When it comes to beauty regimens, brows are paramount. One of the most asked, non-jewelry related questions on @dannijo's instagram is Who does your brows? So we decided to sit down with our friend and trusted brow expert, Julie Tussey of Brow Wings to get the scoop for you. Read her full interview below.
1. First off, what are the first steps to rectifying an over tweezed mistake?
The first thing to do is to let them grow in! Having said that, I explain to my client’s that brows are like plants, the more you pay attention to them the more they will grow. When trying to grow your brows back it’s important to stimulate them by brushing them everyday, sending blood to the brow area. Leaving your brows alone by not removing any additional hairs is key, but it's still important to use product while brushing them. Start working the following into your routine: put a little castor oil in a small salt dish. With a soft toothbrush, brush the castor oil over you brows, in the direction that the hairs grow in. You can follow this up with a growth product, there are many of them to choose from on the market. I call this "fertilizing your brows." Your daily ritual now reads: brush your hair, brush your teeth and brush your brows day and night!
2. What are the best, easiest to use and most natural looking products on the market?
Well this is a bit of a trick question because there are so many great products out there. When I work with a client I play around with different products until I find the one that is the easiest and most natural looking for that person to use. I gravitate towards MAC Cosmetics, they have a broad range of brow gels, pencils + powders in addition to having makeup artists who are really great at assisting customers in selecting products that best suit their needs. If you have trouble selecting the best color or texture match, let them help you find the best brow product or product combination for you. It really depends on how much needs to be filled in. It could be as complicated as a slim brow pencil, cake gel, marker followed by a brow powder or a colored brow gel (or even a combination of these products). However, if you are starting with a full brow it can be as easy as a little brow gel for that quick and easy fix.
3. For someone who doesn't have time for a long morning brow ritual, how should one incorporate brows into their daily routine?
I think that again this is where a brow gel is most helpful. You can use a gel that is clear or in a color that matches your brow. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this product because it sticks the hairs in place while adding a touch of color. Here is a little trick of mine--- find an angled eyeliner brush and use the brush to brush over the end of the spooly brow gel applicator. Then use the brush to apply the color of the brow gel to the front and ends of the brow or any other spaces that need a little reinforcement. Then use the brow gel, with its original brush to brush the product over the entire brow. This really works because the brow gel is like a mascara and has a lot of color deposit and stick.
4. Brow gel vs. hairspray?
BROW GEL!!! Please, do not use hairspray! I don't recommend using a product that is meant for the hair of your head. The fragrance in the spray is not good for the skin and can be irritating to the eyes as well.
5. Why is it important to use the brow in order to frame the face? Please clarify what this means exactly.
Brows accentuate the shape of the face making it appear slimmer by re-enforcing the cheekbones + jawline. The angle of the brows should mirror the angle of the cheek and jaw bones.
6. Does face shape dictate/influence the shape of the brow?
The answer to this question is yes! However, I generally create an angel brow which is a universal shape that works on all face shapes. I cover this topic in depth on my site, Brow Wings, as well as go into my personal techniques that I've mastered over the course of 25 years. Brow Wings are long, symmetrical brow spans, feathering the ends to look like wings, while the soft defining lines rest on the ocular bones allowing the Brow Wings to move naturally with ones expression. Therefore, an angled brow (Brow Wings) is the best shape for mirroring the cheek + jaw bones which enhances the shape of the face by making it appear slimmer.
Brow Mapping via Brow Wings
7. When selecting a color for powder, pencil or gel do you recommend going with a lighter, darker, or mix of the two shades?
Well the rule of thumb is that blondes are the only ones who should wear a brow one shade darker then their hair color. All other shades of hair should sport a brow color 1-2 shades lighter then their natural hair color. I like to determine the brow color based off the hair on your head. I suggest using a pencil, gel or marker to fill in the spaces only where hairs are missing. Then use a powder, gel or both to go over the complete brow using a color that matches the highlights in your hair.
