Brow Beauty Part 1: Should I really care about my brows?11:37 AM
I didn't believe in the power of groomed brows until I started using brow products myself. I have widely distributed but sparse eyebrows, with a crazy arch. Every time I sat down in a makeup chair prior to a prom/grad ball/wedding, the makeup artist would cluck, "Manipis ang kilay mo, pero kalat..." and leave it at that. I couldn't understand the big deal -- until someone finally took a razor (!) to my face caterpillars. Take a look:
Ungroomed, unfilled, unruly brows with an arch that is way too sharp.
My current, bare brows. I'm growing them out a bit so there are stray hairs here and there.
If eyes are the windows to the soul, brows are the frames...to the windows...of your soul. What?Don't groomed brows just open up the face? Not only are they neater, but they define the eyes as well. I usually drop by my neighborhood Lay Bare for a threading every month or two, but lately I've been plucking them myself because sometimes the eyebrow technician doesn't shape them the way I want. Browhaus has good service and the thread they use is really gentle, I don't even experience redness post-threading! But they are sooo far away, and pricey besides. I have yet to try Wink's brow waxing service (they don't do threading). A branch just opened in Trinoma so yay!
Even when groomed, my brows still need definition so they don't disappear into my face. As with most things visual, it's all about contrast. A darker brow makes the area surrounding the eye appear lighter. This then acts as sort of a plain background against which the eye really pops.
Brow beauty is youthful beautyDefined but soft brows give you a youthful look. Consider this 2013 study by Porcheron et al., Aspects of Facial Contrast Decrease with Age and Are Cues for Age Perception. (Here's an easy-to-digest summary.)
Basically, they found that facial contrast decreases with age. Volunteers perceived faces with lower facial contrast as about 3 years older than they actually were. And when two versions of a photo were placed side by side (as above), participants in 93% of trials indicated that the high contrast face looked younger. The authors concluded that:
- This overwhelming effect indicates that participants used facial contrast as a cue in perceiving age, and that faces with increased facial contrast were perceived as younger.
- The same face can be made to appear younger or older by increasing or decreasing facial contrast.
- Among the signs of aging, facial contrast is of particular interest because of its clear relationship to cosmetics use.
And now for my own conclusions: YES, if you're into beauty you should care about your brows! Because:
- Neat brows open up the face
- Defined brows = defined eyes
- Well-groomed brows can make you look younger
I didn't go into brow shapes, because that is a whole 'nother topic altogether -- your brow shape depends on the shape of your eyes and your face. So, have I convinced you yet? ;) Tomorrow I'll be sharing the brow products I use. Feel free to tell me yours!