Next, pick the shade of eyebrow for your skin tone.
POWDER SHADE: Picking the right shade is crucial. If you're a brunette, redhead or have black hair, pick a shade close to the hair on your head, possibly a shade or two lighter. If you're blond, pick a light brown. If you have a color not found in nature, please pick a brow color close to your natural hair color. It will better match your eyes and skin tone.
Now you're ready to shape the brow.
Here is what you need to know for bare minimum shaping:
INSIDE BROW: Take an ink pen or a long-handled makeup brush. Hold it beside your nose, pointing it toward your forehead. This is roughly where the inside of your eyebrow should stop. So tweeze everything toward your nose not covered by the brush handle/pen.
OUTSIDE BROW: Where should the outside corner of the brow end? This is a little tricky and depends on your eye shape. But a good rule of thumb is: Too long is better than too short. Err on the side of caution. Take the makeup brush/pen and hold it along the outside of your bottom lash line, pointing toward the side of your head, at about a 45-degree angle. Everything below the brush should be safe to tweeze.
CENTER ARCH: Looking straight into a mirror, hold the brush/pen straight up in front of the iris. Where the pen meets the brow line should be the pinnacle of your arch. From this point in toward the nose, you should remove nothing except the random straggler. From this point toward your ear, you should shape slowly and cautiously. Your brow should not get smaller and smaller until it forms a point. It should have a gradual angle but remain mostly the same depth from this center point all the way to the edge.
Remember: Thicker equals younger. Better to take off too little than too much. You can always go back and remove a little more. You have to wait weeks for it to grow back in.
Let's now talk about coloring in. Thinning brows can leave gaps. I like a brow powder (or eye shadow) for this step. This lets you start lightly applying color and building the level of pigment based on the look you want to achieve and your comfort level.
My own brow intensity depends on what I am doing that day and how dramatic I make the rest of my eye makeup. Generally, if I am wearing more than three colors of eye shadow, I lower the intensity of the brow powder. If I am wearing three or fewer colors of eye shadow, I powder on a more intense and defined brow. (And by three colors, I mean base shadow and liner also. So that leaves only one additional color for sculpting.)
Dip the angled end of your brow brush into the color, tap off the excess and then, starting at the end of your brow closest to your nose, lightly tap the brush into the hair, against the skin. Pick it up off the skin each time -- do not drag it more than a fraction of a millimeter; dragging the brush can cause powder to smear outside the brow line, and tapping gives you a more natural "hair" appearance as opposed to a drawn-on streak.
The final step is to flip your brush over to the end that looks like a small toothbrush. Use it to comb your eyebrows upward toward your hairline and then out. Do not comb straight out to the side and never, ever comb down. If you have a stray hair that sticks up or pokes out, tweeze it or trim it! Do not try to comb it down into the brow. Combing upward also has the benefit of making the eye look more open and lifted.
There you have it. Easy brows to flatter any face.
Still too nervous to shape them yourself? Have a professional do it, and then keep the shape they have created with weekly maintenance. Stay on top of tweezing and you can maintain that shape for ages. Here is one last tip: Look closely at the technician's brows and ask to see some of their work. You don't want to leave the salon disappointed.
Reach Autumn D.F. Hopkins at autumn.hopk...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.