8. When it comes to basic grooming, do you prefer tweezing, bleaching, threading or waxing?
I'm a tweezer. My mother--who still shapes brows back in Indiana-- taught me her technique. Tweezing the brows is the best way to successfully remove the hair from its root. The correct way to remove the hair is by tweezing it in the direction that the hair grows. Each time you successfully remove a brow hair by its root, it discourages the hair follicle from growing back. This is one reason why tweezing is preferred over waxing + threading.
Waxing is known to stretch the skin because it puts a back spin on the hair by removing it in the opposite direction from which it grows. Oftentimes when waxing, the entire follicle is not removed, causing the hair to potentially grow straight out from the pore.
In the case of threading, the hairs are mostly removed using a snapping motion out of the pore. I personally think that threading is very painful. Also, threading the brow often removes the hairs from the inner bottom of the eyebrow (by the nose) which makes the brow look flat and takes away from the illusion of a high arc. Having the brow extend towards the bottom corner, close to the nose is the counterpart to the arc of the brow which creates that desired higher looking brow.
Bleaching is not a way of removing the brows but is more of a fashion statement popularized by top makeup artist Pat McGrath. Unlike tweezing, waxing or threading, bleaching is not a way to shape the brows. When bleach is used, the brows appear non existent. For the record, as a brow artist I'm not a fan of the "no brow look." However, I am crazy for gold brows because of how they softly define the brows, and because they're the closest thing to "face jewelry" as I like to call it.
Dior's Gold Brows via totalbeauty.com
9. We keep hearing that the bushier the better/ the younger you look. How do you achieve the bushy, natural looking brow?
Well that's because it reminds us of the ages 10-12 before we started to tweeze our brows, so it is youthful looking. Although I don't know if a bushy brow is the best look for a women over 30, I prefer a full, natural brow that is well groomed. However, if you wish to achieve a bushy looking brow try using a clear brow gel over the brows followed by Cherry Blooms "Fiber Brow" which comes in various colors.
10. How do you feel about dying the brow, or having the brow tattooed on?
I love dying the brows! It's soooooo addictive! It lasts about a month and frees you from needing to fill in your brows daily. I'm certified in microblading, which is beneficial for clients that have areas in their brows which don't grow back. I must mention that there are many women who can no longer grow their brows back. Whatever the reason, be it from years of hair removal or due to medical health reasons tattooing is a great alternative, just as long as the work is good and as natural looking as possible.
11. What's your best advice to girls first discovering their brows?
My advice is to seek out a professional brow specialist. If you don't know how to find that person in your area then I suggest the next time you see a person with brows you admire ask them who shapes their brows. You can also go to any professional makeup counter at your nearest department store and ask their advice.
12. We are noticing a trend when it comes to the attention to the male brow? Is caring for the brows on a male similar?
Yes, many men are starting to shape their brows like women do. When grooming men's brows, I remove every other hair for a more natural look, instead of removing the brow hairs to look like a perfect roll. It seems that women are referring to the brows as "boy brows" and that men are going too feminine with their brows. Since the brows evoke a sense of power, the trends seem to be mirroring the changing times and a shift in power. Women Power!
13. What do you recommend for stimulating the regrowth of the brows?
Well I am always trying new products to help stimulate growth, but my best advise is to show them some brow love by just brushing them with a clear gel or soft toothbrush--sending the blood to the area, similar to acupressure. Again, my saying is that brows are like plants, the more you pay attention to them, the more they will grow. Try using the castor oil and perhaps a little coconut water for hydration followed by a growth product.
14. Who are your brow icons both male and female?
Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Vivien Leigh, Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor, Brooke Shields, Margaux Hemingway, Ali MacGraw, Cara Delevingne, Natalia Vodianova, Cindy Crawford, Ann Margret, Sharon Stone, Beyonce, Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes, and Jennifer Aniston to name a few :)