In this recurring column, Anastasia Soare addresses readers’ burning brow, beauty, and lifestyle questions.
How often should I get my brows done, and how should I take care of them in between visits to the salon?
Ideally, you’d go in to the salon every three weeks, or maybe once a month for best results. In between visits, my advice is just to use your stencil once a week and tweeze away stray hairs at home. Fill in the stencil with brow powder and use it as a guideline to maintain your shape. Don’t go too close to your initial eyebrow shape when tweezing – only go after hairs that are outside the powdered area. If you don’t do that, there’s a tendency to over-tweeze, because you’re trying to match the left with the right and you end up making the eyebrow too thin – always.
What should you never do with your brows?
You should never over-tweeze your eyebrows. The most common mistakes are tweezing too much in-between the eyebrows or underneath them. A lot of times women tweeze too much underneath thinking it will open up their eyes, but what actually happens is a shortening of the eyebrow. You lose the length that perfectly frames your face.
What are your thoughts on brow tinting?
Many people don’t realize that brow tinting hasn’t even been approved by the FDA, so the easiest and safest way to achieve the same effect is to use a tinted brow gel. It’s topical and easily removable, almost like mascara for the eyebrows.
Microblading is so trendy right now – what do you think about it?
You know, it is trendy, and it looks good for a short amount of time if it’s done right. You have to do your homework to find someone who’s not only skilled at microblading, but also knows the best eyebrow shape for you. But even in skilled hands, there can be problems. The color changes and becomes spotty, some areas disappear completely – and it’s all a little too permanent for my taste. That’s why I like makeup – you can control the look, and if you don’t like it, you can just take it off.
What brow products should I be using in my daily routine?
Every day, you should use a base – powder or pencil – that’s one shade lighter than your natural eyebrow hair. And then you’ll want to use a pencil that’s one shade darker to create strokes of hair, for a 3-D effect. Brow gel is also important because it sets the color and holds the hair in place throughout the day. Highlighter then defines the line of the brow and illuminates the brow bone.
Next, the tools you use are crucial. Choose great tweezers. An angled tip is necessary because your brow bone is curved, and you have to rest your pinkie on your cheek in order to maintain a steady hand when plucking. If you’re hand isn’t steady, you might accidentally pull out a hair that you shouldn’t have. The tweezer tip should be very thin; if it’s too thick, you may pull the hair too far from the base, which is more painful and can also lead to breakage. You should also have straight, thin-bladed scissors.
Somebody might say, “Oh, I can buy those at Rite Aid for $7.” Well, yeah, but those are machine made. Ours are hand-sharpened and have a super-thin blade. If the blade is too thick when you’re trimming your brows, you may trim half a millimeter too much, which makes all the difference – you need that half a millimeter to cover the upper part of the roots of the eyebrows. Many people think, “Oh, I have my manicure scissors, I’ll just use those.” Don’t do it! First of all, the manicure scissors are curved, so when you cut with it, you’ll have a curved eyebrow. Also, the blade will be too short, so you’ll have to trim each segment of brow twice, and you’ll never get a straight line. I repeat: Invest in good eyebrow scissors!