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TOP 10 EYEBROW MISTAKES

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

35 comments:

  1. i am so guilty of number 1!

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  2. Number 1 is horrifying.  I do... like to use it to help 'clean-up' the stary hairs under my brows but not for shaping.  Those mirrors are horrorshows for looking at your pores.  *barf*

    OH OH!  *waves arms around*
    I have a question.  My left eyebrow has some deep scaring in it from a childhood accident and it actually left a bald spot going through my brow and near the "tail" some of the hair actually grow BACKWARDS through the scar tissue making an ugly "horned owl" look in the corner of that brow.  I've been irritated by this for a long time and just end up plucking the rebelious hairs out to help my brows settle down and fill-in the gap.  Is this... wrong?

    Also... I hate trimming my brows because it looks really obvious since my brows are dark and my skin is pale.  Is there a wax or something you recommend to help keep the hairs in place without making it look all stuck together?

    (HA! and I thought I was only going to make a small comment.)

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  3. I read it all! I'm guilty of number 4 - I just can't help it! My brows are very sparse there, and always take more off on one side that another! Great post - love your site, you're a fabulous artist!

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  4. I have been guilty of ALL of these and I am paying the price for it now lmao. Thanks for the post. You do great work.

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  5. Great tips!....but I still need him to move to LA...LOL..hahahaha!

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  6. woah. i had no idea thin eyebrows make you look older. that's crazy. I always wish i had fuller eyebrows. they are sooo thin that i don't want to mess with them at all. lol. especially my ends. what about not testing the wax on your eyes. i know someone who got an allergic reaction and the eyebrow area became all bumpy. :-( so now i'm afraid to get them waxed as well! :-/

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  7. Excellent tips, Unfortunately I got in the habit of overplucking. Thankfully I've stopped using a magnifying mirror and my brows are looking more natural. 

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  8. Joey...you Rock!
    I love you and thank you for being part of BNP&LG!

    P.S. I am guilty of #1 but after our last chat I gave my magnocreep mirror to my MIL! O:-)   And I am not so patiently letting what there is of my tiny brows grow in so I can start from scratch with your tips!

    *smooches*

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  9. hahahah I LOVED it!!!

    The part about the magnifying mirror is so true, and so is the part about the arch!!
    I do prefer my eyebrows thinner thought, no one can change my mind on that.

    LOVED the post!!!

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  10. Great tips! I'm obsessed with eyebrows...mine and everyone else's. Good brows can really do wonders for your face. Looking forward to more guest spots from Joey. Thanks to the lovely Andrea for introducing him! :-D

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  11. I'm half japanese and have japanese eyebrows where they tend to be thicker near the tails.  How should I groom them to make them look more finished?

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  12. Gosh, can you come over to my house and take care of my brows? They have gone completely off the grid from your tips. :o  Well, I don't break ALL the rules, but I have allowed myself to become obsessed with getting an arch in my brow.  It helps to make it look wide, like it did in my 20's, no 30's!! ;)

    Great article.  I look forward to reading more from you. :)

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  13. Lacquer Ware for Tips and ToesSeptember 30, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    Absolutely fantastic post.  I'm so glad I don't do the "dont's" either because I've learned from the professionals I use or it just seemed natural to not do that.  Thank you!

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  14. I sometimes have nightmares about badly shaped brows! The cashiers(!) at my local grocery store have their brows drawn in. On one they look very drawn in, on the other the arch is in the middle and it's in the middle of her forehead. And it's drawn in with a black black liner.

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  15. Thank you so much for posting these tips! I have one "question" though... I dye my hair black and the brows too, to match, and when I do my makeup in the morning, instead of using a brow pen to fill in my since long overpluck eyebrows, I use one stroke of black mascara to sorta make 'em pop... What's your professional opinion on that..? *embarassed* O.o

    Also, big smooches to Andrea for giving this to us! <3

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  16. This is a great guest piece! :)  I pretty much do ...9 out of 10 "don'ts." lol. The only one I've ever really followed was #10! So good to know, and my boyfriend will be happy to know that i'm not staring at a magnified version of my face just to clear out strays! >.<

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  17. Principessa GrassaOctober 1, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    This was really helpful! My eyebrows are, let's say, BATSHIT INSANE, so every little bit of advice on dealing with them helps! Awesome post.

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  18. <span>Anyone young who is reading this blog, pay attention to this post.  It's so full of important information.  Most importantly don't overpluck! I say many young girls with really skinny eyebrows and they look awful.  I wish this much information was given to me when I first started plucking.  I've been through all eyebrows shapes.  I'm currently growing mine out once again.  I do have a magnifying mirror.  I love it to death.  I do pluck something out every day! My tails have gotten thinner.  Thank God for eyebrow powder and the wax to keep them in place.  Thank you Andrea for having this wonderful man on to do a most important post.  :) </span>

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  19. Very interesting!.
    Now I have to give some more attention to my poor brows.
    Joey, I saw all the pic's of your makeup work, bravo!
    Thanks to Evil Angel, and Congrats!

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  20. This was the most helpful advice I have ever read about eyebrows maintence.  Thanks so much!

