Eyebrows have been through thick and thin over the years, quite literally, and these days it can be hard to know what is in style and what is way past its time. But the one thing that always remains constant is that that they should be healthy. This includes each individual eyebrow hair and the skin underneath and surrounding the brows.
Keeping your eyebrows healthy might seem to be a task you have never really thought of doing, but if you want envious eyebrows for years to come then it may just be time to start taking your eyebrow care seriously.
Let’s have a look at the ins and outs of the eyebrows, how make sure they are clean and tidy and the use of serums to keep them looking healthy. Then onto the good stuff – how to make them look like the eyebrows others can be envious of!
No one is certain why we humans have eyebrows, but there are a few theories that make sense. Their purpose is thought to prevent salt and sweat from falling into our eyes, but more recently it has been said that eyebrows developed as a form of non-verbal communication.
These days eyebrows have more aesthetic appeal than actual purpose, but that never stops us from raising them when we are surprised or creasing them when we are angry. The interesting thing is that we see eyebrows every single day on every person we meet, and some are prominent in their appeal while some take a back seat to other features.
There isn’t much right or wrong about how our eyebrows look, and in many ways we can’t help what we were graced with at birth, but it doesn’t stop us striving for eyebrows that bring us confidence and make us feel like we never fade into the background.
But whatever you prefer, thin, thick, barely there or untamed, there is one thing we all have in common and that is that our eyebrows will let us down over the years if we neglect to look after them properly.
The Rise and Fall of the Eyebrow
I don’t know about you but I can remember being in my early teens as my eyebrows started to take real shape, they were full and glossy and probably a little bit too unruly, but tweezers hadn’t really entered my makeup kit yet so I embraced the bushy eyebrows in all their glory. Then it seemed that overnight, the thin eyebrow trend took a firm grip and I was in awe of how these ladies in films and in rock bands made their eyebrows practically disappear and still look fabulous.
I grabbed my tweezers and began painfully plucking away all the strays and then some! I had razor thin brows and a gnarly red and swollen space where my eyebrows once stood. But it was in the name of fashion, everyone was doing it so why should I be left behind.
The one thing I soon came to realise was that this was one of the most ill-advised fashion faux pas I would ever face in my beauty regime. Why?
• I definitely did not prepare my skin beforehand and was left with blotchy red patches for weeks, not to mention the pain from plucking hairs from unprepared skin. Ouch!
• I didn’t think about aftercare and left my newly bared brow skin to sizzle in the sun that summer. Definitely not attractive having sunburn where eyebrows should be!
• I didn’t think about what suited me. Sure, popstars and actresses can pull off extreme looks, they have stylists and makeup artists following them around all day, so they always look flawless. Me? I barely new how to do my makeup, let alone how to make sure it suited my face and after learning a thing or two as I got older, my face shape definitely suits a fuller brow!
• They don’t really ever grow back as they once were. This might be different from person to person, but after years of eyebrow abuse, I can honestly say that my eyebrows have never been the same.
It’s sad really, if I had really thought about the unkind treatment I was making my eyebrows endure, in hindsight I would have left them alone. But I didn’t and now we are here having to make up for years of damage and getting my eyebrows back to a healthy state.
So, where do we begin with making sure our eyebrows are healthy? It is one thing to get them looking good but being healthy is a different matter. The best part is, once they are well taken care of, they will start to look as great as they feel.
First of all, you need to have a look at what you’ve got and really assess their current state. Whether they are thick and full or thin and sparse there is always hope for your eyebrows to look as great as you want them to.
Let’s say you have thin eyebrows from overplucking or maybe they are naturally thin the first thing you need to do is put the tweezers down. As tempting as it may be to want to get rid of a few strays or newly growing in hairs where you are used to having none, you may need a break from the tweezers. You may think they look uneven and you use tweezers to balance them out, but remember the saying “eyebrows are sisters, not twins” so as much as you want to pluck at this point, steer clear or tweezers, waxing and threading for the time being to try and get the health back into the eyebrow follicles and skin surrounding them.
So, in this growing out period, you should exfoliate them. The same way you would exfoliate the rest of your face, nice and gentle so you don’t irritate the skin, but the idea is to keep the skin clean and clear and give the follicles a better chance at growing healthy hairs.
Next, you need to keep them moisturised and nourished, like you would with your hair. You notice when that starts to look dull and dry and even periods where your hair doesn’t grow as much or as quickly as you would hope, so you do something about it with a hair mask or a moisturising conditioner.
