Bridal Brows

By Sharon Naylor

April 15, 2011 5 min read

As part of their pre-wedding beauty regimens, countless brides and members of their bridal parties add eyebrow enhancement to their must-do lists. Well-shaped brows make eyes appear bigger and brighter, and beauty experts say that properly styled arches give the effect of an eyelift, as well.

Consulting with a professional brow-shaping specialist is essential to this beauty focus because an expert will assess your unique facial features and eye shape and placement, as well as the natural thickness and shading of your brows. The trained eye and skills of a brow beauty expert will create the ideal arch, width and length and help you grow out over-tweezed eyebrows so they can reach their loveliest appearance by the wedding day. It's a mistake to attempt your own brow shaping, even with a drugstore template kit, as a way to save money. Brow shaping is quite inexpensive, usually between $30 and $120, and is well worth the investment for its flattering framing of your eyes on the most important day of your life.

Beauty expert Kristin Daniell advises on when your brow-shaping preparations and sessions should begin: "If you want to start from scratch with your brow shape, let them grow in for about a month to give your stylist more to work with and clear away to create the perfect brow shape. If you just want to maintain your existing shape and clean up the lines and arch, about six weeks before your wedding would be the ideal time to start brow-shaping sessions. To keep your brows groomed, you would want to get them done every two to three weeks. Definitely have a trial brow shaping before your final brow shaping before the big day to make sure your skin does not react."

Skin reactions and torn skin from home-performed waxing are the top wedding beauty disasters, and they've caused redness, breakouts, discoloration and even cuts and scabbing around the bride's eyes. Even if you're experienced at tweezing or waxing your brows using a home kit, the months before your wedding are not the time to risk any unforeseen reactions or errors. And Daniell also warns about chemical reactions: "Do not use any type of retinol, salicylic/glycolic acids, Accutane, acne medications, chemical peels or harsh exfoliators for at least three days before and three days after your eyebrow waxing appointment. This may result in removing too much skin, which could cause burns and scarring." You wouldn't commit to a man without dating first; why would you commit to a brow regimen before having a practice run?

Here are some additional tips for ensuring brow beauty on your wedding day:

--Do not get your brows shaped for free at a department store makeup counter. Though some clerks are trained and talented, they are primarily makeup experts. It's best to invest in sessions with a brow specialist.

--Build brow beauty treatments into your wedding budget, giving them the same importance as hair trims and facials for your best wedding day look.

--If you see someone who has beautiful eyebrows, ask her who her brow specialist is. Word-of-mouth referrals are the best resources because you see the actual results rather than photos online.

--Ask your brow specialist to give you a lesson in tweezing away your own strays. Experts will suggest upgraded tweezer brands and angling tips to help you remove strays effectively and attractively.

--Never use chemical hair removers to shape your own brows. Skin near your eyes is very sensitive, and you could cause chemical burns and unintentional brow removal that could take months to grow back in, not to mention the extreme danger of getting chemicals in your eyes.

--Never use cuticle scissors to trim your own longer brow hairs above or below your brow's line. Let your expert handle that.

A rather new trend in brow beauty is professionally tinting your eyebrows to the perfect shade to match your hair color and work with your skin color, as well. "Tinting is great if you have super-light hair and don't want to have to maintain your brows on your honeymoon," Daniell says. "Tinting lasts for about two to three weeks. However, pencils and tinted brow gel will do the trick just fine as a temporary effect." Again, ask your brow specialist to advise you on the perfect brow filler pencil shade, because most people tend to choose one that's too dark. You then can receive a lesson in proper filling strokes, often light, feathery touches of color that look natural with your brows' own shape.

Finally, ask your brow specialist to recommend a brow gel that goes on like a clear mascara and holds your brows in place.

Cameras will be focused on you throughout your wedding day, and your perfectly shaped brows will look spectacular in close-up photos, as well as in person.

Sharon Naylor has written more than three dozen wedding books.

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