How to pluck and define your eyebrows

Eyebrows are the focal point of your face. They give it structure and are an essential element of the look you want to achieve. So it’s really important to pluck and shape them properly.

Badly-plucked brows can alter your facial expression. For example, brows with a rounded arch can give you a constantly surprised look, while downward pointing brows can make you look sad. Moreover, the brow should really expose the eye and the lid. I once had a client who wanted the smoky-eye look but I couldn’t do it. She refused to have her brows plucked and so I simply didn’t have enough space to create the layered look.

If you’re unsure about plucking your own brows, consult an expert: all beauticians learn how to do this during their training and can show you how to find the right shape for your face. So go ahead and make an appointment: you’ll be surprised to see how just a small change can make a big difference to your look.

If you want to go it alone, here is a do-it-yourself 4-step guide that will help you to find the ideal measurements and shape for your brows. Select a good pair of tweezers that will pull out the hair at the first go; that way you’ll avoid unnecessary pain.

Step 1). Begin by drawing some guide marks with an eyebrow or eyeliner pencil. Mark points A, B, C and D. with a small dot. To take measurements, use a ruler or a small straight object like a brush or a pencil.

-Point A should be in a straight line with the outer ball of your nostril. This will be the beginning of your brow.
-Point B should be in a straight line parallel with the first one but at the outer corner of the eye. This will be the end of your brow.
-Point C should be located above the outer edge of your iris. This will be the beginning of the arch.
-Point D should be in a straight line just above the outer corner of the eye. This will be the end of the arch (beginning of the downward slope).

Step 2). Pluck your brows starting with the lowest hairs, going gradually upwards until the desired thickness is achieved, following your guide marks. Aim for a moderate thickness. Brow fashions change and can range from very thick to very thin. So don’t pluck them too enthusiastically (it’s easier to remove more hairs later than to add them), but enough so that you don’t look somebody out of an 80’s ad! Pluck as little as possible from the top of the brow so that you don’t spoil the natural line, just expose the eyelid.

Step 3). When you’ve finished plucking, pat with a gentle tonic lotion then moisturize the area with a soothing eye contour cream.

Step 4). When the redness and stinging have disappeared, make up your brows. There are many interesting products on the market to help you. First, there are classic eyebrow pencils. They should be well-sharpened (the lead should be really pointed). Don’t draw one long line right through the brow: do several little diagonal lines to create the look of little hairs. This will look much more natural.

If the pencil seems complicated, try brow powder. These are matte powder shadows which can be found in the most common brow colors. Some of them are available in a duo with a fixing wax or gel to help keep the brow hairs in place. Don’t try to use regular eye shadows because they can contain a metallic element or have a reddish or orangey tone that can clash with the natural color of your brows and give you a clownish look. Suggestions: Smashbox Brow Tech, around 30$CA, Clinique Brow Shaper (around 20$CA), Benefit Brow Zings Kit (around 64$CA). Apply the powder in short outward strokes, using a stiff, natural-bristle, bevelled brush applicator.

Many other types of products for making up your brows are available on the market such as brow mascara (tinted or transparent), tinted wax, colored gels etc. Find what works for you.

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