Monday, April 4, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: The Beauty & The Brow

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Since the death of film legend Elizabeth Taylor, 79, I have reflected on life and mortality, beauty, and brows.

Liz left behind a legacy of both outer and inner beauty, an impressive filmography, and at least a few beauty lessons. She was a brow fanatic. I have heard rumors about her perfectionistic ways. She believed, like I do, that every single hair makes a difference. This is especially true if you have medium to dark brows. (That’s why it’s best to use wax for fuzzy open areas but come in with the tweezers for exact shaping.)

Lately I keep thinking about just how important the brows are on the face. It’s worthy of an editorial. Eyebrows can make or break your face. Don’t over tweeze them and get those freakishly-thin brows. It can be so easy to get carried away, and an over-plucked brow can add years to your appearance, as well as harden your overall look and expression.

“Brows can make you look younger or older, it all depends on the grooming and the shape,” said Salomé Figuereo of New York’s Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa. “The desired shape is slightly squared-off at the beginning, tapered to a fine but not over-extended point at the end, with a graceful arch in between,” she explained.

Take your time when you shape your brows and really evaluate the effect each hair will have once it has been removed.

“Remember you will only tweeze your own brows if you know what you are doing,” Salomé cautioned. “I suggest that when in doubt, consult a professional when it comes to doing your brows.”

It’s a very tedious and time-consuming process, and it’s also an art, and it’s also why famous brow artist Anastasia Soare, a.k.a. Anastasia of Beverly Hills, charges $120 for an initial eyebrow shaping and $80 for brow maintenance. Perfect brows do not come cheap, and are certainly not painless. (Even with the most experienced brow artist, be prepared. Beauty hurts.)

New York’s renowned makeup and brow artist Paulo Siqueira has shaped the brows of some of the world’s most beautiful models, actresses and celebrities.

This guy really knows his stuff. Using a no-wax method of meticulous trimming and tweezing and with more than 20 years designing brows and making up faces, Paulo has earned countless accolades as well as numerous television and magazine credits. His clientele reads like a Who’s Who among The Beautiful…AND, he charges $65 for the initial shaping and $45 for maintenance, a pretty decent bargain for the brow-wise.

“Elizabeth Taylor comes from an era where the makeup artists were very comfortable in creating and working with strong lines,” Paulo said. “Whether they wore eyeliner, lipliner, or brow liner, strong lines worked very well on the screen and in pictures…The brows are like an ‘accessory’ of any given time, place, and glory.”

Paulo believes that after the eyes, the brows are the most important feature on our face. “I like to define a shape individually with each client and of course with Mother Nature. It is always important to accept and work with reality. It is okay to fake, but it is important how realistic the finished effect is going to be,” he said.

Good advice. Truly, don’t fight Mother Nature. You will never win.

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Some of the best tools for brows are Alcone’s Twissors, $18, for trimming; Senna Cosmetics Form-a-Brow brow stencils kit, $43; and Paulo Siqueira’s diamond-dust tweezers, $40.

“As an artist, tweezers are still the best tool for me,” Paulo said, “especially in shaping an eyebrow from the beginning to the end. It gives me all the precision I need.”

“Our tweezers are unique,” Paulo continued, “They have a grainy diamond dust tip, like a nail file, for a better grip. That’s magical.”

And indeed, if you have ever had the luxury of owning a pair of Paulo’s diamond dust-tipped tweezers, you will notice a great difference over the ordinary Tweezermans. Paulo’s tweezers readily grip and hold, for a perfect pluck every time.

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Another favorite tool is Eve Pearl’s brow razor. I never thought I would really use it that much, but it is crimped at such a perfect angle and folds up neatly. Don’t kid yourself though, it has a sharp and powerful blade. Great for any little bits of fuzz, perfect for in-between waxing, and it’s shaped carefully to work with the contours of the face and beneath the brow bone for a tidy, precise eye. Best of all, it’s only five bucks and you will use it constantly. I find myself reaching for it almost every day.

I started using NeuveauBrow (and NeuLash), both by Skin Research Laboratories, and noticed a change in my brows right away.

Robert Williams, Director of Beauty at Saks Fifth Avenue, San Francisco, recommended the two products to me. He promised me “Shetland pony eyelashes,” which truly are developing at an exponential rate. Every day I look in the mirror and my lashes are longer, flirtier, and only require a single quick coating of black mascara before I’m out the door.

Robert also taught me to put the NeuveauBrow on the top of the arch–the steeple, it’s called in the industry–to heighten the arch and give a sexy eye lift at the same time.

“The best way to fill in your brows for an eye-lifting effect,” said Salomé, “is by taking your index finger and lifting the center of your brows. Lightly underline the whole brow with a very sharp point pencil (or an angle brush with powder). Then take your pencil or brush and draw in any open spaces with short, irregular-length strokes to simulate real hair,” she said.

So that is what I have been doing lately, filling in the steeple of my brows (with dry cake eyeliner and an angle brush, a trick I have used for years), as I notice new growth from the NeuveauBrow. I love the way it looks and the way it can change your expression. A good arch can transform the face and create an engaging, provocative, intelligent eye.

liz-taylor.jpgLooking at those old photos of Elizabeth Taylor’s high-reaching arch, you can see the amazing difference good brows make.

Remember to emphasize that steeple on your brows when you shape and fill them; and if you are using a growth stimulating serum on your brows, be sure to treat the upper part of your arch, including that steeple, as well as the “tail” of the brow.

Let’s hear it for Elizabeth Taylor and Beautiful Brows!

1 comment to Elizabeth Taylor: The Beauty & The Brow

  • I am lucky to have eyebrows very similar to Liz Taylor, it is only now as a much older woman that I really appreciate them. Also like Liz I have always known that eyebrows are absolutely the most important feature on the face, they can work miracles. I think that now I am older it is more difficult to keep my brows lifted on the arch, they seem to have dropped slightly, one more than the other. I have let them grow to their own shape totally, and they are still black and thick, but I need a little guidance on how I should maintain them. My photo is on my channel, I am a singer songwriter and on some of them you will see the look I speak about. Thank you for your interesting information I will look forward to more. ( when I was young I used to work as a Liz Taylor look alike, not that I ever looked as beautiful as Liz, but I was small, very dark, similar features and definitely a ‘feisty’, busty, petite, lady, which was important in that line of work, the professional make up people, used to do a good job and I got away with it, in a lighthearted manner… not to be taken too seriously I guess. Thank you again. Patricia Kirby.

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