THE IN-TRAY

Full, feathered or fluffy: how to do these three brow styles to update your look

Every brow tells a story. Perhaps it was over-plucked in your teenage years after taking Gwen Stefani’s look a bit too literally. Or when it was victim to late night at-home tint job that left you looking like the unibrow baby from The Simpsons. Brows can really make or break a look. The angles of the face are determined by the brows; they can lift the eyes, narrow or widen the face, they help to frame and highlight your features and create more symmetry. All that aside, it’s important to let your natural shape be your guide. As brow guru Kristin Fisher says it best, "just don't mess too much with your basic shape—good shape is timeless, texture is a trend.” So on that note, here’s some trends you can play with to refresh your look.

THE FEATHERED BROW:

As the name suggests, this type of arch looks feathery and wispy in texture—it’s a brow that looks lush, full and natural, but never overdone. You may have heard of the term ‘microfeathering’, made famous by eyebrow artist to the stars, Kristie Streicher. It’s basically a no-needle shaping method that's all about a natural, fluffy-looking brow. Similar to microblading, Streicher uses a fine blade to create tiny incisions. Pigment is then deposited into the incisions, resulting in a natural-looking eyebrow hair. Streicher uses existing brow hairs as the starting point and fills in from there. Sadly, we can’t all have Streicher on speed dial though, so the next best thing is getting your hands on a precision pencil like the Hourglass Arch Brow Micro Pencil or the MECCA MAX Brow Guru Micro-Matic Pencil and using microfeather str okes for achieve the same effect. The idea of a feathered brow is to use a tool that mimics real brow hairs. The finer and more precise the tip the better; use small, upward strokes to fill in between your hairs.

And for an even more natural-looking brow, use two different brow pencil colours; one in your natural brow hair colour and another two shades deeper. Think of these two colours as highlights and lowlights for your (brow) hair.

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THE FULL BROW:

A big trend in brows is the full, bold brow that has more of a ‘masculine’ shape to it. It has less of that lifted arch look, and instead is straighter in shape—google Kendall Jenner and Kate Bosworth for some visual references. A recent example of a more masculine brow on the runway was at Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 19/20 show, global creative makeup and colour director Lucia Pica went for an elongated eyebrow, focussing only on the inner corners of the brows for a masculine effect, paired with an elongated finish. Off the runway you can achieve the same effect using Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW® Pomade or Too Faced Brow-nie Cocoa Powder Brow Pencil. Opt for a thicker gel (for coverage) or angled pencil (for a bolder look) that fills in more areas of the brow for a fuller effect. According to Fisher, a bold brow that’s also darker than your natural hair colour and makes more of a statement is a good thing. “I actually love when a client wants to be bold. For example, the contrast of blonde hair with a darker brow can sometimes look amazing!” she says.

As for the shape itself? If you decide to adjust your natural shape this can take a little time, as you’ll need to let your arch hairs grow in, reversing any curve you've created manually. This could take six to eight weeks, or longer. While you wait for the hairs in your arch to grow back in, try a hard, waxy pencil—draw short, hair-like strokes with the pencil or a straight-line brush dipped in powder under your arch to flatten it out.

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THE BRUSHED UP BROW:

The perfect trend to get on board with if you’ve got long brow hairs that need to be tamed—“curly or unruly hairs can be maintained by combing and using a gel,” according to Fisher—or would prefer a brow look that requires little to no effort. The brushed up effect helps to lift the brow itself, and a lifted brow will help give the effect of your other facial features being lifted too. It’s youthful and fresh.

A gel is a great brow product to have on hand for this trend. The Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel delivers that and more with micro fibres in it will give you brushed up hairs that appear fuller. If you’re working with brows that are naturally quite dark and don’t need additional colour, a clear gel will do the trick. Simply work in quick upward strokes along the hairs before the gel sets in place—done!

Words by Emily Deacon
July 2019

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