updated 10 Jul 2014, 00:54
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Thu, Jun 26, 2014
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Face frames: The eyebrows say it all
by Sandra Low

Regardless whether you have brow envy or brow indifference, it makes sense to pay more attention to your arches.

Over the years, brows have been tweezed, thickened and tinted, and brow trends will continue to, well, raise eyebrows.

During the Victorian era - think Queen Elizabeth - the bare brow over a pale complexion ruled. Closely following this trend, women in the 1920s and 1930s shaved off their brows, but sported a thinly penciled in brow.

Then in the 1950s and 1960s, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren's thickened and sharply angled brows influenced women all over.

In the 1980s, as the full-browed beauty Brooke Shields whispered, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins?" in the brand's jeans ad, women weren't really looking at her jeans as much as they were at her brows.

Today, it's impossible to miss the hottest brow trend as British model Cara Delevingne (above) takes over the runways and ad campaigns.

Her naturally bushy brows that are boldly set off against her blonde locks are inspiring women to lay down their tweezers.

If you still think brows are insignificant, take a look at Kendall Jenner (Keeing Up With The Kardashians) who walked the Marc Jacobs Fall 2014 runway show, where she was unrecognisable with her bleached brows.

Aside from trends, brow shapes tell different stories. Benefit's international spokesperson for Global Services, Jared Bailey, has seen it all.

"Brows bring focus to your face and it's the easiest thing anyone can do. It opens up your entire eye area and frames your face," says Bailey, a licensed aesthetician who's been doing brows for a decade.

Bailey, who is based in San Francisco, says that Jean and Jane Ford, founders of Benefit Cosmetics, developed a "brow mapping" technique that helps to identify three portions on any brow regardless of face shape to achieve the ideal brow shape for your face.

Aside from brow mapping and waxing, Bailey says brow tinting is a popular service whereby more than 50 per cent of Benefit's brow services include tinting.

In brow tinting, Benefit aestheticians will custom-blend colours and even the finest hair gets tinted, leaving brows looking fuller.

To clean up the brow area, Bailey favours a combination of waxing, which removes hair from the root and tweezing which refines the shape.

"For someone with bushy brows, it's best to get the brow mapping done and learn ways to achieve your best brow look," he says in an exclusive interview.

"On the other hand, for someone with sparse brows, which is a common beauty dilemma, Benefit Gimme Brow has a micro fibre formula which mimics the tone of your brow hair to add volume," he adds.

If your brow is sparse or have patches of missing brow hair, Bailey recommends a combination of brow powder and pencils to help you fake a fuller shape. Finally, Bailey points out that a highlighter can help define the shape of your brow. Apply it on your brow bone, blend it and it instantly opens up your entire eye area."

The biggest blunder that women do the world over is over tweezing, according to Bailey.

"I call it power tweezing! Some women tend to tweeze several hairs at once, because they want to get it over with or they just over do it and this leaves the brows too thin or with holes in it."

"When you tweeze make sure you don't look too close to the mirror the entire time. It's best to look closely when you are tweezing and then move away from the mirror to see how you really look."

For those who have been ignoring their brows, Bailey says "there are two ways a woman can look younger in life".

"Number one is to have your brows shaped by a professional and number two is to make much much older friends! Number one is a lot easier as it's tough making new friends!" he concludes with a laugh.

Brow mapping

- The start: This is very important. Use a slim stick measure from temple of nose straight up to the beginning portion of the brows to find the start. This creates a slimming effect of the nose.

- The arch: Keep lower end of stick at the outer portion of your nose, then move the stick away from nose to meet the outer edge of the iris to determine the point of the arch. This gives your brow the maximum lift.

- The end: Keep stick at the outer portion of nose. Then move stick to align with the outer corner of your eyes. This determines the length of the brow and gives balance or symmetry to your face.

- Once these three points are identified, connect the points. Draw the shape and anything outside these lines are removed.

- Waxing is done from the top of the brow and then, under the brow. Immediately after the wax is applied, a muslin cloth is placed over the wax to remove unwanted hair.

- Tweezers are used to remove any fine hair left behind.

- Cooling gel is placed over the brow to calm the skin.

- The brow is then drawn or shaped using a combination of Benefit brow products to achieve your perfect brow.

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