Beau­ti­ful brows

the ben­e­fits of beau­ti­ful brows

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - Tracey Strange

Lour­des Leon may have a fa­mous mother but it’s her brows that of­ten get the most at­ten­tion. The young Madonna’s fa­mously fierce brows (ac­tu­ally, al­most a uni­brow) were part of the rea­son she was picked to co-front the cam­paign for Stella McCartney’s eco-friendly fra­grance, POP (from $87 at Farm­ers). Ac­cord­ing to McCartney, the 20-year-old’s mil­len­nial brows es­tab­lish her as a new face of beauty. Ac­cord­ing to so­cial me­dia, it’s “feral” (aka en­vi­able).

But, no mat­ter how mod­ern, few look good with brows that re­sem­ble a ragged inky slash across the fore­head. For a start, over-pluck­ing may have left some of us with the type of mean arches favoured by the evil step­mother in a Dis­ney movie. For oth­ers, feral is just an­other word for un­kempt. And yet we can — and should — take note of Lour­des’ lead. Well-shaped brows bal­ance the face; di­vert­ing at­ten­tion from strong jaws, op­ti­cally elon­gat­ing round faces, hor­i­zon­tally bal­anc­ing long ones. The trick is in know­ing when bold be­comes bedrag­gled.

Brows can take about a year to grow out, with the most dif­fi­cult (as in un­ruly) stage at six to eight weeks. De­voted ap­pli­ca­tion of hair-growth prod­ucts like Re­vi­taBrow Ad­vanced ($139 for a four-month sup­ply at beau­ty­pod.co.nz) can help with thick­ness; pen­cils, wands and pow­ders are needed for shape.

Our eye­brows droop as we age, mak­ing us look an­grier as time goes by. Per­haps un­con­vinced that age­ing it­self wouldn’t be enough to leave us a bit miffed, Mother Na­ture had the last laugh and per­ma­nently etched the dis­plea­sure on our face. But she can be thwarted. With the ex­cep­tions of Bo­tox and mi­crob­lad­ing (semi-per­ma­nent tat­too­ing that in­volves “draw­ing” on strokes with a pig­ment pen), the best so­lu­tions for mis­shapen brows are brow tools. Think brow pen­cils aren’t a sub­ject to get ex­cited about? You would be wrong. A good one makes light work of feath­er­ing in sparse hairs. Prod­ucts like Bil­lion Dol­lar Brows’ Uni­ver­sal Brow Pen­cil ($36), Ben­e­fit’s Goof-Proof ($44) and MAC’s self-pro­pel­ling Eye Brows ($38) are best sell­ers for good rea­sons. Per­son­ally, I can rec­om­mend Hour­glass’ Arch Brow Sculpt­ing Pen­cil ($54 at mec­ca­cos­met­ica.co.nz), which has a fan­tas­tic pow­der-wax for­mula and a tri­an­gu­lar rather than pointed head, mak­ing it much eas­ier and quicker to draw in, or re­shape, wonky brows. Fi­nally, there’s the method. One of the best comes from leg­endary makeup artist Mary Green­well. First, she brushes the brow hairs down­wards to clear them out of the way, then, fol­low­ing their foot­print, feath­ers them back in again with a pen­cil us­ing ver­ti­cal strokes from in­ner brow to arch and hor­i­zon­tal strokes from then on. Hairs are then wran­gled back into place with a spoolie brush or brow gel ap­pli­ca­tor. The ben­e­fit of Green­well’s ap­proach is that you are able to get bold, nat­u­ral brows that don’t look like they were drawn on with a Sharpie.

Lour­des Leon.

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