By Joanne Elliott
Unless you have very sensitive skin, waxing is a quick and relatively easy alternative to plucking your eyebrows. Although it is generally best to get eyebrows waxed professionally it can be expensive - up to around $15 as a general rule, although salons do differ. If you have a tighter budget, or if you are feeling fairly brave, here are some simple steps for you to try at home...
1) Preparing the Eyebrow
Brush the eyebrow into place with a baby toothbrush or clean mascara wand, so that their natural shape is neatly defined. Next, apply an astringent such as witch hazel to anesthetize the sensitive skin under the brow. Work out your natural brow shape by standing several feet away from a mirror, and following these simple steps�
Working out the length of the eyebrow
Hold a ruler parallel to your nose, and level with the inner corner of the eye, to work out where the brow should begin. If your eyes are close together, make the gap between the brows wider. If your eyes are far apart, don�t wax the start line of the brow too much so that they are closer together. Mark the correct point with a dot.
Working out the curve of the eyebrow
You can work out where the highest point of the curve/ arch should be by holding a ruler from the edge of the nostril past the outer edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye) and up to the eyebrow. Mark the spot with a dot.
Now link up the dots in a gentle arch to draw on the ideal shape of the eyebrow that you want to achieve. This will give you a guideline to go by when applying the wax. You should aim for a smooth arched brow that tapers slightly at the outer ends.
2) Applying the Wax
Buy a professional waxing kit - basically a jar or tub of wax which can be warmed up in boiling water and applied with a small applicator or spatula, and (usually muslin) removal strips. Each product varies slightly, so be sure to read the manufacturers directions carefully.
Warm up the wax to optimum temperature and use the small spatula to apply a thin layer of wax to the growth. Make sure that you only use a small amount of wax on the spatula to avoid the wax dripping when it is applied. Apply wax with the hair growth under the eyebrow, (i.e. in the same direction that the hair grows in). You don�t need to use much, and you should not let the wax dry.
3) Removing the Hair
This is the painful bit! Ouch!!
Never wax above the eyebrow, only ever shape from below. Waxing from under the brow will widen your eyes and help to get the line even. This will make you look younger and much more glamorous if done correctly! As soon as it is applied remove the wax against the hair growth, (i.e. in the opposite direction that the hair grows in). This is done by gently smoothing a piece of cotton muslin over the waxed area, pulling the skin taut with one hand, and pulling the muslin off with the other.
It is a good idea to take a little hair off at a time, especially if you have fairly this growth. You will be surprised how much difference a little hair removal will make to your appearance.
4) The Aftermath
Any straggly hairs left over after waxing can be easily plucked out using a set of good tweezers. Apply a soothing balm like tea tree oil onto the area afterwards. You should avoid direct sunlight, acid based facial treatments, and liquid makeup for several hours.
To give the gorgeous new eyebrow shape emphasis, use an eyebrow pencil or tinted brow shadow to subtly fill in any gaps, and even out the natural color tone. Don�t worry if you make mistakes, even if you have bald patches or empty spaces. Practice makes perfect, and anyway, the hair will have grown back before you know it!!