Don’t be browbeaten

Beautifully shaped eyebrows can really enhance your face

Beautifully shaped eyebrows can really enhance your face - Credit: Valua Vitaly

What has happened to eyebrows in the past few years? Suzie Abel, Jarrold’s beauty buyer, takes her tweezers to the subject

Eyebrows seem to have taken over the world, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to size and shape. A feature that was once of relatively minor importance when it came to make-up products is now right up there at the top of the list. Also eyebrow threading was something exotic that took place in faraway lands - if indeed one had heard of it. But now it’s one of the most popular beauty treatments in the UK.

Sales of eyebrow paraphernalia have tripled since the trend for statement brows began – pencils, powders, shadows, gels, and tweezers all have a key position in the Beauty Hall these days. The demand for products that enhance, improve and maintain the brows is enormous and they are a must-have item in everyone’s make-up bag. I do get the feeling sometimes though that when the emphasis is too heavy they can become over dominant, upsetting the balance of the face. Another mistake is to make the brows identical - nobody’s brows are. One favourite comment of brow guru Shavata Singh is “Brows are sisters not twins”, and the secret of perfect brows is to follow the natural symmetry that is already there. I absolutely rue the day that I plucked mine to death in the 1960s and have been suffering for it ever since. It serves me right for being a slave to the fashion of the time, and I’ve spent a fortune on products since then to try to put them back!

Well-groomed brows can have a real impact on the eyes, making them look larger and more open, and a simple trick on brow maintenance if you prefer the DIY approach, is to remember to pluck the hairs from between and under the arches – never above. If you’re not sure where to start or want to confirm your natural brow shape, I would always recommend a trip to a brow expert. Here in store we have a team from the very excellent Glow Beauty Bar who are specialists in the art of threading. This is an ancient method of hair removal – a very delicate procedure, suitable for even the most sensitive skin – which enables the expert to groom and define the brows to their optimum shape and size using a simple piece of thread.

In terms of maintaining those now perfect brows, always have a pair of quality tweezers to hand. I recommend the excellent Rubis brand from Switzerland which has the most beautiful handcrafted products guaranteed to offer perfect closure. For shaping and filling in the brow line, one has the choice of a pencil or powder/shadows, but whichever you choose remember to apply soft, light and gentle strokes to gradually build the shape. Some of my favourites are Dior Diorshow Brow Styler which is an ultrafine propelling pencil that adapts magically to your own brow colour; Chanel Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil with an inbuilt sharpener and a brush to control stray hairs; and Benefit Browzings, a complete brow kit including wax for shaping, natural powder for setting, mini tweezers, hard-angle and blending brush and a mirror – absolutely all you need. Finally, my little secret is the Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel from MAC which will make sure those brows never move. Don’t be daunted – it’s easy when you know how!

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