Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Brows, Anastasia Style!

Salut mes amis! My long-awaited eyebrow post is finally here, featuring products from Anastasia Beverly Hills, founded by Hollywood's top brow guru and celebrity beauty expert, Anastasia Soare. Anastasia's brow shaping technique is based on the classic "golden ratio" method in art and takes an architectural "blueprint" approach to brow structure and shape. Her method focuses on the eyebrows as the starting point in beauty, emphasizing that properly-proportioned eyebrows not only frame the entire face, but also help bring symmetry and balance to all the features. I firmly subscribe to Anastasia's brow philosophy and am extremely excited to share it here with all of you. No makeup look is complete without well-shaped, groomed brows, and today, I'm showing you how to achieve the perfect brow, Anastasia style!

Read more!

The Tools

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Precision Tweezers -- Made in Italy, these precision Tweezers were custom designed by Anastasia to meet her precise specifications. The slanted tip allows the tweezers to rest comfortably on a natural angle directly on the skin while tweezing, and the calibrated tension gives the ability to tweeze even the finest hairs without breaking the hair or puncturing the skin. 
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Scissors -- Hand-crafted in Italy, these precision Brow Scissors are manufactured with the highest-quality steel blades and were designed with the ideal length and blade shape for trimming brows. 

The Essentials
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Medium Ash) -- Ideal for filling in sparse brows for the ultimate natural look, this brow pencil has an ultra-fine tip that mimics the appearance of tiny hairs and comes with a handy spoolie brush for blending. This essential dual-ended pencil comes in four shades, with Medium Ash being suggested for light to medium brown hair.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Fix -- This multi-tasking wax pencil is ideal for defining the look of the brows when used on top of powder or brow pencil, and can also serve as an invisible lip liner or eyeliner when used under eyeshadow. The strong-hold wax combats unruly coarse hairs and keeps them down in just a few easy pencil strokes.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel (Espresso) -- this powerful, but nourishing gel sets the perfect brow look with a hint of tint. Never flaky or sticky, the versatile formula keeps brows in place all day and is fortified with botanical hair conditioners and essential oils. This brow gel comes in five shades, with Espresso being suggested for black to jet black hair. The Tinted Brow Gel also provides a great, easy way to temporarily change the brow shade.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duality (Matte Shell & Lace Shimmer) -- a velvety, dual-ended highlighter pencil designed to be worn under the brow to bring subtle focus and light to the brow bone. This chunky pencil comes in two duo-shades to be worn during the day or at night. This creamy pencil is a must-have for every makeup artist and can be worn alone or under any eyeshadow.

The Golden Ratio

Well-defined eyebrows are integral in framing the features, balancing out the proportions and perfecting facial symmetry. Anastasia's trademarked Golden Ratio™ technique was developed based on the "Golden Ratio" in classic art and applied to facial features and structure. The guideline is the same for everyone, and can vary slightly from person to person based on their own natural bone structure. The three lines map out the nose-to-eye angles that anyone can determine using a pencil or a makeup brush.
  • Line I aligns vertically to the middle of the nostril to define the starting point of the brow.
  • Line II starts from the side of the nostril in a diagonal direction touching the outside corner of the eye to define the end of the brow.
  • Line III runs from the tip of the nose diagonally through the pupil to define the highest point of the brow arch. 

Golden Ratio versus the "traditional" ratio: Unlike Anastasia's Golden Ratio, the traditional eyebrow blueprint uses the outer corner of the nose as the starting point for all three lines, instead of starting at separate points. Though the traditional way works on some women (like Angelina Jolie), it does not take into account closer set eyebrows (like Sofia Vergara's) and/or ethnic features (like Kim Kardashian's signature Armenian features and Brandy's wide set eyes). Anastasia's modernized "Golden Ratio" technique differs from the traditional blueprint and is more inclusive of all brow shapes and features. 

