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The big brow overhaul

Here I was thinking I was channelling that heavy-browed 80s supermodel look with my – ahem – luscious eyebrows, but my long-suffering and very kind waxer, eyebrow shaper and all round beauty maker at toast&co subtly hinted I was more wolverine than Cara Delevingne. “Do you think I need a brow overhaul,” I asked. “Yes,” she deadpanned.

I have not had the pleasure of a brow overhaul, but it turned out to be simple enough: all I had to do was lie down and let the process unfold.

She began with a pair of tiny scissors, which she used to carefully chop my brushed up brows – a sort of opening panga assault on the dense bush before finer work could commence. After the brush cut, and a long hard inspection for evenness – “Eyebrows are sisters, not twins,” she noted – she painstakingly painted on some hot wax and sculpted two good arches, pulling hairs from the top and bottom. Then she got to work with some tweezers, before applying a quick tint to finish.

Brows are funny things. You seldom pay too much direct attention to them, but when they’re totally mismatched, too high, too bold, too sparse or missing, you certainly notice. They frame the face, giving it a particular look and shape. In fact, a brow can change the way your face looks. Go heavy, and you make your face look thinner and longer. If you want a rounder, softer shape, it’s best to opt for a sleeker brow.

The uber thin look made landfall in the 90s. Google Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie from that era and you’ll see them all rocking the ice queen look. And it may be making a comeback. Rihanna made a splash on a British Vogue cover a couple of years ago sporting blade-thin drawn-on lines for brows. We’d not recommend this, though. Very thin brows overexpose the facial features and can make you look surprised.

Despite the odd thin brow popping up on the runway or magazine covers, the bushy brow trend is still in force. This does not mean, however, that you simply grow out your brows and leave them shaggy. They need, as I learned, careful shaping so they’re well-kempt but still natural looking.

When I sat up after my treatment, I was astonished at the transformation. It was a subtle change – but, of course, you don’t want your eyebrows to be directly noticed. Rather you want them to give your face a seamless sense of harmony and balance. That’s exactly what I got.

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