I’m All About That Brow!
August and September has been a little crazy for me. Summer brings me my busiest time of year with work. A lot of fashion shoots get shot outside in the Summer (quite often its for the Winter season so the poor models are cooking – however, this Summer has been so rotten its not been so much the sun we’ve been dodging, more the rain!), then there’s the weddings… oh the beautiful, beautiful weddings. I’ve been in Castles, Monasteries, gorgeous hotels, beautiful homes, and have had the honour of dressing many of my brides and quite a few tears have been shed!
Alongside all this incredible fun which I amazingly get to call my job, I’ve had my 2 girls off on School Holidays and have had the usual chaos of juggling childcare, holidays, playscheme, Grandparents, and throw a cat with a broken leg into the mix and it was definitely a Summer of memories!
October is upon us and this brings me back down to earth. I can concentrate on me again. Weddings become a little more steady with only 1 or 2 a week and I can look at my personal skincare and can focus on my kit and making sure I’m up to date with all the next seasons trends. It also brings me on to think about my own Wedding Anniversary and Birthday; which brings me nicely onto my blog this month…
So me and my old school friends are making plans to do a mass meet-up in the Yorkshire Dales during November (I know… I feel cold just thinking about it), but whilst discussing the plans over Whatsap (we are so down with the kids!), our talk turned to brows…
Now we were all kids of the 1980’s/90’s and next September brings the first of our 40th Birthdays which means not only is this crazy age looming, but as with many of us girls, we lived-through an age where we plucked our brows into oblivion. I remember trying so hard to get my brows literally 2 hairs wide!!! 2 HAIRS WIDE! It literally makes me want to cry just thinking about this. One of my gorgeous school friends dug-up an old magazine where we (myself and my 3 best buds) contributed to an article about embarrassing childhood stories (we were only 15, what did we know!?) one thing that really struck me about the image of myself and my gorgeous friend Rowan is that my brows were so full; they literally used to meet in the middle – yup, I had a monobrow!
The last few years have seen brows becoming so important for us girls. Its suddenly become part of our culture with teenage girls filling theirs in to such an extent that they look like a slug has crawled from the garden onto their face!
Its so hard to know what to do for the best, and how to make your brows looked groomed without looking like huge Nike ‘swoops’.
The most important thing for me as a makeup artist is the make sure that the client feels comfortable with whatever brow I design for them. Some clients like a strong brow, some don’t do anything at all and feel very out of their comfort zone with even a light covering of brow powder. I guess the best piece of advice I can give is to take your time, and work with your natural shape.
So here are my top tips for keeping your brows looking as groomed as possible.
This is probably THE most critical piece of advice I can give…
Get yourself an AMAZING brow lady!
Over the years I’ve plucked, waxed, threaded, HD and even brow ‘infills’ (kind of hair extensions for brows – they’re fab!). The one thing I would say is that no matter what the treatment, it’s all about the shape and if you get a great brow structure then that’s your base to create whatever depth of colour you want.
Choose the right tool for the job.
My personal favourite brow pencil in my own makeup bag is by Kevin Aucoin in Brunette.
I use a whole host of brow tools in my kit but my most frequent go-to is Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Whizz – this is a gorgeous pencil that doesn’t need sharpening with a really fine ‘point’ which means you can fill as lightly or as densely as you like. If you’ve already got a great brow but you just want to control it or add a little bit of colour then brow gel is amazing – my favourite is MAC tinted brow gel. The other option is to lightly fill with a brow shadow (or even using a matt eyeshadow works well).
My tip is to always go a shade lighter than your hair colour.
Take your time
Practice at getting your technique right, brush your brows through (you can use a brow wand, or even a toothbrush does the job – obviously one you’re not using…) after you’ve done the rest of your makeup. Brushing upwards gets them in position. Map out your brow using your chosen tool – I do this with my pencil. The density of colour should always be in the outer 1/3rd of your brow (the thinnest bit) and ideally the inner (thicker) part of your brow should literally need a light filling with your chosen tool. If you’re using shadow, you can always use your brush (my go-to brush would be a small angeld brush, like a MAC 208) dry for the inner section and wet for the outer section which means you will get a much sharper/denser colour and line.
Your brow should be mapped out quite easily by looking straight into a mirror and literally using your brush or pencil as a ‘ruler’ to map out the length and shape.
The first point is the end of your brow (the outer edge); the (invisible) line for this should run from the outside of your nostril, past the outer corner of your eye, right to your brow-line. If your brow ends before or after this line you should either fill that shape, or pluck out the stray hairs.
The next point you need to map is the highest point of your brow (I refer to this part as the ‘bridge’); this is the point just before your brow starts to dip down and you’re mapping out to the top of your brow, again from the outside of your nostril, but this time going through the centre of your pupil (the black part of your eye) and literally going to the top of your brow and putting a small ‘dot’ with your pencil.
The final point is the centre section; this is mapped from the same section on your nose, up in a vertical line and this point should be the starting point for your brow – any more than that you should remove; any less, will need filling-in.
Remember to keep the outer 1/3rd dense and the rest should be subtlety filled out.
Sometimes, you’ll need to brush them through again to ‘soften’ the look, but this will be a personal choice – I generally soften mine out once I’ve done them.
Hopefully by using this routine your brows will look groomed and polished, but without looking like you’ve drawn them on – no one likes a ‘scouse brow’.