Eyebrows are going to be big news this season on and off the catwalk, If like me, you were at the bottom of the queue when they were given out, yours are uneven or just plain wild - I give you my guide to perfect brows!
Remember brows are one of our most important features. They balance and frame our face and thin pencilled brows can be ageing.
Tweeze your brows in a good light using a quality mirror - do this after a shower or bath as pores will be open allowing for easier removal. Tweeze in the direction of hair growth. Unsightly hairs in between your brows should be removed as well as underneath the outer edge of the brow. Try to create an arch - the brow should taper to a thinner line at the outside edge.
Try La Tweeze, a fantastic idea, these tweezers include a built in LED light so that you can really see what you are doing £15.95 from www.victoriahealth.com
If you are still nervous you can go to a local salon where a qualified therapist can shape your brows. Alternatively you can have them waxed in to a good shape or try threading, this a traditional Indian method where special cotton is used to pluck the brows. Both of these methods give good results but need to be done by a qualified therapist.
Waxing from about £10 / Threading from about £8
Sparse or very light brows will need accentuating. There are many options to choose from to define the brows, choose your powder or pencil carefully to match your colouring - blonde girls may look too harsh with dark brows so go for a light brown or a taupe colour to beautify them. I recommend Benefit Brow Zing, it comes in three shades and contains powder and wax for keeping brows in shape plus tweezers and brush. (£22.50 from Debenhams and House of fraser stores)
A cheaper alternative is the Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil which comes with a brush to blend the pencil (£2.99 available nationwide.)
Avon's Glimmer Stick brow definer has a thin nib and the gel like product is easy to apply for natural looking brows, the Avon Brow Enhancer is also great, it has tiny fibres that cling to your brow hairs making them appear thicker. (Both products are £6 available from www.Avonshop.co.uk)
If you are blessed with naturally gorgeous brows you may just need to keep them in shape! Do this by reguarly brushing them upwards and outwards. The Sue Moxley Pro Tools kit contains a great brush for brushing brows. (£20 for the complete set www.suemoxleybeauty.co.uk)
TIP: Don't forget to use a brow gel to keep perfectly groomed brows in place. Body Shop Brow and Lash Gel is fab. (£10 from Bodyshop nationwide)
Tattooing is becoming increasingly popular because it saves time and can give a great shape and definition. If done well it looks very natural, I recently went for this option and I am very pleased with the result - I wake up in the morning and my perfect brows are still there!
Remember to choose your technician very carefully, they should be someone who can show you a portfolio of previous work. I went to Sam Pratley at The Nail File, Nail and Beauty specialists.
Prices start at £250 but the results last for a year before a top up is needed.
What colour palette would you recommend for a traditional bride who is doing her own makeup? Any tones to avoid? I would definitely stick to safe colours on your wedding day: browns, taupes and beiges. Add a touch of gold or silver under the brow or in the inner corner of your eyes if you want a bit of sparkle. Avoid bright blues and green, these will be too harsh especially if you are wearing white or cream. Stick to soft pink, peach or nude colours for your lips.
With foundation, how do you recommend applying? Do you use fingers, sponge or brush? - A sponge or brush is far better than fingers, you do not get even coverage with fingers, a damp sponge will give you a lighter base, a brush slightly heavier coverage and good for getting the harder to blend places like around the nose.
How can we make our makeup last longer and look good in wedding photos? - Always use loose powder to set your foundation and brush away any excess, stick to powder shadow and blusher, the shadow will not crease as easy as cream and powder blusher will last longer than cream. A lipliner will keep lipstick from bleeding and blot with a tissue after application and then reapply. It is harder to make gloss last so you will have to carry one for touch ups.
Any tips for avoiding a shiny complexion? - Apply a matifying product, these can be used alone or under foundation.
How do we cover blemishes on the big day? - Choose a concealer that is very slightly lighter than your skin colour or your foundation, blend carefully with a brush and set with powder. If your concealer is too dark it will make blemishes look worse.
Would you recommend lipstick, gloss or another product? - Lipstick will last longer, which is always a plus. If you decide to wear gloss, use a slightly sticky rather than a runny formula as it will last longer.
What items would you recommend we have in a bag with our head bridesmaid for touch-ups? - Powder or the blotting sheets which contain a small amount of powder are perfect, a lip pencil, plus your lipstick or gloss.
How do we make sure our eye makeup won't budge if we start crying during the ceremony? - Waterproof mascara is a must. There are also waterproof eyeliners and shadows available, and try to carry a tissue if possible and dab corner of eyes as you do not want a streak in your foundation.
How do we create the illusion of defined cheekbones? - I always apply blusher on the actual cheekbone you can use a slightly darker shade just under the bone to create the illusion of defined cheeks but please apply very sparingly and blend, blend, blend so there are no harsh lines.
Any other tips you can offer? - Don't try anything new on your wedding day - it's a recipe for disaster. Practice your whole look before and check it out in the daylight, because it will look completely different than in artificial light. I recommend you also get a friend to take a picture so you can see if you are happy with the result. If you do opt for a makeup artist make sure you do a trial.
So there you go! Ten tips from a makeup guru written especially for you!