After interviewing Sophia Money-Coutts, she kindly sent me her new book to read. It was signed ‘I have intense eyebrow envy,’ which I was so thrilled by that I was almost prompted to send her a bit of a weird, protracted missile documenting my MANY eyebrow challenges in that British ‘I can’t handle praise’ fashion.
I resisted. Sophia didn’t need to hear about my various brow trials and tribulations. She was merely paying me a compliment. So I thanked her, and decided that perhaps a little brow post was in order in case you, like Sophia, have thought my brows sit to attention of their own volition (they don’t), are perfectly full and fluffy without help (HA!), and grew back from being plucked to oblivion without a helping hand (they categorically didn’t – though my natural hairiness did, of course, play a part. Please know that this is a godsend if you have suffered brow mishaps, but an absolute pain when managing hair in other parts of the bod. Nobody has it all, my friends).
Let’s start with things to make brows grow. Anecdotally, I know that there are plenty of these around and that many of them work, but the one I’ve had particular success with is Rapidbrow. All you do is rake the wand loaded up with clear gel through brows nightly and it helps them to sprout hairs where they were perhaps reluctant. I haven’t found this makes utterly bald bits grow, but it does sort of spur things on. I find it preferable to brow oils, texturally, but should you want to go down that route, Blink Brow Bar make an excellent one.
(Conversely, if you want to pluck brows, get a pair of Tweezerman tweezers. A perennially favourite, this end.)
To illustrate how thin my eyebrows were for a good ten years of my life:
Filling in brows is a rather less straight forward affair. Microblading is great if you want more permanent results (but good God please go to someone who knows what they’re doing, like Vaishaly), but when I want more oomph, I just use one of these:
Glossier Brow Flick (a pen which must be used on utterly clean skin to get the desired results so make sure yours is free of moisturiser. Also please store nib down to avoid it from drying out).
Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow (a powder palette which I use a lot on clients – the colour and texture is second to none. Use it with a slanted brush. Suqqu provide an excellent one in the palette so this won’t cost you extra).
Suqqu Eyebrow Pen (this comes in only two shades – brown and green. Green might sound odd but is actually perfect on paler brows as it isn’t warm in the slightest and you really want to avoid warmth when it comes to brows).
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. This takes a bit more commitment – it’s a paste absolutely requiring a slanted brush to apply, fingers won’t work – but the colours and finish are well worth it if you really have some filling in to do.
Eyeko Brow Magic. So clever – little fibres on a doe foot that you can just pop through brows in order to beef them up. I often recommend this to people who are regrowing brows after chemo or illness, as it is very easy and clings to baby hairs well. It currently seems to be out of stock everywhere which I hope means they’re just revamping the bottle and not discontinuing it.
(With all the above, apply in short strokes, mimicking hairs, in the direction of natural hair growth if you want it to look realistic. Never draw a line across the top as some people on instagram do – nothing will give the game away more quickly.)
You might think brow gels are much of a muchness and perhaps that’s true if your brows are generally quite willing to be controlled, but if like me you have wilder hairs, you’ll need something a bit stronger. Here are some I like:
(N.B. I am not overly taken by coloured gels as they don’t offer the control I like. I am well aware that I’m in a minority on this).
Hairspray on a toothbrush. You have one pass at this – it can’t be topped up. But if you’re in a bind and need something to fix yours up, a spritz of hairspray on a toothbrush or spoolie (NEVER APPLIED DIRECTLY TO BROWS) is excellent.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. Reliable. Won’t contain very unruly hairs, but applies well, doesn’t dispense too much product, etc etc.
Pixi by Petra Brow Tamer. I’m a big fan of this fairly big, firm wand that rakes through bushy brows well and allows the control to place them where you’d like them to be (it’s great if like me you like a slightly spiky upper line, and need some help to coax brow hairs in that direction).
RMK Clear Brow Gel. If you want to lock brows into place, this is brilliant. Sometimes you might need to wipe excess gel off the wand prior to applying, and have a spoolie ready to brush through so they’re fluffy, rather than hard and shiny. But if you’re willing to do those things, this is great. Also annoyingly out of stock everywhere, but perhaps you can find it in a shop at the counter. Selfridges is always a good bet for that.
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