Forget needles, the secret to looking younger than your years lies in your eyebrows. We asked an expert for her ultimate eyebrow shaping groom ‘n’ rule anti-ageing guidebook
If you love beauty treatments, but loathe needles, we have some great news for you: the answer to looking younger than your years could be less painful and more affordable than you think. Forget Botox; the era of ‘Brow-tox’ is now upon us.
“Having a perfectly shaped, tinted, groomed brow is the best anti-ageing tip I can give anyone,” says brow expert Shavata Singh . “I see many women who are considering Botox, but have never paid enough attention to the state of their brows. Once their brows are transformed, they almost always re-think the need for extra work – I call it ‘Brow-Tox!’ It is also far more cost-efficient.”
While big and bold is still as huge as ever, the emphasis is noticeably moving away from statement for statement’s sake to clever shaping instead: a more bespoke approach to lift, enhance and define in a subtle but effective way. More distinct than a Delevingne brow, less scary than a Scouser’s, this anti-ageing technique is far from one-size-fits-all. Here are the ‘Brow-tox’ basics you need to know when it comes to shaping your eyebrows like a pro.
The groom ‘n’ rule eyebrow shaping rulebook
Booking in for an eyebrow threading appointment is in our opinion, the best way to create the most expertly framed of foundations in the long-term. “Opt for defined arches, it will create a gentle lifting effect,” recommends Shavata; plus, unlike Botox, maintenance is a whole lot easier too. Not only can it be done within the confines of your own home, but there’s also zero downtime - provided that is, that you follow these Shavata-approved eyebrow shaping tips:
1. “Tweeze your brows after a hot bath or shower and always in natural light.” Much like shopping for the right foundation, fuzzy yellow bathroom spotlights are certain to ensure your results are anything but clear cut.
2. “Tend to your brows on a daily basis. While the hairs are short, it is easier to tell which should stay and which need to go. Plus, it’s a lot easier to tweeze one or two stray hairs every day and maintain the correct shape, than doing it once a week. I like to do this daily sitting in front of a large mirror and using a magnified hand-held mirror. This gives you an overall realistic view and the hand mirror helps with the detail - move from mirror to mirror to get both perspectives.”
3. “Just take a few hairs at a time from each side – it’s much easier than doing one and then trying to copy it on the other side. Remember that you should tweeze your hair to maintain your shape, not create it, and only ever pluck below your arch.”
4. “Don’t try and make brows identical. You will end up plucking them to nothing. I always say brows are ‘sisters, not twins.’” Keep squabbles to a minimum - this is a sibling rivalry-free zone.
5. “Don’t over-pluck. Hairs don’t always grow back and you can run the risk of permanently losing your most flattering shape.” This is worthy of particular note should your brows be thinning with age. Shavata cautions, “If you have thinning brows, don’t pluck, leave it to the professionals as the hairs may not grow back.”
On the odd occasion though, where you may have gotten a little overzealous with your tweezers, all is not lost. “If you feel like you have over-plucked your eyebrows, stop tweezing immediately and let them grow out,” advises Shavata. “The cycle of hair growth is around 8-13 weeks so it’s best to be patient and wait for them to grow back. Then, I strongly advise seeing a professional who will analyse your features to find the perfect most flattering shape for you. In the meantime, get your eyebrows professionally tinted as it will make brows appear naturally thicker and fuller.”
She adds, "We recently launched the Shavata Brow Strengthener , £15, made with 100% organic cold pressed castor oil. Castor oil is rich in omega 9 fatty acids and is known to nourish both the hair and its follicles, so the hair will grow back thicker and longer in as little as 3 weeks."
How to fake it till you make it: the eyebrow makeup tool kit
The best tweezers
Pencils for over-pluckers
The Tom Ford Brow Sculpter Pencil , £35, acts as a supreme sculpting angled tool (with an in-built sharpener) that allows you to expertly etch ‘n’ sketch individual hairs in the direction of their growth with ease.
Urban Decay Brow Beater , £15, makes for a great match for thin eyebrows when it comes to adding shape and definition thanks to its fine tip and handy brush end.
The high arch highlighter
Benefit Highbrow Eyebrow Highlighter , £16.50, makes for a subtle but effective touch of highlighting prowess to define arches and lift features in one easy to use pencil.
The next gel-eration
One-stop-shop brow kits
“Should you want to cover up a few grey hairs, my Brow Perfector , £21, is best as it will colour the hair and the skin,” recommends Shavata. “It has 3 shades you can mix together to create the perfect colour for you. Opt for a shade darker than your hair colour to give the illusion of fuller brows. To apply, use soft, sweeping movements.”
We’d also recommend Benefit Browzings Eyebrow Shaping Kit , £24.50, which comes with a pigmented wax for shaping, powder for setting and the most travel-friendly of tweezers and makeup brushes to give your brows a boost, even if you’re on-the-go.
Should you book in for eyebrow tinting?
For a longer-lasting eyebrow boost to help disguise grey hairs and help brows appear more youthful, eyebrow tinting is the eyebrow gel upgrade that’s seen a huge surge in popularity in recent times. “In the last 2 years we have seen a 50% increase in tints, with the growth being due to the demand for bigger and more defined brows,” says Shavata.
“Tinting brows can really help make the brows appear thicker and fuller and is a great way to gain effortless definition and stand out, without makeup,” she adds. “A tint should be a couple of shades darker than your natural shade and the effects will lasts up to 2-3 weeks, so you don’t have to think about it between appointments.” To keep reactions to a minimum, ensure to always, always have a patch test.
How to give your tint more traction
“To make a tint last longer, when removing eye makeup in the evening avoid the brows as eye makeup remover will gently wipe away the tint as well as your eye makeup,” advises Shavata. “On both tinted or natural brows, ensure you have used a sunblock all over - especially if you have sensitive skin. If you want or need to use brow makeup in between tints, I recommend using a shadow such as my Brow Perfector.”
The best places to book in for eyebrow threading and tinting
Shavata Brow Studios: With the help of Shavata and her team, finding the formula for flawless eyebrows that look distinctly your own has never been easier. Each technician is trained in the unique combination of threading, waxing and tweezer-ing, to deliver perfect brows in just 15 minutes.
www.shavata.co.uk . Eyebrow shape, £17; eyebrow tint, £13.
Jenna Treat at Josh Wood Atelier: the woman behind some of Britain’s most covetable brows, Jenna’s thorough yet pain-free method ensures each and every one of her loyal clients leaves her chair with results that keep them coming back for more.
www.joshwoodcolour.com . Eyebrow threading, £43; Eyebrow tinting, £23.
Strip: there's only one word to describe the surroundings of this particular eyebrow tinting hub - opulent. With beautifully decorated rooms and attentive staff, getting preened, plucked and prepped has never been set against a more picturesque backdrop.
www.stripwaxbar.com . Eyebrow tint, £12.
Blink Brow Bars: With impeccable attention to detail, the Blink team pull out all the stops to ensure you leave with a perfectly bespoke set of brows that lift, enhance and define in one fell swoop.
www.blinkbrowbar.com . Eyebrow threading, £19; eyebrow tint, £14.