Brow journey





Intro to brows:
Importance of well-styled eyebrows

If eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are the nice curtains that frame them! It isn’t until you’ve seen badly groomed brows that you appreciate well-styled ones.

(Cher Lloyd before and after eyebrows correction!)

I have had non-tweezed brows, over-plucked brows, shaved brows and drawn on terribly (emphasis on the word TERRIBLY) brows. I’ve now got to a point in my life where I actually have existing brow hair (albeit light, due to my natural colouring), a shape that suits my face, natural-looking and filled-in eyebrows.

My eyebrows in December 2011.

My eyebrows in 2004!? Over-plucked!!

The below photoshopped image depicts Keira Knightly with less prominent eyebrows. Although they’re the same shape as her natural brows; the fact that they’re thinner really makes a difference to her overall look. She is decidedly more striking with her natural well-styled brows.

Catherine Zeta-Jones – yes, this is a photoshopped image of her I found online, don’t worry she hasn’t suddenly gone out and shaved them off. Just another example of how they frame a face.

Eyebrows – a historic tale


Clara Bow’s brows were very thin, downwards pointing, and worked well to express emotions on film. A large part of her visual identity.
It is very likely that they would be perceived as ‘undesirable’ by today’s standards. Pencil thin eyebrows have become ‘tacky and undesirable’ and the sad looking shape wouldn’t be flattering for everyday.


Joan Crawford’s striking beauty was only enhanced by her high arching brows.
It could work in today’s society, but you’d have to be prepared for a few looks. The high arch of this brow shape would be striking on a woman with a rounder eye but almond shapes would be too harsh against it.


Veronica Lake is best known for her flaxen locks but her rounded arches work perfectly to accent her face shape and signature look.
Would it work today? Absolutely. Slightly more shaped than a normal brow, this look would require regular upkeep so is high-maintenance.


Audrey Hepburn’s brows are one of her most defining features but a close look at any image shows that they were almost completely drawn on.
A lot of people would think that this look wouldn’t work today; but I tend to disagree. This is a strong and harsh brow that, when drawn on, would look forced on most women. If you’re lucky enough to have naturally thick brows you could shape them to emulate Audrey’s.


With the signature makeup that Twiggy often wore, her brows had to be strong enough to stand out without taking away from the look.
It could work today, a good rule to follow when attempting any strong eye is to think how your brows will look in comparison. A filled in but not overly defined brow works very well with strong liner.


The 70s saw the success of models like Lauren Hutton and it was the time when we saw eyebrows in a more natural shape.
Would it work today? Yes. Most women are comfortable with their natural brow shape so this slightly shaped look is great for everyday.


Probably the most iconic brows of a generation, Brooke Shield’s straight but full brows were typical of the 80s.
Would it work today? Absolutely. Strong brows are one of the biggest trends of 2012 so we should expect more women going with a groomed version of au natural.


The 90s brought an obsession with plucking, waxing, and grooming body hair, so many women are still fighting with the over-plucked brows they regret. Lucy Liu’s arches are a happy medium and representative of the era’s trends.
Would it work today? Unfortunately, many women are still struggling with the addiction to tweezing so we still see over-shaped brows. If you want a thinner look, opt for a shape like Lucy’s that complements your eye and face shape.

This historical timeline data was taken from: ‘Eyebrows Through the Ages | The Fashion Spot’

My eyebrows…A historical journey

I have been there! I have shaved my eyebrows, plucked them badly, re-plucked them badly, over-tweezed them completely and drawn them on, terribly.

My brows as a child; fairly straight, wide and light.

*My gothic stage – my teenage years, I don’t have photographs of, but those brows definitely would have scared you!*

My brows in 2004 – very thin and over-plucked, drawn on with pencil.

My brows in about 2007 thin and penciled on at a high angle.

Pencilled in brows too close together – in about 2006/7.

Pencilled in brows too close together – in about 2008/9.

Eyebrows drawn on and powdered in too dark, in about 2010.

