Brow Bar

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Eyebrows are fast becoming one of the most popular trends in the beauty world, with treatments like 'Eyebrow tattooing' and even 'HD brows', but today I am going to show you the Basics of Brow enhancements that you needen't take a pricey trip to the salon for. 
All these products can be used at home with little to no skill or experience to give you a more shapely, defined brow which will open up your eyes and give the appearance of larger eye sockets!

When not enhanced with make up, my natural eyebrows are very thin and skinny, which isn't ideal for me personally, so I like to define them with a few quick and easy steps in my everyday make up routine. 
Today, however, I am going to explore a few different methods of creating the 'perfect' eyebrow, so that there is something for everyone!

The First method which I am going to be testing today is 'Eyebrow Powder', I have not used these before but I found this lovely 'Brow Kit' From 'MUA' (you can view their online store here) for just £3.50!! The kit contains 3 shades for all different brow hair colours and a fixing Gel so your brows stay perfect all day! There is also a small angled brush included so that you can easily get the shape you desire & my favourite part of the kit was that it also included a pair of tiny tweezers - how cute! 

I have very dark eyebrows so I used the darkest powder in the kit. I picked up a small amount of the powder on the brush and followed over the shape of my natural brow and extended through the tail, to elongate it. I kept doing so until the shape and colour were exactly what I wanted - this can take quite a bit of time if you have dark eyebrows like me, so don't rush it. Overall, I was happy with the end result;

I didn't use the fixing Gel as I was confident that the powder would stay in place without it, and it did! I loved the feel of the powder on my brow as it did not feel heavy and, unlike some pencils, it did not make the natural hairs of my brow stick down onto my skin, which can give a very shiny and un-natural appearance.
I would recommend this kit to everyone - for £3.50 it is worth a try!
I ended up giving mine to my mum as she spotted me using it and loved the lighter colours (she has blonde hair). She said it is very hard to find eyebrow products in these shades, so she jumped at the chance of using it herself! She also pointed out that this kit would be perfect on holiday or in warmer weather, as, unlike a pencil, it wont melt in the heat and it wont smudge on your skin because of heat!

The Next method I tested was 'Eyebrow Stencils'. I picked these up on the 'E.L.F' Website (you can visit it here). These are £1.50 for a set of 4 (soft arch, structured arch, curved arch & full arch), so there is a shape which is good for everyone's  liking! These can be used with your preferred style of brow makeup (powder,pencil - anything!). The stencils come in a handy little packet which can easily be popped in your handbag for touch-ups throughout the day! Each stencil is made of  plastic, so they are very durable and flexible and best of all - they can be washed and used again!

I first tested the 'Curved arch' shape, and as you can see, it does not really fit the shape of my natural brow, the arch is much higher and more extended than mine;

So, I decided to use the 'Full arch', which suited much better;

I filled in the full shape of the stencil with my usual brow pencil (it is a little thick for me personally, but I wanted to show you the full result.) The shape can easily be thinned out or tidied to your liking;

As you can see, compared to my natural brow, I now have a full, defined shape with a lovely arch and neat tail! 
Overall, I like the stencils as they are a good guide for those who aren't used to drawing in brows or even those who want to try out different brow shapes! I also like the fact that they are a very unique product, I haven't really seen anything like them before!
For the price of £1.50 i think everyone should at least give them a try & I really like the fact that they can be coupled with your usual method of brow-drawing, so there is no need to feel too out of your comfort zone!

Still not convinced? How about eyebrow Pencils?!
Eye brow pencils are the most widely used form of brow enhancement for women and they are so easily available that there is no excuse not to try them out! 
As I mentioned before, I have very dark eyebrows, and this has given me some trouble finding a suitable shade pencil in the past! I used to Use Boots no.7 brand, but the one I used got discontinued :( So, after much testing and disappointing from many a make up brand, I decided to try out a pencil from old reliable - 'MUA' and I have never looked back! I now use their eyebrow pencil in shade 'brunette' as part of my daily makeup routine, it is just £1 and also comes in shade 'Blonde' for the fairer haired users! The pencil is double ended with a small brow tamer, which comes in so handy!

