Since the turn of the century, our broader understanding of the ideal eyebrow shape has evolved from one that allowed for fads that did not always enhance many face shapes to an ever expanding sense of what actually works well with an individual’s natural eyebrow hair growth pattern.
Gone are the days of the cookie cutter eyebrow as we have ushered in a completely customized, free-hand way of shaping that, when done properly, should, 100 percent of the time, create a natural and classic eyebrow shape based on an individual’s unique traits.
In the past, we have been taught that there are a few simple ways of balancing out the shape of one’s face depending on how much or how little we arch the eyebrows. This concept reinforces the idea that the more a person enhances a lifted eyebrow arch, the more it will create a more elongated face, promoting the idea that a person with a fuller, wider, or more round face would do well to have a higher arch and a person with a longer face should have a lesser arch.
While this is true, I hold the belief that it is more important to look at what nature gave each individual and go with that. As professionals, we need to look at the natural eyebrow indicators, such as how thick the hair is and what direction it naturally grows, in addition to where the brow has a tendency to arch on its own.
There are three common mistakes as it relates to the key points in an individual eyebrow. And, these are the three key areas to look at when deciding what is appropriate for each individual’s ideal eyebrow shape.
THE CENTER OF THE EYEBROW
This is the area that is the most commonly over-waxed or tweezed. Coincidentally, it is also the area that takes the longest to grow back in. Even in modern times, we will find published articles or educational tools describing that the center of the eyebrow would be taken out as far as the outer points of the nostrils or the inner corner of the eye.
These statements are a very old rule of thumb and need to be updated. What is actually important is where the inner corner of the eye hits the bridge of the nose. If you take a toothpick or the flat side of your tweezer and line it up with the bridge of the nose, exactly where it merges with the face, you will find the line that is your stopping point as it relates to how far to tweeze or wax the center of an eyebrow.
THE ARCH OF AN EYEBROW
The plethora of ways I have seen both professionals and clients try to contrive an arch is boundless. We have all seen the eyebrow that looks like a comma, moon, or worse, tadpoles.
Quite simply, the arch is exactly where the highest peak of the eyebrow is – not closer to the nose or further out. Look at where the persons highest peak in the eyebrow is. If you keep consistent with how thick the eyebrow structure naturally is and you were to envision a flat line from the base of the thickest part of the eyebrow lined up to hit the bottom part of the eyebrow, just under the highest peek in the eyebrow is where you will see the line should be given.
THE EXTERIOR EDGE OF THE EYEBROW
In the near 20 years I have been an eyebrow shaping specialist and the thousands of hours I have performed this service, I have only once ever had to shorten the outer edge of a person’s eyebrows. A few times I have needed to trim them, because they appear too long. Simply stated: rarely, if ever, should you shorten the outer edge of a person’s eyebrows.
If there is one area in the eyebrow that nature perfected, it is the outer edge of the eyebrows. They come just as far as they should. No less, no more. And, in the rare circumstance that a person’s outer edge appears to be a tad bit longer than it should, my recommendation is to only trim it slightly and never pull from the root.
In order to gain a reputation for excellence in the way of shaping eyebrows, never be afraid to explain to clients exactly what you are doing and why. Give them a mirror and show them the angles and areas you will be working on growing in for their optimal shape. Ask that they take at least three months to let areas grow in that they need for a fuller, more enhanced shape. During this three month eyebrow revival plan, ask that they leave tweezing to you, the professional.
It can take three to 12 months to see what can truly grow back after over-tweezing or waxing. When your clients know this going forward, they will be able to tap into patience and have trust for you as the expert. Ideally, recommend that they come in every three to four weeks in order to keep them looking great during the process. Once you have done this, you create loyal and happy clients that will fill your books for years to come.
Leah Simon-Clarke is a licensed aesthetician and consultant. In the 20 years Simon-Clarke has spent in the industry, her success has been driven by honing her skills in customer service, service innovation, marketing, and public relations. Like a painter or sculptor, Simon-Clarke sees the masterpiece ready to take shape within everyone and, through the tools of her craft and the wisdom that she shares, she brings this vision forward in a way that no one else can. The same is true with her approach to life, business, and personal transformation. Find Simon-Clarke through Twitter @LeahSimonClarke or Linkedin by name.
Photo Credit: Shari Fleming Photography, courtesy of Voussoir, Inc.