Monday, 21 October 2013

How to: Bangin' Brows

Very pretty girl with great brows
Again, perfect features do not come with fixing of brows (but darn close maybe)

So seriously. What is up with the internet?
My computer had an unfortunate blue screen-related melt down, which was fun (not) so I have been on hiatus yet again. Plus, you know, grad school in New York; no big.
But seriously though, have you seen the brows lately? Has everyone gone crazy?

I clarify. I know bold brows are back in style with a vengeance in retaliation for the early 00's but what is up with the Reboot brows? I thought the internet had gone too far with Kadashian contouring and cut crease eye shadow. But alas, the interwebs can never go too far... The brow tutorials are insanity. Shaping, plucking, pencil, powder, gel, concealer? two kinds? ain't no one got time for that.
So I am giving you a realistic, timeless, tutorial on how to make your brows look polished so that you say "my, doesn't she just look so put together and pretty" vs. "wow... did all the fake tan finally go to her brain?"

Fix your eyebrows. Seriously.
Truth, but you probably were so distracted by her bad brows you didn't even hear a word she said in the first place.

Step 1

Go get your brows done.

Seriously, I am not joking. "But isn't this a post on brows?!" you may be screaming at me. No, this is a post on how to make your brows look good. Each brow is a unique snowflake. Even you may have noticed that one brow on one side is not exactly the same as the other. There is no "magic" guideline, or stupid plastic template thing that is going to actually work perfectly on your unique snowflake brows. We are all about embracing diversity here. So, without actually taking a good look at you, I can't tell you what is going to work, but a trained professional can. Save yourself hours of time and anguish, go get professional help. Preferably after waiting as long as you can (within reason) to undo any damage you may have done through ill-advised tutorials. It is one of the cheapest beauty investments out there, between $5 to $20 dollars and after that you can maintain, or go back every 4 to 6 weeks, but it is extremely helpful to have that guideline.
Ask someone who has awesome brows where they get them done; I guarantee they have someone.

But what? You say you have no brows? Yes you do. This is what I always thought, I didn't have much for brows to begin with, why would I take more away? Even taking away a bit and giving thin brows a better shape makes a difference. It makes them easier to fill in, and you probably have more stray hair then you think mucking you polished appearance. Just trust me.

Step 2

Now that you brows have an elegant shape it makes them super easy to fill in. Yes you need to fill them in even if you have fairly thick brows. It just makes them look polished, the wax soothes down the unruly hairs. It might look a bit weird if you have never filled them in before, this is another thing the professional person can show you what it should look like. You will be amazed how much brighter your eyes look, just trust me.
I like powder and wax because it is easy to do without over doing it. I prefer it over pencils because I find it is easier and faster for most people to execute. It is very hard to get pencil even, and do it right. The only time I would recommend pencil is if you have basically no brows, like two hairs total because you can basically draw in hair. Normal brows need the smoothing wax or gel can provide to give that extra polish.

Select a colour a shade darker if you are blonde and a shade lighter if you have dark hair as is the rule of thumb. I like a palette with a couple of colours so I can adjust if my hair colour changes slightly or depending on how much eye makeup I am wearing. You can use a mixture too. I like this Urban Decay Brow Box because it has everything you need in it:

Urban Decay Brow Box
Urban Decay Brow Box
Comes with two shades of powder, wax, brush and tweezers
It only comes in two shades but I find it works on the majority of people. It does have a tendancy to be on the warmer side of colours which is always important to consider so if you really have cool blonde or brunette hair you might want to try another set, such as the Smashbox powder and wax. They also have one for auburn/red hair which is fairly rare in brow powder.
Anyways continuing on. Take the tiny little angle brush or preferably a full sized angle brush and coat it with a thin layer of wax. Next, lightly brush it against one of the powder colours. I like to start with the darker colour and go lighter, but you can always do it the other way around if you are chicken. Start at the highest point in your arch and make a couple light, quick strokes out to the end, filling in the "tail" of the brow. This makes sure you keep your nice high arch, and it fills the area that needs the most filling the darkest. This gives me a fairly accurate gauge of how much powder I actually need to fill in the thicker part of my brows and keeps me from veering into fake brow territory. Make sure you always go with the direction of the hair; the wax as well as sticking the powder to the hair, soothes the hairs into place. I usually have a little powder/wax mixture let on my brush so I just sweep it onto the lighter colour (or the same colour) and working from base of the brow, I make short, light strokes up and out working toward the inner part of my brow. This actually gives a nice, even fill, surprisingly and you end up with a natural looking brow.

Step 3

It might still look a little "done" or my eye brows might be a little crazy. So I usually brush through them with a brow comb, sometimes they call it a lash and brow comb or a lash comb. Basically it should look like this:

Sephora: SEPHORA COLLECTION : Pro Brow Comb #21 : eye-brushes-makeup-brushes-applicators-makeup
Sephora Pro Brow Comb

This is the only time I am going to say this about brushes; it doesn't really matter what kind of brow comb you get. I think I have this one but to be honest it is so old I don't even know anymore. Just brush your brows a couple times to brush through the powder a bit and further smooth the hairs into place.

And Done! doesn't that look natural and eight-hundred times better than all that complicated plucking, concealing, drawing, etc? As long as you get a good shape to start with brows should be a breeze.

-If you have crazy super strong brows that wont submit to the wax, try a bit of clear mascara or brow gel. It looks them down and gives polish and shine. This Maybelline one works good enough and at like $4 you cant beat it:

Great Lash® Clear Mascara
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara
This is the only time I am going to tell you to use Great Lash

-Try some highlighter! Under your perfectly groomed brows, highlight sits perfectly, and further widens your eyes because of the contrast between your darker filled in brows and your highlight. Try using your regular face highlighter for a subtle contrast, a light coloured shadow or try the Benefit High Brow Pencil. Just run it under the brow and smudge it down with your finger. It gives you a really sharp, clean looking brow. I like the glow one, sometimes I find the original chalky:

Benefit high brow glow
Benefit High Brow Glow
Now you are extra set! It is all about your brows looking naturally wonderful, like "my don't you look pretty, did you do something to your hair? you look really good". Subtly is key, it shouldn't be "hey, look at my cray-brows!" Yes I just made up a word with cray in it but you know exactly what I mean. Strive to have brows this awesome, that mostly you notice how perky she looks before the brow. Built-in perky; I need me some of that.
Brows That Mean BUSINESS Diane Kruger
Claire Kruger, awesome lighter brow example
What are your favorite brow tools?
Wax, Threading, Tweezing, or mix?
Are you a brow-ffender? a brow-buser? (I could go on and on with made up words today)

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