Sitting right atop our almond shaped beguiling features are the arcs of our eyebrows. There are countless ways to manipulate these tufts of hair. Thin them. Shape them. Color them. Remove them and draw back in. What works for one woman’s face won’t necessarily work for another woman’s.
According to the ancient Greeks, “phi,” the “golden ratio” or the “divine proportion” explained all beauty in all nature. Expressed in decimal form as 1.618, this ratio happens in nature, and was believed to beholden to ultimate beauty. Symmetrical faces are not deemed to be the most beautiful. Rather, those met the “phi” of the beholder were perceived as most beautiful.
KNOWING YOUR FACE SHAPE IS THE FIRST STEP TO CREATING YOUR MOST BEAUTIFUL LOOK
I have been genetically ‘blessed’ with a more round face, like a betel nut. My girlfriend has a more heart shaped face, like the sweetie she is. “Knowing your face shape is the first step to creating your most beautiful look,” says Kevyn Aucoin, American make-up artist, author and photographer. There is more than one face shape. Six specific shapes to be exact.
There are four basic measurements needed to determine your face shape. Using a fabric tape measure…
- cheekbones: hold the end of the tape measure at the outside corner of one eye, cross your nose and hold at outside corner of the opposite eye. Write that number down.
- jaw line: Hold end of tape measure at jaw line under one ear and run along jaw line to the middle of your chin, you should feel a slight indent. Multiply that number by 2 and write that number down.
- forehead: At approximately the mid point of you forehead, run the tape measure across, stretching from one end of your hair line to the other. Write that number down.
- length: Hold end of tape measure at hair line and run down the length of your face, stopping at your chin. Be sure to go over your nose. Write that number down.
Using the numbers from your measurements, you can now determine the shape of your face using the guidelines above. Yes, there is some mathematics involved, but if I can manage it, I know you all can as well.
According to Joey Healy, celebrity eyebrow specialist, there are 3 “golden rules” to shaping your eyebrows-
- The “head” of the eyebrow should begin at the bridge of the nose
- The “arch” of the eyebrow should begin about 2/3’s from the head. This follows the “phi” ratio. Starting in the middle will create a rainbow arc, not flattering
- The “tail” of the eyebrow should trail off to a fine groomed point, just past the outside end of the eye
Oval: A balanced eyebrow, with a slight arc. This face has the most forgiveness when sculpting eyebrows, so experimentation is possible.
Round: There is lesser definition in a rounded face. Sharp angles and a high arch for a rounded face helps bring definition to the face.
Square: Key here is to reduce the angularity of your face. A more rounded brow is best suited for a square face. Take care and not go to far and create a rainbow arc.
Heart: The heart shaped face has squat features. A thin eyebrow will not work in any case with this face shape. A wider and meticulously groomed brow, that has a dramatic arc will balance out the facial features.
Long: This face shape appears stretched out. Extending the tail ends of the eyebrow past the outside edge of the eye helps to flatten the features of the face. Bringing the tails too far out, can create a droopy eye look, so take care when defining the eyebrow. For those eyebrows that do not extend past the outside edge, don’t shape to a ‘point’, and pencil in an extension to achieve the desired effect.
Diamond: The sides of this face shape point outward. A rounded eyebrow will pull the sides of the face inward, giving the illusion of a thinner, narrower face.
Girls, there are different tools available to create your desired shape on your own. For those of us not daring enough, or who aren’t especially skilled at symmetry, it’s best to invest in a stencil. Place the stencil atop your eyebrow and color the visible hairs with a contrasting eye shadow or powder. Remove the stencil and remove the non-colored hairs.
If you have a low threshold for pain, or if you simply want to feel less discomfort taking an over-the-counter pain killer is effective. It is best to take about 30 minutes prior to engaging in your eyebrow removing routine.
tweezers: The old standard. Plucking each brow hair does hurt, due to the thin skin around the brow. Applying ice to the eyebrow before going at it has its advocates and protractors. Better though is a damp, tepid cloth, following the same principle as barbers for shaving beards. The warmth expands the follicle and allows the hair to come out easier.
wax: It is recommended to use a cream based wax, since it is gentle and good for the sensitive skin around the eye area. This technique will take practice, but after repeated tries, you will get better.
razor: This technique is tricky and not very popular. The thin skin can nick easily(imagine Bob Geldof in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”), tends toward being uneven, creates stubble, and doesn’t last all that long. This techniques is mostly reserved to divide that troublesome ‘unibrow’. Also, the 90’s fashion fail of shaving slits into the eyebrow has resurfaced, compliments of the razor.
Going to a salon is a shorter investment of your time versus doing it yourself. It is important to find a salon you trust, either by a recommendation or auditioning the person who will work on your eyebrows. It is fine to do a trial area, say the “head” of your eyebrow, and critique the results.
If you have a low threshold for pain, or if you simply want to feel less discomfort taking an over-the-counter pain killer is effective. It is best to take about 30 minutes prior to your eyebrow removing session.
threading: An ancient, Middle Eastern or Asian depilation technique. This is not a permanent method of eyebrow hair removal, though can last up to 4 weeks. An aesthetician uses a double thread to pull the eyebrow hairs out at the roots.
laser: Due to the intense UV light used in laser machines, this epilation method is not advised by most medical professionals. If this is an option you decide upon, be sure the laser technician covers your eyes with goggles, preferably a metal covering, to protect your eyes. This technique permanently removes eyebrow hair and can take many visits. It is highly successful in eliminating the dreaded ‘unibrow’.
electrolysis: Due to the thin and sensitive skin around the eye, numbing creams should be used by your electrologist. This epilation method is permanent and can take several visits to have the desired results. Caveat: once the hair is gone, it’s gone, so be sure you trust your electrologist and you are ready to commit to a lifetime shape of your eyebrow hair.
Taming Tips: Try a little eyebrow gel or hair gel to keep those freshly groomed arches in place. Alternatively, try hairspray on a disposable, or unused mascara brush.
mir, irini, peace, amn,