Eyebrows: underrated and overplucked

Every few months, many of us pay our regular visit to the hairdresser, have a manicure or maybe a facial. Things we may see as ‘essential maintenance’.

hd brows article

Yet it’s amazing just how many women underestimate the importance of eyebrows to their overall look and fail to include brows in their make-up routines and regular maintenance trips to the professionals

Brows and lashes have been a huge growth area in the beauty industry in recent years and with good reason. Good eyebrows can transform your face, helping you appear younger, more expressive and less drawn or tired. A cheap facelift you could say.

I count myself as a recent convert to the ‘all-about-the-brows’ attitude.Having started a business in 2009, while pregnant and at the height of the credit crunch and recession and now expecting a second baby imminently, I feel unrecognisable from the fresh-faced and carefree young woman of five years ago.

Applying a full face of make-up every day or having a regular facial just doesn’t feel like an option right now. But I have come to realise that by dedicating a small amount of time to my brows, my whole face benefits.

Traditionally, my most basic ‘must-do’ beauty routine has consisted of a quick application of tinted moisturiser, a smear of lip and cheek colour (always Benefit’s Benetint for me…) and a swipe of brown-black mascara. Combined, these three actions take all of one minute and help me to look vaguely presentable (I hope).

Nowadays though, my essential fourth step is to brush my brows through with clear mascara and add some colour with either an HD Brow pencil or powder from an HD palette. Although this step adds 50% or more to my morning routine, I personally consider it 30 seconds well spent!The biggest difference of all, though, is having my brows reshaped and tinted in a salon once a month. The first time I had this done, I was stunned by the huge difference these simple procedures made to my brows and face.

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I don’t pluck in between times, preferring to leave the shaping to the experts. With the tint, I always go a shade darker than I would like in the knowledge that after a couple of days, the colour will fade. My aim is to enhance my brow shape (trying to create a natural-looking arch but nothing too dramatic) and to fill in the sparse areas.

Personally, I prefer a thicker brow as I think that thin brows can look too harsh and can be unflattering and ageing. But like many women, my brows are no longer the beasts they used to be, due to the over-zealous plucking I embarked on as a teenager. Luckily though, with the range of brow treatments and products available nowadays, almost anything is possible. For example, the following brow options are available:

Waxing and threading

Some of my therapists swear by threading, because they believe that this ancient and entirely natural method of hair removal creates a more bespoke/personalised brow shape. Other therapists prefer waxing because it gives them more control over the shape and hair removal.

Some women like the speed and precision of waxing and find threading unbearably painful, while others find threading an enjoyable and relaxing treatment in itself. So it’s really down to personal preference…


Eyebrow tinting can make an incredible difference to our eyebrows, especially as we age, making them look significantly thicker and fuller and really helping to show off the shape of the brow.

Whenever you get your brows tinted in a salon, ask for a full consultation with your therapist beforehand so she understands exactly what look you’re trying to achieve. Err on the side of caution; tint can be easily reapplied if the colour hasn’t developed enough for your taste.

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HD Brows

HD Brows before and afterConsidered the Rolls-Royce of brow treatments, HD Brows is an intricate, seven-step procedure which includes a combination of measuring, waxing, threading, plucking, tinting and make-up to create the ultimate high-definition eyebrow look.

A vital part of HD Brows is the sophisticated and well-considered product range that accompanies the in-salon treatments and which will help you, with some guidance and advice from your therapist, to recreate the look at home. The application knowledge of your brow therapist really cannot be underestimated here as badly applied brow make-up is a far-greater crime than none at all…

Whichever method of brow grooming you go for, remember that your beauty therapist can’t work miracles overnight, especially if you have overplucked in the past or your brows are naturally thin.

What she can do, however, is assess your current and desired shape and create a plan with you to help get your brows to that point. This might involve several months of re-growth, reshaping and re-colouring, as well as the necessary at-home make-up and products.

From my own experience though, however long the process, the final results will be well worth the effort.

About Rebecca Dowdeswell

I am the owner and founder of nkd ( ), the waxing specialists. At nkd ( ), we specialise in the delicate art of hair removal (via waxing and threading) and have an in-house lash and brow bar, as well as an industry training school. My precious spare time is spent with my husband and young son and daughter.