‘Wow your brows are amazing!’. Not a week goes by where total strangers don’t stop me in the street, in shops, and even sidle up to me on the tube – no not to chat me up (sadly) but to compliment my eyebrows. As someone who is obsessed with brows (if you see me staring at you it’s probably because I’m examining yours – I can’t help it) I’m happy to answer those strangers’ questions and share my ‘secrets’.
I started getting my brows threaded at 13. I was introduced to my ‘threading lady’ by one of my childhood friends and every two weeks without fail we would go and get our brows done. She transformed my slug like brows into perfectly groomed, and beautifully arched face framing varieties with such precision that I never once ‘cheated’ on her. Her secret was the ring light with a magnifying glass inside that beauticians use to examine the skin pre facials. Using this meant no wayward hair was left unplucked and quite frankly she’s been a hard act to follow. When I turned 19 she moved abroad, and I kid you not, I actually cried!
For the next five years I searched for her replacement and goodness did I experience some disasters! I’d leave the salon with brows that were too thin, or completely different from each other – yes they should be sisters not twins, but at times mine looked like they were adopted! Once I was even given a ‘tadpole shape’, where somehow a therapist had managed to create a roundness at the front of my brow that wasn’t naturally there. After each disaster I moved on to the next place till I found Blink Brow Bar. I used to only go to the Fenwicks on Bond street location but last year I popped into the one at Peter Jones, Sloane Square and had one of the most thorough shapes of my life, so they get a major thumbs up from me too. Finally my brows began to take on their shape of old, what I like to describe as an ARAB BROW. Thick, defined with a slight arch. I wanted to keep them this way forever so the moment Browhaus launched their Brow Resurrection service (micro-blading) £550, I didn’t think twice about ‘tattooing’ mine.
Now, because brow fashions vary from country to country and even town to town, I had to be quite forceful when it came to my appointment at Browhaus. Of course from their point of view it’s important to be careful not to give someone a semi-permanent look that might be too strong for them to handle, but for me I knew what I wanted and was very vocal when it came to the shape and depth of colour I expected. Big, bold and dark! They obliged with a little cajoling from me. With that said, if you are thinking about micro-blading which I absolutely loved, make sure you are comfortable with the shape and the colour before you start the procedure and no it doesn’t hurt – promise. First your therapist will draw on the brow strokes and once you are happy with the shape they will numb your brows while you decide on the exact colour you want. Finally, they swipe the blade over the lines they’ve drawn and embed the colour into the skin. I had a second treatment a few weeks after the first and then it lasted for about two years. I still have some colour left four years on but have been meaning to go back, so look out for an update soon.
Threading vs waxing & tweezing
Fast forward to 2017 and I’ve predominantly been going to the Shavata Brow Studio to get my brows threaded. In my experience the therapists there take their time to analyse your brows, face and eye shape before they begin a treatment. There is absolutely nothing worse than someone who does a rush job. But no matter where I go I never allow someone to touch my brows without a proper consultation (and nor should you). I know exactly how I want them done, thick, and straight with a slight arch three quarters of the way along. ‘Clean’ on top and on the sides, right up to my hair line. Call me a control freak if you must but I really don’t care, because bad brows are a mare to ‘fix’, and because I go make-up free on a regular basis I really don’t want to have to fill and shape them with make-up every day. When I do wear make-up, I use the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso, £35. I’ve tried a variety of brow products from creams, powders, gels and pens but I’ve gone back to this one every time. Why? Well, the angled tip makes drawing on hair strokes to fill in gaps a breeze and the waxy texture glids over skin beautifully.
And why do I thread versus any other hair removal method? Well, in my opinion (as a Beauty Editor and brow obsessed individual) threading is the most precise and effective form of hair removal – as long as your therapist is diligent. It’s quick and creates a natural finish that you just don’t get with waxing. Waxing has some pros especially if you have thick, coarse, fast growing hair as it can result in thinner and slower regrowth. However, it’s not as precise and it tugs at the skin so is an absolute no-no for sensitive skin types or those on acne meds like roaccutane. Now, when it comes to tweezing I think it’s the best way to maintain your shape inbetween appointments but that’s where it ends. For me tweezing brows takes far too long and if you don’t use a good pair you run the risk of breaking the hair rather than plucking it. This can lead to ingrown hairs or stubbly bits that you have to wait to grow before you can attempt to remove them again – grrr.
How to get brows that wow
Shavata Singh, founder of Shavata Brow Studios recommends growing out your brows ‘for six to eight weeks so that your therapist has as much hair as possible to work with and can perform the biggest and best transformation’. Growing out your brows does sound like torture but it’s well worth the results, and if you’ve ever considered a fringe that would be the best time to get one. Once you’ve had your brow-over you can follow Shavata’s top tips for maintaining the results at home…
Tweeze a few hairs daily – while the hairs are short, it is easier to tell which should stay and which need to go. You’re more likely to be able to keep your perfect shape that way.
Tweeze your brows after a hot bath or shower and always in natural light.
Always sit in front of a large mirror and use a magnified hand held mirror at the same time, this gives you an overall realistic view and the hand mirror helps with the detail.
Just take a few hairs at a time from each side – it’s much easier than doing one and then trying to ‘copy’ it on the other side.
Only tweeze hairs from underneath your brows – never above as hair doesn’t always grow back and you run the risk of permanently ruining the flattering shape created by your arch.
Only trim your brows if you know how and use straight blade scissors.
If you make a mistake, grow it out – don’t attempt to correct it yourself.