Full and Flirtatious or Thin and Thrifty? The Great Eyebrow Debate

Cosmopolitan once went as far as stating: “Great brows are like the day after a night of amazing sex: Nobody knows what you did, but they notice you look incredible” Although a striking analogy, Cosmo makes a solid point; remember Marion Cotillard’s stunning Vogue Paris cover? 
The stunning siren was sans eyebrows, albeit in an understated fashion. More than ever, beauty has come to the forefront and that’s brilliant news for us beauty journalists! We now have not only fashion icons but beauty icons – take for instance ‘girl of the moment’ and Vogue cover girl Lana Del Rey – and perfect eyebrows can transform your entire look and constitute a beauty trend in its own right. In this blog post we will look at the two tribes; are you a full and flirtatious brow lover or a thin and thrifty one? Whatever your inclination, a good waxing kit or pair of tweezers will ensure a seamless finish that your eyebrows wholeheartedly deserve.

Perhaps we should start with some inspiration...
As always, for true brow inspiration, we look to celebrities. Back in the old Hollywood days, brows were thin with a severe arch. In the past, silver screen sirens such as Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich kept their eyebrows super thin and flirty, although this trend later changed when icons such as Elizabeth Taylor opted for fuller, but still well cared for brows.

Some celebrities still favour slim brows, but these days the look is much softer rather than the severe classic Hollywood look. Victoria Beckham showcases delicate brows which are expertly shaped but thin enough not to overshadow her petite features.
The current sway in leaning in favour of fuller and sexier eyebrows, but still incorporating an arch; designers such as Giorgio Armani and John Galliano were some of the first to reinforce the fuller brow on their catwalks. By having eyebrows which are arched, the face is instantly lifted yet the thickness means the eyes remain a fascinating focal point. Kim Kardashian is a great example of a celebrity with full natural brows that are also immaculate and well-groomed. Likewise, Angelina Jolie is a convert to this look, with eyebrows that begin full by the nose and then taper off slightly towards the ear, creating an ultra-feminine look.

However it’s not all arches...
While the arch is probably the most popular current style, some celebrities instead favour an even more natural look with eyebrows that are much straighter and more show-stopping in their very nature. Keira Knightley and Jennifer Connolly use their striking eyes to their full advantage by keeping their brows just as strong, but straight and slightly angular across the face with little shaping.

OK, so you've picked a side of the battlefield, how do you achieve the look?
How you tidy your brows is a completely subjective choice; I myself prefer to get my brows waxed, some like to pluck and others, like British Vogue advocate threading. Whatever your preference, seek some advice from a beautician and either invest in the best tools you can afford, or treat yourself to a salon visit.

If you prefer to do-it-yourself, a decent pair of professional tweezers or a good waxing kit can help remove hairs at the root effortlessly and instantly, creating a smoother finish. Eyebrow shaping 101 is to follow your natural shape. Instead of creating a new shape, work on tidying up and maintaining what nature gave you. Never remove hairs from above the eyebrow as this looks unnatural - just trim any offending hairs to make them less noticeable. Remember to remove the straggly, extra-long hairs and go for a polished look; perhaps invest in a good quality eyebrow pencil. Another useful tip is to massage castor oil or almond oil into your brows to give them a little nourishment.

There really is no right and wrong when it comes to eyebrow shaping, as long as the brows succeed in framing the face and complementing the eyes. They should avoid overshadowing other facial features and should always be well looked after.

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