Friday, October 7, 2011

Just Browsing - Cult of the Eyebrow

Eyebrows. I discovered mine at age 17. My friend had gone to work in a pharmacy and came home telling me that eyebrow pencils are important because eyebrows "frame your face". I had never paid them much attention, or even really noticed them much before! Upon inspecting them, I realized my brows were really quite sparse, and the shape was not defined and a bit sketchy - so went out and bought a dark brown eyebrow pencil. Later that week I was watching Twin Peaks and realized what made Audrey Horne's look so hypnotic - those eyebrows! All Elizabeth Taylor arches. It was an epiphany!
  Audrey Horne's 'Elizabeth Taylor style' brows, early 90's
Elizabeth Taylor, 1958
When I was growing up, eyebrows were huge - literally. Brooke Shields lead the way with her dark, bushy, natural brows.
Then in the 90's, the style threw back to a far more manicured, shaped look, a la Sherilyn Fenn/Audrey Horn. I like to call it the 'tadpole' look - rounder & thicker near the nose then arched and tapering out. Eyebrows were immaculately penciled, and neat as opposed to the bushy look.
Sherilyn Fenn
As plucking took off, Tweezerman sales went besek as their Tweezers became a beauty must-have.  It got to a stage where there was a lot of over plucking happening. Look at J.Lo & Pammy!
Lately we've swung back to a thicker, more natural loo -, the antithesis of over-plucked 90's eyebrows. We realized that over-plucking means less growth, and worse - no growth! Latest IT models Arizona Muse and Bambi Northwood-Blyth lead the charge with natural looking, thick brows, Brooke Shields style.
Thick liquid eyeliner trends mean that brows must be immaculately shaped to match, 60's style. A lot of attention is going to brows, to the point of being able to get brow stencils for that perfect arch. Eyebrows are big business. You have eyebrow "Queens' such as Anastasia in Beverly Hills, Eliza in New York and Carmen Duma in Melbourne. Many celebs will not trust their eyebrows to anyone else! Julia Roberts once said, “The hardest thing about looking at old photographs of yourself is seeing all your old eyebrows.”
Angelina keeps them medium and tidy, with her trademark liquid eyeliner
Gaga goes full-blown
Kim K, Megan Fox & Beyonce currently opt for fuller, natural brows
Now we have the option of eyebrow tattooing. Once thought of as a freaky Michael Jackson move, this is now quite common for those with faded or sparse brows, who are sick of drawing them in. Local beauty therapist Nita comes recommended and recently did a stunning job on my colleague's brows. Check Nita out here.
I recently discovered threading. This technique dates back to the ancient India and Middle and Far East, where threading was used to remove unwanted facial hair. The technique involves two threads, rolled over the hair at follicle level, pinching and plucking it out between the tightly entwined threads. It can sting a wee bit but this method is really effective, as it removes hair cleanly and evenly, making it quicker and easier to shape your brows, and like waxing, no strays are left. After years of plucking and waxing, I'd pillaged my brows a bit much, leading to a bit of over-plucking meaning that they had come to look too far apart. Not good. I went to the fabulous Namita at East Day Spa Auckland. She pointed out where I needed to re-grow my brows and immaculately threaded them - the shape has never looked better! As with all brow technicians, finding a good practitioner is key - not only do they need to be able to create the right shape for your face, the method must be carried out correctly or can lead to ingrown hairs, misshapen brows or hair breakage. Best to ask around.

Top Brow Tips by Owen Allison
A brow natural and full is the current fashion shape - think supermodel Hilary Rhoda (above). Measure the balance of the brow by these three guidelines:

1. With a ruler line up the corner of the nose and the inner corner of the eye this is where your brow should start. When you’re looking straight ahead, line up the pupil of the eye and the corner of the nose this should be the highest point of your brow being the peak of the arch
2. Then line up corner of the nose and outer corner of the eye and this is where the brow should end. This gives you the brow formula that best balances the symmetry of your face. My favourite brow is groomed up with an empty mascara wand and then filled and defined with a fawn coloured pencil (even on brunettes). 

3. Soften the brow and hold in place with brow gel or a tiny spray of hairspray on a mascara wand
More tips...

* The trend of bright neon lips pairs well with groomed defined '50s looking brows - think pin up girl!

* Brows are sisters, never twins. Try not to fret as few women have perfectly matched brows. Re-balance shape and fill problem areas with stone/fawn coloured pencils or matte brow powders

* Try re-growing your brow shape to achieve a softer younger looking face but if this isn't an option cosmetic tattooing can be very helpful and take years off the face.

* Get to a brow expert to achieve your ideal shaped brow. It may mean 6 months of re-growing to achieve a fuller look

* Try and tonally match your hair colour and brow colour for a more natural look to your face. 

* Brow stencils can give you better guidelines as to fullness and re shaping ideas when working towards the ideal brow shape. 

Check out a full cachet of eyebrow grooming tools and products below.


  1. I have Benefit's Browzings... LOVE it. My brows would be lost without it xxx

  2. Yes, I have used it in the past - brilliant! Benefit is great. Also Nars eye pencils - brill.

  3. Cosmetic Tattooing is the permanent makeup solution and a good add-on to your beauty.

    Cosmetic Tattooing Melbourne

  4. Eyebrow embroidery is a great boon for people with eyebrow problems. It gives a good and natural look. See more discussion regarding eyebrow embroidery and eyebrow tatoo at

  5. Hi fellas,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to read more about that Royal Brows Studio I think this is the right place for you!


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