It has been said that eyebrows “frame” the face. However, just as the wrong picture frame can detract from a beautiful painting, eyebrows that are shaped incorrectly, or are too thick or thin, can detract from your beautiful features. So how do you determine a good shape for your brows, one that will compliment your features? Should they have a defined, almost pointy arch? Or should they be softly rounded? Should they have a high arch, or almost no arch at all?
The first step in brow shape and design, is to determine the natural shape of your face. Pull your hair back so that you can see whether your face is more round, square, oval, heart-shaped, inverted pyramid, etc. According to respected makeup artists, there are 7 basic shapes, and most of us will fall into one of them. A simple rule to remember is that you never want to repeat a negative. So if you tend to have a very round face, you would not want to have brows that were very rounded. An arch that is higher and more angular will draw away from an extremely round face. However if you have fairly harsh and square features, a rounded brow will soften those features. Again, never repeat a negative.
Do you have a high forehead that you have always tried to conceal with bangs? Do not shape your brows with a high and pointed arch because this will only emphasize the highness of your forehead. A lower arch, or almost no arch at all, will make the forehead appear wider and “less tall.” If you do have a slight arch, make sure it is placed towards the outer third of the brow. Again, this will widen the face and make the forehead look more in balance.
But suppose you have a feature that you want to accentuate, such as high cheek bones? Brows that are more angular will emphasize your high cheek bones. Placing the arch to the outer third of the brow will also help accentuate high cheek bones. Make sure you do not bring the tail of the brow down too low. This is a common mistake done when shaping eyebrows, and will close the eyes in and draw away from the high cheek bones that you are attempting to emphasize.
How thick or thin should your eyebrows be? Another simple rule to remember is that overall feature size should be considered. For example, If you have very full lips, then thicker and more dramatic brows are in order. Large features require thicker eyebrows to be in balance, whereas a small petite face with thin lips, small nose, etc., requires thin and less dramatic eyebrows.
Perhaps by now you have determined a shape, and whether you want your brows to be thick or thin. Where should the eyebrow begin and where should it end? Accepted makeup principles state that you should take a ruler or other straight object such as a pencil, and place it from the outside of your nose, straight up to the inside corder of your eye, and start the brow at the point where this line begins above the nose. Bringing the brows in closer than this can make you appear as if you are frowning. In most cases, this is where the brow should start. When needing corrective makeup, the brows can be brought in slightly closer if you have an extremely wide bridge. However again, overall feature size must be considered, because if you have a very wide nose or wide mouth, bringing the brows in closer can throw the whole face off balance.
Where should the eyebrow end? Again, take a ruler and place it at the outside of the nose and straight to the outside corner of the eye. Following this line above will show you where it should end. Again, don’t draw the brows too low and “hook” them, as this will close in the eyes and make you appear older. Keeping the brows up high and out will take years off your face!
What if you do not have sufficient hair to shape your brows, or the hair is all in the wrong places? An esthetician with experience in makeup can shape and wax your brows for you. Topically applied makeup can give you any shape desired. If mimicking this shape every day with traditional cosmetic makeup is too much work for you, permanent makeup will make your life easier. Having the perfect shape tattooed on permanently could be the answer for you. Just make sure to choose an experienced artist and have them draw the brows on first to obtain your approval as far as shape.
How do you determine the right color for your eyebrows? Skin tones as well as hair color should be considered. It is generally accepted that if traditional makeup is being used, a color the same as your brow hair, or 2 to 3 shades lighter, will be most aesthetically pleasing. As far as permanent makeup goes, the artist must consider the client’s skin undertones when choosing the pigment color. Your natural skin color, plus the color of the pigment being implanted, will be the final result. This can be tricky, so again, make sure you consult an artist with a good portfolio and references from former clients.
The few tips noted above will help you design beautiful eyebrows that compliment and frame your face. If you still feel a bit intimidated about changing your eyebrows, do not be afraid to seek the advice of a professional.