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Eyebrow Shaping Secrets

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The secret of sculpting a beautifully shaped eyebrow has earned Eliza Petrescu a star-studded following -- including supermodels Paulina Porizkova and Gisele Bundchen and actors Halle Berry and Natasha Richardson. Petrescu, the waxing director and eyebrow designer at Eliza's Eyes @ Avon Centre Salon & Spa in New York City, has a waiting list of four to six months and charges $65 for her perfect waxing and tweezing. Luckily, we convinced her to divulge her eye-opening tricks to Child for free.

Savvy Shaping - Keep eyebrows as close to your own natural shape as possible. One of the most common mistakes women make is overplucking; the wrong shape can make you look sad, angry, or surprised.

Space Brows Right - To figure out how much space there should be between your brows, hold an eyebrow pencil parallel to the side of your nose. The inner edge of your brow should meet the pencil so that each brow starts directly above the nostril.

Find Your Exact Length - Position an eyebrow pencil diagonally from the nostril to the outside edge of your eye. Where the pencil crosses your brow is where it should end.

Accent Your Arch - Hold an eyebrow pencil parallel to the outside edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye). This is where the highest part of the arch should be. Imagine that your brow is divided into quarters. The first three quarters should head upward,and the last quarter downward.

Before You Hit the Salon - To keep your brows looking their absolute best, Petrescu recommends a professional waxing once a month. Don't tweeze your eyebrows for at least two weeks before your appointment. That way, the waxer can get a better picture of your natural brow shape and the growth will give the wax something to adhere to. Skip all peels and face creams with glycolic acid for a week to 10 days before your visit; they make skin more sensitive and more likely to be aggravated by waxing.

Once you've had an expert waxing, you can maintain the look between salon visits with careful at-home tweezing. Pluck only stray hairs that fall outside the shape created by the pro and leave the ends alone, Petrescu advises. The best time to tweeze: after a shower, when skin is soft and hair follicles are open. Find a spot with plenty of light (a magnifying mirror makes things easier), and follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid tweezing hairs at the end or on top of the brow. To keep the arch intact, the hairs on top of the brow should be removed by a pro waxer.
  • For best results, brush your eyebrows straight up so you can see what you're working with.
  • Grasp the tweezers from the middle. With your other hand, hold the skin taut around the area you're tweezing.
  • Pull the hair you want to remove quickly and in the direction of its growth.
  • Remove a few hairs from one brow and then work on the other. Alternating between the two helps keep the size and shape of both brows consistent.

A great tweezer is essential. If you're a novice, opt for slanted tweezers, which provide the most control. Once you're experienced, switch to pointed tweezers, which offer more precision but demand more skill. To pluck properly, you'll need:

  • Pointed Tweezers -- A great pair of tweezers is a must. Eliza's are designed for precision.
  • Grooming Brush/Smudger -- The brush combs hairs into place, and the smudger end softens the look of the brow pencil.
  • Brow Definer -- This pencil is used to plump up sparse brows and color stray white hairs. (Petrescu says that plucking white hairs, which can leave unattractive holes, is a no-no)
  • Brow Shaper -- Brush on this gel to tame brows and set your
    new style.

Finishing Touches

First, brush hairs straight down. Then, starting from the inner brow, pencil in light strokes up to the peak of the arch, then pencil in the restof the eyebrow moving downward toward the temple. Brush brows upward to smooth out hair and soften color. Set your look with brow gel.

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Copyright © 2001 By Kristen Finello. Reprinted with permission from the Febuary issue of Child magazine.