimension of a real hair in the skin.”
So how exactly is it different from microblading? It isn’t, it is more like a super enhanced version with finer, more flexible needles. Nano blading uses the same process as the microblading technique, with fine hair strokes. But, nano blading is much more precise in its delivery. This is because the tiny blades are compacted together to form one fine blade. This means the artist or technician can apply more accurate pressure. The pigment used is a finer quality than the one used in microblading.
Like microblading, a patch test will be carried out at least 24 hours before the procedure. This is done to ensure that there is no allergy or negative reaction to the pigment that will be used. You’ll also need to go for two sessions, four to eight weeks apart to add the finishing touches to your look. But you’ll be able to leave after the first procedure with gorgeous looking eyebrows. Yes, it still hurts a little more than a brow wax or tweezing job. But a numbing cream will also be applied to ease your discomfort. There may be some redness or swelling around the brow area for a couple of days or weeks. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal, your brow area will be tender after the procedure. That said, you might not want to plan any major events for at least a month or two. You also want to make sure to apply the healing cream as prescribed and avoid activities that’ll make you sweat.
Additionally, exposure to the sun, laser or light treatment, swimming, exercising, and rubbing certain cosmetics around the eye area should be avoided. This will help you avoid negative reactions on your skin.
Now this is one eyebrow technique that raises a few eyebrows. Yes, you can have extensions on your eyebrows. They are like lash extensions, though a typical procedure could be 90 minutes long. It involves gluing natural looking hairs directly on top of your existing eyebrows. If you have patches it can be glued on your skin. It is great for reshaping or restructuring your arch, but it only lasts approximately 2 weeks. With oily or combination skin it could be even less.
Eyebrow extensions are usually not generic, so it can be customized to suit your demands. For the first 24 hours after the process, you have to keep them completely dry to make sure the glue adheres. If you want to look your best you need to take care of it properly between refills. You’ll have to be less rigorous when taking a shower or applying makeup. When you get the extensions in, there’s no need to apply extra products to your brows. But, if you must, make sure you aren’t using any water proof formulas. Those formulas are dehydrating and difficult to get off. The oil based makeup cleansers can break down the glue in the extensions. This reduces its “life span” on your brows, and you don’t want that.
It is important to know that these extensions don’t work for everyone since they require so much care. Please go to your specialist with a realistic picture in mind. Yes, they look great and it is a great boost, especially for those with scanty brows. But maintenance is the key in this instance. Lack of adequate care will leave the brows looking lack-lustre, so consult with your specialist before you make a decision.
Brow Care Tips
Now that you’ve looked at a lot of different eyebrow techniques, let’s talk about how you can take care of your brows.
- Don’t Fret. This is number one on the brow care list. Fretting will cause you to make bad brow decisions which will lead to disaster.
- Let it grow. Don’t be in a hurry to pluck those brows every other day. The temptation is strong but you can resist. Let them grow at their own pace, especially if you’ve just had a bad job and they’ve seen better days. Groom them regularly and when you’re due for another trim, make the right choice.
- Oil them! Your brows are made up of hair and needs moisturizing. It’ll stimulate growth if you massage it in while applying the oil. You’ll also have smoother, silkier brows if you do.
- Invest in brow tools. You need a good, sharp pair of scissors. A high-quality pair of slanted tweezers will do the job when it comes to those small and stubborn strands. A spoolie or eyebrow comb will help you with grooming. Eyebrow stencils are also invaluable, especially if you’re a beginner and haven’t mastered the art of filling in your eyebrows.
- Find out what eyebrow technique works best for you. Some can’t stand the pain of threading. Others can’t afford microblading, so stick with what you are comfortable with.
- Keep it clean. Do you take the time to unclog your pores and do some in depth cleaning, especially after wearing makeup? If the pores of your hair follicles are clogged then you aren’t giving the hairs any room to grow.
- Spend that cash. The amount you spend to get a professional brow job done is worth every tear you’ve ever shed on a brow job gone wrong. It is just not worth it to save all that money and go around looking like Captain Caveman. Say yes to quality and remember, ‘life is too short to go around with bad brows.