Make Up Tips for a Shaved Eyebrow Line
Shaved eyebrows do grow back and provide a fresh blank canvas for creative urges, from tattoo designs to classic pencilled eyebrows. Create lovely shaved eyebrow lines, either from eyebrow stencils or freehand.
Many women, particularly those belonging to the goth, punk, rockabilly or otherwise .alt cultures shave their natural eyebrows and replace them with different shapes or a different colour to match their amazing rainbow-hued locks. From one Mook to another, let me share with you my pearls of wisdom (remember these are all tips, NOT rules):
Preparing a Shaved Eyebrow Line
1) Removing your eyebrows completely is a BIG commitment. You will have to draw them on every day for work/school/general outside activities, or risk looking a bit alien. If this doesn’t bother you then big thumbs up from me, I never had the balls! If you don’t want to go the whole way, consider leaving a stump, about a finger-width where your eyebrow naturally starts, which can act as an ‘anchor’, making drawing them on much quicker.
Brechtian Punk Cabaret doyenne Amanda Palmer rocks shaved eyebrows. Hell, she rocks life.
2) Consider investing in eyebrow stencils (available from Amazon for about £1.99). They are a LIFESAVER and come in many different shapes and styles. What’s more you can still position them wherever you like on your face, for if you prefer a smaller/larger forehead. I got mine from ELF.
Alt model Epsilon shows that shaved eyebrows can be classic and alluring; they need not be an emphatic statement.
3) DO NOT use liquid eyeliner to draw on your brows, unless you like an unnatural effect. Consider using eyebrow pencils, or an eyeshadow for a softer, more blended look.
4) If you have pink/blue/green/otherwise beautifully unnatural hair, then consider using eyeliner, lip pencils, or kohl instead if you want to match them up. Barry M does an AMAZING range, which includes metallic and glitter shades!
5) Highlighter is your best friend! We naturally have a paler section of skin underneath our eyebrows, so use a pale version of your skin colour (try matching the colour on the inside of your wrist) underneath the fake brow, to add some depth and reality to your creations.
6) Finally, remember that ‘your eyebrows are sisters, not twins’. Unless you use stencils they will very rarely be identical, and they’re not supposed to be. Have fun with your brows, and don’t let anyone tell you that they should look a certain way; eyebrows are art!
How to Shave Your Eyebrows at Home
Honestly? Shaving your eyebrows is the easy bit. It’s as easy as doing your legs. Just shave them – or use a depilatory. Even better, use tweezers to get the hair follicles out by the roots.
Do Shaved Eyebrows Grow Back? How Long Does It Take?
Every shaved eyebrow line virgin worries if their eyebrows will grow back, but they do. Shaved eyebrows should grow back within about two weeks, and you can always use an eyebrow pencil that matches your natural (or unnatural colour) to line and fill them during that time. Everyone is different, but your eyebrows will be fully grown back to their initial hairy splendour in about 1-2 months.
As you get older avoid plucking brows completely as hair grows back less. Get the initial brow shape and then shave… so that anytime you want your brows back you can have ’em back!
Eyebrow Trends Through the Ages
Eyebrows are one of the most important features of the face; they frame the eyes and help convey emotions, so it’s no wonder human beings have been obsessed with them since, well, forever really. During the rule of the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, eyebrows were drawn on in heavy black pastes made from ash and other naturally occurring pigments (see our article on how to seduce like Cleopatra). They would be very thick, with a severe arch, and the ‘tail’ end of the brow often extended far onto the temples. Fast forward to the 1800’s and throughout Europe it was fashionable for women of nobility to shave their natural eyebrows and glue on a pair made from mouse skin. Seriously. If this animal addition wasn’t to everyone’s taste (and if it is, you may be interested in our eighteenth century make up tutorial) then plucking into an extremely thin line or removing completely and redrawing higher up on the forehead were also options. Although they could be any colour, it was most fashionable to have pale eyebrows (so only the lightest mouse skin was used), use Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age for inspiration here.
If you’re looking to take full creative advantage of the freedom that shaved eyebrows can bring, AFP is, as ever, a source of inspiration.
Perhaps the century to see the most eyebrow vanity has been the 20th. During the 1920s and 30s eyebrows were extremely thin, with no arch to speak of (see our 1920s make up video tutorial). The 20s style was a completely straight line, which can look a little cartoonish to us now, but what’s life without a little variety? In the 30s a rounded, half circle shape was favoured, creating a look of surprise and naivety. In the 40s and 50s eyebrows became much more ‘natural’, with a medium to thick appearance. During the 50s brows tended to be of darker shades (think Marilyn Monroe) but how much of this was down to the simultaneous fashion of bleach blonde hair is hard to say. For the 60s there was a return to the razor, with brows being drawn on thickly, made up of individual marks or strokes, to emulate hairs. During the 80s and early 90s there were the grunge brows, thick, bushy and slightly unkempt, but powerful statements nonetheless. Artist and feminist icon Frida Kahlo rocked these to the max, and way before it trended too. For the 90s the thin arched look was back and now pretty much anything goes.
Amanda Palmer. Again. Are you sensing a theme here? We’re sensing a theme. To be fair, it’s not easy to source photos of mouse skin eyebrows (see the history bit).