"Shaping brows is a lot like hairdressing," explains Rhondda Carnevale of off Wax/Brow Bar in Auckland. "Except that you're working on a tiny bit of hair." These are her expert brow tips:
- Brows have trends like everything else - at the moment, we're moving away from thin brows to a fuller, more natural look.
- The ideal brow shape is a long barrel lifting up towards an arch. If the arch is too close to the centre of the brow, that's when you get that "permanently surprised" look.
- As we age, brows tend to rise so a good shape is even more important.
- The appearance of brows can be affected by health and hormonal issues. Even the side you sleep on can have an effect.
- Rhondda says shaping your own brows is a bit like cutting your own hair. A pro-shape should only set you back around $25 so it's loads cheaper than a haircut!
A pro brow-shaper will assess your brows to see what there is to work with and examine how they move when your expression changes. There are several techniques at their disposal:
WAXING will remove the vellus hair (the fine, fluffy hair) so your brows really pop and you can get a more defined line when you dress them.
PLUCKING is a way to get shape, however, it can also leave you with gaps, which is why Rhondda will often
pluck as few as six hairs in a session. She tends to do a lot of TRIooING instead, especially with customers who have long, fine brow hair (FYI: Rhondda isn't a fan of threading for brows).
TINTING can be really subtle and the shade should be matched to the colour of your hair underneath or at the roots.
DRESSING is the final stage. Even if you don't have time to bother with eyeshadow, dressing the brows and boosting your lashes with mascara will leave you looking groomed.
Powder is often a more user-friendly way to highlight a brow than pencil as it's softer and more subtle. If you are gong to use a pencil use short feathery strokes and avoid hard lines. For the ultimate brow:
1.Put a little concealer on the brow.
2.Brush on powder that matches your brows with a short, firm, angled brush, filling any gappy bits.
3.Shape with a wand (a clean mascara wand will do).
4.Apply gel to hold in place.
5.If you want a dramatic look, wet the brush and add more powder.
6.As a finishing touch, highlight beneath the brow.