Beauty Basic: Eyebrows part 2: brow removal, filler

Brow powder, brow gel and brow pencils are all used to achieve perfectly groomed eyebrows.

Brow powder, brow gel and brow pencils are all used to achieve perfectly groomed eyebrows.

Ashley Evert, Assistant L&A&E Editor

Last week, eyebrow theory was the focus of the beauty basic. This week will cover what to do after the desired shape of the brow is assessed.

Many men and women dread the pain of waxing and tweezing their eyebrows, but anyone who has been doing it a while will say that it really isn’t that bad, especially with the huge payoff of having perfectly groomed eyebrows.

Most people know about waxing and tweezing, but not many understand the Middle-Eastern art of threading. Most threaders work at kiosks in the mall or specialty threading parlors in bigger cities. Watching someone thread eyebrows is really something to behold; it’s all quick, fluid hand movements and cotton thread flying everywhere.

What actually happens during threading is that cotton thread is twisted in a specific way around the theader’s hands. They manipulate that twist in the middle of the thread to glide along the surface of the skin. When the cotton twists along the skin, hairs become entwined in it and it pulls the hairs out.

Many people prefer this method to waxing, myself included, because it is so much gentler on those with sensitive skin whose skin breaks out when they wax. Another benefit to threading is that it is more precise than waxing.

When wax is applied to the skin, it has time to settle and move around before the fabric strip is applied, therefore catching hairs that don’t need to be removed.  Threading eliminates this uncertainty and usually costs about the same amount of money.

If waxing and threading aren’t appealing, and one prefers to tweeze their own eyebrows but has some difficulty with figuring out which hairs to tweeze, one can use white eyeliner to draw out the shape they want before plucking any hairs that fall outside the white lines.

Once the hair is removed, many people choose to fill in their eyebrows to give a thicker appearance to sparse areas or have their eyebrows match their hair color.  Speaking of color, the general rule is that if you have light hair, use a color that is no more than two shades darker than your hair color.  If you have dark hair, use a color two shades lighter than your hair color.

People with unnatural colors like bright red, violet, blue or pink should use a neutral light brown as a default, unless they choose to match their brows to their hair color.

There are two different ways to fill in an eyebrow: pencil or powder. The harder consistency pencil, the better. The soft kohl used as eyeliner crayons aren’t going to do the job. As far as powder goes, any matte powder will do, whether it is specifically marker for eyebrows or as eye shadow. Some people even use cream formulations with their angled brush.

No matter which form is used, pencil or powder, make sure to apply the color sparingly and in short strokes to mimic the illusion of natural hairs. Shape the brow as desired, and you’ve got perfect eyebrows. Still worried about doing your own? Stop into a trusted salon and have them help you out. Good luck.