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While fashion has always shaped eyebrows, from Marlene Dietrich's fine lines to Brooke Shields-style tufts, Sydney brow technician Beatriz Viasus echoes beauty buffs the world over: "[Eyebrow shape is] like dressing for your body. Forget fashion - follow your bone structure and hair colour instead."
Hear, Hear Beatriz, we’re with you. Of course, if you want to follow Beatriz’s advice you need to understand which is the perfect brow shape for you. Luckily, we're on hand to help...
The perfect shape for you
You can be a little experimental with thickness and colour, but you should find the basic shape that complements your face - and stick to it.
Characteristics: A gentle curve with an unpronounced arch
Fits: Narrow faces of a diamond or oval shape. It also accentuates a heart-shaped face beautifully
Know this: Rounder dials (those widest at the cheeks) should avoid this brow at all costs
Who's wearing it: Cate Blanchett does round brows as impeccably as she wears everything else
Characteristics: A strong shape with a sharp angle at the arch
Fits: Round, broad faces benefit most from this shape, though it can also work to balance a square jaw
Know this: As long as you place your arch correctly, this shape can really 'lift' your eyes, but too much of a point can take you into scary Jack Nicholson territory
Who's wearing it: Emma Bunton uses this brow to elongate her baby face. Reese Witherspoon's angled brows offset the wide cheek area of her heart shape
Characteristics: The classic, feminine brow shape. The arch is defined and prominent, but the point is kept soft and rounded
Fits: The LBD of eyebrows, the versatile soft angle suits all face shapes. Tailor the thickness and height of the arch to your facial structure. Delicate features are overwhelmed by thick hedgerows but a stronger bone structure can take more weight. A rounder face can support a higher arch
Who's wearing it: Penelope Cruz balances her prominent bone structure with a heavier soft-angle brow
Characteristics: A horizontal line that slopes gently upward, it may remain flat or have an ever-so-slight arch. A generous thatch of hair gives it body
Fits: The horizontal line shortens long, oval faces, giving them a softer, rounder look
Who's wearing it: Hilary Rhoda is the current heavy brow poster girl, but Audrey Hepburn also wore them to perfection back in the day
Making your point
"There are three sections that you need know about to create the right brow for you: the start point, the arch and the end point," emphasises Linda Ayoub, a brow specialist from Shimmer Face & Body salon in Sydney. "These points help you get length and proportion correct."
1. "To find the point where your brow should begin, hold a brush or a pencil against the flare of your nose, pointing upward," she instructs. "The spot where it touches your brow bone is where your eyebrow should start."
2. Then, to find the high point of your arch, look straight ahead and extend the pencil from the flare of your nose to the right of your pupil. Where the pencil touched your brow is where the arch should be.
3. Finally, align the pencil from the side of your nose to the outer corner of your eye to pinpoint where your eyebrow should end.
The golden rule of brow colour is to keep it natural. Icy blondes (of either a natural or bottled origin) should go a little darker for definition, while golden blondes can venture as far as a lightest brown. Dark-haired girls, however, should always match the shade of their locks. Home tint kits like 1000Hour Lash Eyelash & Brow Dye Kits ($17.95) make matching your shade easy, but professional advice is always preferable the first time around.
Do you have any brow tips to share or a favourite brow technician in your area you'd like to tell us about?