Ruth Griffin: The brow factor
The newest treatments, techniques - and how to get brows to wow
My brow journey thus far goes as follows: monobrow in the 1980s; pencil-thin, mean-looking, measly excuses of brows in the '90s; a confused array of everything in between while modelling in the Noughties - and now, as a mature woman of 41, I have learned to just leave well enough alone brow-wise.
If there is one aspect of our faces that can drastically alter our appearance for better or worse, it is our brows. They can add structure, definition and symmetry to our bone structure. On the flip side, when brows are overplucked, underplucked or altered too dramatically from their natural state, they can overpower our facial symmetry (evidence: Kim Kardashian's 'before and after' brow pics).
Brows are having a major moment (thanks, Cara Delevingne!) with a treasure trove of techniques, treatments and products now readily available. We even have the newly coined, slightly ridiculous 'Brexit Brow' to describe 2017's most desired shape: a strong, straight, defined eyebrow with a move away from the super-heavy, thick, almost Sharpie pen-black brow we have seen up to recently.
Eyebrows form an integral part of our personality: studies show that 70pc of our facial expression is in our brows. So, how to up your brow game while still looking like yourself (and not a Cara D wannabe)? Work with what Mother Nature gave you: use the natural shape of your brows as your guideline for grooming.
Treat vs cheat
Brow by Mii Stencil Brow Kit
If you're determined to do your brows yourself, try this foolproof brow kit, complete with stencils to guide on eyebrow shape and size, salons nationwide
Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit
This is more cost-effective but still quite a good option, pharmacies and Dunnes Stores nationwide
There are so many different brow treatments and products available on the market now that it can be very confusing to know what's what. To help clarify things for you, below is a glossary of terms covering all things brow-related…
An ancient Indian hair-removal technique that involves twisting a cotton thread around unwanted hairs - very quick and precise.
The old-school technique to shape brows.
Use of wax to remove stray hairs; best to opt for 'soft' wax for this delicate area - definitely NO strip waxing: it's far too abrasive for the eye area and causes a loss of skin elasticity long-term.
• Brow tinting
A salon professional will dye your brows for added definition.
• Growth serums
Hair-boosting serums applied to brows to aid hair growth - great for any bald patches in the brow area.
• Brow stencils
A stencil is used as a guideline to the shape and size you would like your brows to be.
• Brow bleaching
As seen on many high-end designer catwalks - not for the faint-hearted!
• HD brows
A professional brow treatment in which eyebrows are shaped, trimmed, highlighted and tinted for mega brow game.
• Brow wax
A tinted wax that is used to shape brows - great for thin or sparse brows, as the wax adds volume.
• Brow gel
A subtle tinted gel brilliant for adding 'strokes' to the brow area to give the illusion of volume.
• Brow pencils and powders
The traditional way of defining brows (best to build up to the desired colour of the brows); opt for a thin but firm slanted brow brush for best application.
A semi-permanent dyeing technique that uses micro- needles to dye the skin around the brows, as a form of Embrowdery; results last up to 18 months.