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Makeup Memo – eyebrow eyelift

August 31, 2011 Reviewed by admin 6 Comments

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.

  • September 5, 2011

    by Kristen Arnett

    Hello ladies! I'm glad you learned something from this article. To Catherine and Teri, your concerns about going lighter is exactly why I put a note in the article that it doesn't apply for those with grey hair. You need to find a color which is very unique to you that will blend in with the other eyebrow hair and isn't going to be too harsh. Keep things very soft. Sometimes a colored brow wax followed by a powder is a good way to go for longer wear and customizing a shade. Start out with a wax color to match your brow hairs, and finish with a slightly lighter powder on top to keep it soft. Or as Eliza suggested, tinting might be the answer. Grey hair is very stubborn to color so make sure to select someone who has experience in this area. Dye near your eyes can be dangerous when done carelessly.

  • September 5, 2011

    by eliza @eyebrow energy

    A reply for Catherine: if you are living in NYC come in for a consultation with me, its hard to say without seeing,but I think there is something I can do for you,pencils and powders won't help much in your case,you need a pro to look at your brows and either
    Tint them or have them do eyebrow extentions.
    Contact me at
    Or look for me on facebook -eyebrow & makeup energy by eliza

  • September 1, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    I was very lucky the ONLY time I had my brows waxed, it was done to perfection. I've maintained them since myself. Adding to this, I visited the MAC store in Vancouver BC and was matched to MAC's eyebrow pencil in taupe with their brow brush. I'm on my second pencil in five years. Looking at it in my hand, the color looks quite lighter than my hair, but when applied, darkens my brows significantly. If I do nothing else leaving the house I at least flick the pencil over my brows in quick brushstrokes to cover lighter colored hairs and define the browline. I never have to go down to the skin. I then use the brush to even out the hairs. I will use these MAC tools (pencil and brush) forever.

    My query still remains my lips from Truth No. 1


  • September 1, 2011

    by Valerie

    I have learned so much in this post.Thank you

  • August 31, 2011

    by Catherine

    My hair is lighter than the hairs [that are left] in my eyebrows and there are missing spaces, so if I use a lighter color to fill in the spaces [than my brow hairs] it looks funny & still looks like something is missing. Example: the beginning of my brow is missing & the middle is there with dark hairs [with some grey which is very hard to cover but that's another problem] so if I use a lighter color the missing brow in front it leaves a line of demarkation between the missing part & the darker part so I've been using a color that matches the darker part but then my eyebrows are darker than my hair. What's the solution? On top of that, pencils & powders don't last & don't cover gray hair albiet very temporarily.

  • August 31, 2011

    by Teri

    My hair is a silvery white, but my eyebrows are still very dark. What would you recommend for me? Thanks!

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