Style

Life Will Get Rosy If You Just Sort Your Eyebrows Out

brows mainI’m not sure why I am fascinated by eyebrows. What is it about the brow that is so alluring? It does feel that a good set of eyebrows can be the start and end of your beauty routine, but I don’t know why. I can think of three sets of brows that captured me on my brow journey: Mary-Kate qand Ashley Olsen and Brooke Shields. I remember being blown away by Brooke’s stunning beauty in particular- her eyebrows. My eyebrows have always been an odd shape, short and bushy in irregular places, but not thick. Oddly shaped and sparse, a thicker brow end than anyone would care to have. So despite adoring Brooke’s thick ones and yearning for Mary-Kate’s naturally unkempt beauties, I found myself with hand on tweezers furiously plucking. I’d come to the conclusion at the grand old age of 14 that eyebrows should have an arch and that hairs that were out of place were a big no-no. If Marty McFly ever lets me use his time machine, I know exactly what I’d do first- go back to the 90s to hide all my Mum’s tweezers. If I’d only seen the beauty of my unique, natural brow and stopped listening to every piece of eyebrow advice I came across I wouldn’t have been so confused and I wouldn’t have had the chance to completely sabotage my two furry friends.

There were Two Things I did Wrong:

  1. Think of tweezing as my passage into womanhood. I grabbed those tweezers and started, without any thought as to what I was aiming to create.
  2. Constantly changed my mind on how my eyebrows should look. I was obsessed with arches, under brow hair, making the end into a point, redoing my arch because it wasn’t in the ‘right’ place, plucking from the top of my brow etc etc… No wonder my eyebrows have suffered.

If I was to give my 14-year old self advice it would be this: Eyebrows come in all shapes and sizes naturally, like fingerprints they are unique. Appreciate them as they are and go get some brow powder to play about with instead.

brows through ages

Eyebrow trends have been about since the dawn of time, but messing with your eyebrow shape can cause lack of grow back- you may end up with really strange lookin’ brows. You simply can’t stay on top of eyebrow trends, your eyebrows won’t let you. So instead, my plan is to leave my eyebrows alone- plucking far away from my brows, only rejecting the very very stray hairs.

Treat Your Furry Friends with a little Love & Respect:

  • Take a good look at them. Know the in’s and out’s of their shape. See if one is more sparse or uneven than the other. Look at the top and tail of both, do they differ there? You are simply figuring out how they are so you can properly go about make-uping them to their best. I, for example, know that my left brow hasn’t got as much at the top of the brow as my right and that it is generally sparser.
  • Go with your natural shape. Don’t try and shape them to have arches if they don’t have them. There are so many different types of eyebrows, its foolish to think ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to grooming. Audrey Hepburn’s brow shape wouldn’t suit a lot of people but they transform her face and made her into an icon. Eyebrows are unique, individual to you. Celebrate them!
  • Remember eyebrows are ‘sisters not twins.’ Making them look identical is likely to cause heartbreak and ultimately failure (or so goes my experience) so I would really really advise that you don’t.

naturally bushy 

The Look: Naturally Bushy

Experiment with a selection of shades, use feathery strokes slowly built up, go for subtle lines over block colours and do not underestimate the use of a barely there powered brush.

You will Need:

  • Very Light Pencil
  • Matching Brow Pencil
  • Optional: Matching Brow Powder
  • Optional: Slanted Brow Brush
  • Lots of Time!
  1. The bulk of thick, luscious hairs tend to be in the middle through to the end. Lightly pencil in the very front and top of the brow (where there are those annoying ‘out of place’ hairs) with a shade a lot lighter than your brow hair. Pencil in the direction your hairs naturally go. Also if your brows are particularly patchy or one is shorter/radically different from the other pencil it in to make them roughly the same shape. The idea is to make your brows look naturally thicker, you want to use a lighter pencil to make subtle fine hairs, you are building up dimension. Ultimately, you are getting an idea of your full brow shape.
  2. Draw a line along the bottom of the main part of the brow (ie- not at the front, or the end) with a powder that matches your brows and a slanted brush. Lightly shade the line up.
  3. Run over the front of the brow with the remaining powder on the brush then take a little more powder to apply to the eyebrow end. Don’t be concerned about a fine point, you’re aiming for a natural shape.
  4. Use a pencil that matches the powder to put in some feathery strokes over the top. Leave the top well alone, instead focus on the middle section.

 dramatic

The Look: Dramatic

This look is strong. It could be too harsh if used in the wrong circumstances. I would only use this look at night, when you have a full face of make-up to balance out the strength of these power brows.

