Prepping your eyebrows for your wedding day is more than just a one-day event. In fact, it’s a lot like finding and creating your wedding-day hairstyle. Once you have a vision of the ideal do, you may need several months to grow out, colour and style your tresses. The same goes for your eyebrows, but the payoff is (ahem) eye-catching.
“Brows are an essential component of beauty at any age,” says prominent eyebrow stylist Joey Healy. “Not only do they frame your eyes, they flatter your bone structure and can take years off your face.”
Considering Healy’s coveted client list of front-and-centre brands like Bravo, MTV and Vogue, we asked his advice on attaining picture-perfect brows for the big day. Here’s what he had to say:
When should a bride-to-be start prepping her brows?
I recommend that brides give themselves at least five months before their wedding day. Ideally, they would follow my 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Bridal Brow Boot Camp. Here’s how it works:
- Begin the routine five months before the wedding.
- Grow eyebrows out for four weeks.
- Schedule three shapings about nine weeks apart.
- Coordinate your shapings so the last appointment is two days before the wedding.
- On the one day meant for you and yours, relax and enjoy.
Since this is a recovery and rebuilding stage for brows, it’s unnecessary to have the usual professional shapings every four to six weeks. Instead, brows should be treated professionally every nine weeks. At-home maintenance to preserve a neat, well-groomed look is recommended for the inevitable strays.
How does one judge whether thicker or thinner brows are right for one’s face?
Some people have a light brow bone and some have a prominent brow bone. It’s crucial to become familiar with your features before you begin shaping your brows to match. When tweezing, always be aware of the anatomy of your brow bone. If you’re unsure about your bone structure, feel along your brow bone with your fingers. As elementary as it sounds, your brows should not rest anywhere but on your brow bone. Brows that extend above or below this area inhibit your perfect arch.
When it comes to overall brow shape, there are three components to consider: Positioning of the head (beginning), arch (middle) and tail (end) of your eyebrow. These positions are different on everyone since it’s based on your unique bone structure, but the basic rules are:
- The brow’s head should begin at the bridge of the nose. This point can be easily found by vertically holding a pencil up to either side of your nose. At this point, the brows should begin in a clean, squared-off manner (ideally at a 90-degree angle, never rounded) from the bridge of the nose.
- The arch should be placed approximately two-thirds of the way out towards the temple. One of the most common brow blunders I see is a centred arch. This gives the dreaded “rainbow” shape.
- The tail should, at the very least, end on an imaginary line from the corner of the nose to the corner of the eye. You can allow it to extend slightly farther as long as the tail doesn’t end lower than where the head begins (this can make your eyes look droopy). To lift the eye, taper your tails to a crisp point.
Do you have a favourite tweezer style for those plucking at home?
I prefer to work with a stainless steel tweezer with angled tips for precision and accuracy.
Can you share some at-home tips?
Maintaining your brows at home is just as important as going to a professional. I recommend investing in four key products: tweezers (like my Joey Healy Elite Sculpting Tweezer), waterproof brow powder (like my Joey Healy Luxe Brow Powder), an angled brow brush (like my Joey Healy Duo Brow Brush) and a non-crunchy finishing gel (like my Joey Healy Brow Structure Clear Set).
In addition to having the right toolkit, keep these tricks in mind for at-home maintenance:
- Always tweeze in good light; daylight is ideal.
- Pull or pin back your hair when shaping your eyebrows.
- Never use a magnifying mirror, as you will lose perspective.
- Hold the skin taut and make quick, confident pulls in the direction the hair grows.
- Start with the obvious strays and proceed inward towards the main part of the brow’s shape.
- Only tweeze one hair at a time.
- To maintain symmetry, it’s best to go back and forth between brows instead of doing one at a time.
- Step back from the mirror and assess your work every 30 seconds to ensure you’re on the right track.
- Keep your tweezers covered with a protective rubber cap between uses to preserve their sharpness.
- Pluck on the side of caution. If you can’t tell whether or not tweezing that last hair will be the difference between a Joan Crawford arch or a Greta Garbo line, put the tweezers down and sleep on it.
And what about pencilling?
Accenting brows with colour can give you a polished, youthful look. With shaping you can only remove hair, but when you embrace colour you can really redesign your shape.
Choose a pencil if you need to sharpen up an arch, extend a tail or cover an obvious gap or scar.
The key to selecting the right pencil is to find one that has the finish of a powder with the precision of a pencil. This means that the product shouldn’t have a waxy finish. It’s also vital for pencils to have brow spoolies on the opposite end so you can blend through the finished product for a soft, natural appearance.
Overall, pencils should be easy to apply and build upon. Retractable pencils are ideal because they never need sharpening and you always have a consistent tip to work from.
What does a brow powder do?
A powder will give more uniform density to an already well-shaped brow that feels sparse. Pencils are usually considered more corrective, while powders “turn up the volume” on your existing shape. For weddings, I recommend a powder over a pencil because the brow’s shape and colour can be enhanced with a more natural look.
For powders, use a stiff, angled brush for maximum control. To apply, always start with a small amount of product, then build the intensity. Never overdraw your shape, just emphasize key points in the brow by making the most of what you have. Brushing through the brow several times at the end of a fill creates a more effortless-looking result.
And a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when using a powder is less is more. It’s much easier to add powder to your brows than it is to take it away.
Want more? See Healy’s eyebrow magic in action with this demonstration video from Four Seasons Weddings expert Jennifer Tzeses. You can find additional brow shaping and styling products by Joey Healy at joeyhealy.com.