Wink Brow Bar Founder Umbreen Sheikh, CEO Shares Her Quick & Easy DIY Brow Hacks…
As the daughter of a London salon owner, I’ve known since I was a young girl that brows are an integral part of a woman’s head to toe beauty look. In fact, in my opinion, brows are every bit as important as the hair on our heads. With great brows, I’m convinced women – all women, everywhere – have more confidence, and look and feel on top of their games. In short, my Wink Brow Bar brand is about #embrowerment for all.
But here’s the thing: embrowered / empowered women like us are insanely busy. And that means we can’t always carve the time out of our packed schedules to have our brows professionally groomed. While it’s actually really relaxing to pop by a beauty establishment like Wink for a glass of champagne and a bit of much-needed “me time,” I completely understand that’s not always an option.
That’s why I want to walk you through a little DIY brow magic, utilizing all the tips and tricks my experts use every day at Wink. Shortcuts, hacks – whatever you want to call them – this insider intel will whip your brows into pro shape in no time.
HACK ONE: Determine your face shape and best brow look
Before you do anything else, it’s crucial that you figure-out the most flattering brow look for your face shape. Although it may not seem like it, trust me, every single pair of brows is unique. What works for you may not be flattering on someone else.
While you might be tempted to get this close to your mirror to assess the situation, standing a foot away will actually give you a much better perspective.
Next, it’s time to determine your basic face shape. Although a quick Google search yields several different options, these are pretty much the core five shapes:
- Heart Shape: Your chin is pointed, and your forehead is the widest part of your face. Best Brow Look: A slightly rounded arch. A low arch will create a more natural look, and a higher arch will elongate a shorter face.
- Oval Shape: Your face is balanced, with very little width difference between your forehead and chin. Best Brow Look: A soft, angled arch that shoots straight up, then gently curves down.
- Rectangle (also known as Oblong) Shape: Your face is longer than it is wide. Best Brow Look: A soft arch, with a wide distance between the brows. Be sure they don’t exceed the inner corner of the eye.
- Square Shape: Your face is basically as wide as it is long, and your jaw is slightly angled. Best Brow Look: Angular, with a lifted arch and lengthened “tail,” which helps balance the face.
- Round Shape: Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face and your chin is curved. Best Brow Look: Definitely not round! Go arch-y. Adding a defined arch instantly gives a lifted, more elongated look, which can be really beautiful.
One more brow-look tip: Women with close-set eyes may want to “start” their brows a fraction of an inch away from the bridge of the nose. This will widen the eye area and lend balance to the face. To do this, vertically line up a pencil from the base of your nose to the inner corner of your eye, and lightly tweeze as needed.
HACK TWO: Clean up your act
There’s a right way and a wrong way to clean your brows and prep them for pencils, powders or pomades. Think gentle, gentle, gentle.
Opt for an oil-based cleanser, which is kinder to brows and less likely to dislodge individual hairs than traditional soap-based formulas. Either use a Q-Tip or your middle finger to apply it, and gently swipe cleanser left and right, using light, circular motions.
In a pinch, a makeup wipe will work. But it isn’t ideal, and I want you to learn “brow best practices.” Get into the habit of carefully and gently cleansing, and your brows will thank you by staying full and lush.
HACK THREE: Pick the right shade + pencil it in
I’ll just be upfront about this: “newbies” should stick to pencils for shading and filling. Only when you really master basic skills should you “graduate” to a powder or colored pomade.
Why do I feel so strongly about this? Because pencils, like our brand new Embrowerment Pencil, simply offer the most control. They’re basically fool-proof, because they make it so easy to create hairlike strokes. And if they have a brush or “spoolie” on one end to help blend product and tame hairs, as Embrowerment does, it’s the best of both worlds.
In contrast, in untrained hands, powder can go all over the place. Colored pomades can also “land” where you don’t want them to, necessitating a clean-up.
If you’re unsure which shade of pencil to buy, simply match it to your hair roots, which are typically one shade lighter than your brows. This ensures a naturally flattering effect. Most women want their brows to add definition to their face, and not “read” as harsh or aggressive. Matching your brows to your roots achieves that. However, there’s one exception to this rule. If you’re blonde, go a shade darker than your roots. Otherwise, you’ll look washed-out, and that’s not optimal for embrowered women.
HACK FOUR: Do double-duty, and beef-up your lashes at the same time
What’s even better than well-groomed, face-flattering brows? Thick, lush lashes right below them! If yours are naturally on the skimpy side, consider using some type of growth product. Because we don’t yet know the long-term effects of lash-growth formulas containing prostaglandins, I typically urge Wink clients to steer clear. Our new Nourishing Lash Fortifier + Keratin contains no prostaglandins, but instead relies on keratin to nourish root structure, and promote stronger, healthier, glossier lashes.
HACK FIVE: “Cheat” with concealer
Even in a jam-packed life, some days are just busier than others. If you’ve got a lot going on, you may not want to carve-out 15 minutes to do a proper brow-grooming session. Still, you should definitely do something, even if it’s only a quick brushing with your trusty spoolie. Stroke up and over, then anchor your arches with clear mascara.
And here’s how to handle any “stragglers” that pop up: dab on a tiny bit of concealer. Whatever you do, resist the urge to grab your tweezers and start yanking. When you’re in a rush, bad brow things can happen. Concealer is just the ticket for hiding unruly hairs until you have more time to deal with them.
Just promise me that you’ll make the time later to really treat yourself to a proper brow grooming session, okay? You, your brows and your head-to-toe beauty look deserve it.
About Umbreen Sheikh, Founder and CEO, Wink Brow Bar
The #bossladyofbrows, London-born / New York-based Umbreen Sheikh is on a mission to embrower every woman she comes in contact with. A second-generation cosmetologist, Umbreen learned the ancient technique of threading from her mother, a salon owner. After obtaining a degree in Biomedical Sciences from University at King’s College London, Umbreen relocated to New York City with her husband and embarked on entrepreneurship. She now owns four Wink Brow Bar locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and London and is rapidly expanding her Wink-branded product range.