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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Highbrow Tutorial

Do you notice people brows? They are not really something that you immediately notice, even though they can have quite an impact on the face. A good brow really helps a vintage look
I don't have amazzzing brows. Nor are they completely natural... mine are quite made up. 
But you can see why...
 I let them go wild for as long as I could before I showed you this, my pale overgrown, natural woolly GRANDAD Brows. Complete with patchy bits, a couple of greys (my only ones mind you, for which I am thankful!), uneven, long-haired, fluffy and curly, and they are also a bit scant (ok, that might be my fault for over plucking in the 90s).  
I can hear my brother laughing from here. See how much I love you to share this with you??
To start getting these under control, I brush my hairs up, to get those long ones visible and see who is out of line
 Then I trim them where they stand outside of the rest. Before I learnt to trim, I would pluck these long babies, but that leads to more scant patches, and I don't have enough to start with
 Then I do the same combing them down, and trimming again
 Here we are, with my left eye trimmed, and my right eye untrimmed. You can see what a difference it makes before we even get into plucking
 Then I DYE them. Yip! Some people dye their hair, I dye my brows instead. I really recommend it for fair brow types. I do mine at home now with a pack from the chemist. I dye before plucking because then I can see what I have to work with!
 Follow the instructions on the pack. I've found it goes on better with a old clean mascara brush
 I dab up any dribbles with cleanser or cold cream
While I'm at it I do my lashes too, though they don't last as long and I tend to use mascara anyway. 
And then we wait. I leave mine on longer than the packet says, as I find it fades quite quickly in the first week.  15 mins seems right for me. (Please find out your own best times rather than relying on me, since all dye packs will be different!)
And we wait. This is clearly when Hubby got bored...*Sigh*
 A quick mop up ...
 ...and we are into plucking.   To help get an arched effect I pluck my line high up at the top. I also pluck above the line if necessary, as it is all about getting definition.
 And I taper it quite thinly on the downwards slope. With my grandad brows I also have to watch the pesky ones above my nose. You can see my left brow is already looking in great shape. I like my left brow
 So here we are all trimmed, dyed and plucked. Much more presentable! And yet, for a vintage brow we are not yet done...Now I get out the eyebrow pencil and start really defining it, and filling in the bits I don't grow well myself. I use an eyebrow crayon from MAC in a shade called "lingering".
 Starting with the inside corner, I round out and fatten this bit, especially on my right eyebrow which is shorter and less arched than my left. Some vintage looks are straight up and down at the nose but that doesn't suit me
Then I create the arch in a sweeping curve up to the high point of my brow. I define the edges on the top and the bottom and for me, I keep the bottom line right under the natural hairs, and let the top edge go slightly higher than the hairs to create more plumpness and shape.
 Once I reach the top of the arch I go straight out towards the temple. If you keep shaping the arch and curving on the way down, then you can look a little questionable because the brow comes too close to the eye.
This tail of the brow is so important to complete the look that I extend this line by about 5mm (1/5th of an inch)...or about 7mm if I feel like showing off! It seems strange do this at first, but believe me, know one will ever notice.
Now we have my right eye penciled, left one not. You can see I need to do more filling and fattening up at the nose edge of my right eye brow to match my left eyebrow.
 So here are my finished brows. They are quite a lot stronger than my natural ones eh? 
Once I have eye shadow on it is not nearly as pronounced.

So there you have it, what I do with my eyebrows. Once done they do last quite a while with just a bit of maintenance. I hope you found it useful. My lovely brother would have got his entertainment from it at least!!

I'm sure some of you have particular tricks that differ from mine. Do feel free to share them in the comments so that others can benefit!
Shona x


  1. thank you thank you thank you! eyebrows is always something i haven't bothered with (mainly because I'm still quite young, 16 on wednesday) but I think I really should get on it to have the more overall genuine vintage look. got the pin curls and the crinolines down, but thus far not the eyebrows. this has been super helpful, the way you've done them for this looks very vintage, but natural too. thanks, and sorry for the babble


  2. Lovely!

    I am a tad in love with your hair colour, it's scrumptious!

  3. A great tutorial! I have very pale blonde brows and have often thought about giving them a bit more oomf! Its great to actually see the difference a well groomed brow makes :) x

  4. Brows are so important!Brows and shoes are the first things I notice on people!I always say that the eyes are the nipple of the face so the eyebrows are the cleavage,you don't want too much and you don't want too little.

  5. The BEST eyebrow post I have seen in a LONG time!!!

  6. Thank yoooouuuuu.... I have pretty dark hair and never used to bother dying them (although have been waxing then threading since teens). I got the "bug" for dying brows about 6 months ago and now I cant stop. I use the "Flatter" by MAC for a day look and No7 Brown/Black for an evening look and avoid completely black as this is never a good look! Thanks again a good practical post xx

  7. I look like Groucho Marx if I let my eyebrows grow wild, but I have such a hard time shaping them correctly. A million thanks for this great post.

    ~ Cerridwyn

  8. What a great post! I really need to do something with my brows :( They're really thick & I'm not girly enough to do anything with them.... must try harder! x

  9. Great tips on dying brows. I have dark brows but found my first grey brow hair (yipes!) These tips will come in handy when it goes beyond the plucking it out stage.

  10. I have horrible mousy coloured hair naturally and have been dying my hair black for a good while now. My eyebrows are so fair that i also dye them or it looks really really funny without any makeup.

    I have a similar eyebrow routine to you, but have recently found a new gem to use!!
    I bought the most magnificent brush by ecotools which i cannot recommend highly enough. It gives great precision and looks great using an eyebrow powder as i used to find my pencil looked too harsh. Anyway if you're interested in the brush you can get it from Boots or good ole' Sainsburys and this is it:

    I just use it along with NYX eyebrow powder and the results are great. Thanks for the tutorial, great to see someone else that dyes and trims them like me :)

    1. I use one of these too, with NYX eyeshadow and it lasts, all day and all through an evening ball!. I set it with clear mascara and my brows stay perfectly in shape.

  11. This is brilliant Shona! Hooray and thank you! X

  12. A most excellent post! I am always wondering if I should pencil in my brows, as mine are quite fair...although I worry that too much eyebrow pencil would make me look like a drag queen! As I have bleach blonde hair, I can't have very dark eyebrows, but it really does complete the pin-up look, as I found, when I had my make-up done for me by Pretty Me Vintage on my wedding day...hhhmmm, must look into finding the right shade of eyebrow pencil and start experimenting!

  13. You can come and do mine when you're finished! XX


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing from you, even if I don't always have time to reply


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