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The Essential Eyebrow Guide & Everything You Need to Know About Microblading
Bold brows are in.
In case you haven’t noticed the deluge of online eyebrow tutorials, famous full arches like Cara Delevingne’s, and the mercifully short-lived “#eyebrowsonfleek” trend, when it comes to makeup, it’s all about brows.
In fact, according to a study by the market research group, NPD, eyebrow makeup sales jumped 34% in just one year in 2014.
Full, natural eyebrows are becoming more and more achievable, and those of us who lived through the barely-there, over-tweezed eyebrow trend of the 90’s (see: daisy-era Drew Barrymore) are happy to regain our lost arches.
Fun Factoid: Your eyebrows aren’t just another step in your morning makeup routine, they’re actually a critical part of facial recognition!
Did you also know that eyebrows have a purpose?
They help keep your eyes free of dust and dirt, and their shape deflects rain and sweat so it runs down the sides of your face rather than in your eyes!
Today, I'm excited to bring you the essential guide for all things eyebrows.
We'll look at some tips and tricks so you can emerge victorious in the Battle of the Brows!
Get Your Groom On
If you’re one of the chosen that have naturally shaped eyebrows that require little to no maintenance, you’re a lucky ducky!
For the rest of us, keeping our brows cleaned up can be anywhere from a minor inconvenience to a painful experience.
When it comes to grooming, we have a few options:
“Ladies tweeze, plucking is for chickens.”
We’ve been well acquainted with this method of pulling out individual hairs since the first time we grabbed a pair of Tweezers embarked on a journey of eye-watering brow-shaping.
Pros: Great for quick, regular maintenance. It’s also inexpensive and doesn’t require a trip to the salon.
Cons: Can cause skin irritation and ingrown hairs. It may not last as long as other hair removal methods. And, you run the risk of over-tweezing resulting in too-skinny brows or hair that never grows back.
We’re probably all familiar with this process in which heated wax is applied to the area of unwanted hair and then quickly removed to pull hairs out at the root.
Although at-home waxing kits are available, I’d strongly recommend you seek out an expert so you don’t risk burns or removing skin.
Pros: Temporarily removes hair for anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, and many people report smoother skin and fewer ingrown hairs as a result.
Cons: It hurts (obviously). It can cause skin irritation, redness and, in some cases, residual or permanent hyperpigmentation. It also requires some growth to be effective, so keep that in mind if you don’t want walk around with unkempt brows leading up to your wax sesh.
This is an ancient practice that originated in India or Central Asia (depending on who you ask).
In this technique, a practitioner uses a twisted piece of thread to pull unwanted hair from the follicle.
Pros: It’s gentler on skin than waxing and allows for more precision and definition, especially for shaping brows.
Cons: I’m not gonna lie, it hurts. And it takes a little longer, so it’s not one quick pain like waxing. It can also cause some redness and skin irritation, so you may want to avoid getting threaded just before you go out.
Build Perfect Arches
Ladies, we’re hardly pioneers when it comes to the quest for perfect brows.
Dating back to as early as 3500 B.C., ancient Egyptians used carbon to draw on and define their brows.
Have you seen Cleopatra?
Eyebrow game on point!
Luckily, today’s methods for achieving bold, beautiful brows are more doable than ever!
Shaping up your eyebrows is easier than you think.
You can seek the help of a professional, or you can do it at home with these easy steps.
Step 1: Find Your Starting Point
Grab a makeup brush (or chopstick, Tweezers, etc.) and hold it vertically next to the outer edge of your nostril so it makes a straight line up to your eyebrow.
Wherever it lands is your starting point.
Use a makeup pencil to mark that spot on both eyebrows and tweeze anything in between in the unibrow zone above the bridge of your nose.
Step 2: Find Your Arch
Look straight ahead in a mirror.
Hold your brush so it goes from the corner of your nose and makes a line through the center of your iris up to your brow bone.
This is the peak of your arch.
Mark this point and taper the outer end of your eyebrow so it’s slightly thinner.
Step 3: Find Your End Point
Finally, hold your brush at an angle so it creates a straight line from your nose to the outer corner of your eye.
This is the spot where your eyebrow should end and/or where your pencil line will stop when filling in your brows.
Pro Tip: This might go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: don’t over-tweeze!
It can be really tempting to go pluck-crazy and wind up with bare spots or brows that are too thin.
Remove a couple hairs at a time and stand back to assess your work.
If you’re attempting to even out your brows to make them match, the answer might be makeup rather than tweezing.
Fill Them In
But how to draw eyebrows, you ask?
Let's find out!
Full eyebrows not only frame your eyes, they add a bit of youth to your overall look.
Start by using a pencil to define the bottom line of your eyebrows and lengthen the outer ends.
Finally, brush brows with a spooly brush to soften and blend color.
To add definition and brightness, use a small brush to outline brows with a bit of concealer and blend outward.
You can also brush a little highlighter on your brow bone to lighten up eyes.
Keep Them In Place
Let’s avoid that moment when you look in the mirror only to realize your eyebrows disappeared at the first sign of sweat.
Finish up your brows by setting them in place with a brow wax or gel.
You can also go over them with a light dusting of translucent setting powder.
If you really need some budge-proof assurance, go with an eyebrow sealer to put those ladies on lockdown for all day wear.
You’re good to go!
Is it possible to grow back my eyebrows?
