SHOULD YOU DARKEN YOUR BLONDE BROWS?
WHEN YOU'RE ROCKING FAIR HAIR AND A PALE COMPLEXION IS IT POSSIBLE TO ADD COLOUR AND SHAPE TO BLONDE, PALE EYEBROWS AND STILL LOOK NATURAL?
For me, eyebrows have always been slightly alien territory - unknown and a little bit terrifying. This is due in large part to my paler than pale skin tone and bright blonde hair that’s left me with a pair so fair that I’ve never really seen or had the need to alter them. Unlike my darker hued friends, I’ve been able to skip past the plucking palavas and pencilling tutorials, and for reasons that were part fear, part laziness, have left my brows completely au naturel.
However, with the trend of big, bold brows becoming more popular by the minute, the need for me to step away from my insipid eye territory and showcase a little more shape and definition never seemed more pressing.
So, decision made, brows-a-trembling, I made my way to Blink Brow Bar - if ever there were a place to begin your brow experience, this is it. Capitalising on the beauty world's new obsession, Blink is one of the foremost salons offering brow and lash treatments that include the same level of professional colouring and styling as the very hair on your head. Founded by Vanita Parti in 2004 after she realised the need for a walk-in service, the salon is renowned for its fuss-free service and consistently high standards.
I probably don’t have to spell out that given my extremely flaxen tones, my main concern was walking away with two angry dark lines that quite clearly had no business being on my forehead. However, with over a decade in the brow industry and a client list that’s bursting at the seams, customer concern and attention to detail is the first port of call with Blink salon therapists.
“We do get clients who are nervous, especially those with fair hair. So, initially we’ll always offer to do a patch test 24 hours before a client's appointment, so they can ensure their skin won’t react and also to give them some more time to think about it,” says Blink brow expert Jaimineey Patel. “Following that we also suggest that clients test out a coloured pencil or eyebrow gel first as these can help give a good idea of what a more structured, filled in brow would look like.”
Why, I hear you cry, would a fair haired individual even want to tint their eyebrows? “All our clients are different,” says Jaimineey, “but for the large part tinting helps pull a woman's beauty look together. When brows are well-kept, the face looks so much more clean, groomed and striking - I think it’s as important as brushing your hair!” Indeed, any beauty junkie or makeup aficionado will be the first to tell you about the unparalleled power of the brow to frame the face, accentuate the eyes and complement the contours of our cheeks. One need only think of Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich or even Cara Delevingne to realise how altering and shaping the brows of these blonde bombshells have been.
Despite my initial worries, I experienced a burst of misplaced confidence and ended up having two coats of the lightest brown tint (a tint should be one shade darker than your natural hair colour) as the first coat didn't come out half as dark as I’d feared. Taking just a few minutes to apply, the end result was a light caramel colour that gave just enough definition to bring out my brows but not so much that they stuck out like a sore thumb next to my natural hair.
Once coloured we moved on to the grooming, and my Freida Kahlo-sized brows were well overdue a tidy up. “The biggest advantage of threading is the precision it allows - with threading the therapists can dictate the shape right down to individual hairs, ensuring a really accurate finish,” says Jaimineey - and precision was certainly what I got. In just a few eye watering swipes the unruly duo were left clean, sleek and perfectly arched, but still with a bit of meat to them. “The bushier and bigger the brow, the better,” says Jaimineey. “A bigger brow is always more youthful.”
I can’t lie, the finished look did take some getting used to and for the first 24 hours I was terribly aware of their presence, feeling like I could almost sense them tipping over my eyes - almost as though I was wearing a large sign on my forehead that read ‘eyebrows now here’. Quite ironically however, the change seemed much more subtle to others.
‘You look older,’ a friend said, ‘More groomed,’ said another, with there being a general feeling that I looked ‘different, in a good way’ but people were unable to pinpoint why. The only way I could personally describe it is that it feels like my face has now come into sharp focus and something I never knew I needed is now the focal point of my entire beauty look. Not matter how inconspicuous you think they are, “Every brow needs a product,” says Jaimineey, “blonde or brunette, whether it’s a pencil to fill in a gap or a gel to control unruly hairs, there’s always something that can be done to make them look their best and the difference is staggering.”
There are not many treatments that are both simple, fast and drastically altering but the brow is most certainly one of them. Much to my surprise and annoyance it’s now taking pride of place in my monthly beauty regime - in fact, I’m starting to wonder how I ever lived without my new face-framers.