In mid-2011 I believe, well-matched to skintone and hair-colouring, well-shaped, good match for face-shape.

2011 – Evidence of penciled in brows; smudgy after house/garden-work.

End of 2011 – Slightly different angle/style to brows this time but good measurement between the two.

End of 2011 – slightly different angle to them; higher and thinner this day.

Very end of 2011, you can see they are penciled in.



Correct wax and pencils – but incorrect colour matching:



Lessons learned. Dip-brow purchased. Strong, natural brows – in. Over-plucked, badly colour-matched brows – out.



Fixing over plucked eyebrows
Over-tweezed or plucked eyebrows are quite unflattering. And more often that not, unfortunately this happens when people do their own – at-home plucking. DIY pluck-age!
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; there are some rules to follow:
First let’s start with the rules of plucking eyebrows:

Do not overdo.
This is what leads to you having OVERTWEEZED eyebrows.

If you have completely untweezed brows and you’re not sure how to pluck them at all, see a professional. Getting a desirable shape in a beauty salon will leave you with flattering eyebrows and you’ll only need to maintain the shape.
Carefully plan your eyebrow shape. It should flatter your face shape and coordinate well with your eye shape.

Eyebrow pencil:

There are some saving graces to over-plucked brows, however – the most common one; filling in nude spots or gaps with a light pencil. There are brow pencils sold especially for this reason. It should roughly match your eyebrow colour. I always go a little darker ALL over my brow because I’m blonde and they’re annoying light. I swear my brain is brunette, because I’d love mega dark brows and hair.
Anyway, back on point people! ;) – You should use light strokes, you don’t want to get that DRAWN ON effect…That’s what we’re trying to avoid. Natural is key, natural is what looks beautiful.


If your brows don’t grow back or grow very slowly it is better to entrust shaping your eyebrows to a professional. If you happened to over-tweeze them, you could try a lash growth serum on the spots you have over-plucked. It boosts the hair grows and may help encourage the growth of your over-plucked eyebrows. I haven’t tried any of these; I’ve just used the ol’ age-old treatment of ‘time’. And not-plucking them.


Apparently, gently massaging your brows will boost the blood flow, which is required for better hair growth.


Your diet also impacts hair growth. The more varied foods you eat the better your hair growth rate is. To boost your hair growth, eat foods rich in protein and vitamins B and C such as Soy, Tofu, nuts, vegetables and citrus fruit (and for your health’s sake – GO VEGAN!) ;) Had to plug that!

Another option opposed to pencil, is powder…

Brow Powder:

This product was specially designed to add some volume and definition to the brows.

I use a very small amount at the end of my make-up routine to almost ‘set’ them.


Hairspray can’t solve your over-pluckness, but it will efficiently set the brows on the desired position to maintain the natural impression. Use a worn-out toothbrush and spay a little hairspray on it, apply it to the eyebrow slowly and in a decent proportion. Always use a brush or your fingers to enhance the application. This tiny trick will keep the eyebrows in the ideal shape and would also prevent the eyebrow pencil and powder from smudging and melting down.

Celebrities – overplucked

Pamela Anderson

The epitome of over-plucked brows. The Baywatch days saw many an over-plucked brow, but that was very 90’s. It’s back to natural, realistic brows now, that suit your face-shape.

Megan Fox
I didn’t think about it before; but in contrast to the new brows; Megan’s previous style was over-plucked fo’sure.
From an interview with Megan’s eyebrow stylist, Tonya Crook, we discover that just by letting Megan’s eyebrows grow for a while, she was able to give her more full, well-groomed brows:
‘When Megan first came to see me, like many ladies who first come to me, she was a victim of her own tweezing. Over time, we’ve worked on letting her slightly over-plucked brows grow into the fuller shape she has now’. (Ref:

Angelina Jolie

Not necessarily over plucked…But definitely over-styled. Okay – yes, definitely over-plucked; look at those arches!

Gwen Stefani

Whilst the over-plucked, pencil-thin look was ‘cool’ in the 90’s…It’s not so glamourous in 2012.

