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Arch-angels

Shu Uemura is just browsing.
Arch-angels Shu Uemura is just browsing.

We probably wax poetic about the importance of flawless eyebrows too much, but honestly, there's really something to be said about having that perfect arch support, a frame to build the foundation of a look on. Those two little swooshes can also depict age, mood, trends and even an insight into your personality. We treat such revealing and underrated features to a much-deserved day with a pro.

Shu Uemura Makeup Artist Associate Team member Claire Seelin-Diokno acted as our personal arch-angel for the day, sitting us down in their Power Plant Mall boutique and giving us some useful one-on-one tips on the basics of brow care. She gave our grown-in brows some tending-to and gave a tutorial on shaping then ourselves. We share her golden nuggets:

1. Invest in a good pair of brow scissors, preferably with blades that curve at the ends. Sometimes the only thing to do is to trim brows to find their “inner shape.” Brush hairs downward and conservatively trim the lengths to match your lower arch, not any further. When in doubt, trim instead of tweeze.

2. To determine the shape your brows should be, hold a pencil vertically against your nose to see where brows should begin. To find out where your arch should be (if it isn't naturally evident), hold the pencil diagonally from the nostril to the edge of the iris. For the length, hold the pencil diagonally from the nostril to the edge of the eye itself. Finally, hold the pencil across the arches of the two brows to see if they're even in shape, height and distance. Mark all hairs falling outside of these four “points” with a light-colored liner or pencil concealer to give you a guide for tweezing.

3. Claire says that it is normal for brows not to match—at first. Don't panic: you might just need to alter the slope of your brows (the line after the arch) to alter their evenness. Tweeze from under the line.

4. Sharp, thin, more angled brows denote sophistication; rounder, fuller brows show sweetness and innocence. It is not recommended that you completely change your arch, since when done incorrectly, tweezing above the line may cause enlarged pores.

5. Start grooming your “good” brow first. It is easier to adjust an errant brow to match a perfect one than vice versa.

6. Thin brows may age a face, and especially when overlined, may be inappropriate for more formal functions (remember those Mama Chola brows of the '90s, where everyone in middle school looked like a gangster?). Always err on the side of caution and remove hairs only where the concealer guide says so.

7. Sparse areas are common. Troubleshoot by filling in with a harder-leaded brow pencil, starting from the arch downwards, using little check mark strokes. The ideal shape is a continuous line with a graceful slope, without any harsh angles. Once the outline is defined, fill in the inner gaps with a softer brow pencil or brow powder.

8. Claire offers a tip on coloring which is quite contrary to popular belief: the darker your hair, the lighter your brows should be—but only one step higher. Conversely, those with light hair should have brows one shade darker.

9. Tweak your brow's hair color without having it permanently bleached. Simply choose either a black (yes, black), golden brown or ash blonde brow mascara and apply using feather-light strokes on the opposite of hair growth, so the shade stands out. Tame them down later with a spooley if desired.

10. Want thicker-looking brows but lack the fullness, patience, or moxie to pull them off? Fill in the lower line, still using light strokes, with a darker-colored brow pencil to create a “shadow” effect in both pictures and real life.

11. Tattooing is not for everyone. As we age, the brow arch can move depending on how skin sags; you may end up with lopsided brows if you're not careful. Also, the ink can fade into an unflattering shade of gray or green. Seek a professional tattoo or cosmetic artist before attempting any permanent changes.

12. Shapes to avoid: the tadpole (a circular shape tapering to a super-thin line); the inverted V; really short stubs; and thin, rainbow brows—although they looked glamorous on silent film stars of the '20s (they needed really expressive brows to “communicate”), they're too harsh for daily wear and have no place in a modern look and routine.

Since we're about sharing the brow-mance, store clients of the Shu Uemura boutique in Power Plant Mall may avail of a complimentary brow consultation with their artists and may even have their special Hard Formula 9 pencils sharpened for free.

Click on to see Claire's arch supporters and tools of the trade and step-by-step instructions on brow shaping.

Click here to see Style Bible's guide to summer.


—Eunice Lucero, Beauty Editor

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