If you read my recent post How to Grow Show Stopping Brows, then you’ll know that I’m big on eyebrows – both figuratively and literally. Brows are big business these days and currently as far as trends go there seem to be two divisive camps, Fashion Brows and Beauty Brows, with one defining, overarching theme: Bigger is better. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that brows were the surprise leader of the makeup camp throughout 2016 and 2017 with the demand for brow maintenance and grooming products booming and it all started with the rise of Cara Delevingne.
If you fall into the Fashion Brow camp the you probably don’t care if your brows are a little messy or overgrown, you most likely sport what’s known as a ‘flat brow’ as this is the shape which is scientifically speaking ‘most beautiful’. The background of the theory is this, for years scientists have mapped out a living mask for beauty based on ‘ideals’ trends, shapes and symmetry amongst many other factors. It’s been determined that the best angle for brows in terms of physical beauty is 14 degrees – this specific degree tricks the viewers eye into seeing a feline, tilted almond shape in the eye and creates a ‘feeder line’ to the centre of the forehead effectively slimming the face and highlighting other facial features.
A 14 degree angle is pretty flat, hence the term ‘flat brow’ and if you study pictures of models in fashion editorial you’ll see that most of them fall into this bracket. It’s my favourite shape of brow and the bracket that I sit firmly in, with no intention of moving.
Beauty Brows were inspired by the HUDA Beauty movement and if one word describes them, it’s pristine. These brows are uber dark in colour with a super high arch. They’re the polar opposite of the Fashion Brow with an arch that tips the scale at almost 45 degrees – they require a pretty symmetrical face in order to reach their full efficacy as they’re pretty intense.
Beauty Brows are preened to perfection, you won’t find a stray, or a hair out of place and they follow they ombre trend for brows which sees a lighter powder effect on the shorter ‘sprout’ hairs closer to the nose. With a Beauty Brow, makeup is visible and that’s the intention.
That’s the other thing, you can sit in one brow camp, and migrate to anther either intentionally or unintentionally. Let me explain…..
If you currently sit in the Fashion Brow camp, but fancy sporting a higher arch, you can manipulate the shape of your brow through waxing and tweezing as you already know, this includes taking from the front corner to change the angle. If you’re looking for a more prominent arch lift then botulinum toxin as an injectable can be used at specific points to ‘stretch’ not only the centre point of the brow, but also the outer tip completely changing the shape of the upper half of your face.
Not quite ready for the needle? There are several formulas around on how you can ‘set up’ the perfect brow shape for your own face shape and they use your own facial dimensions to set the highest point of the arch. Personally, I think they’re all bullshit. You know me, I like to let mine grow wild and free, I don’t wax or pluck them and use a specific brow pencil to shade in areas that are sparse (see this post). simples. However my formula isn’t for everyone. I’ve spent a long time growing my brows back from being tiny little apostrophes by using my hero product Lumigan, so I’m not about to put them in the hands of a trigger happy waxer any time soon.
The most popular formula, and the one adopted by most UK and US Brow Bars, is to take a straight line from the outer edge of your nostril up towards your forehead, and start your brow here. The second measure is from the same starting point out through the centre of your pupil, and demonstrates where the high point of your arch should sit, whilst the third measurement shows where your brow should end. This can be used for waxing, plucking and shading and tends to dictate more of a Fashion brow as the arch is positioned flatter with this measurement.
Thinking about putting your brows in the hands of a professional? I’m a huge fan of a brow tint and I visit The Wax Bar every fortnight to keep mine topped up, a tint makes brows look thicker, darker and glossier and it picks up all the fair baby hairs that you just can’t see otherwise – it can make or break your shape. Do your research, pick a camp and decide on what you want in terms of waxing, tinting etc. and your preferred shape before you book, that way you’ll leave the salon happy rather than looking for the nearest hat shop.