To me, Anastasia's Golden Ratio is the obvious choice. I have closely set eyebrows with wide set Asian eyes and if my eyebrows were shaped following the traditional blueprint, they would look like this. No thanks!

 My Brows, Anastasia Style!

Anastasia's Brow Tips for Different Face Shapes

Long Face: Brows need to shorten the overall length of the face. Stay away from an arched brow, and go with a thick, straight brow.

Short Face: Opposite of long - go thinner with the brow and higher on the arch.

Round Face: This shape needs to slim down the middle region of the face – the cheeks. Keep the brow medium to thick with a moderate arch, but the trick here is to not cut the ends of the brows. A longer brow will create symmetry between your brows and chin like an invisible triangle, resulting in more of a heart shaped face versus a round one.

Oval Face: An oval face needs brows of a shorter length to create the appearance of fuller cheeks for a larger middle region.

Heart Shape Face: This face can pretty much hold any arch except a straight brow, so be sure to keep your brows arched.

Square Face: A square face needs to slim the four corners or angles of the face. Stay away from an overly arched brow, as it can create an exaggerated jawline. A medium sized brow arch that is not overly flat or arched is perfect.

Eyebrow Shapes

My Brows: Thick, dense, dark and closely set
My Brow Concerns: brow unevennes; minor sparsity; raised brow hairs; spikiness on right brow "tail" (typical feature in Asian eyebrow hairs).
My Desired Brow: Lightly filled-in full brow that follows its natural shape, color and arch.
My Brow No-No's: Visible pencil marks and overly drawn-on brows -- major personal No-No's!

 On to the Tutorial!

No two eyebrows are identical, that's why they're often referred to as "sisters, not twins". My eyebrows are definitely not twins, and require individual attention, so I'm demonstrating this tutorial one brow at a time, starting with my right :)

Right Brow aka "Spike"
  1. Using a spoolie brush from the Brow Wiz pencil, I begin by my brushing my brow hairs in the direction of their growth. This step helps me identify my problem areas and prep the brow area for tweezing.
  2. Using the Brow Wiz pencil in Medium Ash, I proceed by filling in the sparse areas of my brow. Notice that my hairs aren't fully grown-in at the inner part of the brow -- I'm allowing them to grow back to their natural state and filling in the brow according to the new shape. I'm also trimming the "spiky" hairs at the tail end of my brow using brow scissors.
  3. Once the brow is filled in to my desired shape, I pluck the stray hairs below the brow using precision tweezers and brush out the pencil marks with a spoolie to blend out the product.
  4. Using the Brow Duality double ended pencil, I outline directly below the inner half of the brow with Matte Shell and highlight the outer half with Lace Shimmer. This step brings more contrast to the brow bone and highlights the brow arch.
  5. Using my finger or a flat brush, I blend out the highlighter pencil and seal the brow hairs in place using Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso.

Left Brow aka "Big Dipper"
  1. To identify the problem areas, I brush the brow hairs with a spoolie in the direction of their growth. Just like my right brow, my left brow isn't fully grown in to its natural shape.
  2. Using the Brow Wiz pencil, I fill in the inner portion of the brow and extend the tail ever so slightly. Next, I pluck out any unwanted stray hairs below the brow and brush out the product using a spoolie.
  3. Unlike my right brow "Spike" which has spiky hairs at the tail end, my left brow "Big Dipper" has raised hairs at the tail. Although the hairs grow downward, they're not flat against skin and often cast an unflattering shadow below the brow. To avoid this, I tame the hairs using Brow Fix wax pencil.
  4. To complete the grooming process, I highlight below the brow using Brow Duality and seal the hairs in place with Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso.

Voila! With the eyebrows complete, the face is now ready for makeup!

Keep glued for more brow tutorials and makeup looks!


Maryam Maquillage


*The products in this post were provided by said company for my use and review. All opinions are my own.

Maryam Maquillage © 2012.
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