Coveting model Cara Delevingne’s strong eyebrows and considering putting down the tweezers and embracing the bold look yourself? Who isn’t, really? Here’s what you need to know about bold eyebrows so you look like you’ve stepped off the runway rather than the set of Ugly Betty. After all, eyebrows should frame your face, not take it over, says Mary Dang, owner of Eye Love Brow and Beauty Bar in Toronto. Rules to live by.
First thing’s first. Not everyone is suited for a bold brow. Sorry to break the news, but a statement-making full brow is simply not for everyone. For example, if you have a petite face or if your brows are close to your eyes, a strong brow isn’t for you. “When your brows are close to your eyes, it can close them off and make your eyes seem even smaller,” says Dang. Also, unless you’re specifically aiming for an androgynous look, if your features tend towards androgynous or masculine, a fuller brow will up the masculine factor, she adds, making your look less feminine. If your features do allow for a stronger take on the eyebrow, here’s what you need to know to get thick, full brows.
Start with a visit to a brow expert. If you want to venture into a statement bold brow, you may want to first see an aesthetician who can set you on the right path and help you determine the shape.
Embrace the “fan” at the front of your brow. That growth in the front of the brow that sticks up straight? Most woman will trim off what juts out to make the brows really tight. “But have that little bit of unruliness is more attractive with a bolder brow—it’s almost like Brooke Shields in the Blue Lagoon days,” says Dang.
Accept that growing in fuller brows will take time. Been tweezing your brows lean? Sadly, you won’t be able to rock a bold brow anytime soon. “If you’re starting from scratch with thin brows, to grow in your brows can take anywhere from three to six months,” she says.
Choose your shade wisely to keep it natural looking. “My rule for filling in is that it should look more natural than not—you don’t want them to look like you’ve drawn them in with a Sharpie pen!” says Dang. In terms of selecting a colour to fill in, if you have light coloured brows, go one to two shades darker than your hair, says Dang. And if you have dark hair, go one shade lighter.
Read on to the next page for more bold brow styling tips…
Pencils are easiest, powders the most natural. Since we write with pens and pencils, the technique of filling in with a pencil might be easiest for newbies, says Dang, but for a softer and more natural finish, a powder is the way to go. She personally prefers using a mix of methods, and blending in well and setting with a gel.
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Start your filling-in at the perimeter. “With brows, the part we usually need structure is at the perimeter of the brow, so start by outlining with a pencil to frame your brow and then fill in any sparse areas within the brow, blending with a brush,” says Dang. She compares it to colouring as a kid, first you outline the shape, then you colour inside the lines.
Shape-wise, a straighter brow is more attractive when going bolder. “Keep your brow soft-bold rather than super structured with too much of an arch,” she says.
Be careful with those scissors. “Trimming is tricky. With brows, the hairs lie in layers on top of each other and they’re not all consistent in hair growth,” says Dang. Think of if you were to hold your bangs down and trim them, when you let go, they spring up and are shorter. Same with brows, if you comb up your brows and snip off hairs, you could be left with patchy bits. Instead, she recommends brushing brows into where they fall naturally and then snip hair one by one if you find there are ones very out of place.
Give your new brow look time to grow on you. When a bolder brow is a new look for you, you may feel like you have two giant caterpillars on your face, when in reality, they look chic and on trend. How to tell the difference? “Let your brows settle in for you. Start by not looking at your face too close in the mirror for ages as it’ll create a distorted image in your mind,” says Dang. Look in a full-length mirror and just check to see if everything is proportioned, she suggests. “Walk around and give it a day, and maybe see if anyone says anything.” Dang compares it to a new haircut. “Sometimes you have to have it for a day or two before you realize you do actually like the cut.”