In the nineties, many of you shaved off your eye brows drawing them back on with black eye liner or just went completely crazy with the tweezers, resulting in thin straight lines over your eyes. It may have been a look back then but we can see you suffering today because suddenly full brows are the thing. Luckily, there are professional treatments like microblading (semi-permanent, natural looking tattooing of the brow) but even these can go horribly wrong if you land up in the wrong hands. Something that has left our minds boggled is the current “trend” (is it a trend or there’s a case of brow dysmorphia going on?) of the huge caterpillar looking drawn on brow we are seeing everywhere on Instagram. Why are people wearing stage/drag makeup in real life? What’s going on? We asked our favorite brow lady, Saskia Buxton who is a freelance makeup artist based in Cape Town to clarify. Here’s what she said:
TMP: What are the most common mistakes people make when grooming their eyebrows?
Saskia: Step away from the magnifying mirror and drop the tweezers/razor/scissors. Over plucking, shaping or erasing of your brow can turn you into a Disney villain in a flash. Your brows are there to frame the face and emphasize emotion, not to be the main act. Seek professional help if it’s your first time shaping your brows. Trust me, it is worth the investment, trying to regrow your brows once you have tortured them is no mean feat.
TMP: We all have very differently shaped brows but it seems we all want the dramatic arch in its full glory – what advice do you have for those who have mildly shaped, uninteresting brows?
Saskia: Brows are definitely not one size fits all. A high arch is not for everyone. Your brow should be tailor made/ shaped and filled for your face, to enhance who you are. Less is more, strategically applied product can turn any brow from drab to fab
TMP: Tweeze, thread, wax or let-them-be? Which do you recommend and why?
Saskia: I believe your brow routine should suit your budget. I have tried all of the above. Threading was the easiest and most effective way for me to get the best brow shape possible, and to maintain my fab brows I have continued with tweezing stray hairs. However looking back, I do love a wilder more natural brow a-la Cara Delevigne/Brooke Shields. So be kind to your brow, don’t attack it with a weed wacker.
TMP: What’s the best way to fill sparse brows?
Saskia: I like to use pencil/ gel or eyeshadow and my trusty clear brow set when filling in between fine hairs. The rule is: pencil for a defined yet natural looking brow. Gel and an angle brush for a stronger dramatic brow. Eyeshadow for a brow that needs a little help but is fairly full already.
TMP: So many makeup artists are giving our ladies (especially our Black ladies) the huge, dramatic, caterpillar brow, which can look ridiculous. Are ladies requesting this or is there some trend we don’t know about? Should we blame all the Youtube makeup vloggers? What’s going on?
Saskia: Ah yes, the dreaded Instagram brow, my arch nemesis. I personally don’t understand this trend at all, as a trained makeup artist we only use this brow in theatre makeup/drag makeup. It is a very harsh and unrealistic brow “trend” that never looks good in daylight. There is nothing worse than a floating brow. This is when a light concealer is used around the eyebrow making the brow look like it is glued onto your face and can be peeled off at the end of the day. My rule is you should never look naked when you remove your brow or when you haven’t had time to fill it in properly. Less is more.
TMP: Makeup is fun but we don’t necessarily want to look like we’re going on stage all the time. What tips can you give our readers on achieving a natural brow that can still transform your face like a good bra can transform your posture?
Saskia: Always fill from the bottom of your brow (below the arch) and keep your heavier deposit of product towards the end of the brow. Keep your brow longer, a short brow cuts the face and can make you look rounder, tired and confused. Length is your friend. Extend your brow towards your temple, not the outer corner of your eye. Never use black unless you are filling in tiny hairs. Keep it multi-tonal for the most natural and full brow. My favorite go-to videos are the MAC Instant Artistry brow tutorials on You Tube. Quick, easy and effective.
And there you have it. Be careful of trends, ladies. This too shall pass…we hope.