In the debut article for Makeup Memo, international eco-makeup artist Kristen Arnett enlightened us all with why and how significantly the face changes after the age of 37, and explained that makeup habits must then be revised. In an effort to help eliminate the common makeup faux pas most women make, she is revealing the Truth in Aging with age-defying makeup techniques, one by one.

Truth  #2

Your eyebrow shape matters.

Spend some time and give your eyebrows much needed tender care. Your eyebrows can be the key to an instant eyelift and softening of the face.  Women lose thickness in their eyebrow hair as they age, so it’s very important to make sure they are well-defined and any “naked” spaces are filled in, creating the illusion of youthfully thicker brows with an eye opening arch.

There are two extremes women tend to fall somewhere between with their brows.  One is the completely untamed, un-groomed eyebrow.  The other is a pencil thin, rounded eyebrow whose hair won’t grow back after years of plucking.

Extreme number one is the easiest to deal with because once untamed brows are given a beautiful shape, they are pretty easy to maintain with just a pair of tweezers.  The trickiest part is getting the correct shape.  Finding a good brow professional is the best way to go for brow grooming newbies.  Do your homework though.  Don’t just walk into any salon, no matter how fancy it is, and expect their esthetician to be brilliant with brows.  Ask women you think have nice brows where they get them done and by who.  Then bring in pictures of your ideal brow shape.  Talk about them and ask that the intended shape be sketched out in white pencil on your brows so you can see what they might look like before any removal begins.  That’s also a great way to tackle brow shaping at home.  If you are skittish about creating a shape and knowing which hairs to pluck, use a white eye pencil to go over the hairs you wish weren’t there, then only pluck those.

Extreme number two is more time consuming to deal with because after years of over-plucking those pencil-thin brows are only getting sparser.  Thin harsh lines and minimal brows that rise upwards in semi-circles are very aging to a face.  It’s important to learn how to wield a brow pencil or a thin brow brush to create the illusion of fullness and add a modern shape, which is thicker and squarer.

The proper eyebrow shape is one that offers a frame to the eye and lifts the entire eye area.  This diagram provided by Shobha shows the most classic shape for an eyebrow.  The “beginning point” can be rounded or squared off but should start parallel to the inner corner of the eye.  The “arch” is best placed and most lifting on the outer 2/3 of the eye.  Generally that’s right above the outer edge of the iris. The “ending point” is very important for completing the frame of the eyes.  Typically it’s longer than most women think it will be and rather than curving down it does a gentle slope towards the top of the ear.

Two extra points of caution:

Avoid waxing. Frequent brow waxing, over time, can weaken and tear at the delicate eye skin.

Choose a brow color that is 1-2 shades lighter than your hair color, but is still in the same tone. So if you have a lot of red or ash in your hair color, then use a brow color that mimics that.  The only time the “rule of lighter“ doesn’t apply is for very blond or silver gray-haired women.  They can have a color the same darkness as their hair, but should choose a neutral, light hue that looks natural.

Looking forward to reading your comments on how brow shaping is re-shaping your face.