The information in fashion magazines can be vague and/or misleading when it comes to your eyebrows. The pencil theory of eyebrow shaping is easily misinterpreted in so many ways. Keeping the brows as full as possible with minimal shaping will add a beautiful frame to the face, helping achieve the best possible look. Usually there is no mistake when you go with what you were born with. Removing too much of the brow creates odd shapes and will actually take away natural beauty. It can also make a person look less attractive or angry when they really aren't.
Basic Eyebrow Lessons
As a professional makeup artist, I break the eyebrows down into parts. The larger part near the middle is called the comma. From the beginning of the brow (near the nose) to the arch should be as long as possible. The distance should be longer than the distance from the arch to the end of the brow, creating a natural arch. If both parts are equal in length, the brows will look round and the shape will get lost. Also, the comma needs to be thicker and taper towards the arch. If the comma is too thin, the eyebrow will also look round. When the middle hairs are removed (near the nose) the arch gets lost.
A common mistake is to dig for the arch in the comma area. The arch should be approximately at the outer edge of the iris. If you tweeze or wax the middle hairs out over and over, chances are they will not grow back. These hairs are fine and are supposed to be feathery and less dense.
Where to Start the Brow
The biggest mistake that most young girls, women, (and unfortunately most estheticians) make is thinking that the brow is supposed to start where the eye begins. That is incorrect. The eyebrow needs to start farther into the middle on either side of the nose, then the brows will frame the face. They need to work together along with the eyes, not separately. The face and the features all need to be balanced. Taking a person's features into consideration is very important. A person who has big eyes, full lips, and dark full hair cannot get away with thin brows. Even blondes, in my opinion, can only wear smaller brows if the length is still there.
A lot of my clients explain they don't like those middle hairs because they stand up straight or point towards the other brow. That's what they are supposed to do. When they are shaped correctly, those middle hairs are so pretty and sexy, so less makeup is required. It gives a beautiful, young, fresh look… always. Take a look at my two young actresses pictured here. When they first came to me, they had very small eyebrows. They both had removed the middle hairs and dug into the coma area. Their brows looked round, and even though both girls are very beautiful, their brows did not compliment their face. The maintenance was constant. After a couple of months of letting their brow hair grow back, I was able to reshape them and give each of them a much prettier look. Then, I did a natural makeup presentation for their headshots. Within weeks, each girl has already been noticed in the film industry and one has already worked on a movie.
Parents play a huge role by taking their teenage daughters for regular visits to have their brows shaped and cleaned up (usually once a month). Without consistency, teenagers will resort to removing too much hair because they lose patience. They are under a lot of peer pressure and want to look great all of the time.
Tweezing and Waxing
When you tweeze a hair you should tweeze it in the direction that it grows, otherwise it can grow back facing up, down or out. With waxing, estheticians pull the hair strip in the opposite direction that it grows to damage the hair follicle, so that the hair won't grow back. The esthetician has to then be very careful to wax only the hairs they don't want to grow back. I have had to repair many, many bad eyebrow jobs. I pull hairs out that are facing the wrong direction into the direction that I want them to grow back and retrain them again. Remember, when you try to do your brows by yourself, you do not have perspective. You can only view one brow at a time. Plus, eyebrows grow in horizontal rows. So, if you tweeze 2-4 hairs vertically (going up instead of out) you will create big holes. Then you end up removing more brows to try and balance both of them. To avoid this dilemma, never do one brow at a time. Go carefully back and forth between them instead.
Regarding men's brows, finally guys are listening to their wives and girlfriends and are grooming their eyebrows. Unfortunately, the latest tragedy is estheticians are giving men feminine looking brows with arches instead of leaving their brows full and manly.
- Karen Kubeck
Professional Makeup Artist