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Find your ultimate brow shape at home
People often overlook their eyebrows as an important part of their appearance, which is a huge shame, really. When you have full, well-groomed brows that are shaped to suit your face, your features appear balanced, your eyes pop and you look groomed without even a scrap of makeup on.
But because a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to shaping eyebrows, finding the right brow shape for you is rather difficult. Well, it used to be difficult.
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Enter Lien Davies’ foolproof eyebrow-measuring system: the Brow Quad Ratio, which we’ve taken from her fantastic eBook, Ultimate Brow Shape. This unique step-by-step measuring and shaping system, uses your facial features and face shape to determine where your brows start, arch and end, so that you can find you ultimate shape in the comfort of your own home. Yep, it's DIY - no need to go to the salon. Want to know how it works? Here’s how…
PRE-BROW SHAPING PREPARATION
It’s important to avoid distractions while working out your Brow Quad Ratio (a little maths requires concentration), so pour yourself a cup of tea and head into a room with lots of natural light. It’s ideal to sit in front of a full-length mirror or a vanity with a mirror, and to have a smaller handheld mirror for close-ups. Important tip: avoid using the magnified side if it has one – this will make it mighty tempting to over pluck, and unintentional thinner brows are not ideal. You’ll also need a clear ruler and a sharp brow pencil.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO MEASURE YOUR EYEBROWS
Measuring and outlining the shape of how your brows should look prior to any hair removal will ensure you’re left with your ideal shape each and every time. And the Brow Quad Ratio lets you personalise your shape without any guesswork.
The result of your measurements will resemble an irregular quadrangle, which can be repeated over time to ensure your brows are equal in shape, height, thickness and length. Oh, and applying the markings and measurements on your 'better' brow is a wise idea, because you will then need to replicate your measurement on your other brow to ensure they look similar. (Hint: your ‘better’ brow is likely to be the one on the opposite side to the hand you write with, as you’re less likely to have overplucked it.)
HOW TO LOCATE YOUR BROW START, ARCH AND END
Before you can determine your Brow Quad Ratio, you need to firstly identify where your eyebrows should start, arch and end.
(a) To find the starting point...
Position the ruler so that it sits vertically up from the centre, or close to the centre, of your nostril and intersects with your top brow line. Once you've found this spot, mark it with a vertical line that matches your natural brow thickness and height. Eyebrows look best when they begin with a right angle. Note: if starting at the centre of the nostril is too unrealistic for you, then move your start point to the outer edge of the inner nostril instead.
(b) To find the arch...
Position the ruler so that it sits vertically at, or close to, the outer edge of your iris. Where it crosses your top brow line is where your arch (the peak) should be. When in the correct position, your brow arch can instantly give the illusion of a brow lift. However, if your brows naturally arch either side of this ideal spot, don’t panic. You can easily re-establish your arch point with the help of the right brow product.
(c) To find the end...
Angle the ruler from the edge of the nostril to the outer corner of the eye. Where the ruler meets your brow is where your brow should end. This point is crucial because it stops your brows from being over-extended, which inadvertently makes you look sad or tired. However, if ending the brow at this point sacrifices your overall brow length, you may need to readjust your start point. To do this, marginally extend it by a few millimetres towards the centre of your nostril.
Important sidenote: there are some exceptions to the rules (and myths!) when it comes to locating your start, arch and end, but Lien covers these in full in her eBook.
HOW TO MEASURE YOUR BROWS USING THE BROW QUAD RATIO
This is what will give you the measurements for your ultimate brow shape. When measuring these points, use your ruler in reverse – it’ll make reading your measurements in the mirror a whole lot easier.
An example of a Brow Quad Ratio would be: brow length = 4.6cm; arch length = 3cm; tail length = 2cm; thickness = 0.8cm.
OUTLINING YOUR EYEBROWS
Now that you’ve made the dot marking in your brows and written down your Brow Quad Ratio, you can connect the points and lines to see where it is that you need to grow your brows, remove hair to define the shape, and fill in using a brow pencil, pomade or powder (which is where knowing how to fake fuller brows comes in handy). Most women’s brows will not match this ratio exactly (read: there will be gaps and incorrectly positioned starts, arches and ends), because of over-waxing or incorrect shaping. Sadly, this is very common, however, using this ratio allows you to find what your ultimate brow shape is, and then begin the journey of correcting your brows at home by allowing your hair to regrow and be reshaped, and fill in to further enhance the shape.
eBook illustrations by Emma Tamaoki
*This article has been updated since its original publication date
Are you interested in finding out the ultimate brow shape for your face? Will you try and find your Brow Quad Ratio? Or are you brows already perfectly shaped?