1 Make sure that you always read by a proper light, and wear glasses ifyou need them. This will prevent you from squinting, causing premature wrinkles to appear around the corners of your eyes.
2 Use a good eye make-up removerto take your make-up off every night. Use a gentle sweeping motion from the outside in, as this will stop you pulling the skin and stretching it.
3 Stop smoking – in tests conducted on identical twins at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, those who smoked had skin that had thinned (and therefore visibly aged) by up to 40 per cent more than their non-smoking twin.
4 Use hypoallergenic eye make-up ifyou have sensitive skin.
Change your eyebrows, and you totally redefine your personality. Perhaps, above all other features, the way we shape our brows (or not) speaks volumes about the way we see ourselves and the way that others see us. Just think about it – the ‘take me or leave me’ attitude expressed by the babe who chooses to leave the fluff between her brows, the ‘high maintenance’ appearance of the girl whose brows are always perfectly arched, and the ‘sex kitten’ smouldering of the bleached-out bombshell express a love or hate relationship with the tweezers.
Our eyebrows are the closest we get to a facial signature – just try picturing Brooke Shields or Elizabeth Taylor without theirtrademark pairs. While fashions for thicker or thinner brows change frequently, those who were born with a strong pair should wear them with pride, or at least think twice before plucking them into obscurity. Many a 1960s siren now regrets the pencil-thin remnants of an arc left afteryears of demolishing a once defined curve.
For those not blessed with naturally shaped brows, both permanent and less drastic forms of cosmetic enhancement abound. For anyone with supreme certainty about the shape and colour she requires, tattooing is a marvellous no-maintenance option. Once the inked-in brows are in place, you can forget about them for weeks – and taking the eyebrow plunge means that swimming will no longer threaten to wash two ‘rainbows’ down your cheek.
While bleaching or dyeingthe brows to match your hair colour is vital to pulling off a natural-looking hairstyle, eyebrow pencils are another, more convenient and easy to apply method of alteringyour natural shade. One top tip from makeup artist Maggie Hunt is always to keep the eyebrow pencil one shade lighter than your hair colour for a convincing result.
For those who are too chicken to pluck, ‘stringing’ or ‘threading’ is a fast and relatively pain-free method of removing eyebrow hairs. Originating in Asia as a cheaper, less messy alternative to waxing, this treatment is now widely available at major beauty salons and some beauty counters in department stores. It involves a skilled therapist tweaking out hairs in a perfect curve using nothing but a piece of high-tension string.
Electrolysis is the permanent way to shapely brows, for once you have completed a course the hairs will never grow back. Costly and sometimes painful, electrolysis will save you unsightly regrowth, but limits your options should you change your mind.
Traditionalists will never be parted from their tweezers. While make-up artists, models and celebrities ail swear by the Tweezerman brand, tweezer preference boils down to personal choice. As a general rule, the slanted-end type are better for gripping obstinate hairs, but, for the dextrous plucker, a pointed pair will do just fine. If you do prefer to pluck, there are a few handy hints to maximize your natural curves – only ever remove hairs from underneath the brow (spiky regrowth around the forehead looks unsightly) and avoid leaving a thick wedge of hair on the inner edges of your brows (the ‘tadpole’ look makes the eyes appearclose set and always draws attention to your nose). (See pages 163-4 f°r more ways to achieve perfect brows.)