Although we are (finally) leaving 2020 behind, you can be certain we are keeping our masks strapped on as we crawl into 2021.
Mask-wearing equates to a heavier focus on eyes, and more specifically, the brows. As salons remain closed and at-home care continues, it’s important to know the best ways to take care of your own brows and to have a routine as you take on the new year.
Makeup artist and brow specialist Bob Scott is here to help. Bob studied under brow legend Kristie Streicher, from whom they learned everything they know about brow grooming. They count Padma Lakshmi, Karlie Kloss, and Hilary Duff among their clients (yes, they’ve shaped THE Lizzie McGuire’s brows), and they also lend their talents to fashion shows and influencers. Bob has paused their brow services amidst the pandemic, but that does not stop them from lending their expert opinion to our VGL fam.
Read on for all the tips, tricks, and trends you’ll need to keep your brows healthy and fabulous well into 2021.
Tip #1: Let it grow!
During this time, people are seeing a lot less of your face. Bob sees the pandemic as a perfect opportunity to leave your brows alone completely. “If you want to get into a better routine of keeping them low maintenance, filling them back in, or if you just want them to look more hair-like, just let them be for as long as you can forget about them. This is a good opportunity to reset your brows and start over.”
Yes, this is easier said than done. But consider the larger picture.
“It’s so easy for people to get in the mirror, get really close, and just keep on tweezing and tweezing and tweezing. But this should be a time to step back and let things be for a little bit,” says Bob. “There’s so much that’s outside of our control right now, and it’s definitely an impulse to try and control the little things immediately around us. Picking at our brows is not something we should feed.”
From a safe social distance of six feet or through your computer screen, no one will be able to see your stubble or the microscopic hairs that only you notice. Though it may make you feel insecure or unkempt to let your brows run wild, “understand that growth is a process that takes time. It’s not going to happen in a month, or even three months if there are really stubborn holes. Take this time to forget about it and let your brows be what they are. They might surprise you!”
Tip #2: Have a tweezing routine
If and when you absolutely need to groom, Bob is a firm proponent of tweezing only – leave waxing and threading behind. Tweezing is easy, affordable, and accessible, and you can absolutely do it yourself. However, make sure there’s a method to your madness. It’s important that you only grab your tweezers every six weeks – no more, no less.
“I only want to tweeze every six weeks because I want to make sure that I’m tweezing all of the hairs at once, and then I’m allowing your brows to be clean for longer because the hairs will grow on a six-week cycle. Every six weeks, the follicle has renewed, and the new hair will sprout. If you’re doing any sort of tweezing more frequently than that, you’re eventually going to have all your hairs on a different rhythm, and every week you’re going to be tweezing a different hair. If you stop doing that, and allow the hairs to get back on the same cycle of growth, then you can go in and tweeze everything and keep that pace. This gives you much more consistent shape over time, and it gives you a lot more to work with, allowing you to really maximize the amount of hair you have.”
Although six weeks may seem like a long time, it will pass by before you know it. “The only thing that makes it go by longer is when you are checking every day to see if a new hair has grown,” Bob says. “Forget about it. The hair will grow and it will appear.”
Long-term, having this set routine for at-home care will not only improve hair growth, but help your shape, consistency, and overall brow health.
Tip #3: Shave in between
During your six weeks, if the bushy-ness is just too crazy, utilize a facial razor to clean up your brows in between tweezing. These single-blade razors have been seen all over TikTok. They’re the perfect tool for peach fuzz, dermaplaning, and maintaining the cleanliness of your brows. According to Spate, there is an average of 45.2K searches for eyebrow razors in the U.S. every month, and interest has grown +36.3% since last year.
These razors are single-blade and low-risk for anyone who may be nervous to shave for the first time. “If you are in control of how far the razor is moving, then you’re in control of how much hair you’re removing,” says Bob.
“God forbid, you have an accident and shave off half of your eyebrow – thankfully, these razors are single-blade, so there’s not too much to worry about. Do not take a leg-shaving razor or any other kind of facial razor to try to do this! They’re pretty foolproof, and that’s why I like it.”
In order to get the cleanest shave possible, first, make sure you’ve got steady hands. Bob does it before they drink their morning coffee. Once you’re strong and steady, hydrate the skin with a bit of moisturizer or oil, and brush your eyebrow hairs downwards from the top. Bob recommends you only shave the top part of the brow, since it can be tricky to get around the hairs on the underside. Go in with your razor, and shave very slowly in small, little pushes.
“Think of it as pushing the brows into place rather than trying to shave. You’ll see as you do it how the line of the brow becomes more defined and crisp, and in that way, I can visualize it as pushing the hairs down and creating the line I want. And then wipe away any excess hair, take a step back, look at it. Then you can push them down again and continue to shave a little bit.”
You can repeat the shaving process about once a week, keeping brows cleaned up in between tweezing to maximize growth.
Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to experiment
2020 saw incredible brow trends popping up everywhere, from windswept brows to bleached brows to soap brows. Bob is just as obsessed as we are, and agrees that fun brow trends are here to stay.
“As makeup and younger people become less rigid in their thinking about how they might want to look, people are doing lots more fun and unexpected things with their brows. I like that everybody’s doing things that are a little offbeat, and definitely not pretty. That allows people to reinterpret, and make shapes that aren’t your conventional brow.”
We’ve all got plenty of free time right now. Use it to try out something different than your normal gel or pencil when styling your brows. “I love seeing different makeup influencers and people having fun with their makeup online, doing colorful brows, geometric shapes with their brows, bedazzling, literal illustrations of a braided brow, to a wiggly brow,” Bob says. “It’s completely impermanent, so it doesn’t matter, and it can look as bizarre or as right as you want it to.”
– Now is the perfect time to let your brows grow out! Let them be if you can.
– Tweeze only every six weeks for consistent growth and shape
– Shave using a facial razor for cleanliness in between tweezing
– Have some fun! Bleach ’em! Dye ’em! Brows, like makeup, are impermanent, so use this time to experiment
Need a new brow product? Here are some of our faves.