Tuesday 3 June 2014

High-brow, low-brow

A good pair of brows will definitely take you places - and you need look no further than the glorious Audrey Hepburn to know that this is true. One of my style and beauty icons for many a long year, her brows are quite frankly, amazing, and mine, quite frankly aren't. Slowly but surely, with impressive stealth, my brows have been gradually getting thinner and sparser - a sure-fire sign that I'm on the slippery slope of, yup - the dreaded middle age...

Audrey Hepburn

To be fair, the left one has always been at a disadvantage, ever since I collided with the corner of a chair in a church vestry as a toddler, resulting in stitches and a scar that dissects my brow in two if you look very closely. But over the years I've been good - I've followed the rules - from Jackie through Cosmo to Vogue, taking care not to over-pluck, never removing hairs from above the brow line and ever hopeful that the odd professional shaping would somehow turn me into Brooke Shields, the Queen of the 80's Brow.

Brooke Shields Photo:

My brow high-point (my high-brow?) came back in the mid-90's when a very glamorous film producer complimented me on my eyebrows at work. Coming from someone who was highly groomed compared with my 'just out the shower and ran for the Tube without looking' look, the fact that she thought my eyebrows were worth commenting on was astonishing - I think I swore then and there never to touch them again.  And so I hadn't really, until I started noticing the thinning thing and realised that as I was never going to look like Cara Delevingne there still had to be ways to boost my brows and give that illusion of fullness.  Plus, if I could knock a couple of years off as a result, at my age so much the better.

Cara Delevingne Photo: Imaxtree

Back in March, Benefit and Debenhams ran their annual Brow Arch March collaboration raising money for Look Good Feel Better - the only international cancer charity which focuses on problems associated with the visible side effects of cancer treatment. In conjunction with the annual fundraiser, Benefit's Lisa Potter-Dixon gave some great tips which you can read here, my favourite being that the colour of your eyebrow pencil should match the darkest colour of your hair at the back of your head. So regardless of whether your hair is your natural colour or not, your brow shade should literally go back to your roots. Secondly, when applying the pencil you should run it against the grain of your brow and then again in the right direction as this will help give the allusion of thicker brows.

Photo: Garance Doré

Obviously there are various ways to tackle the problem - pencils, fillers, gels, highlighters, temporary tints and permanent tattoos are all available - so I have been working out what looks best for me and what is simple to incorporate into my daily routine.  I alternate between a pencil - Sephora currently and my Bobbi Brown Eyebrow Kit, depending on how much time I have and how fully made up my look is. For evening I would definitely use the Bobbi Brown powder palette, but the truly genius product for brows I have to share with you is Benefit's "Gimme Brow".

Benefit Gimme Brow Photo:

I discovered this in Sephora by accident when I was drifting around and the make-up assistant at the Benefit counter offered me a brow tint to boost my thinning arches, (she could see I needed help...) and when she applied the 'Gimme Brow' gel - it was quite simply a revelation. It is a volumizing brush on fiber gel that is buildable, waterproof, incredibly long wearing and most importantly natural looking, with a precise wand for arch-shaping and tapering. I have it in the 'Light/Medium' shade using it alone or on top of the powder or pencil if I want a stronger look, and it has quite simply given me back the brows of my youth. I am now living in fear of it being discontinued so am quietly stockpiling it (along with their 'Boing' concealer in Shade 2 which I also can't live without). Definitely one of my hero products of the year so far - Benefit I thank you.


Janie said...

Bobbi Brown brow shaper is excellent too. Like mascara for eyebrows.

Janie said...

Bobbi Brown brow shaper is excellent too. A recent revelation for me.