Monday, October 19, 2009

Eyebrows: The Essentials

This is my handiwork. Like I said, I do eyebrows.

I do eyebrows. Yeah, that's a strange opening line but it's totally true. I'm good at many things, but one of the things I excel in is eyebrows. One of the reasons why I excel is because I don't try to make everyone look the same. The reason why some eyebrows are thicker and others thinner, different shapes and lengths, is because our faces are shaped differently. Eyebrows are there to shape and define the lines of our faces. If someone's eyes are closer together, you will generally find that their eyebrows start further in than someone whose eyes are spaced further apart. In that case you will see the eyebrows begin almost or at the bridge of the nose.

Victoria's eyebrows don't start right at the bridge of the nose, giving us the illusion that her eyes are further apart.

Some eyebrows go out more and others down (at the ends, that is). All these things make a big difference in the shape of the face. Well, not so much the shape as the way we view, and others view, our face. There is some flexibility here, naturally, but as a general rule, when shaping eyebrows, we are looking to clean, organize and correct. We're not looking to completely change.

That being said, there is nothing sadder than archless brows. So if you were unlucky enough to be born without a defined arch, you must make one. It's easier than you think, but you must restrain yourself so you don't get carried away. In the beginning you will most likely make mistakes, but that's what brow pencils are for. Unibrows are a strict no-no across the board. There are no exceptions to this rule and I will never change my mind on this. (I was watching a cooking show from Mexico and the guest on the show was this "female" with Frida brows - OMG! I didn't know people walked around like that. What is more, she looked perfectly comfortable with her hideous monobrow. Urgh! Gross! Gag!)

If you look like this you need help and maybe a weed wacker. But more importantly, do not walk out of the house like this! Get rid of your mustache and your unibrow immediately! This look is hideous and inexcusable. In a world where tweezers are literally a dime a dozen, there is no excuse for scaring little children, women and men alike, in this way.

One mistake many women make is the famous overpluck. This is yucky and I'll have none of it. We all bungle things up every now and then, but to overpluck as a habit is uncool and you should carefully and slowly put down the tweezers, and walk away. We don't want anyone to get hurt. Tweezer happy fools end up looking a bit idiotic and I can guarantee that at some point you will look back at old pictures and cringe. Best to give it up now before the gaps are too tough to repair/grow back. There is such a thing as irreparable damage, so be careful!

Many women tend to overpluck right after the eyebrow begins (go to a mirror, hold a pencil in a vertical line at the outer corner of the mouth at a 90 degree angle towards the eyebrow. Do you see that bit right there? Don't touch that. There's not need to go there unless your eyebrows are in a complete state of disrepair, but as a general rule that area should be left alone). Over tweezing there makes you tweeze the entire eyebrow too much and gives you that very surprised look, which is the thing we all most dread.

Here's an image I found somewhere, I don't know where or I would give them credit, which explains the "work zone" clearly. This is of course for the classic brow. There are other shapes that go back and forth depending on what's in fashion at the moment, but overall, you can't go wrong if you respect the natural shape of your eyebrows and follow the classic style.

The perfect classic eyebrow shape. There's no surprised look, holes or sharp edges. Bella!

When it comes to eyebrows, a good rule of thumb is: less is more. If you don't know what you're doing, you should seek professional help. But one thing you can do is just keep that area clean and free of random hairs, keep your unibrow in check, and leave the rest be until you find someone who can help you for real. Another thing I would advise is that you don't let your "friend" help you. Friends always mean well, but they can really mess things up. When I was 13 I let my friend Suzy shape my eyebrows and I looked like a crazy person. It looked like I had taken a razor and run it down my forehead. My eyebrows were super far apart and I looked like I belonged on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise alongside Spock and the rest. Don't let your friends help you. Do it yourself or get it done professionally (I recommend paying for it - it is your face after all).

One last thing, when I first started successfully doing my own eyebrows I would take a white makeup pencil and draw the eyebrow I wanted. I would then pluck around what was on the outside of the drawing, take makeup remover and clean it up, and voilá, masterpiece. It's much easier than trying to keep the shape in your "mind's eye".

Good luck!

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