Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Goth beauty: dramatic eyebrows, part one

Apologies, Gothlings, for the unscheduled disappearance; yesterday I had an *ahem* urgent appointment for tea, cakes and hair dye-ing with my homegirls Sioux and Bronwyn (yes, those are their real names, no they're not Goth, although Sioux now has fluffy purple hair) straight after work. I do, however, always check my comments in my lunch break, so even if my posting gets a little sketchy during my period of employment, I am still around!

First things first, some giveaways! (Partly posted so my readers can have a chance to get their mitts on some yummy things... and partly *ahem, again* for hopes of personal gain...) Bustles and skirts and pinstripes, oh my! over at Kitty Lovett's lovely blog (@ Kitty - PINSTRIPES OMG), and lots of yummy make-up and beauty stuff at CookingChinchillas (I haven't actually entered this giveaway - three crates of make-up is enough, I'm running out of storage space!).

Today's topic is a beauty post requested by a fellow blogger; I actually already had it on my spreadsheet, but I am beginning to suspect that some of my readers can see into my head. (You don't want to go in there, people, my brain may be 95% candyfloss but it is at times a strange and disturbing place.) To prove my 'candyfloss brain' theory, I can't find the original comment requesting an eyebrow post, so I shall paraphrase from memory: "I'm thinking of shaving off my eyebrows; any hints, tips, advice?"

Just for the record, I do not personally shave my eyebrows, mainly because I'm worried I wouldn't be able to draw them on right without leaving a thin line of hair as a guideline. But many Goths do, and rock it (Adora BatBrat; Razor Candi, anyone?).

Shaven or not, a well-defined brow can be key to a well-groomed Gothic make-up look; for those of you who do not wish to go about removing your forehead hair, fear not. You can recreate the defined look of painted-on brows by darkening your brows with either an eyebrow pencil or a soft brush and a hint of eyeshadow a shade or so lighter than your hair colour. Sharpen the eyebrow pencil and fill in your brows with light strokes, or simply brush on the shadow with an angled brush.

Shape natural eyebrows neatly by first brushing the hair upwards into an arch. To find where your brows should ideally begin, take a pencil and hold it parallel to the side of your nose. Make a mark with eyebrow pencil where the pencil meets your brow; tweeze anything that crosses this line. Now turn the pencil diagonally so that it follows the outside edge of your eye towards the end of your brow. Again, where it meets the brow is where your brow should finish, pluck any unruly strays.

Make sure you are in natural light to pluck, even if you have to sit in your back garden with a hand mirror. You may find it helpful to draw on your 'dream eyebrows' with your trusty eyebrow pencil - colour them in nice and dark so that you can see the outline easily. This just gives you a handy guideline to work from.

The best tweezers have a slanted edge. Pluck hairs in the direction of growth; try not to pull out huge clumps at once. (If you are finding it difficult to get a grip on a hair, put a little bit of concealer on the edge of your tweezers.) Pat on a little tea tree oil if the skin beneath your brow is sore after plucking. Finish with a slick of clear mascara, some hairspray on a fingertip, or proper brow gel to hold in place.

Mystabys demonstrates the natural look
Source: Photobucket
But Ames, I hear you cry, what about shaving? Well, I'm coming to that, darklings, be patient. Shaving your eyebrows can often be helpful if you prefer to experiment with elaborate make-up designs; you can draw your brows on in different styles, angles and colours to suit your look. You can also draw on natural-looking brows for days when you have to tone it down a little; no eyebrows doesn't mean you have to be 'weird-looking' every day.

Mainstream make-up and beauty sites and books generally advise against shaving your eyebrows - but what do they know about the weird world of alternative beauty? Shaven eyebrows will grow back faster than brows that have been waxed or tweezed - well, ladies, you know how fast your leg hair grows back, and the more you shave it, the faster it grows... - which is something you might want to bear in mind before you take the plunge. Removing brows also removes some of your eyes' natural protection; sweat, dust and whatnot will work its way into your eyes more easily. But it's a myth that they won't grow back - they will.

You don't have to shave your entire eyebrow, of course. Removing the end of your brow to about halfway leaves you an acceptable make-up canvas whilst still giving you a guideline to draw on relatively natural brows (obviously not completely natural-looking, otherwise what is the point in shaving them at all?).

Make sure to take a bath or shower before shaving your eyebrows; this also helps when plucking as the steam opens the pores. Use a very sharp razor to avoid irritation, i.e., not the same one you just used on your hairy-werewolf legs. Don't forget to slather your brows in shaving cream or conditioner, unless you WANT razor rash on your face.

Make your first strokes in the direction of growth, then in the opposite direction to clear away stubble. Don't apply any creams, lotions, potions or make-up for a while, again to avoid irritation. Et voila - baby-smooth forehead.
Adora BatBrat's awesome eyebrows
In part two of this mini-series, we'll cover tips, tricks and techniques for drawing on your new brows.


Ashlee said...

This post = awesome. I can't wait for the next part.

It also came at the perfect time. How bad of an idea is it to dye my eyebrows with Punky?

The Green Fairy said...

Shaving my eyebrows; best decision I ever made. Though I don't really have much in the way of eyebrows to begin with.

Ashlee said...

Well, I've been scatterbrained.

I remember that you've talked about Goths in books and books with Goth characters.

I wanted to say that the main female character in Generation Dead is Goth. It's actually a nice series. The zombies aren't all creepy and scary and hungry for brains, though. So it's like the zombie version of Twilight, in a way.

sweetcyanide said...

Gah! I wrote my own eyebrow post on Essential Alternative Beauty the other day - but you just did it so much better, damn you! XD

Still, you have got a few more beauty blogging experience on me :-)

Great post, when you've written the second part I think I'll have to edit mine to include links to here.


NoxArtemis said...

A few years back, my eyebrows came close to that Mona Lisa no-eyebrows look, only they were there, but they had no "expression." Or rather, no matter what facial expression I wore, my eyebrows weren't noticeable because they didn't really "fluctuate" with my brow movements, so I kinda always looked really placid, which sorta freaks me out whenever I look at pictures from that period. O_O So I decided to grow my eyebrows back for about five hideous months of shaggy-ness, until I decided to go to the beauty salon to get them professionally plucked. I came out with a pair of nice, thin and arched expressive eyebrows that made people comment, "you look mean" which I liked. Now, my eyebrows have more body (hair), but are still nice and arched since I've maintained them by regular trimmings. Haven't gone back to the salon yet. B)

Red Velvet said...

My natural hair color is strawberry blonde, and so my eye brows are naturally thin and very blonde. I don't shave them, but rather, lessen their prominence by using my foundation on them in a very light layer. I then run a eyeliner pencil along only the part of the brow I want to be seen, darkening and blackening it. I then pluck any others that are just too noticable around the newly made coloring.

Anonymous said...

Adora Batbrat is my idol! :D

Danielle said...

What do you propose for those of us who have naturally thick eyebrows? I have a lot of black hair (not very fun when it comes to facial hair removal, or any hair removal at that) and tend to resemble a gorilla if I don't epilate... Do you have any recommended looks for girls with full eyebrows without going overboard?

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