Saturday, April 3, 2010

The eyebrows have it!

What is beauty? The idea has changed throughout time. L'oreal is creating a 5 volume book set called "100,000 Years of Beauty." It explores beauty through the ages, from prehistoric people to the modern age, and even a look into the future. I find this idea fascinating from an art history major perspective. This painting by Petrus Christus painted in 1470 exemplifies the beauty of that time. This woman's forehead, eyebrows and eyelashes have been plucked to raise her hairline and bare her neck, her face is totally hairless. Some pink on her cheeks and lips add  warmth to her pale face. As we look to art throughout time up to present day we discover that beauty has always been something women want to obtain, however the different ways beauty is manifested is always changing. We no longer pluck every hair from our face, instead we try to only pluck what is necessary to have beautifully sculpted brows.

I always end my makeup routine by doing my eyebrows. I don't like overly plucked brows. I love them bold and beautiful. Here's How:

1. The biggest mistake people make is to tweeze too much. Avoid overplucking as it can take months for brows to grow back. Here's a simple trick to remember: The space between your brows should be equal to, or a little wider than, your eyes. To find where your brow should go, take a long eyeshadow brush or pencil and hold it parallel to the side of your nose. Where the brush meets your brow is where your brow should begin.
2. To find the end of your brow, extend the brush diagonally from your nostril, following the outside edge of your eye toward the brow. Where the inside edge of the brush hits is where your brow should end.
3. The best brows have a slight arch. To find yours, hold the brush parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of your eye (the iris). Where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of your brow should be.
4. You'll want to invest in a good pair of tweezers with a slanted edge. I like Anastasia's and Tweezerman, but they can be pricey. La Cross is a decent drugstore choice for about $6
5. Make sure to pluck hairs in the direction they grow. Don't grab too many hairs at a time. You can hold skin taut as you pluck.
6. It's a myth that brows should never be tweezed from above. You want both the bottoms and tops to be smooth. So be careful, but tweeze the top AND the bottom.
7. Stop every few hairs to step back and look at the job you're doing. If you overpluck, you're stuck. Unlike most hairs on your body, your brows won't always grow back once they're yanked.

1. If your brows are sparse or spotty,like mine, you can fill them in by pressing a brown shadow into your brow. I like Anastasia powder. Her eyebrow kit is my favorite that contains everything you need, including tweezers. I've heard Chanel's Perfect Brow Compact is the ultimate brow shadow. I have seen Sonia Kashuk's eyebrow kit at Target which has 4 colors you should be able to mix for the right shade for around $10.
2. If you use a pencil to fill in sparse brows, apply with short, feathered strokes from the inside of the brow out. Then carefully rub brows with a brush or your fingertips to soften the effect.
3. Brow gel helps keep your brows in place all day. Or if you don't have gel, apply a dab of hairspray to your finger and use it to keep unruly hairs in place. Maybelline has a cheap brow gel, but it's not stiff enough. Anastasia's is the best but around $20. Essence has one that is stiff, but comes out of the tube very gloopy for $3. If anyone finds a cheap one that works as well as Anastasia's let me know, I'll buy it.

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