I really like the creamy consistency of the MUA brow pencil as it glides on easily, and blends very well (so if you don't like razor sharp lined brows, you can easily smudge the edges to your liking!) and it remains on your skin all day long!! One important thing to note about brow pencils is that, if you are planning on using them, make sure you have a sharpener - your pencil must not be blunt or you will have no hope of getting a good shaped brow! 

I definitely prefer this method as part of my daily make up routine as it so easy to use and requires very little time and practice! I also feel that it gives the most natural result as it is so easily blendable.  I am very happy with the result!;

I would recommend brow pencils to any lady - whether a novice, or just wanting to try something new. 'MUA' is definitely the best brow pencil I have tried (and at £1 it is such a bargain!), but all brands have their own pencils so if you have a  particular make up brand you are comfortable and familiar with, then go with that!

How to Shape!

If you are using a pencil or powder and are drawing your eyebrows on blind (without a stencil), there are 3 simple steps you should know to help you achieve natural brows that are perfectly in proportion to your face.
To do this, you can use a pencil, the end of a make up brush - anything that is thin, long and easy to grasp!
**Before you do anything, use your brow brush to just get your natural brow hairs in order and into a rough shape of what you want!**

. The first point to know is where your brow should naturally start. The best way to measure this is by using your tool and measuring down the side of your nose to your brow area (ref. image 1), where the tool touches on your brow area is where your brow should start!
. The second point to note, is where your brow should end (Ref. Image 2), you can do this by placing your tool at the corner of the bottom of your nose and measuring out diagonally to your brow area, where they meet is where your brow should end -don't forget that your brow naturally gets a little thinner at the ends so try to draw this in!
. And a final point to know is the balance of your brow, even though your brow has an arch, it should still end at about the same height that it started. The best way of measuring this (once you've done step 1 and 2) is by placing your tool directly beneath the start and end of your brow, both points should be just above the tool! If the tail end of your brow extends a little too far, don't worry, you can always blend it out! It is okay for the tail end to extend a little further than the tool, but don't let it extend too far, or it can look un-even, un-natural and can also make the whole of your eye area appear smaller!

Finishing Touches!

I just want to give a quick mention about the finishing touches you can give your brows to really define them and make them beautiful!
Highlighter is key for this! Using a highlighter beneath your brow can give it so much depth and definition and  can give a much more wide-eye look.

There are many highlighters available (in varying forms, some even as simple as a pearl white eyeshadow) but my go-to highlighter is always 'Girl meets Pearl' by make up brand 'Benefit' (you can visit their online store here). It is a little pricey at £24.50 a bottle but trust me, it is worth every penny! Benefit describes this product as 'liquid pearl for face' and believe me when I say it is this and so much more!

As you can see, my bottle of this is a little bit worn (or loved, as I prefer to say!), but that just proves that once you've used it, you just wont be able to stop!
The product is a liquid form. It has a wonderful pearlescent colour, which catches all the lovely sun light and gives your face a beautiful glow! 
You simply twist the bottom of the bottle to release the product evenly (Image 2).
To highlight my brows, I collect a small amount of the product on a thin brush (image 3), you can use an eyeshadow brush which is thin, which is what I do! I then gently sweep it underneath my eyebrow, from the start to the tail end. The result is wonderful and always makes me feel glowy and beautiful ;

(apologies for the birds-nest hair!) 
As you can see it really catches the light and makes a difference to the appearance of the whole eye!

** I also like to use my fingers to apply some 'Girl meets Pearl' to my cheek bones, the tip of my nose and the cupids bow (the small part of skin above the middle of your top lip). Once these areas are highlighted you will have a wonderfully sculpted face with minimal effort, and the results will make you look and feel a million dollars**

I hope this has helped you ladies to feel more relaxed and confident about at home brow enhancement - it's not as scary as it seems!
I am not saying that this is the right way (or only way) to do your eyebrows, it is just my way, and I hope it has cleared up any worries you may have had, or, at the very least, I hope you have seen a product that you didn't know about and may want to try in the future!

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