Fine Lines

Volume 1, Issue 4

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Page 12 of 15 13 Women are familiar with how to handle beauty 911s (bad hair days, shaving mishaps, and correcting makeup mistakes), but when it comes to brows—especially with so much attention currently being paid to them—the pressure is on. Many of us grew up simply waxing, tweezing, or leaving them au naturel. But now, brows are the hottest "accessory" on our face, with a multitude of ways to groom them and new products constantly hitting the shelves to perfect them. So, what do you do when you have a brow emergency? We talked with Umbreen Sheikh, a licensed cosmetologist and founder/CEO of Wink Brow Bar and Salon in New York City, for brow blunder "fix it" tips. PROBLEM: OVERPLUCKED BROWS Fix it! Almost every woman has gotten too close to that magnifying mirror and been overzealous with a tweezer. Sheikh says, "Don't fear. You can fake it till you make it with subtle makeup tricks that will help create the illusion of a fuller, thicker brow." Using a small, stiff makeup brush, softly brush a matching brow powder through for a natural-looking finish. Then, use a sharpened brow pencil in the same shade to define the brow's shape. "Drawing a straight line under the brow will help minimize the appearance of strays. This will also lighten and brighten the entire eye area, drawing more attention to the eyes," Sheikh says. If you'd like to add some extra definition—or need to camouflage random strays above or below the brow— apply a skin tone-matching concealer to a small, angled brush and blend it in to the desired areas. PROBLEM: A TOO-WIDE EYEBROW GAP Fix it! The obvious solution to this dilemma is to fill in the points closest to the bridge of the nose to lessen the gap. This can be done via microblading. Microblading is a semi- permanent tattoo technique used to create the illusion of fuller and thicker brows, performed by a trained esthetician. Using this method, you can create almost any look and shape. It's best to consult with your esthetician about the best brow shape for your face. Then she'll select a color that matches your natural hair color and skin undertone. The brow area is then prepped for treatment with a thorough cleanse and application of a topical anesthetic cream. A handheld tool with a grouping of fine needles is used to manually draw hair-like strokes onto the skin. The entire treatment can take 30–40 minutes. Results last anywhere from one to three years, depending on your skin type (the ink fades faster on oily skin), after-care, products, and lifestyle. Microblading is also an ideal procedure for women who have lost brow volume due to age, menopause, or chemotherapy. PROBLEM: UNRULY BROWS Fix it! Bold, feathery brows are in, but messy is an adjective no one wants associated with their arches. "If brow hairs are wonky, you need a game plan for controlling them," Sheikh says. If the arches need a trim, she suggests brushing the brows up toward the top of the ear with a spoolie brush and cutting only the tips off the long hairs pointing the scissors down (not parallel to the brow). "This gives trimmed brows a natural look, because none of the hairs are exactly the same length," she says. As a finishing touch, mist a spoolie brush with hairspray and brush it through brows—this directs the hairs up for a lifted look and keeps any stubborn, troublemaking brow hairs in their place. PROBLEM: MATCHING BROW COLOR TO HAIR COLOR Fix it! In the case of your hair and eyebrows, you "don't want to match the curtains to the carpet," Sheikh says. "Darker brows will act as a frame for the face and enhance your eye color. Generally, it will give you the appearance of a lot more brow." If you have accidentally gone too light or too dark with your brows, eyebrow tinting—the process of applying semi- permanent dye to enhance, shape, and define brows—may be the answer. "It gives the appearance of thicker, more youthful looking brows," Sheikh says. A quick and affordable process, it can be done by most estheticians and hairstylists. An average session takes only about 15 minutes, and the color should last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. PROBLEM: SHORT OR THINNING BROWS Fix it! Eyebrows that are short or are thinning (sometimes because of age or medication) can be made to look fuller. You can certainly pencil them in every day, but it's time- consuming and takes quite a bit of practice to make both brows symmetrical. Instead, consider eyebrow extensions. Similar to eyelash extensions, eyebrow extensions are done by a trained lash/brow extension professional. The brow extension fibers are attached to either bare skin or to existing hairs, giving them a fuller, stronger look. The service takes 25–90 minutes, depending on thickness, where the extension is applied, and the amount of work required. PROBLEM: YOU ARE AFRAID TO WAX OR YOU BRUISE EASILY Fix it! You would be hard-pressed to find a woman who enjoys the tear of a strip of wax against her eyelid to remove tiny eyebrow hairs, but some women simply aren't interested in waxing. A great alternative for the wax-wary is threading. As Sheikh explains, "Eyebrow threading is a simple process that is often considered to be one of the most painless (and least invasive) options for shaping brows." The threading process is simple and typically involves a single piece of cotton thread. After wiping the eyebrow area clean with alcohol, an esthetician or brow specialist twists and pulls a thread around areas of unwanted hair, acting like a miniature lasso to lift the hair directly from the root—without the use of any chemicals or unnecessary tugging on delicate skin. As opposed to waxing, tweezing, or lasers, threading is considered one of the safest and most precise methods of hair removal, especially in the delicate areas surrounding the eye. ▪

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