Non-celebrity over-pluckers:

Even in this part of the world where Arabic ladies have gorgeous eye make-up and eyebrows; sometimes – due to the style, it can look a little…Artificial:

But sometimes, they can still look more natural and not too overdone:

(pictured: threading; a typically Middle-Eastern way of de-hairing you brows. Lasts longer and is quicker than plucking. Rolled up cotton is run over the hairs, which plucks them out together).

In Middle-Eastern culture, however, it can be seen as a thing of beauty having…Dare I say it, a Unibrow. We musn’t judge, it defines who we are as people.

Prominent brow trend

Agness Dean

I love this look on her. It suits her a lot more than Scarlett Johansson’s attempt:

Camilla Belle

Prominent and even…Emphasised(?) These suit Camilla’s face and colouring.

Kim Kardashian

Keira Knightly

Brooke Shields

You can’t talk about prominent eyebrows without mentioning Brooke Shields and her glorious brow!

Jennifer Connelly

Elizabeth Taylor

Julia Roberts

These are slightly out of control, and need minor pluck-age!

Audrey Hepburn

Beautiful brows. These remind me of Natalie Portman’s but thicker and darker.

Extreme brows

Don’t get me wrong, tattooed eyebrows can be wonderful! Especially for suffers of hair loss, etc. But when people get extreme tattooed brows – the look is far from…Desirable.

This lady has a beautiful face, and lovely bone structure, better-styled eyebrows would improve this look dramatically.

With colouring like this, this woman could have beautiful eyebrows. The shape and severity don’t add positively to her look.

We all make mistakes, and unfortunately this one is now permanently marked on this young lady’s head. It’s such a shame; they’re not even well-styled.

To get images tattooed on your face must mean you love the images, or hate your natural, previously existing eyebrows. I hope she doesn’t regret her decision.

I think these are either cats…Or foxes, either way; it’s not something a lot of people would consider having drawn on their bodies, forever…Less so their faces.
The thing is, she doesn’t look happy, at all.


Sometimes, and I think many of us here have done it already, we over-accentuate. It’s not until we leave a darkened bathroom or dressing room and sit in a well-lit car, looking in the rear-view mirror that we notice how crazily dark our brows are, or other such cosmetic mishaps.
These images show examples of this, but somehow the women – repeat this offense, over and over…On purpose.

These next images give me complete brow envy. There is something so wholesome about full brows. Maybe they remind me of childhood. I was young = I had full brows, unplucked. Unplucked innocence from society, and other such metaphoric things.

I need to do a post just on Jeannie Mai and her style!

Face shape

Celebrity examples with brows their suit their face-shapes:
Well-groomed and perfectly-shaped eyebrows can save you time on the morning makeup. With beautiful eyebrows you will always looked polished. In order to choose the perfect eyebrow shape you need to know your face shape.

Face shapes

Best brows for square and long square faces
: A high arch can be overpowering. But a moderately thick brow with a subtle arch will look better. The goal is to make the forehead space look wider than it is. This will help to balance out the proportions of a square face. A too-high arch will draw the eye up instead of out.

Best brows for round and round square faces
: Round-faces have a bit of flexibility when it comes to their brows. A slim medium arch is the ideal shape because it thins out the face, but skinniness is up to you.
If you like your round face, experiment with the thickness of your brow to find your own preference. I like a thick-medium sized brow so it appears natural.
Best brows for oval faces

Oval-faced beauty? You can flaunt that coveted high eyebrow shape. And thin too if you’d like.
Best brows for long and long heart faces
Long faces look regal and elegant, but brows that are too arched or curvy can make you look perma-surprised.

