It's safe to say that Anastasia Soare knows a thing or two about eyebrows. Founder of Instagram-famous beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, she was one of the first to garner huge success from expert brow shaping, and is the brains behind a number of cult brow products which professional makeup artists, celebrities and beauty editors alike can't imagine their beauty kits without: Dipbrow, Brow Wiz... you know they're great.
So when I received an invitation to meet the queen of brows herself to celebrate Anastasia Beverly Hills' launch into Selfridges, I couldn't turn it down, especially because Anastasia has been with me (figuratively speaking) through my brow journey over the years, from bushy slugs to pencil thin and everything in between. In a room full of editors and influencers, I was lucky enough to get a seat next to the brow pro herself, which meant I could pick her brains before anyone else had a chance. And to highlight just how brilliant she is, she pushed her fancy Annabel's lunch to one side and showed me exactly where I've been going wrong with my brows all this time. Here are the insanely clever tips and tricks I learned in that one hour.
You should use not one but two products to achieve great eyebrows
If you think about it, a full, natural eyebrow has actual hairs, but then there’s a slight shadow behind that on the skin – that’s why you should use a lighter colour first, Anastasia told me. Try Dipbrow Pomade, £19, as a base, but this has to be a lot lighter than your actual hairs. Then, go in with a darker colour, creating strokes of hair to achieve the natural but believable 3D brow look with an angled brush. You can use pomade and pencils, but brow powders usually come in two shades for this very reason.
Don't pencil in your eyebrows without this one tool to hand
Whether it's pencil, pomade or shadow, if you apply product and don't groom your brows with a brush as you go, they won't look as great as they could do. Why? Well, a brush will not only push the hairs into a more uniform shape but it softens any harsh lines, clumps or intense pigment left behind by the product, making your brows look like, well, hair, not 'fake' or 'drawn on'. "You know I invented the double-ended pencil, right?"
Don’t trim your eyebrows unless it’s completely necessary
If you have thick, long brows, you might need to trim them occasionally, Anastasia told me, but whatever you do, don't go too far, because they could start to grow downwards instead of upwards and this could alter the shape of your brow completely. If you do want to groom them, simply brush them up with a spoolie brush and trim with care and caution using clean nail scissors, like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Scissors, £20. The angled blade snips unruly hairs without snagging.
Here's what to do if you mess up
If you've made a mistake, simply feather out the product with a brush rather than messing everything up with a wipe or a cotton bud. According to Anastasia, it'll save time and look far more natural.
A clever tip for big eyes
If you have big eyes, Anastasia suggests taking your arch higher, as it opens up the space further and really accentuates them. The opposite goes for a lot of lid space – you can get away with bringing your brows lower when you’re filling them out. She told me not to be afraid of pencilling in underneath. "Thick eyebrows beautifully shaped – that’s all you need."
This is why one eyebrow always looks different from the other
Anastasia mentioned that one eyebrow is always higher than the other because of the muscles in your face – it's rarely to do with how the hairs grow. But instead of trying to fix it by going overboard on product, she recommends embracing the difference. Remember, sisters not twins.
Rihanna’s thin eyebrows won’t come back – ever
Unfortunately, eyebrows aren’t like the hair on our head, Anastasia told me. "It’s fun to experiment like Rihanna, but if you start tweezing brow hairs excessively, I can guarantee they won’t grow back," she said. That’s whether you have a lot of hair or if you’re fair and have hardly any to begin with. This is because pulling the hair in this way destroys the hair follicle at the root and it’s not as strong as it once was. "Thin eyebrows are purely editorial. I wish I could say hey, for this season, let’s do thin eyebrows, but hardly anyone wants them. If you want to go thinner for one reason or another, cover them up with makeup – concealer works a trick."
How to hide brow stubble when you're between appointments
If you have thick, coarse hair and suffer with stubbly growth or shadows, don’t squeeze or dig at the hairs, simply mask them with a slick of concealer. This way, you won't damage the skin or cause scarring. Try the Pro Pencil Highlighter and Concealer Pencil, £18.
Anastasia Beverly Hills is available at Selfridges London and Selfridges Manchester Trafford.