A new brow product seems to arrive every week, but how to pick out those that won’t leave you frowning?
I could write a weekly column on eyebrows alone, such is the unfeasibly prolific stream of new brow products. I don’t because, to me, most seem to be the result of reinvention for its own sake. Those brow kits containing three shades of powder, for example: why? Unless you’re a makeup artist, you’ll use only one shade (usually a tad darker than the hair on your head, minus any warmth). The rest is a waste of product and money.
Brow chalks are another bugbear, and too thick to draw on anything but the kind of brows you find stuck to a card in a joke shop. For this column, I tested 24-hour thickening brow powder and was still trying to remove debris from my cheeks several hours later, as though I’d been wedged up a chimney. So trust me when I say that Mac’s new Shape & Shade Brow Tint (£19.50) is genuinely worthy of your consideration. It’s a double-ended wand in several cool shades (I’m Lingering) that at one end incorporates a felt-tip pen. It’s by no means the first of its kind, but it’s the most impressive combination of ease of use, free-flowing ink (you don’t have to keep shaking it as you do others) and fine, tapered nib that convincingly recreates real brow hairs to fill any gaps. At the other end is fine brow powder to fatten up existing hairs without mess. It’s so subtle as to be foolproof – the translucent ink (think dirty puddle rather than fresh tar) is exactly dark enough to do its job without looking wiggy and skin-staining.
If the painting of individual hairs seems pointless busywork, then by far the best “sweep and go” option (since Marks & Spencer discontinued its equivalent) is Glossier’s Boy Brow (£14), which instantly fattens, darkens and grooms brows with realistically sludgy colour. It’s brilliant stuff.
I get lots of emails from patients who’ve had chemotherapy (and former overpluckers) asking about microblading – the practice of tattooing on individual hairs – for brow reconstruction lasting around two years. It’s wonderfully realistic when performed well, and invariably the best work I see is by Suman, or Nez Hasan, though there are many regional experts, so do ask at your local support groups. If possible, give your real brows a chance to grow back a little, so your microblading practitioner has a roadmap to follow.