Beauty mishaps are unfortunately common occurrences, and hairstyle regrets, shaving accidents, and makeup mistakes happen all the time. However, when it comes to eyebrows, new complications can arise. Brows inspire beauty trends regularly, and there are several ways to groom them. So, when we face a brow emergency, what’s the protocol? Here’s some advice from cosmetologist Umbreen Sheikh, the founder and CEO of Wink Brow Bar (New York City).
Problem: Overplucked brows
Plucked one too many of your beloved brow hairs? There’s no need to panic. “Don’t fear," says Sheikh. "You can fake it 'til you make it with subtle makeup tricks that will help to create the illusion of a fuller, thicker brow.”
Wink Brow Perfecting Quad can be used for this emergency repair. Brush the two powders through twice to blend the product with your brow hairs for a natural look. Then, use highlighter to hide any random hairs. “Drawing a straight line under your brow will help minimize the appearance of strays," says Sheikh. "This will also lighten and brighten the entire eye area, drawing more attention to the eyes.”
Problem: A too wide eyebrow gap
To literally bridge the gap, fill in the points closest to the bridge of the nose. Microblading is one option. The semi-permanent tattoo technique can create the illusion of fuller brows of various looks and shapes. During this process, Wink technicians discuss the most suitable brow shape for the client’s face and pick a color that matches their hair color and skintone. The eyebrow area is cleaned and numbed before a handheld tool draws on hair strokes. The process can take up to 30-40 minutes, and results last from one to three years, depending on skin type, products, and lifestyle. This procedure is ideal for those who have lost brow volume due to age, menopause, or chemotherapy.
Problem: Unruly Brows
“If your brow hairs are wonky, you need a game plan for controlling them,” says Sheikh. To trim your arches, she suggests brushing your brows in the direction of the top of your ear with a spoolie brush. Then, cut only the tips off of the long hairs, with your scissors pointing down (not parallel to the brow). This technique will leave brows looking natural, with varying lengths of hairs. Finally, spray a spoolie with hairspray and do a quick brush through for a lifted look.
Problem: Matching your brow color to your hair
When it comes to the shade of hair on your head and your brows, you “don’t want to match the curtains to the carpet,” says Sheikh. “Darker brows will act as a frame for the face and enhance your eye color. Generally, it will give you the appearance of a lot more brow.”
If the shade of your arches isn’t quite to your liking, eyebrow tinting can help. The procedure includes applying semi-permanent dye to enhance, shape, and define your brows. “It gives the appearance of thicker, more youthful-looking brows," says Sheikh.
At Wink, an average session lasts 15 minutes, and the resulting color lasts three to six weeks.
Problem: Brows left too short
Very short eyebrows can make your eyes and nose look bigger than reality. If you overplucked or got a little overzealous with waxing, you might consider eyebrow extensions to provide more thickness. Brow extensions, which are done with tiny mink or synthetic hairs, are attached to either bare skin or existing hairs. The process takes 25-90 minutes depending on the thickness or amount of work required, and results last up to two weeks.
Problem: You’re not a waxing fan, or you bruise easily
Waxing mishaps are not fun. To avoid the possibility altogether, you can forego wax and try organic threading. This process typically involves one piece of cotton thread. After the brow area is cleaned, the thread is twisted and pulled around areas of stray hair, removing the hairs from the root without using harsh chemicals or painful wax.
"Threading allows our specialists to have greater control over which hairs are removed,” says Sheikh. "The technique is also 100 percent natural, with no artificial waxes, chemicals, or invasive methods used during the procedure.
Problem: You made your brows too big and bold
Starting from scratch is a hassle, so instead, dip a cotton swab in makeup remover and trace the natural outline of your brows. Any eyebrow products should be applied within the hairline, not outside of it. A quick trace with a cotton swab can redefine those lines.
Problem: You tried making both brows symmetrical
At-home brow adventures can sometimes go too far. At Wink, clients make the common mistake of experimenting on their own. “When you obsess over making your eyebrows look exactly the same, you can wind up overplucking them,” says Sheikh. “Too-thin brows are much worse than ones that are just a tad different. Your eyebrows are supposed to be sisters, not twins.”
For any brow emergency, remember not to panic, and consider these tips instead. More information about Wink Brow Bar is available at www.winkbrowbar.com.