It’s usually the dresses that make a statement on the red carpet, but at the Met Gala in May, it was the humble eyebrow that was doing all the talking.
Yes, really; those hairs on our forehead have become quite the trendsetters in the past few months – and we’re not just talking about plucking at home and occasionally running a brow pencil through to fill in the gaps.
No less than three A-listers turned up at the Met Gala with entirely bleached-out brows, pulling off a look that is confident, futuristic and undoubtedly head-turning – so we have Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Lily Aldridge to thank for propelling brows back into the spotlight.
Dubai-based brow specialist Chloe Walsh (www.chloewalshcmua.com) says: ‘Barely-there seems to be making a big comeback. First it was Kim Kardashian – and then it was the Marc Jacobs runway, where nearly all the models had bleached brows. We’ve also seen the look at Givenchy, so it’s fair to say that erased brows are a big talking point this season!’ But when it comes to celebrity brows, bleaching isn’t the only trend that is getting everyone talking.
Donatella Versace sent models down the runway with pastel-hued brows, while Rihanna sported a full monobrow in her new Kiss it Better video, deeming it acceptable (finally) to don one full brow across our foreheads.
Whatever your opinion (and admittedly they aren’t the easiest of trends to pull off in the office or on the school run), one thing is for sure – brows are back in the spotlight and there are plenty of ways you can raise your brow game, without turning every head in the room in shock.
We chatted to a panel of experts to find out what is on trend in salons and spas across the UAE – and how we can tidy, trim and define at home between appointments.
Gone are the days of thin, plucked, pencilled brows – it’s now all about a full and natural look. Nicknamed the laid-back brow, it’s about defining your natural shape – and of course, being careful not to take too much away.
Laila Nazari, lash and brow expert at Pastels Salon Jumeirah (04 388 3534), says: ‘99.9 per cent of my clients want thicker eyebrows – bold and bushy like Cara Delevingne’s or Jennifer Connelly’s. That is because they realise that thick eyebrows are more youthful-looking.’
But New-York based brow guru Malynda Vigliotti warns: ‘Over-shaping is a huge problem – people take too much away and then they lose their arch.’ To keep it natural when heading into a salon for threading, make sure you tell your brow technician that you want to keep the full and natural shape of the brow.
So why choose waxing over threading? Put simply, it’s quicker, longer lasting, and more accurate picking up even the finest hairs that the human eye may not see. Waxing bars across the UAE offer the service – and it’s ideal for squeezing into your lunchtime when you want a quick brow fix.
So how often do we need to visit? ‘Most people take about eight-12 weeks to fully grow back brow hair after it has been waxed off completely,’ says LA-based brow specialist Anastasia Soare. ‘Ultimately, the best way to know if it’s time for a wax is by looking at hair length. It should be between 1/8th and 1/4th of an inch to wax properly. Any shorter and the wax will not hold the hair.’
Bleached-out brows may be the celebrity and catwalk trend of the season, but most of us are more concerned about defining them with our natural colour – especially as we live in the UAE and the sun can be a big factor in fading them.
Brow specialist Chloe Walsh explains: ‘The sun is the one thing that makes everything lighter, including the brows. If they fade quickly, then tinting your brows will keep the colour fresher for longer.’
Brow expert Anna Koniaris, who works for Caryl Baker Visage, adds: ‘Most people don’t realise the difference great brows can make to their overall look and the right brow colour is a key element in creating brows that wow!
‘Tinting is like getting a mini hair colour for your brows. It’s used to darken or enhance the colour of brows to complement skin, hair and eye colour, giving eyes a natural eye-lift, and can also cover grey for a more youthful appearance.’
With no less than seven steps, HD Brows is the ultimate treatment for well-groomed, perfectly defined brows. An appointment involves a combination of techniques, including tinting, waxing and threading, using specialist HD Brow products. And with a host of Bollywood and Hollywood celebrity fans, said to include the likes of Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, and Hayden Panettiere, it promises results of the high-definition kind.
You do, however, need to head back every four to six weeks for upkeep – and it’s not pocket money prices. So why bother? London-based HD Brows specialist Alison Eiffe says: ‘The look that HD Brows gives you is very symmetrical and measured so it looks great even on camera. It’s the combination of all seven steps that imparts a really crisp and sharp outline.’
Book: HD Brows, Dh300, Michel Soudi, visit eyebrowsdubai.com.
If we had to name the eyebrow treatment enjoying its moment in the spotlight this summer, it would have to be microblading.
Similar to semi-permanent make-up, but with a lot more precision, this meticulous process involves a skilled therapist drawing individual hairs one-by-one with a microblading pen – and it promises to last for up to three years without fading.
New-York based microblading expert and trainer Nadia Afanaseva explains: ‘Microblading is perfect for those who want to fully reconstruct, define, cover gaps or fill-in over-plucked brows. During the process we use a special microblading pen to draw on individual strokes one by one.
‘The first hour we’re drawing the shape in with removable pencil – that’s the longest part and the most important step. During this time, the best customised shape for every client is chosen. It’s not a rushed procedure; it cannot be done in an hour.’
And is it painful? Nadia says some clients may feel a slight discomfort, but it’s relatively painless.
Book: Fluffy Browz, Dh3,000, Browz at The Mall Jumeirah, call 050 841 4289.
With the brow trend very definitely falling into the ‘big is beautiful’ camp this season, what can you do if your set are lacking in the volume department? Laila Nazari at Pastels Salon suggests giving natural hair a chance to grow. ‘Try growth serums and natural oils – believe me, they work! You just need to be patient and shape them with someone who shows them TLC.’
Try: OptiBrow Brow Growth Serum, Dh185, Basharacare.com.
Looking for a quick tidy-up between appointments? Chloe Walsh recommends: ‘Tweezing is a great way to maintain your brows – just pluck away odd hairs that are growing out of your shape.’
But make-up artist Ramy Gafni warns: ‘When tweezing eyebrows, always take a conservative approach. You can always take away more, but you can’t put it back.’
Try: Yes Tweeze!, Dh30, Wojooh (wojooh.com).
‘Trimming is something to be super careful about if doing at home,’ says Chloe Walsh.
‘Get a brow brush, brush the hair up – and if any long hairs are falling out of shape, give them a little trim.
‘You need specialist shaping scissors, as the shape is designed to help perfectly trim the brows.’
Try: Sigma Beauty Brow Expert Kit (includes both brow scissors and brush), Dh180, glamazle.com.
Raise your everyday brow game by choosing a pencil, powder or gel to fill in gaps and add definition.
‘When filling in brows, choose a product that is one or two shades lighter than your brow hair colour,’ recommends Ramy Gafni.
‘Apply the product where your eyebrow is or where you’d like it to be. Whatever formula you use, always take a moment to blend by brushing through your brows with a small spoolie brush. This removes excess product and blends what’s left behind so you end up with beautiful brows, not made-up looking ones!’
Try: Dolce & Gabbana Shaping Eyebrow Pencil, Dh195, Paris Gallery
Make Up For Ever Angled Eyebrow Brush, Dh95, Paris Gallery.