£29 million. That’s how much we spent on our eyebrows last year (an increase of 105 per cent from the previous year), and that’s just the product side of things. Add in waxing, threading, microblading and the lot and we’re likely looking at at least double that, which is quite a staggering amount to be splurging on two hairy little eye framers.
Despite the fact that we’re splashing the cash, it seems that we’re still despondent about the state of our eyebrows- in a Goldilocks vein they’re either too sparse, too unruly or just plain ‘blah’. According to a survey of 10,006 UK women conducted by blink brow bar , while one in five of us aren’t into brow grooming, the 4/5ths of us that are seek products and expertise to address all number of brow priorities- there’s no ‘one size fits all’ brow fix, that’s for sure. Here are British women’s most pressing brow concerns, listed in order of ranking, with a few pointers as to how to achieve the eyebrows of your dreams from blink brow bar founder Vanita Parti MBE .
Brows looking a bit wonky? Given that this is the UK’s prime brow concern, it would seem that many of us are a bit out of balance. Over to Vanita for advice on straightening them out:
“Although it may seem like an impossible task, step one would be to grow the brows out. Only remove very sparse rogue hairs and avoid removing any hairs within the brow line that you wish to grow back. Use a growth accelerating product such as bbrowbar Nourishing Brow Oil , £16, to care for brows and speed up the process, followed by a colour product during the day such as a pencil or definer to balance out the brow shape.”
Despite the apparent popularity of Cara Delevingne's rather generous hairy pair, apparently eyebrow overgrowth is our second source of brow botheration. Vanita has some encouragement if your eyebrows groweth over:
“The bushy “boy” brow is so popular and sought after- we would encourage you to celebrate yours!! By all means keep them neat and tidy and trim away any unruly hairs if they do take over your face a bit, however. You can soften and prime with bbrowbar Brow Day Cream , £17, and a quick slick of brow gel will also help to keep hairs in place.”
Gaps in your eye architecture comes in as number three in the brow gripe list. Vanita suggests a straightforward growth plan:
“Use a bbrowbar Brow Oil or a brow cream during the day to help to nurture and revitalise your brows. Again, as with the approach to uneven brows, leave them to grow out and only remove stray stragglers.
Use a colour product such as an eyebrow powder to fill in patchy areas, followed by a coloured pencil to define the brow shape.”
If you’re struggling to create any kind of arch, Vanita recommends bringing in the pros to provide you with a “starter” shape that you can work with at home.
“Make an appointment at a respected brow bar for a thorough consultation to identify your ideal brow shape and desired results. Your brow specialist will also leave the hairs behind that still need to grow through, working with you to create beautiful, defined brows over time.”
The Feathered Brow | Instagram @skinrevival
Eyebrows on the skinny side? Beef them up by exercising restraint in the tweezer department and faking it until you make it:
“Firstly, only visit a brow expert when you are ready for your new shape. Until then, use a nourishing regrowth product teamed with a definer during the day to create shape, followed by a volumizer such as bbrow Brow Build , £19, to add depth and mimic brow hairs.”
Whether it was in the 90s or just a case of getting a little too enthusiastic in the presence of a magnifying mirror more recently (always a case of distorted reality), it can feel and look like there’s no coming back from a brow drought. Not so, assures Vanita:
“I’m going to sound like a broken record now, but grow brows out by leaving them alone as long as possible to encourage maximum hair growth. For fairer brows, you can also try tinting the brows for a natural enhancement, which also picks up on the tiny hairs you didn’t know you had, or that you missed on your brow extermination operation.
Otherwise, don’t be scared to use product on your brows to help to create the impression of fullness. Some people fear that brow make up can be too harsh looking, but formulas are so advanced now and so easy to use that even the most subtle touch of colour can make an impact, plus the best products are so lightweight that you won’t be able to feel them as you wear them, and they won’t smear all over the place as you go about your business.”
Given that the blink team has groomed over 20 million sets of eyebrows since the brow bar’s founding in 2004, it’s fair to say that staff know a thing or two about getting eyebrows back on the road, but other more recent launches are also telling of the direction that the current brow market is going. Think less “brow by numbers” and more bespoke, with scarcely a Scouse brow to be seen.
Sherrille Riley, founder of Mayfair’s Nails and Brows , noticed a gap in the market for realistic colourways and finishes in the brow product sector since setting up shop two years ago, and with the expert feedback of both her highly trained in-house team and discerning, diverse clientele she went on to create her unique Beauty Edit , centred around brow products that capture the tone and texture of many different skin and hair types. Approaching brows in the way that we often approach haircare, Sherrille wanted the scope to neutralise ashiness, brassiness and redness in a natural way, and her line of ten brow styling and colour products have all passed the litmus test for looking and feeling organic. Other innovations in the range include a matte brow highlighter (sounds like an oxymoron, but far more flattering than a weird shiny browbone) and a powdery rather than waxy brow filler that stays put and appears so “hairy” that no one will ever guess you’ve done a little “artwork” upstairs.
The Barbed Wire Brow | Instagram @athenapaginton
Away from the subtlety of a polished yet imperceptibly altered eyebrow, Instagram fuelled brow trends of late include the feather brow (think eyebrows that look like actual bird feathers), carved brows, brow wigs, stencilled brows, brow stamps and even #barbedwirebrows. We say lol at these and move on. If you crave a little more down to earth eyebrow inspiration, you may wish to consult the list of ‘most searched for celebrity brows’. For 2017 there’s a predictable sprinkling of Jenners and Kardashians ( Kylie Jenner is in at number one), along with eyebrow icon Lily Collins and of course, Beyoncé . You could do worse than emulate Queen B in your regrowth plan.
Do HD brows live up to the hype?
Follow Anna on Instagram @annyhunter and Twitter @AnnaMaryHunter