Eyebrows are a little more delicate and so is the skin around your eyes, so heavy conditioners won’t help and could end up clogging your pores and causing blemishes or infections. The best thing to do is to use an eyebrow conditioning serum. XBrow Eyebrow Conditioning Serum by XLash is a brilliant solution for people with thinner eyebrows or people in the process of trying to grow them back. It also has sustainable qualities which with regular use can upkeep the health of your brows long after they have grown back in.
It contains mild and botanical ingredients that when applied sink deep into the follicle to build strength below the skin, stronger follicles mean stronger hair so it’s a no brainer really, especially when your eyebrows are a little less favourable in this department!
Within a few weeks of daily use, you should start to notice hairs growing back in quicker and healthier. So when you used to reach for the tweezers because one hair grew in in an unwanted place, now you will start to see a few hairs grow back in and be less likely to pluck them as you can see the potential for when they are fully grown.
I certainly found this to be the case anyway, I always had one annoying eyebrow hair that would grow in right on the brow bone but the area surrounding it was pretty sparse, with XBrow Eyebrow Conditioner, that sparse area started to fill out quickly and it was just a patient waiting game until they were at a length suitable enough for grooming.
Before we actually get onto grooming, let’s talk about cleansing a bit first. As this is one step that should be self-explanatory but probably doesn’t seem to go hand in hand with eyebrow health. Afterall, I’m telling you to apply a healthy serum to your eyebrows daily, what good would cleansing it back off again do, right?
Well the key is in the balance. It is in our nature to want to look our best, so it is only natural that we apply creams, lotions and makeup to our faces. The problem is the more we put on our faces, the less our skin as a chance to breathe. So, taking makeup off at the end of the day is really important for healthy skin and hair.
Think about eyelashes at this point, and how they clump up together when you leave mascara on them for too long, You wouldn’t sleep in mascara as the long-term damage it does to your eyelashes is not worth the few minutes it would have taken to remove the mascara in the first place. So, eyebrows are the same, taking makeup off at the end of the day is important to keep your follicles clear and skin soft.
That’s why the Xbrow conditioner works so well to keep your eyebrows hydrated overnight, it isn’t heavy or oily which is the number one reason follicles get clogged and by applying it at night, you get to go to sleep content in the knowledge that you’re doing your eyebrows a massive favour!
When it comes to grooming your eyebrows, whether you have patiently waited for them to grow back in or have been naturally blessed with a fuller brow, you need to think about a few things first. Unlike me, back in my early days of plucking my eyebrows, don’t make the same mistakes of going in without preparing your eyebrows and skin first.
After about 6-8 weeks of regrowth, you will really start to see your natural eyebrow shape and it is important you stick to this shape to really learn how it flatters your face. Eyebrows are supposed to frame your eyes and face so overplucking at this stage could get you back to square one with a few months to wait for them to grow in again.
Brush your eyebrows to give yourself a real idea of the arch and what can be removed. By plucking a few of the strays underneath you will be left with a semi-defined shape that might just require a bit of grooming every now and then to keep that shape you’ve worked so hard for. My personal suggestion if you aren’t happy with a casual eyebrow shape and want something more defined and razor sharp would be to visit a beautician or eyebrow technician who can advise you on what will suit you and use the tools in their professional arsenal to bring that shape to life.
If you are like me and at this stage, just want to do a bit of home grooming to keep your brows in check, then keep it simple, don’t overpluck and definitely don’t start going for hairs other than those underneath your arch.
Make sure your skin is prepared too or you’re in for a world of pain and swollen red skin which is not a sign of health eyebrows. Wait until after a shower when your pores are open and it will make it for a much nicer experience, trust me! Then use a cooling balm afterward to help bring the skin back to a normal state and feel the relief of a job well done.
When all is said and done, once your eyebrows are in a better state than they were before the need to tweeze came along, you are free to do with them what you please. And don’t get me wrong, I still have spaces where hairs grow back in slower than anywhere else, so I use an eyebrow pencil to help fill in the blanks and give them a lot more definition.
Eyebrows can be fun to play around with but remember that whatever you do to them could last a long time, so keep it temporary until you have found the right balance of what makes them stand out for you. Don’t be too afraid of your eyebrows though, just pay attention to their health every now and then and you will be rewarded with a great set of enviable arches for years to come.