Denis, Frida or Donna - what your eyebrows say about you.
Posted on 3rd August 2017 at 16:31
Last week I left my ‘eyebrows’ at Paul’s house. I have a duplicate makeup kit in my bedside cabinet at his house, but I only have one eyebrow kit that has to travel around with me- no duplicate of that little compact of wizardry. It made me realise how different I look without the finishing touch of eyebrows that frame my face. I think without them I look a bit odd and unfinished.
I also think my eyebrows are an indicator of my age if they are left au naturel. Why is this? You may also be in the same boat – many of us are.
Eyebrows have their own styles and follow trends in fashion -I have over plucked them in the past and they have just simply stopped growing. I get the odd stragglers that need plucking out but they are distinctly lacking in length. The outer third of my eyebrows just don’t grow any more. (Apparently, this can also be an indicator of thyroid issues – not in my case though.) Therefore, my pale insignificant eyebrows hark back to days when it was fashionable to have them relatively thin, this in turn gives away my age. Have a look around, there will be women with sparse over plucked eyebrows and they will probably be in their late 40’s and early 50’s.
Another eyebrow age giveaway is the fact that they start to grow longer and thicker! (Possibly with the odd grey one sneaking in.) If this is happening to you, you might want to think about getting them trimmed with a pair of nail scissors next time you are having a tidy up with the tweezers. Brush them upwards first and notice how long they are – you might be surprised.
Of course, you may not be in the slightest bit bothered by your eyebrows which is absolutely fine. I however, think that they frame your face and can make a massive difference to how you look. They are also an indicator of emotion in many facial expressions. There are so many eyebrow specific products on the market it can be a bit of a minefield. If you want to learn about my tips for eyebrows read on.
You may well have noticed the current trend for thick, dark eyebrows amongst the youngsters... I’m not suggesting that we should go as far as they do but you might want to think about reviewing and updating your current look. Firstly I want to share with you how eyebrow fashions have changed over the years - yes! It really is a thing.
In Ancient Egypt darkened arched eyebrows were revered – think Nefertiti. In the middle ages foreheads were seen to be an indicator of beauty and many women removed their brows and eyelashes to emphasise their foreheads. In the Victorian era women who wore obvious make up were seen to have loose morals so it became the fashion for the well to do to have bushy untamed brows.
Once people started to go to the cinema it became the norm to emulate the women seen on the golden screen. Clara Bow was famous for her extensively plucked brows, as was Marlene Dietrich during the 1930’s. Lauren Bacall made the thicker, more arched brow fashionable in the 40’s and then in the 50’s they were accentuated and mad e much darker a la Elizabeth Taylor. The 60’s and 70’s brought untamed hippy brows or ultra thin arched brows that were plucked really high to show off as much shimmery blue eyeshadow as possible. As with all fashion things go in circles – we went from the disco era to the Brooke Shields bushiness in the 80’s, back to thin arches in the 90’s – think Pamela Anderson and Kate Moss. And now here we are again – thick is back, but this time it’s neater and groomed.
As a woman of a certain age I don’t want to look dated but on the other hand I don’t want to look like my eyebrows have been sponsored by Nike either. So where do you start? There are so many products on the market you could go into overwhelm. For me, getting the colour right is important and making sure they don’t rub off halfway through the day.
I use a two phase product – step one is a coloured, waxy product and step two is a powder that sets it. It is by Benefit and comes in different shades, Brow Zings Shaping Kit RRP £24.50 (Which is why I only had one set that travels around with me!) It lasts forever though – I’ve used mine daily for over 2 years and still have a few weeks wear left. An alternative, similar looking product (not tested) can be found in Boots - Sleek Makeup Brow Kit for £8.49. You might prefer a pencil, there are even brow mascaras and stencils, you can have them tattooed, dyed at home or in a salon. You can buy serums to stimulate follicles to help them grow.
As far as shaping is concerned you can get them waxed or threaded professionally if you don’t like to pluck them yourself. There are even little removal strip things (that are like ripping off plasters) that you can buy. I’ve had mine waxed once or twice but prefer threading or plucking. I can’t see how putting hot wax and ripping out hair from the delicate skin around your eyes can be very good – the elasticity has left the skin around my eyes as it is, I don’t want to stretch the skin further and make it even more baggy.
Finally remember that your eyebrows are sisters not twins – most of us do not have perfectly symmetrical brows, so don’t think you are odd if they don’t match 100%. It is quite easy to do one side then not be able to get the other side to match – be careful of the stool leg effect – keep changing sides regularly so you don’t overdo one side. I’ve attached a diagram to show you how to get the shape looking nice. This is how we tell women who’ve lost their eyebrows due to cancer treatment to draw them on during the Look Good Feel Better charity workshops that I sometimes deliver.
So, whether you are Denis Healey or Donna Summer in the eyebrow department – until next time TTFN.
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