fitness instructor with and without brows

Eyebrows. They make us look younger, frame our eyes and we need them to make our facial anatomy look right.

Guys- just a quick word and then you can b(r)ow out :). If you have exceedingly bushy, or wiry brows, you can easily groom them with a manicure scissors. My dad has eyebrows the consistency of fishing line. He simply cuts the wild ones with a little manicure scissors in a mirror he has on the wall in the garage (access to good mid-day lighting.) He's been doing that since I was a little girl. He stays looking well groomed, yet very manly.

Okay, onto girl brows.  I've heard four specific brow challenges from instructors:

1. No brows: never had them, over-plucked them, just noticed they lost them. In addition, nothing they put on seems to stay on, especially during and after teaching a good, sweaty class.

2. Sparce brows: aggressively plucked since middle school, they have a few miscellaneous hairs in the vicinity of their brows, but definitely need supplementation. Whatever they use to supplement their brows doesn't stay put all day, let alone during and after a good sweat.

3. Light disappearing brows: they have great brows, but nobody can see them. Their brows are either blonde, or that other light color that comes in 50 shades.

4. Too many brows: brows, brows everywhere. Unruly and they grow like weeds.

Before we talk about the four brow challenges, I want to look at brow shaping and color:

You can see the three brow shaping points in this picture.

You can see the three brow shaping points in this picture.

-Brow shaping: An easy way to shape your brow is to take a pencil and hit three points. 1. straight up from your nose is the brow start point 2. from your nose to the middle of your iris is the top of your brow arch 3. from your nose to the outer corner of your eye is your brow end point. When in doubt, you can always get a brow shape/wax at your salon. Ulta now has a Benefit Brow Bar. A wax is $20.

Our eyebrows are sisters not twins. They will never be identical, as hard as we try. So don't try that hard!

-Brow color: As a general rule, our brow color should be one shade darker than our hair. Please trust me on this. As we age, our eyebrows get lighter, until they all but disappear. We look SO much younger with brows. With the exception of the little old ladies that draw in their brows way too dark, most have none at all! (Take a look the next time you are out and about and let me know what you see.)

So, it's important to have brows with color and it's just as important to have the right color. Many pencils/ gels are simply too warm toned, or red. 90% of the time, I find a taupe pencil or gel is right for my client. Please make sure you have a good, neutral tone on your brows unless you truly have auburn hair.

Challenge Solutions:

Wow- do you recognize Angelina Jolie without her eyebrows?

Wow- do you recognize Angelina Jolie without her eyebrows?

1. No brows:

2. Sparce brows:

Both these challenges fall into the same basic solution category. A permanent solution is eyebrow tattooing. If you're considering brow tattoos, I'd  strongly recommend having a brow shape and color you've worn for awhile and love. Find a reputable permanent make up artist that uses non-metallic ink and will work with you regarding color and shape.

My favorite non-permanent solution is Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in taupe, medium brown and rich brown. It wears for at least 12 hours, just like it says!  It's $28 and it comes with a perfect double ended angle and grooming brush. I've been using mine for 6 months and have hardly made a dent in the jar.  Make sure to put the cap on tightly after each use because it will dry out if left open.

I  like Clarins Pro Palette Eyebrow Kit for its versatility. It comes with three shades, so you really can get the perfect customized eyebrow color. Then you 'lock it in' with a wax- so it's extremely long wearing. The kit also comes with a magnifying mirror, tweezers and double ended brow brush. At $37, if you have a hard to match hair color, or are prone to changing your color often, this one's for you. Customers tell me the kit lasts up to 5 years!

Prefer a pencil? The best one I've found (since Bath & Body Works quit making their 'Earth' eyebrow pencil- at $6, this was the best taupe pencil around!)  is  Lancome's Le Crayon Poudre Powder Eyebrow Pencil in Taupe $25.50 . Be sure to buy a Lancome sharpener. The Beauty Specialist isn't giving you a line when they tell you to get one. The pencil is very powdery and encased in a plastic lining that needs a specific sharpener.

Once again, I must call out elf- Eyes, Lips, Face and their Professional Studio Eyebrow Kit in Ash. At $3, this is completely worth a try. Opposite of Clarins, the directions read to use the wax first, powder second. Disclaimer: I've not tried it. Have any of you?

3. Light Disappearing Brows: Blonde or uhm....gray, there really are two solutions: get them dyed, or Lancome's Modele Sourcils Brow Groomer. In Taupe, Brunet, or Chataigne (reddish brown), this mascara-like color for your brows is an easy answer for women with brows that are simply too light! Back in the day, I sold this to more than one man as well. This product also helps keeps brows in place. Thus the name 'Groomer'.

4. Too many brows: Unkempt, overgrown brows can make women look heavy eyed, older, and even angry. A permanent 2.5 to 3 week appointment with a good aesthetician for regular brow waxing will take care of that! Lancome's Modele Sourcils Brow Groomer also comes in Clear for keeping brows in place. Clarins makes a product called Double Fix that serves as a clear brow groomer AND makes regular mascara waterproof, so it's a two for one product at $23.

I've tried Cover Girl Professional Natural Lash Mascara at $4.99 as a brow groomer. It gets good reviews, but for me, it pilled and looked nasty on my brows after 3 hours or so. Same goes for Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow. (This was my black mascara of choice for many years! Did you all use it too?)


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Amy Macgowan
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