Now that she's older, Mary in Minneapolis asks for tips to deal with her changing eyebrows.
Have you noticed all the attention to eyebrows lately? Older celebrities like Julianne Moore and Susan Sarandon are spotted leaving appointments with their favorite eyebrow specialist. Well-groomed eyebrows are fashionable now but they’re even more important after fifty-five. That’s when some changes begin to take place. Here are my tips on what to do.
Knowing a few eyebrow techniques will help give character to your face and enhance your facial features.
Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow removed their eyebrows with a razor and used a stencil to draw exaggerated arches and lengths for a surprised and clueless look. Today you want to stay close to your original brow shape to give balance and a natural appearance.
To start, you should have a strong magnifying mirror. Eyeglasses especially designed for applying eye makeup and cosmetics add more precision. For eyeglasses, try Manificonglasse (phone: 416-778-4848).
Invest in good quality small stainless steel brow scissors to trim long and unruly hairs. This may need to be done quite often after fifty-five when some hairs grow long even in sparse brows. Brush the hairs upward with a small eyebrow brush to judge what to trim.
Remove Unwanted Brow Hair
Temporary Eyebrow Makeup
Tweezing - Remove stray hairs from under the arch and between eyebrows. Pluck out white hairs if there are relatively few among darker hairs, but don’t overdo it. The favorite tweezers and scissors amongst skilled makeup artists is Tweezerman Brow Shaping Scissor & Brush (spooley) www.amazon.com
Threading - This ancient method originated in the Middle East, and was used for centuries. Threading is very safe for the facial skin and does not irritate sensitive skin or cause wrinkling.
Leave this method of hair removal to a highly skilled professional. Try Thread Salon (phone: 212-725-3087).
Depilatories, waxing, electrolysis and asers: If you have a great deal of hair to remove near your brows, you can use these methods. Watch for my article on facial hair removal to appear soon.
Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Makeup
Brow tints and Gels - These temporary eyebrow colors will cover gray hair and fill in sparse areas. For eyebrow gel, try Paula Dorp eyebrow gel, which is easy to apply and looks natural without messiness to the rest of your face.
Eyebrow pencil or brush-on color and powder - Use a well-sharpened pencil to draw tiny strokes and fill in any sparse brow areas. Don’t press too hard or you’ll have a harsh look. Alternatively, use a small wedged brow brush and powder/cream shadow to fill in brows. Remember, eyebrows which that extend too low or too long will create a sad or aged expression. Each eyebrow tip should begin and end on/near the same level. Use a spooley or brow brush groomer to stroke hairs upward and outward towards the outer corners of your brows.
Try M-A-C Eyebrow pencil (no sharpener needed) or Benefit Cosmetics Instant Brow Pencils (also one of my professional favorites). Benefit’s Brow Zing powder and cream duo is a good choice.
Eyebrow styling dates back to 500 B.C. The Egyptians loved eye makeup and eyebrow designing. It worked for Cleopatra!
Dyeing - Eyebrow dyeing is a semi-permanent solution to gray or sparse eyebrows. Dyeing your eyebrows is similar to having permanent hair coloring, selecting the correct color is extremely significant. I do not recommend dying your own eyebrows, instead talk with a professional cosmetologist who will select the right color for your hair and skin tone, and apply eyebrow dye safely. Try the Thomas Morrissey Salon (phone: 212-772-1111).
Tattooing - Eyebrow tattooing has grown very popular, especially with celebrities. It’s my personal favorite! Tattooing is great for women whose eyebrows are sparse or poorly shaped. It also works for women on the go with no time for eyebrow makeup. The tattoo lasts several years. Eventually it fades off, like disappearing ink.
There are some risks. Contaminated needles can transmit infections. Poor quality ink may course irritation, and precision placement is paramount. The costs: $300-$1000.
Remember, eyebrows add symmetry to your face, so it’s well worth the effort to make them look terrific.
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