Today we talk face framers and exactly what you need to know to get the best brows possible with four key tips thanks to brow specialist Alani Fowler of the Dermatology Institute of Victoria, who we were lucky enough to have get her hands on mine and Vanessa's brows...
Don't over tweeze
When Marketing & Brand Director Vanessa and I walked into Alani's brow room, the first thing she did was mentally map out our brows, while asking us a little of our brow history.
Vanessa, ready for brow time... with obligatory hair clip in tow
Mine? Not being allowed to pluck in my early teenage (read: tantrum) years thanks to a mum who knew over-plucking was disasterous. This was followed by years of loving my brows just as they were (Thanks mum - you were right!) and only very recently, a couple of waxes at my local beauty go-to, simply in a quest to see what a brow wax was really like - we're an inquisitive bunch at bb and as Ed, I feel the need to throw myself on the front lines of beauty discovery from time to time.
The amazing thing was, Alani could almost tell my exact brow history just from looking at my face, just like some kind of beauty psychic. She then determined how my brows should sit, and where they needed a little help to get them to the optimal length, arch and fullness - something only a brow pro can really do. I have quite distinct arches, and to balance them out a little, I needed to grow out a few hairs on the underside of the brow (right under the arch), she said. This leads me to Alani's number one brow rule: don't over-pluck. She calls the process of learning to step away from the tweezers 'a kind of brow rehab' and has seen that some people really are addicted to plucking, to the detriment of their brow shape. Regenerating your brows can take up to a full-year, so plucking less does take practice and time, but is worth it in the long run!
Tint your brows
Getting your brows tinted makes a lot of difference to their fullness and shape. Alani says they make the brows appear fuller, fresher, it even out their colour as well as giving the fine and fluffy hairs on your brows a bit of oomph. Tinting also helps to define the brows once they've been shaped. I have quite naturally dark brows, and wasn't sure dying them would make a difference. I was very wrong. They seemed a lot darker to me, but to everyone else (post appointment) they looked totally normal, just more noticeable. And in a good way. Not like during tinting below. Points for sharing this snap with you. And extra points for the Bambi-Northwood Blyth Vogue cover attempt, please! Rest assured, the excess tint is wiped off afterwards.
After tinting, you may feel that your brows are 'walking into the room before you', says Alani. But don't stress. Only you'll feel like/notice this. Chances are no one else will notice your brows per se, just your overall more polished look. A note to blondes: don't think tinting isn't for you. Just a couple of shades darker (no, a good brow expert won't tint yours the same colour as mine - don't worry!) and you'll notice a huge differene. Just be sure to get the pros to do the tinting for you - this isn't an at home job. Same goes for trimming your brows. Enlist the experts only.
Once, you've had your brows tinted and shaped, it's important to follow up at home with your makeup. You'll need a good quality wax and brow powder. I'm a fan of the benefit brows a-go-go brow and eye shaping kitwhich comes with everything you need in one cute kit.
You can also use a gel to keep your brows in place, instead of a wax if you prefer. Alani's pick is the Jane Iredel PureBrow Brow Fix & Mascara. It's double-ended with a brow comb at one end, and a mascara wand at the other, so you can also use it on lashes. Taking the time to fill in and groom your brows each day will make a huge difference to your beauty look.
Give it time
Lastly, it's important to give your brows a little time to get them to the shape and style you want. Brows don't grow over night (as people who over pluck would attest!) But the wait is worth it. However, don't be afraid to book into a brow pro like Alani asap - you don't have to 'grow your brows out' before a visit. The pro will be able to tell you where you need to grow your brows out specifically, and help you to action the right brow plan for you. Whilst plucking isn't really allowed between appointments (I told you - it really is like brow rehab!) you can tweeze errant hairs right in-between the middle of your two brows and those hairs that spring up far away from your actual brows, only if you promise yourself you won't go overboard! Enlist a trusty pair of tweezers for precision like the Tweezerman Precision in Pink Slant Tweezer. They're in support of breast cancer awareness too, so perfect to purchase coming into October for Think Pink month!
Do you visit a brow specialist? If you live in, or near Melbourne, we can't recommend Alani more highly! Even bb staffer Emily booked an appointment with her right after witnessing Alani's work on Vanessa and I. You can contact her over here.
And tell us, what's your eyebrow history? Are you a waxer or a plucker? Have you ever had your brows tinted? Or perahps you have a brow horror story? I hope not! But if so, do share with the rest of the bb readers to comisserate! - Lauren