Get wow brows: Careful tweezing and threading can knock years off you. We gave three women eye-opening makeovers
11:36 GMT, 28 June 2012
We spend a fortune on make-up and anti-ageing creams, but now experts tell us that the quickest — and cheapest — way to look groomed and more youthful is to sort out your eyebrows.
Groomed brows are like well-fitting underwear — the right shape and definition frames the face, puts it into proportion and makes you appear brighter and more youthful. Even the Duchess of Cambridge has benefited from a brow makeover; she fills in her brows with a 15.50 Bobbi Brown eye shadow powder.
‘Rather like a frame on a work of art, the brows shouldn’t be a feature in their own right, their job is to complement, brighten and lift your eyes and face. Just slightly altering the arch or the colour can take years off your face,’ says Shavata Singh, founder and CEO of Shavata, which has brow bars in Harrods and House of Fraser.
But tweezing or tinting brows at home can be tricky — one wrong move can leave them looking like tadpoles. Although in the Sixties the fashion was to pluck the brows until they were nothing more than a thin line, the latest trend is for a more natural look — the so-called Scouse Brow adopted by Coleen Rooney and Kate.
Brow bars are booming — Superdrug has seen a 40 per cent increase in brow bar custom in the past year. But does professional brow grooming make a difference We sent three women with untamed brows for a makeover at their nearest Shavata brow bar…
BROW WOE: Fine and fair eyebrows
Gomez, 39, works in social care. She lives in Twickenham with husband
Clive, 42, a house-husband, and their four children aged four, seven,
ten and 12. She says:
eyebrows are barely visible because they’re so fair and fine, which is
why I’ve never done anything to them. But I turn 40 in November and
thought it was time I had some treatments done to make me look younger.
'I'm amazed at the difference': Martina Gomez had her eyebrows tinted and tweezed, right
My fair eyebrows were washing me out a
bit so I’d already started filling them in with brown powder shadow —
as Kate Middleton does.
looks natural if applied thinly, but you have to be careful when
brushing your brows afterwards because the powder can spread over your
face — I thought having them tinted would be much easier. At the
appointment, brow technician Kylie Tousi said women should aim to have
their brows two or three shades darker than their hair colour.
coloured my brows using a mid-brown shade similar to my dyed hair
colour. She then tidied the rest of my hairs with a tweezer.
was amazed at how big a difference my makeover made. Even my husband
said he liked them! Although I’m disappointed the tint has started to
Time: 15 minutes
BROW WOE: Thick and uneven brows
Denise Rowls, 41, works in government communications and runs a greeting card company. She lives in East London with husband Cory, 40, a manager for a lingerie firm, and their children, aged 18 and five. She says:
I don’t have a lot of time, so the only regular grooming I have is a pedicure and manicure. I pluck the odd hair from my brows, but that’s it.
I was worried about getting that over-arched ‘plucked’ look. But the more natural look is back in.
'I wish I'd done it sooner': Denise Rowls was impressed with the results of eyebrow threading, right
The brow technician said they get a lot of ‘brow virgins’ at the salon, including girls aged between nine and 14 and women like me who’ve hit their 40s and decide it’s time to start investing in their looks again.
She threaded above and below my brows to tidy them up, which terrified me as I was convinced it would hurt, but it didn’t.
The therapist explained that it’s because threading doesn’t pull at the skin the way plucking does. It was all much quicker and more convenient than I’d imagined. I didn’t even need to remove my eye make-up. My brows are even and defined, my eyes look bigger and less tired. I wish I’d done it sooner.
Time: Ten minutes
BROW WOE: Sparse and uneven eyebrows
Sue Houghton, 52, runs her own business and lives near Sevenoaks, Kent, with husband Tony, 60. Sue has two daughters aged 21 and 26, two stepsons and two grandchildren. She says:
After decades of not doing a thing to my sparse, uneven brows, I feel like I’ve had a facelift. I wish I’d done it sooner, but the brow bars are marketed at women in their 20s and 30s. Yet women my age often have more time and income for beauty treatments.
As I settled into the chair at Shavata in House of Fraser on Oxford Street, my therapist Siddhi brushed my brows to identify all the stragglers and then used an ancient technique called threading, which comes from Arabia and India and involves rolling a thin, twisted cotton thread over the hairs to pluck the stray ones out.
'It's like having a facelift': Sue Houghton also had her eyebrows threaded, right, and was amazed at how painless it was
Siddhi explained that, unlike tweezing, threading can remove an entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line, and it doesn’t pull at the delicate skin around the eye the way waxing does.
I was expecting it to bring tears to my eyes, so was surprised when it didn’t hurt at all. She seemed to be getting rid of a lot of hair, so I did have a bit of a panic that my whole eyebrow was being removed.
But Siddhi reassured me it felt like this because I’d never touched them before and there were loads of fair hairs lurking beneath the brow, which is normal, but they needed to be removed.
She gave me a higher arch to open up my eyes and made them more even — one was noticeably bushier than the other before.
When I looked in the mirror afterwards I was stunned — my whole eye area looks brighter and more lifted, so you don’t notice the fine lines around my eyes as much.
I’ve had so many compliments from friends telling me how well I look — it’s like having a facelift for just 17.
Time: Ten minutes
For your nearest Shavata brow bar, visit shavata.co.uk#
Scouse brow fans: Coleen Rooney, left, and the Duchess of Cambridge have dark, shaped eyebrows
SEVEN STEPS TO BROW HEAVENGet your eyebrows professionally done. This will give you an idea of what they should look like so you can keep them that way.Tend to them daily. No two eyebrows are identical; so don’t attempt to get them the same as you will end up plucking too much.Pluck after a hot shower, in daylight and never during your period when your pain threshold is not at its highest.When tweezing, sit in front of a large mirror to get an overall view, with a small magnified mirror in your hand for detail.Eyebrows should start before the eye (nose side) and should be a similar width at either end. Use an after-care product to reduce redness.