You will Need:

  • Very Light Pencil
  • Matching Brow Pencil
  • Matching Brow Powder
  • Slanted Brow Brush
  • Optional: Brow Mascara
  1. Build up the ‘faux’ hairs first as in Step 1 from the ‘Naturally Bushy’ look.
  2. Run a line of powder along the bottom of the brow, (as in Step 2 of Naturally Bushy, but this time going all the way from end to end) blending up and filling in any patches.
  3. Pencil in with your matching brow pencil to neaten up the edges, especially the front and end.
  4. Optional: Run some brow mascara through the hairs to finish off. Be careful how you use it, you don’t want to go out-with the edges you’ve just created.

unkempt 

The Look: Unkempt

Its about to get messy. This look is not for the faint hearted.

You will Need:

  • Matching Brow Pencil
  • Brow Mascara
  • Spoolie
  1. Brush the hairs up in the first half of your brow. Brush the second half tidy.
  2. Gently pencil in hairs all over the brow with a matching brow colour. Pencil up for the first half of the brow and across for the second half. Be careful not to get any pencil ‘dots.’ Use pencil sparingly as not to create block colour. Less is more.
  3. Use brow mascara over whole brow. Be very careful, with your sparse pencilling, mascara blotches are more noticeable. Messy eyebrows don’t mean messy application. Alternatively, skipping step 3- leaves you with a subtle look good for the everyday.

thinner

The Look: Thinner Brows

For the times when there is no time.

You will Need:

  • Matching Brow Powder
  • Slanted Brow Brush
  1. Use your slanted brush, powder and feathery strokes to lightly fill in your brows. Concentrate on the middle of the middle of the brow. Brushing a little of the leftover powder on the front and end.
  2. Optional: Add more to the front, but don’t be heavy handed. Subtle rough and ready is where its at.

 

Cleansing LESS.

 cleanse less

 

I’ve come to believe that skin adjusts itself to how you treat it. For example- if you scrub your skin day and night it will adjust itself accordingly. Which might mean producing excess oil to balance out the dryness of scrubbing. Like a cameleon, it changes to fit with its environment. I’ve never questioned the routine that I grew up with. Cleanse, Tone, Moisterise, day and night and NEVER EVER go to sleep with make up on. Those three steps seemed to be all any girl would need to get her skin glowing, blemish free, flawless.

But my skin has- for the most part- been seriously dry, even scaly. No matter how much moisteriser I used to slap on made any difference. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t for a second think that the perfect skincare regime will be the end to everyone’s skin woes. But I do think that skincare has a fundamental effect. As far as skin traitors go, I have been up there with the worst of them. I’ve scrubbed endlessly, squeezed and picked, steamed like no other but it has gotten me nowhere.

Recently I came across an idea called ‘the caveman regime’ on The Love Vitamin. It involves doing nothing to your face. No washing, no moisterising, no dabbing, no rubbing, no make-up, not even splashing your face with water. Nothing. The idea is that once you stop doing all these things to your skin, it can get back to being itself, back to the way it should be, living and breathing, adjusting and correcting itself. What if with all this stuff we put on out face- out skin spends all of its time simply coping rather than being content?

So hate on me for being narrow-minded and a stickler for habit, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do absolutely nothing. After all, sometimes I like to wear make-up. So I went for a nice medium, I’m experimenting cleansing my face only at night. There are a couple reasons why I’m happy to do this:

  1. Currently I don’t have a job- I don’t feel embarrassed about walking around everyday without anything on my face or without washing it for that matter.
  2. I cleanse my face with olive oil. Cleansing at night means I don’t have to worry if my cleansing routine leaves my face a little too oily- it’ll be gone by the morning. (if I cleanse my face with oil in the morning I have to either use fairly hot water to wash it off or I have to flannel for longer which often leaves my face slightly drier-I don’t like it)

I’ve been doing it for a little while now and I am loving it. I feel like my skin has more time to be and it seems less agitated. Every night I use a fresh flannel, (I used to use muslin cloths but concluded I hated them) I have a stock of grey and white ones- yum. I make sure to use the flannel super gently on my face as if my skin was silk (I imagine dabbing away the days impurities.) On days I’ve worn make-up I simply do the process twice but use one side of the flannel for the old make-up and the other for the second cleanse.

So, I understand if this cleansing once a day is not for you.

But please do this one thing for me, be GENTLE.