And with no further ado - my first post! A big HELLO to all of my new friends at Black Nail Polish & Lip Gloss! My name is Joey Healy and I am a NYC based editorial makeup artist and eyebrow specialist. Like most of you, I’ve been a smitten reader of BNP&LG since its bloggy birth in mid-2009. There is frankly no other site that explores the unconventional, eclectic ART of beauty like the one you are reading right now. A steaming hot shower, ginormous cup of coffee and pictures of Andrea’s nails always start my day off right! We all owe a big thank you to her for leading her very own dark, strange, black crusade in beauty! Bravo my darling.
Andrea has been such a doll in supporting my eyebrow shaping business and working with me to create a special BNP&LG promotion for all of you fabulous readers. From the minute we spoke on the phone, we instantly connected and it was a special honor when she asked me to contribute to the site! Total no brainer. For my first post, I would LOVE to start talking about my two favorite furry things on your face….guesses???.....EYEBROWS! (If two other furry things exist on your face other than your eyelashes, you might want to make some phone calls…..)
Before we can talk about how to expertly shape those suckers, we first need to address what to absolutely, unequivocally AVOID!!!!! For today’s post: TOP 10 EYEBROW MISTAKES. Let’s get counting:
1. Using a Magnifying Mirror When Plucking - A classic case of not being able “to see the forest for the trees”. By zooming so close, you will instantly fall under a deep tweezer trance resulting in overplucking! By getting too detail oriented, you will lose track of the big picture and your brows will ultimately pay the price. Pluck in good light close to your bathroom mirror and continue to step back and assess the overall shape from a short distance. It’s also extremely helpful to use a hand mirror to review the shape from both sides!
2. Aiming For Perfect Symmetry – Your brows are sisters, NOT TWINS! By striving to get them perfectly even, you will undoubtedly end up overplucking. First it becomes “Just a little on the left”, “No, now just two more on the right” and before you know it, there are heaps of innocent brow hairs all over the bathroom sink and you’re frantically digging through your makeup bag for brow pencils to undo this undoable brow crime!
3. Centering Your Arch – When the arch is perfectly centered in the eye, it gives you a Chinese boomerang / French circus clown effect. Not desirable. A downward tilted eye that looks puffy is the unfortunate result of this shape. My computer generated, graphic depiction of this shape is as follows: ^ ^ . That is literally how it will look on your face –triangles pointing toward the heavens. By moving your arch off center, away from the nose, the entire brow and eye area become elongated and far sexier.
4. Taking Off Too Much at the Tail – I know women who would kill to have more generous eyebrow tails. This end hair seems to magically disappear as one ages. Please people - love your tails, nurture your tails, WORK your tails. In almost every case, I shape above and underneath this area to bring it to a crisp point, cleaning up its shape without taking it in. The ONE AND ONLY brow “rule” I generally believe in is that the brow should end on the imaginary line from the corner of your nose to the corner of your eye.
5. Tweezing More Than One Hair at a Time – When cleaning up your brows in between professional shapings or when attempting to self groom, patience is a virtue! I know it could be tempting to speed up the tweezing process and clamp onto bushels at once, but it is so important to pluck one hair at a time (in the direction of hair growth, of course). Especially when it comes to arches and tails - taking just one wrong hair can spell eyebrow disaster. You must step into your role as an artist and judiciously remove only the necessary hairs with care.
6. Over Trimming – Don’t get me wrong, I love me some eyebrow trimming! However, like anything else in brow world, overdoing it can lead to unspeakable horrors. To be safe, use a disposable mascara wand to stroke the hair upward and carefully trim above the natural brow line. If your brow hair is very long or particularly coarse, go slow and constantly brush back into place to assess the shape before proceeding on. If you over trim, you may give yourself gaps in the brow. Sometimes it is the how longer brow hairs lie flat that gives the entire area shape, fullness and depth. Some people like to follow this initial trim by then brushing the hairs down and trimming the brows that fall under the natural brow line – this is overkill and could leave your brows balding little hot messes.
7. Over Thinning the Brow – Yes, yes, I know we preach individual beauty on this site and we encourage you to take your own unique path with your look HOWEVER I MUST CAUTION over thinning your eyebrows will affect your bone structure and facial definition. In my professional opinion fuller eyebrows are timelessly beautiful - it just so happens they are “on-trend” right now. A thin eyebrow will instantly age you, make the eyelids appear puffy and will give the eye an unflattering droop. Trust me on this one. Brows are my game.
8. Filling In the Brow With a Waxy Pencil – I find my brow shaping service to be unique due to the fact that I spend a good deal of time instructing women on how to fill in their eyebrows after I’ve tweezed and trimmed them to perfection. With shaping you can only take away hair, but when one embraces “the fill” you can really start to redesign those bad boys. I prefer using pencils that are hard (versus creamy) and gently fill in the area over several strokes. Also, using light taupe / ashy brown powder in conjunction with your chosen pencil gives the brow a naturally full look. Brushing through the brow several times at the end of a fill creates an even more effortless looking result. Definitely avoid overly creamy and/or waxy filling pencils which impart the dreaded “drawn in” look. Besides looking phony bologna, it calls way much attention to the brow and not enough to your overall beautiful face.
9. Taking Too Much Hair From the Top – Some will preach that you must NEVER tweeze the hair above the eyebrow, only beneath. This is bogus and can leave the brow shape looking unfinished. With that said, there is some merit to this rule when it comes to the amount of hair taken off. I personally like to get the peach fuzz above the brow and the hair in “no man’s land” – the area above the arch and tails that creeps toward your hairline. Generally, most of the shaping should come from underneath to lift the brow up. If too much hair is plucked from above, it instantly flattens the brow and can give you a scowling effect. Use your best judgment when working above the brow and be sure to keep it to a quick cleanup.
10. Following Rules for Brow Shaping – Yes, I realize I’m giving you what might seem like rules. However, upon closer inspection, these are really more of….um….tips? Basically what I’m trying to say is that there is no predetermined “formula” for the perfect eyebrow. Every single one of us has vastly different bone structures, eyelid spaces, and eyebrow hair growth patterns. It is important to take a close, objective look at your own brow and let it be your guide in terms of shaping. Following rules for where the brow should begin and where the arch should be placed could give you less than flattering results. As I mentioned before, the only rule I find is GENERALLY useful is ending your brow on the imaginary line from corner of nose to corner of eye.
Wow – that was a lot! Have you ever put so much thought into your eyebrows? Did anyone actually finish reading? If so, give yourself a pat on the back. You are on your way to some killer eyebrows! If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, threats, etc. please feel free to comment below! For additional information on my services and to view my makeup work, feel free to stop by my website at http://www.joeyhealy.com/. Can’t wait to continue sharing all of my pro tips, tricks and techniques with you wonderful beauty junkies! Till next time! xoxo