Eyebrows are the pillars of our faces. In fact, according to one study, we’re less recognisable if you take our brows away instead of our eyes (you’ll be pleased to know researchers tested that theory using Photoshop). So why is it that so many of us will happily and sporadically go at our brows with tweezers or get scissor happy at the sight of one stray hair? We spoke to brow expert Suman Jalaf of Suman Brows London (and Bardou’s brow ambassador), to find out more about the most common brow mistakes British people make. Below she tells us how to avoid them and, if the worst has happened, how to fix your brows with minimal distress. Keep scrolling for Suman’s guide to achieving flawless brows.
Mistake #1: Not Having Willpower
“Throw your tweezers in the bin!” says Suman. “I’m kidding; keep the tweezers. If you have dark hair and you need to get rid of an ingrown hair, hairs in the middle of your brows or stragglers, then, by all means, do it, but don’t get tweezer-happy! If your brows need fixing, get an appointment with your technician booked in, because that’s where it can go wrong.”
Mistake #2: Tweezing at the Wrong Time
“Tweeze after a shower so the hairs are softer and the pores are open. Pull the hair out in the direction of growth; the hair should slide out of the follicle. Don’t tug the hair, as this can lead to ingrown hairs,” Suman says.
Mistake #3: Not Booking a Consultation
Many walk-in brow places don’t offer consultations, but make sure you insist on discussing your brows with the person who is shaping them. “This is especially true for anyone with virgin eyebrows or if you have suffered a bad experience previously,” Suman says. “And know this: It takes a good two months for the hair cycle to grow out.”
You need to let your technician know what you want, and they need to be open about what is possible and what they are about to do. “I tell my clients what I’m doing as I’m doing it,” Suman says.
Mistake #4: Not Treating Your Brows
If you want your brows to grow (perhaps after a bad experience), you need to treat them as you would your skin with nourishing products. Suman recommends using BrowFood Phyto-Medic Eyebrow Enhancer (£75). “You can help the brows grow faster and healthier by using a mix of castor oil, vitamin E and aloe vera gel; these are all great boosters. Open a couple of vitamin E capsules into a small dish and add a few drops of aloe vera gel and castor oil. Use equal parts of each ingredient; then mix with a disposable mascara wand and apply it to your brows at night,” she says.
Your Brow-Boosting Ingredients
Mistake #5: Cutting Your Own Brows
“You wouldn’t cut your own hair,” Suman says. “So don’t cut your brows. I even go easy when it comes to cutting client’s brows myself.” This is the same advice I was given by a makeup artist recently. Longer, more natural brows help to open up the eye area, which in turn makes you look more awake and, in some cases, younger.
Mistake #6: Going to a Different Brow Technician Every Time
“I recommend finding a brow technician either through internet reviews. A lot of people find me through Google, or by word of mouth,” Suman says. “The first session I have with a client always takes longer. After that, appointments are much quicker because I know their brows. Once you find a technician who does your brows how you like them, make sure you always go back to them. Once you build a relationship with your brow technician, if you’re travelling or away, you can ask them how to groom and tidy your brows yourself.”
Mistake #7: Not Looking at Your Brows in Detail
“I’ll look at someone’s brows and see where there are sparse areas,” Suman says. “A lot of people don’t need treatments like microblading all over the brow, just in places where the hair is patchy.” Take the same approach when filling in your brows. Look at where there are sparse areas or perhaps wonky edges, and fill in accordingly.
Mistake #8: Saving on Products
“When it comes to grooming and filling your brows, it’s personal preference. There are gels and powders and pencils out there, and it depends on what you’re used to. But what I will say is that it has to be good quality. Spend a bit more on your brow products,” Suman says. “Some products are water-resistant, which are long-lasting and better for anyone who has oily skin, does sports or travels a lot. Bardou Booster Brow (£25) is a liquid that contains hair-like fibres and lasts days.”
Shop more of the best brow-grooming buys below:
This clever clear “soap” can be used to groom brows into place.
You can use this waxy pomade to mimic the look of real hair in sparse patches.
Zoeva’s liner brush doubles as a brow brush, too.
Glossier’s tinted brow gel is a quick way to groom and tint brows.
Want to precisely fill in your brows with minimum faff? This fine pencil with a handy spoolie on the other end is ideal.