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Eyebrow evolution

The eyes are said to be the window to the soul, making the eyebrows their frame. And whether you’ve noticed it or not, the shape of these frames has evolved. Gone are the days of the super-tweezed brow. Today’s trend reflects a fuller, more natural look reminiscent of the 1980s Brooke Shields brow.

“The only difference between the 80s monster brow and now is that we’ve established a happy medium—big and full but nicely manicured,” says Mary Dhang, Tweezerman’s eyebrow expert.

The size and shape of women’s eyebrows has been on the move for over half a century according to a 2012 study by the University of Southern California that looked at fashion magazines from 1946 to present. Today’s eyebrows are fuller and the arch has moved lower and further from the nose which means they’ve flattened, too.

The fuller, more natural look started taking off in 2008 and has since found its way onto the faces of some of Hollywood’s hottest actresses, from Scarlett Johansson to Jennifer Aniston.

Celebrity treatment
Aesthetician Narida Johnson has shaped the brows of celebs for the last two years while working at Chicago’s Spa at The Wit. Although she can’t disclose any names, she does offer strategies to make each client feel like a star by saying, “I try to personalize each service because no two eyebrows are the same. I give them a mirror, we go over the sections of their brow and decide what’s best for them.”

After the consultation, Johnson opts for a hard wax followed by a brow clean up where she uses tweezers and a magnifying lamp to achieve precise and beautiful brows.

Celebrity service isn’t limited to women and Johnson offers key advice when working with men.

“Most men need a little bit of cleanup because they get that angry, furrowed look. The common mistake men make is going to an aesthetician and telling them to ‘do whatever.’ They end up with a feminine-looking brow.”

Most male clients only need slight grooming and it’s best to avoid over-plucking or arching the brow, which feminizes the face.“Men want a clean look,” adds Johnson.

Tempted to tweeze
A thicker, more natural brow is not only trendy, but also gives the face a younger look. “A fuller eyebrow usually indicates a more youthful, softer image,” says Dhang. “If your eyebrows are intensely lean and arched, it can create a mature, serious, and severe look.”

For those who’ve thinned their brows through years of plucking, there are a few alternatives to achieving a natural brow. Dhang suggests starting with a cold turkey approach allowing them to grow out as thick as possible. Overgrowth can be maintained by plucking strays. Products like a brow mousse also help hold brows in place and settle unruly growth.

More drastic measures are available for those seeking a lasting look. Micro pigmentation or cosmetic tattooing is one option that’s become more popular in recent years and offers an alternative to daily eyebrow maintenance. The most common cosmetic tattooing treatment areas are the eyebrows, eyes and lips.

For clients looking to take the permanent approach to fuller brows, Johnson recommends doing some homework. Permanent cosmetic clinics that have qualified, trained professionals are easily found in big cities across Canada.

Wow brows
“What most women don’t realize is their eyebrows are sisters, not twins. That’s why we have our good side or our bad side,” says Johnson. “I try to create a balance.”

Transforming boring brows into wow brows involves understanding your client’s needs and fulfilling them through use of proper techniques and precision. Regardless of the chosen hair removal technique, follow with additional tweezing to clean up eyebrows and take them to the next level.

A proper eyebrow maintenance toolkit includes slant tweezers for accurate eyebrow shaping as well as brow shaping scissors and a brush for any additional trimming and shaping needs.

Most importantly, always keep in mind that the eyebrows are only one piece to the puzzle. “You don’t want people to only see eyebrows, you want them to see the whole picture,” says Dhang.

Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions can turn lacklustre lashes into the focal point of your face—if they’re applied correctly. We spoke with Urla Duncan, the owner of Winks Eyelash Boutique, who gave us the skinny on achieving thick lashes.

  1. Real vs. fake. Eyelash extensions are available in a variety of textures—from silk to synthetic to real mink fur. Most of Duncan’s clients opt for synthetic mink lashes because they look natural (and won’t break the bank like real fur).
  2. Catering to the client. Eyelash extensions are selected for an individual’s face depending on the shape of their eye and their natural lash. Extension lashes also come in a variety of thicknesses, lengths and curls to suit a client’s needs.
  3. Early care is key. It’s important to keep the area dry for 48 hours to ensure the adhesive cures properly. After that, extensions are low maintenance and can be worn in the shower or while swimming.
  4. Upkeep is determined by the client. Duncan has clients who visit every two to three weeks to keep their set looking fresh while others (including Duncan) opt to grow them out.
  5. Mascara can be worn, but it’s not advised. Apply the product toward the tips of the lashes to avoid touching the adhesive.
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