THE AR­TI­SANAL EYE­BROW

With much re­lief, we re­port craft brows are back. It’s time to un­fol­low the In­sta brow: we bring you be­spoke tints, tex­ture be­fore trend and a big re­think on ink. By

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Beauty - TRACEY WITH­ERS

We’re not here to point fin­gers.this is one we can all ad­mit to: we may have over­done it. Some­time af­ter power brows turned into the new lip­stick, hedgerow styling bars turned into tem­ples of wor­ship and top-shelf pluck­ers be­came (lo­cally) fa­mous,‘trend brows’ jumped the shark. When a whole Jen­ner­a­tion of girls em­braced the ul­tra-stylised ‘In­sta­gram brow’, you were ei­ther with them or boldly boyfriend-browed-à-la-cara Delev­ingne against them. Tat­too­ing came along and made our ob­ses­sion semiper­ma­nent, and then some­body in­vented brow stamps …

Now here we are. In re­hab, in­tim­i­dated by eye­brows that seem to have taken over our faces and cer­tainly too much of our per­sonal groom­ing bud­get, with an un­cer­tain urge to up­date.

“Hav­ing ‘done’ brows and look­ing pol­ished with­out any other makeup on is not go­ing away,” notes eastern Syd­ney brow artist Kristin Fisher, but slav­ing to the trend is.“that re­ally filled-in, char­ac­ter­less, same-on-ev­ery­body brow is def­i­nitely on the way out,” she says.“it brows are over. Hav­ing tat­toos be­cause it’s the thing to do is over.” A qui­etly bril­liant, fea­ture-lift­ing, built­for-you (for you are the Be­y­oncé; your brows are the back-up dancers) ar­ti­sanal brow is out there. Let’s go get it.

We’re off the hook! Per­fect brows are not per­fec­tion. “When brows are iden­ti­cal, so strong or over­filled, they look ‘made’. It’s like a comb-over — you’re not fool­ing any­body,” Clarke says. “Brows need to show char­ac­ter.” Hair colour, bone struc­ture and arch are cru­cial ar­chi­tec­tural points, but don’t for­get your vibe. If your style is more Yves Salomon than Saint Lau­rent, ques­tion whether a sculp­tural ‘In­sta brow’ is re­ally for you. If you have to change your makeup or style just to make a brow work, some­thing ain’t right.

This goes for fillers, too. “A good ther­a­pist will ask a lot of ques­tions, watch­ing your range of move­ment as you speak freely,” Clarke says. “I need to see the real depth and pitch of your eye, the ta­per of your lash line, if you favour one side as your face moves.” This leads to the re­ally be­liev­able brow. “Your in­jec­tor can then see where your true arch is and lift or tweak most gen­tly.” It’s a fun­da­men­tal flaw to freeze up first.

“Ask the salon for mem­ber­ships and qual­i­fi­ca­tions,” Amy Jean ad­vises. “The two most rep­utable are the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­a­tion of Cos­metic Tat­too and SPCP [So­ci­ety of Per­ma­nent Cos­metic Pro­fes­sion­als], which is a global reg­is­ter.” Check for hy­giene cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, too. “Never fall for cheap deals or pro­mo­tions for tat­too­ing,” she says. “Ask your­self why you’d be pay­ing a quar­ter of the [stan­dard] price.”

“Gly­colic cleansers or vi­ta­min A can pull the colour out, even though you’re not lit­er­ally putting it on your brows. We say, ‘No ac­tives on the fore­head,’” Fisher ex­plains. “You’ve got to cover brows in at least [SPF] 30+ sun­screen, too, or the sun will take them.” Chlo­rine can also shorten the life of colour.

Those (in­clud­ing the men­folk) with curly, coarse, grey or nat­u­rally red brows with kinks, re­joice. No more panic-pluck­ing or trim­ming into obliv­ion. “Brow tam­ing treat­ments — essen­tially a perm so­lu­tion — to re­lax out-of-con­trol hair are fab­u­lous for brows you thought were past sav­ing,” Clarke says.

Let’s all re­spect the in­ge­nu­ity of a sim­ple, con­sid­ered brow colour. A tint at the tips elon­gates the brow by cel­e­brat­ing the wispy hairs you didn’t know you had. “Stains, like henna, to colour the skin be­hind the hair give the il­lu­sion of den­sity where there is lit­tle hair,” Clarke ex­plains. “Henna fades out but lasts weeks, so the tone is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant. If you have dark hair, go ash­based. If you’re medium or blonde, green-based will fade out most nat­u­rally.”

A good ther­a­pist pro­vides an in­tense con­sul­ta­tion be­fore the ink. “You need to see what you’re re­ally go­ing to get,” Fisher says. “We draw the brow on with makeup and have clients wear them for a day, take pho­tos, scru­ti­nise be­fore mak­ing any de­ci­sions.” Pretty sure? The next step is to try henna for a few weeks.

2 Ben­e­fit 3D Brow­tones High­lights in Cop­per, $42 Arty, metal­lic brow­lights that will wash out in­stantly. (1): Li­brow Pu­ri­fied Eye­brow Serum, $182 for six-month sup­ply (2): Be re­li­gious about it and this on-skin serum will en­cour­age hairs to grow longer...

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