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  21. YES, someone finally concedes that you can tweeze above the brow! :D Halle-fucken-lujah

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  22. <span><span>Those are 2 great questions Skulda!  It is not unusual to see an unusual hair growth pattern when scar tissue is present on the eyebrow.  Your first option (in a perfect world) would be to try to trim the hair so it is manageable and then try to get <span> </span>the shape to be obedient with a setting wax and some grooming/filling.  If the hair is resilient, then your best option might be to go ahead and remove the hair in that area of the tail and gently draw it back in.  My best advice is to be very objective with yourself, step back from the mirror and think about what would look the most natural and less obvious.<span>  </span>Perhaps filling that area with a pencil/powder combination would appear less noticeable and still give you proper definition.</span>  
    <span> </span>  
    <span>Your second question is also excellent.  I definitely prefer to see longer brow hairs properly combed and groomed vs. being OVER trimmed.  Give yourself a light trim to give them a bit less play then try using a simple clear mascara to keep them neatly in place.  Also, hairspray sprayed onto a disposable mascara wand works as well.  Hope I could be of some help! Thanks so much for reading, Skulda!  xo  Joey</span></span>

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  23. What I love so much about tweezing/trimming is that it is completely chemical free - a lot of people have bad allergic reactions to ingredients in wax.  Sorry your friend had to find out the hard way :-(

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  24. ;)  Patience is a brow virtue! We'll get those girls in shape, you just wait and see!  xoxo

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  25. <span>GREAT question.  In my career, Asian eyebrows have definitely been the wild card.  They play by their own rules!  Your natural thickness toward the tails is common and can easily be addressed.  In your case, I would suggest really focusing on removing the hair underneath the tail (one row at a time) to give the area some lift and shape.  Also trimming is so important for your brow type!</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>As far as grooming is concerned, I know a lot of Japanese women who complain about the coarseness of their brows.  One of my clients uses Clubman's Moustache Wax and swears by it for keeping hers tame.  Extra hold hairspray works as well.  You maybe want to even try using a tinted brow gel if you need added fullness.<span>   </span>Also filling never hurts!</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>These are case by case scenarios so just try to do your best and look at them with a critical eye.  Shaping is an ART!  If you are in the NYC area (or ever passing through), call me and I'll work with you to get them on track!  Thanks for reading xo  Joey</span>

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  26. Hey Kimberly!  Call me if you are based in NYC and we can tackled those brows together :)

    Thanks for reading xoxo  Joey

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  27. <span>Hey Feline!  Those are excellent questions.  Firstly, I'd advise you to re-consider actually dyeing your brows black.  Your brows don't necessarily have to match the hair on your head.  Using back mascara in a very light grooming swipe is probably enough to strengthen them on its own AND you don't have to worry about the color growing out.  If you're going to use this technique, make sure your mascara is lightweight and waterproof for longevity.  I would consider looking at dark brown pencils / matte powders to use instead of (or in conjunction with) your mascara trick.  Since your hair color is dark, your brows need strength and definition but they should still look naturally shapely and never harsh.  Keep it real with yourself and really step back and scrutinize the end result.<span>  </span>Experiment!  Once you get down a system, it will be quick work in the morning.  Thanks for reading Feline!  Hope I've helped xoxo Joey</span>

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  28. Thank you all so much for reading and for your wonderful questions and comments!  It's so great sharing suggestions and tips with you guys!  I LOVE HAVING AN ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCE!  You're all the best xoxoxoxoxox  Joey

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  29. Thanks for answering ^.^

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  30. Thank you all so much for reading and for your wonderful questions and comments!  It's so great sharing suggestions and tips with you guys!  I LOVE HAVING AN ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCE!  You're all the best xoxoxoxoxox  Joey

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  31. <span>GREAT question.  In my career, Asian eyebrows have definitely been the wild card.  They play by their own rules!  Your natural thickness toward the tails is common and can easily be addressed.  In your case, I would suggest really focusing on removing the hair underneath the tail (one row at a time) to give the area some lift and shape.  Also trimming is so important for your brow type!</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>As far as grooming is concerned, I know a lot of Japanese women who complain about the coarseness of their brows.  One of my clients uses Clubman's Moustache Wax and swears by it for keeping hers tame.  Extra hold hairspray works as well.  You maybe want to even try using a tinted brow gel if you need added fullness.<span>   </span>Also filling never hurts!</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>These are case by case scenarios so just try to do your best and look at them with a critical eye.  Shaping is an ART!  If you are in the NYC area (or ever passing through), call me and I'll work with you to get them on track!  Thanks for reading xo  Joey</span>

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  32. Great tips! I'm obsessed with eyebrows...mine and everyone else's. Good brows can really do wonders for your face. Looking forward to more guest spots from Joey. Thanks to the lovely Andrea for introducing him! :-D

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  33. <span><span>Those are 2 great questions Skulda!  It is not unusual to see an unusual hair growth pattern when scar tissue is present on the eyebrow.  Your first option (in a perfect world) would be to try to trim the hair so it is manageable and then try to get <span> </span>the shape to be obedient with a setting wax and some grooming/filling.  If the hair is resilient, then your best option might be to go ahead and remove the hair in that area of the tail and gently draw it back in.  My best advice is to be very objective with yourself, step back from the mirror and think about what would look the most natural and less obvious.<span>  </span>Perhaps filling that area with a pencil/powder combination would appear less noticeable and still give you proper definition.</span>  
    <span> </span>  
    <span>Your second question is also excellent.  I definitely prefer to see longer brow hairs properly combed and groomed vs. being OVER trimmed.  Give yourself a light trim to give them a bit less play then try using a simple clear mascara to keep them neatly in place.  Also, hairspray sprayed onto a disposable mascara wand works as well.  Hope I could be of some help! Thanks so much for reading, Skulda!  xo  Joey</span></span>

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  34. I sometimes have nightmares about badly shaped brows! The cashiers(!) at my local grocery store have their brows drawn in. On one they look very drawn in, on the other the arch is in the middle and it's in the middle of her forehead. And it's drawn in with a black black liner.

    ReplyDelete

Please comment, I love hearing from you all! XOXO