Eyebrows - make-up & ideas
If you are feeling overwhelmed by having to use new make-up to create brows, then help is at hand. It is well worth knowing that once you explain about your treatment, many make-up consultants at make-up counters will offer you an eyebrow tutorial free of charge.
Many wig suppliers can offer you some support and there are a number or very good online video tutorials to offer guidance. Additionally, why not attend a FREE Look Good Feel Better make-up workshop that is specifically designed to support cancer patients – you also receive a fantastic goody bag packed with make-up and cosmetics.
Let’s take a look at some ideas and techniques.
Powder and brush including setting wax and brow kits
If your brow hair is completely lost, or very sparse, or you are someone who doesn’t normally wear make-up then a powder can be a good option. Using powder and a brush or applicator can give a more natural look, as you build up the colour and tone more gradually then using a pencil.
There are many eyebrow kits available or you can put together your own. Generally speaking a kit would consist of a base powder in the principle colour you want for your brows, a highlighter to add definition, a setting wax - that helps to keep the powder in place, especially helpful to set the brow when there is little or no hair for the powder to grab onto and last, but not least, a selection of eyebrow stencils.
Choose a shade that is the same or slightly lighter than your natural hair or wig colour for a natural look. For more depth choose a shade or two darker then your natural brow, hair or wig colour.
Eyebrow pencils can be used to create, fill or define sparse or missing eyebrows. With a bit of practice and, if helpful, using an eyebrow stencil you can create very realistic looking brows. As with choosing a shade of brow powder, selecting a shade that is the same or slightly lighter than your natural hair or wig colour will help to create a more natural look. For more depth and a bolder look choose a shade or two darker then your natural brow, hair or wig colour.
Brush and pencil combination products
There are many items of dual brush and pencil brow make-up available. These can be helpful to sculpt and define a brow shape but not always ideal if you are completely hair free as the make-up may need some hair to attach to. Using a pencil or powder and setting wax can be more helpful.
Plumpers products with ‘fibres’
If you have some hair, even if sparse you may like to try products that ‘plump’ your brow. Plumping products use a variation of fibre-enriched gels (in a mascara form) that latch onto your brow hairs and create the illusion of being thicker and fuller. You can either go for a lightly tinted effect or bold and deep. A plumper creates volume and depth but the product needs to be applied to hair and so is not suitable if you are completely hair free on your brows.
A brow stencil can really help as a guide to creating a shape that feels right for you. Once you get used to the technique it really can make putting on your brows very quick. Additionally, if you wear glasses and find it difficult to see when applying make-up then a brow stencil can help.
Stencils are available in a variation of shapes. When looking for something more natural think about how your own brow shape, texture and natural colour look. If you have already lost your brows take a look at some photos to get a good idea.
Top tips for creating eyebrows
- Try before you buy – remember that many make-up consultants will offer you a free tutorial so that you can try the product before you buy.
- Invest in an eyebrow stencil - this can be a real help as you just gently pencil or powder along the shape from the stencil
- Get the right colour - depending on what skin colour you have and if you are wearing a wig, this will affect what colour pencil or powder you choose. Most people make the mistake of choosing a colour that is too dark and therefore can look fake. A good guide for a natural look is to go for a colour the same as or a shade lighter than your natural hair or wig colour
- Dot to dot – if you find it difficult to create a good brow shape, use brow powder or a pencil to create an outline of a shape with dots. Then use a cotton bud to spread the powder and fill in/connect the dots. This will create a good shape.
- Choose waterproof or setting wax to avoid smudges – many women say that they are worried that their brow will smudge or wipe off as they find they have increased sweating on their heads (often wearing wigs and scarves) and due to side effect from treatment. Using waterproof make-up or a setting wax will help your brow to stay in place
Tinting your brows can help to make your brows look fuller and add definition. As with colouring your scalp hair, using eyebrow tint requires you do carry out a sensitivity test normally 24 to 48 hours prior to tint application.
Because of the possibility of an allergic reaction to tint, it is advisable to consider waiting until you have finished chemotherapy treatment to tint your lashes or brows. However, a number of women have told us that they did tint their lashes/brows during treatment as they felt it enhanced their reduced amount of hair and gave them a better look.
Tinting eyelashes and brows after chemotherapy treatment is complete can really help to add depth to new hair growth. As long as a sensitivity test is carried out first, it is up to you when you want to tint your lashes or brows. Additionally, many salons and beauty spas offer this service.
Semi-permanent make-up - eyebrows
Semi-permanent make-up is a method of creating long-term effects that simulate make-up looks, such as eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, lip liner and lipstick. In the case of hair loss, the method is often used to re-create a brow, lashes and enhance features. Depending on your individual requirements a natural or bold look can be created.
Enhancing eyes and creating eyebrows are two of the most popular treatments. The key factor for cancer patients is the timing of the application as in most cases semi-permanent makeup must be carried out prior to starting cancer treatment.
This is quite an in-depth subject that has its own section – Read more
Other ideas to help disguise loss of eyebrows
Until faced with dealing with hair loss most people haven’t thought about wearing false brows but with a little practice these can offer you a great alternative. Just like fake lashes they are attached using an adhesive and removed using a remover product. They come in various shapes, colours and real or synthetic hair. Prices start from around £15.00 for a synthetic pair and upwards for real hair.
You will be able to reuse a good quality pair over and over again, usually around 25 to 30 applications. Some brows you can leave on for up to 14 days, they stay intact when washing your face and showering and others need to be removed and re-applied on a daily basis.
You can buy them from online shops, spas and beauty salons as well as wig suppliers and hair loss clinics. If wearing for the first time it is advisable to buy from a company such as a wig shop who can offer you advice on selection and guidance on how to apply them.
If you have sensitive skin it is also advisable to do a sensitivity test to ensure that you are not allergic to the glue and remover lotions.
If wearing brow make-up isn’t suitable for you, but you would like to distract people from your hair loss, why not try wearing sunglasses or glasses with fake lenses? The frame will help to give your face shape and definition to your look and deflect away from the areas where lashes and brows would normally be.
Additionally, glasses help to protect the delicate eye from dust - a job that the brows and lashes normally do.
Bindi and jewels
Some people decide to get creative using bindi’s (self adhesive jewels and patterns)
You may choose to be bare and not wear any lashes or enhance your brows. Having read some guidance on what is available you can make a more informed choice to how you wish to manage your unique image.
Next planned review: February 2020