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How To Tame 'em

August 31, 2008|Emili Vesilind | Times Staff Writer

Full, thick eyebrows may be back on the fashion radar, but how do you achieve them after years of plucking thin-and-tidy shapes? We asked Anastasia Soare, the Romanian-born aesthetician who's turned her talent for taming arches into an eyebrow empire. Soare sculpts the brows of half of Hollywood's A-listers at her Beverly Hills salon, and her extensive line of products -- including gels, pencils and stencils -- has made hers the top-selling eyebrow line at beauty mega-store Sephora.

The brow guru has always been a fan of the fuller brow, a la Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Portman. "I've been telling my clients for 18 years that they shouldn't over-pluck," she says. "A thicker brow looks more feminine." Soare shared with us how to get the full look -- without looking the least bit foolish:

Get back

The trick to growing back brows is to not try to do it all at once, Soare says. "You will not feel comfortable about yourself," she says. "Grow one row at a time -- starting with the immediate row of hair underneath your eyebrow. It will look better."

A little patience

It can take up to six months for all the hair to grow back in, but if you've been plucking for eons, your brows may never again look like they did at your junior high prom. The good news? Most people are able to grow back the bulk of their brows -- if they lay off the Tweezerman, that is.

In the meantime

Soare recommends using a highlighter -- in stick or powder form -- to camouflage brow stubble, blending with your fingers into the brow bone. Strange as it sounds, "it will reflect light off that area, making regrowth less obvious," she says.

Faking it

If you're not ready to commit to a lengthy regrowth period -- or have already tried with little success -- there are a gazillion eyebrow beauty products to help you get the full look, including Talika eyebrow extender, a product that deposits fibers onto the brow. Soare recommends starting with eyebrow wax or a waxy pencil to fill in the brow with light strokes that follow the direction of your brows.

Choose a color that's a shade or two lighter than your hair color for a natural look. Then use a stencil that's roughly the same thickness as the actual brow and fill it in with brow powder, using a small, angled brow brush. (The full set of Anastasia stencils is available at and well worth the $20 investment.)

"The wax will help the powder to adhere easily," Soare says. Again, use small, feathery strokes. "The powder brush is going to remove the wax in areas and make it look like hair." Once you've waxed and powdered, blend both with a spooly brush (it looks like a mascara wand) to remove excess product.

Ready, set

Set the entire look with a brow gel (Benefit's Speed Brow is easy to use and doesn't clump). But to avoid brows that look as shiny as patent leather, wait for them to dry, then run a clean spooly brush through them. Keep a waxy brow pencil in your purse for touch-ups.

Keep it real

Don't confuse fullness with Einstein-style unruliness. Hair that grows longer than the natural brow shape should be trimmed back. If you don't keep your brows neat, "you'll look like a blurry picture," Soare says.

Stay simple

Thick brows can look sporty or seductive, depending on how you wield your makeup brushes. For a "Tennis, anyone" look, opt for a little blush and concealer. For all-out glam, pair bold brows with smoky, kohl-rimmed eyes -- another big beauty trend for fall.


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