The first thing most people notice about you will be your face and as a makeup artist I notice all the little things. Now to all my friends reading this dont think I stare at you and pick you apart lol. One of the biggest things I notice that often goes over looked are eyebrows. Yeah you know the lines of fur above your eyes? Many people dont realize just how important they are to framing your face. I have done makeovers on women who are shocked by the transformation just by changing their eyebrows. There are tons of ways to manage brow fur these days and along with that are price points for every budget. I hear all the time that “I cant afford brow waxing” “my skin is too sensitive” “it hurts” Ladies there are no excuses these day and there is way for everyone to have perfectly manicured brows for a mere cost.
Plucking- Tried and True?
I cannot and have never plucked my own eyebrows or anyone elses. In my opinion it is painful and unecessary. With that being said I have several friends and clients who do pluck and do a wonderful job. It’s just not for me. Here are a few tips:
- Exfoliate and apply teething gel for pain. Brush brows up and out.
- Situate yourself near a window with light pouring in or under a bright light with a good mirror (magnifying mirrors are best, but be sure and flip it over to see your overall effect in the regular mirror).
- Make sure you have a good pair of tweezers with a slanted edge. I recommend Tweezerman.
- Tweeze hairs in the direction they grow. Don’t grab too many hairs at a time. You can hold skin taut as you pluck.
- You can start anywhere, but I usually tweeze the area under my arch first, then I move above the brow and I clean up in between my brows last. It’s a myth that brows should never be tweezed from above. You want both the bottoms and tops to be smooth. So be careful, but tweeze the top AND the bottom.
- The best brows have a slight arch. To find yours, take a long eyeshadow brush or pencil and hold it parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of your eye (the iris). Where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of your brow should be. Tweeze the hairs underneath the arch.
- The space between your brows should be equal to, or a little wider than, your eyes. To find where your brow should go, take the brush or pencil and hold it parallel to the side of your nose. Where the brush meets your brow is where your brow should begin. Tweeze the strays in between.
- Stop every few hairs to step back and look at the job you’re doing. If you overpluck, you’re stuck. Unlike most hairs on your body, your brows won’t always grow back once they’re yanked. In fact I have seen many women who’s do not come back 🙁
- Once you’re done plucking, you can apply aloe vera gel, which will calm the redness right away.
Waxing Vs. Threading the Debate
When it comes to eyebrow grooming, many ladies debate which method is best threading or waxing. Threading is an ancient technique where a string is used to remove hair. Whereas waxing, Uses a wax-based resin that is placed on the skin and then rips off the unwanted hair.
Many women have extremely sensitive skin and are more prone to threading. Threading has little to minimum contact with the skin. Waxing however, tugs at skin when the hair is removed, and causes irritated sensitive skin making it turn pink to extremely red. Threading solely uses a string to remove the hair, unlike waxing that contains resins and preservatives; artificial fragrances and ingredients that can be a problem for sensitive skin. Sometimes having an allergic reaction is mistaken as sensitivity. Waxes are often based on a certain ingredient like: lavender, tea tree, chocolate, acaí berry and the list goes on and on. With threading eyebrows there’s no need to worry.
So who should wax?
Wax works well for skin that is not overly sensitve and should always be done by a professional. It shoud not be overly painful. Technicians will often go through after the wax and pluck unwanted hairs they were missed. You may have some slight redness and swelling but it should only last a couple hours. Here is what you can expect at your appointment:
An upscale salon or spa will lead you into a private room onto a facial bed where you will lay down, and they will wrap hair in a towel or push it back with a head band. A bright facial and magnifying light will be turned on to see the brows closely. Some salons that mostly specialize in hair services, simply clip hair back and do the waxing at the shampoo bowl.
Professional Eyebrow Waxing Consultation
At this time they should consult with you on how you want your eyebrows shaped. Do you like them full and defined, just cleaned up, or a large arch? The technician should never just start waxing at away at your brows without knowing what you want your brows to look like.
The Waxing & Shaping
If needed, your brows will be trimmed with scissors. Don’t be scared and think they are taking your entire brows away. The excess bulk that’s removed makes for a much cleaner look.
They will cleanse your eyebrow area, apply powder and then the warm wax and strip (for soft wax). When hardened, it’s ripped off quickly. Your first wax will probably hurt a bit, but will get better each time. The hair underneath, in the middle of brows and on top (if you wish) will be removed.
Wax cleanser will remove any residue, and a skin soother helps calm skin and ease redness. Any tiny hairs that were missed by the wax will be cleaned up with tweezers to fine-tune the brows.
The technician will then give you a mirror so you can see how your brows look. If they were shaped too thin, unfortunately there’s not much you can do but use an eyebrow pencil until they grow back in. But, if they are too thick then ask the technician to make them thinner.
If you like the way they’re shaped, make a standing appointment. Your brows will always look great, and never over-grown.
So who should Thread?
If you have sensitive skin or are prone to break out threading may be a better option for you. Although it is mildly painful the threading has no direct contact with your skin. It is very important to go to a reputable threading expert. If you do not you could end up with uneven brows, ingrown hairs or experience unecessary pain. I personally have never tried threading but am curious to see how it feels as compared to waxing.
Now you have the low down on what is involved these days in the brow world and this is just the beginning. There are even more options of penciling, tattooing, dying and even using laser hair removal. Here are my final tips for you:
1. Find a REPUTABLE salon for any service. If it sounds to good be true it probably is.
2. Even if you over pluck dont panic you can always pencil them in until they come back.
3. Irritation from waxing is short lived dont freak out it will go away!
4. Dont obsess over matchy matchy brows they are “sisters not twins”
5. At home waxing may seem like a good idea……it’s most likely not especially after that second glass of wine 🙂
If you have brow experiences please share them with us. We always want to hear the good, bad and the wonderful in the beauty world!