If you’ve gone tweezer crazy, are trying to recoup your losses from the thin-brow trend, or just want fuller-looking eyebrows, there is hope.
The first step is to stop tweezing and start regrowing hairs.
Some will never grow back due to dead hair follicles.
But, it also takes a cycle of 28 days for hair to regenerate, so be patient while you wait for each of those little hairs to spring up.
You can also try a growth serum which includes peptides and biotin to enhance eyebrows by encouraging hair growth and thickening hairs.
Semi-permanent Brow Solutions
Tinting is great if your eyebrows are fair, need a boost, or if you just want to cut down on your get-ready time.
This is a service which involves applying a semi-permanent dye to your brows to add thickness, shading and definition.
It’s also definitely the way to go if you change your hair color and want your brows to match.
This isn’t an end-all eyebrow solution.
There is some upkeep, as color fades after about four weeks.
And, you might still have to supplement tinting with makeup in some spots.
I wouldn’t recommend attempting a tint job on your own.
Leave this technique to the professionals!
Most specialists use a vegetable-based dye on eyebrows rather than a regular hair dye.
They’re also experienced at color matching, so they’ll make sure your eyebrows look more natural and less Mommy Dearest.
If your eyebrows are thin or nonexistent, a few years ago tattooing might have been your only hope for creating brows without drawing them on every day.
Today, the trending technique is Microblading, AKA “eyebrow embroidery”, for natural-looking, semi-permanent arches.
It’s a great option to reconstruct missing brows or fill in/reshape existing ones.
In this process, a specialist uses a small tool equipped with tiny blades or needles which are dipped into pigment and then deposited into the top layers of skin in strokes.
The result looks like realistic individual hairs and appears more natural than the filled in look of traditional tattooed makeup.
Celebrities are jumping on this trend too.
Actress, Bella Thorne recently Snapchatted her microblading process and posted the awesome results on Instagram.
The whole procedure takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
A specialist will pre-draw on your eyebrows with a pencil until you both agree on a shape.
And, though a numbing gel is applied before, it’s not a completely painless process.
Most reviewers put the pain level on par with a threading or tweezing job, but say it’s worth it for the incredible results!
You might be instructed to avoid getting your new brows wet for anywhere from a couple days to a week afterwards, and to apply a healing ointment regularly.
Microblading artists warn clients not to freak out if their brows appear darker right after the procedure.
Color usually fades over two weeks to a more natural shade.
It’s also a two-step process.
You’ll have to go back for touch ups after 4-6 weeks to fill in spots and make adjustments.
This is a great time to address any concerns or point out spots you’d like fixed with your specialist.
It’s not permanent, lasting an average of 1-3 years, and can be on the pricey side (think $500 on the low end).
However, the results are pretty impressive, and they really alleviate that no-one-sees-me-without-my-brows anxiety.
Some Microblading Tips
- Do Your Homework - Since microblading is still a relatively new procedure, and it’s not regulated, make sure to do some research and find someone who is certified to perform it. But, remember, certified doesn’t necessarily equal good work, and this is something that is going to be on your face. For a while. So make sure it’s good! Personal recommendations are always a good place to start, ask friends and family. If you find a microblading specialist online, look at their portfolio of work. It might also be a good idea to reach out to past clients through social media and ask about their experience, if they healed well, and if they’re happy with the results.
- Take Time Before You Sign Off on Your Brows - Your microblading artist should draw on your brows before she starts the procedure. Take a while and make sure you’re happy with them. Look at them from all angles, wiggle them around, and maybe even snap a pic and send it to a trusted friend for a second opinion. Make sure they fit in with your overall face before you make a commitment.
As I mentioned, these are semi-permanent, so you want to make sure you’re happy with them!
However, if you’re not quite ready to go under the knife (or blade) quite yet, I’ve got you covered.
My Top Picks for Beautiful Brows
Now that we’ve examined how to get some show-stopping eyebrows, I’m excited to bring you some of my favorite tools for getting the job done!
The fine tip of this pencil really allows you to get into small spots and define brows. You can even use it to draw lines the mimic individual hairs for a more natural look, and the smudge-proof formula is great for all day wear. Plus, this dual-tool includes a spooly brush on one end for perfectly blended brows!
This handy little palette includes everything you need to sculpt and highlight brows. Two shades of powder let you fill in bare spots while adding dimension, and a wax seals in color and gives it staying power. Finish up with a highlighter to accent and brighten eyes, and you’re good!
This smooth, tinted mousse enhances eyebrows with a budge-proof, water-resistant formula that won’t smear even if you sweat! It also includes anti-aging and moisturizing ingredients to treat skin while you wear it!
If you want to make sure your eyebrows are going to stay put for the long haul, you need this eyebrow sealer. Use this matte, non-flaking formula to smooth and tame natural brows or to lock color in place for lasting wear.
This handy dandy set includes all the tools you need for flawless brows: slanted tip tweezers, trimming scissors and a defining pencil. But it also features neuBROW enhancing serum which includes moisturizers and proteins to nourish hair fibers and restore softness and shine. It also contains peptides and biotin to fortify brows and prevent against future damage.
Big, full brows are not only in, they’re also more attainable than ever with all the techniques and tutorials available today.
You can go natural and rock what you’ve got, or enhance them for defined, bold arches.
Remember, the best step you can take in your beauty regimen is good skincare so no matter what state your brows are in, you’ll always put your best face forward!
What are some of your favorite hacks to get your best brows? Share them with us in the comments section!