When I started Blink in 2004 there was no doubt that brows in Britain were the least celebrated facial feature. I never fathomed why. My mother took me to get my mono brow dealt with swiftly at the age of 13, seeing it as my initiation into womanhood and wow - what a difference. Perhaps that is why I started blink, to help show the Brits that brows needed to climb the pecking order of beauty priorities. I went on a mission to give women access to a brow haven of reliable threading services in London.
I haven’t been left to work out if I could manage without my safe haven of 200 amazing blink therapists (who have now shaped 20 million brows between them) since we opened. The answer is that I struggled. I had to get to grips with using tweezers once again and assessing where was too much removal and how many hairs to remove to get the perfect arch. What I gathered pretty quickly was that shaped brows are crucial in a beauty routine. Without my clearly defined arch, my cheekbones hung low and my eyes looked tired.
Why are brows so important? They are simply 2 strips of hair above the eyes, with the sole purpose to protect them. Quite bizarre that over the centuries they have become celebrated as a thing of beauty; from Cleopatra blackening them to Marilyn Monroe’s renowned angular arches. Unless you like the Frida Khalo statement, untouched brows can shroud the eyes, take away their twinkle and hide all self-expression. Shaping these 2 strips of hair can suddenly and subtly reveal the eyes, express how you are feeling and lift the cheekbones hence shaping brows, is often described as a mini face lift because it does exactly that, an angular arch highlights the cheekbones and gives the face definition and ultimately youthfulness.
An over tweezed brow, an arch in the wrong place or brows that are too short can throw everything off balance and do you a dis-service. How do you know if you have hit the right mark? There is a simple measuring formula which seems fool proof. Take a pencil and place it at the outer part of your nose; where it hits the brows is where the brows should begin. Next swivel the pencil to hit the iris and this is where the arch should fall. Finally swivel to the end of the brow and this where they should end. Voila - you have now balanced length and height with a perfect arch. Use a concealer pencil to mark up your brows and gently tweeze any excess hair. Take it slowly so you don’t get pluck-happy and stencils can often help guide you to get the shape right. You can fill them with a powder to show how your brows could look and then tweeze around this shaded shape. Once brows have done, you may find that there are gaps or your brows have been over plucked in the middle or you have plucked away too much hair at the arch. Products can work wonders and pencils are great for filling in gaps and drawing in front of the brows with gentle hair like flicks (to avoid that heavy tattooed look). Tinted Gels are my personal favourite as slick the brows across and up to give it height and neaten them, while adding colour. Also remember that brows are precious and need some TLC so an oil can soften and moisturise.
In terms of colour, you can either match your hair shade or go slightly darker. Blonde brows look great with a bit of colour to bring out the sparkle in the eyes but darker brows needs be kept soft so not too heavy. Then add some gel to keep in place and see how immediately it helps to lift the cheek bones which complements the application of blusher or any face sculpting with a highlighter. For Spring, keep it minimal with strong brows and a natural glowing skin.
Since writing this, I have had my brows shaped and tinted with the wizardry of Sonia in Blink Ledbury Road and while I have learned to manage my brows at home, what the therapists can achieve with a piece of thread is incomparable!
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