Eyebrow shapes:




Ways to remove hair from brows:
– Plucking with tweezers (remember to pull hair from the direction of the growth!)
– Waxing (get this done professionally)
– Threading (get this done professionally)

And remember:
• Natural shape: Look at the shape of your eyebrows and from there, enhance what you have. Use an eyebrow pencil to make thin eyebrows look fuller and remove stray hair if you have a rather full eyebrow to shape.
• To begin: Decide where your eyebrows should start through drawing an imaginary straight line which starting from the outer sides of your nostril to the center of your brow (hello contouring!). However, the general rule of thumb is to get a ruler and position it to the inner corner of the eye.
• It’s all in the Arch. For beginners, place a ruler specifically on the tip of your nose as the reference. Rotate the ruler so it goes directly across the center of your pupil and follow to the section of your brow where the ruler crosses. This section should be the highest point of the arch.
• Ending?: Now that you have decided where the eyebrow should start and where the arch should be, you must also determine where it ends. Use a ruler and place its tip at the outer nose to the outside corner of the eye. This is the ideal place where the eyebrow should end.
• Trim? Determine if you need to pluck or trim your brows only when necessary. How can you tell that you need to trim your brows? First, brush your eyebrows up straight and see if there are longer hairs coming out of the natural shape of the brows on top. These stray hairs ought to be removed through trimming and not plucking.

…And, what’s more, Strong Brows have been spotted on spring 2012 runways, according to LA Times
So we’re on trend!


36 thoughts on “Brow journey

  1. i have def over plucked. threading is the total way to go if you can. its been hard for me to get out so i have been TRYING to keep the shape. when sick with pregnancies i did not touch them for months and realised that a lot of my brows are permanently gone! they are half of what they used to be. as a kid they were big n bushy. i totally agree with you- sometimes you have got to go pro. they make a huge diff to a persons face!

  2. I totally have to fill in mine which is annoying. But I’ve definitely improved over the years. I love your longer and detailed blogs lke this one. :) Oh, and so glad you have a FB page now!!

  3. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! Extremely helpful info specially the closing part :) I care for such information much. I was looking for this certain information for a very lengthy time. Thank you and good luck.

  4. Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    1. Hi there,

      Not a problem at all, I’d be glad to offer some assistance if I can :)
      It’s WordPress; I used a theme template called ‘Bueno’ by WooThemes, and edited/customised it, using a self-made header etc :).

      I like WordPress a lot, the only constructive criticism I have toward it/for it as a commercial platform, is that it’s quite time-consuming and annoying at times to upload pictures. Especially if you like to use a lot of visual reference, which as you know – I do! :)

      Good luck, and stop by and let me know how you got on/are getting on, I’d be happy to check out your newly selected blog page :).


  5. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “Never let inexperience get in the way of ambition.” by Terry Josephson.

  6. hey i am looking to regrow my eyebrows. i have the potential to grow a LOT of eyebrow hair, but i pluck at home regularly, every 4 days or so. i feel like i may have overplucked. the reason i say this is because on pictures of me from a distance of about 1 foot away, it looks like i have no eyebrow from the arch to the sides of my face. may you please tell me which shape from your chart up there would go well with my round shaped face?

    by the way, im very jealous of ur present day eyebrows. they look awesome!

  7. Thank you for your blog which is helpful and nicely documented. I have naturally well-shaped black eyebrows and I’d like to get that Catherine Zeta Jones look with very dark hair and much lighter eyebrow colour. Could you please advise what colour I can use to dye them as I have already tried some blond colours and they became kind of orange/blond especially under the sun.
    Many thanks.
    Sepideh (

    1. Hi there,

      Firstly, thank you for your message.
      I would usually suggest avoid dyes for brows and go with pencils and shadows instead; however to get lighter brows; have you considered a slightly lighter tint at a salon?
      Or a light brown dye, instead of a blonde dye – which carries bleach in it and would definitely make your brows orange…Which means the bleach in it is not strong enough…And if it was stronger, it would go light blonde.

  8. You could have included an image of the famous Italian singer Mina (Mazzini). She has made her shaved eyebrows part of her image in the sixties and never changed it.

  9. Howdy! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website
    looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying
    to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Thank you!

  10. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any
    problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was
    hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

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