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Eyebrows 101

The architecture of perfect arches

By REGINA BELMONTE, The Philippine STAR Published Mar 02, 2021 4:00 pm

"The eyebrow shape you are born with is generally already the correct one for your features,” my instructor at makeup school told us once. The problem is that either there’s just a little too much brow, or perhaps not enough — and either way, the way to correct this is definition.

And when it comes to eyebrows, nobody defines definition like Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills.

For decades now, she’s used the Golden Ratio — that classic piece of mathematics — to create perfect brows, and her method of symmetry has spread so far and wide that it’s become ubiquitous.

So ubiquitous that I have early memories of my own mother explaining it to me as a child, as I watched her pencil in her own brows. (I only learned much later in life that it was Anastasia’s technique.) So ubiquitous that every makeup artist I’ve ever worked with as a former beauty editor has used it for our photo shoots. So ubiquitous that it’s the technique by which eyebrow microblade artists — the really good ones, at least — determine how they will shape and fill in the gaps to create semi-permanent brow definition.

For decades Anastasia has used the Golden Ratio — that classic piece of mathematics — to create perfect brows. 

It’s a technique that works for every face, and Anastasia’s been doing it since she created it in the early ’90s. While people were still rocking that over-tweezed trend, Anastasia had already perfected her timeless method.

“People have realized that one brow does not fit all,” she tells The STAR in an exclusive interview. “This happens to be the entire foundation of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Using the Golden Ratio Shaping Technique, the shape of the brow is tailored to each individual’s face and unique bone structure. These personalized brows will outlast any trend.”

The Golden Ratio

The ratio itself is simple enough on the surface, and follows just three relatively simple steps:

  1. Brows should begin directly above the middle of your nostrils.
  2. The highest point of the arch should connect the tip of the nose with the middle of the iris.
  3. Brows should end where the corner of the nostril connects with the outer corner of the eye.
 First step: Prime your brows with ABH Brow Freeze.

When shaping your brows, what you’re really trying to do is create a more balanced shape for your face, so you have to take note of the space you have to work with.

You almost never add definition or create shape on top of the existing eyebrow; you work with the bottom unless there really isn’t a lot of room to work with. (“And be careful not to be overzealous with tweezing and trimming!” Anastasia warns.) It’s advisable to go a little longer when enhancing your brows with product, especially if you have a wider face, so your features look better spaced.

Of course, shaping is one thing. The trick, however, is in the technique. Far too often, we’ve seen people who have filled their eyebrows in with solid blocks of color. The shape may be correct, but the method is missing.

When shaping your brows, what you’re really trying to do is create a more balanced shape for your face, so you have to take note of the space you have to work with.

“The biggest problem I see is when product application is too heavy-handed,” says Anastasia. “Eyebrows should always be filled in ombre — lighter at the inner corners than the outer edges, to look their most natural. To achieve this, apply product first at the arch, work your way to the tail, and with the remainder, lightly go in at the center.”

She recommends blending out the inner corners of the eyebrow with a clean mascara spoolie for a more natural effect.

Real brows have depth, so enhanced brows must have them, too. That means creating layers. Natural brows have both the strokes of the hair, and the slight shadows they make on the skin, creating a multidimensional look.

“My favorite brow recipe is to fill, detail, highlight, and set. You may have a hero product you gravitate towards, but developing a several-step brow routine will always reign supreme,” Anastasia explains.

Achieving perfect arches

Anyone can create 3D brows with Anastasia’s technique. And don’t think that just because you got your brows tattooed or microbladed, you’re exempt from eyebrow maintenance. Both feathery semi-permanent strokes and solid blocks of ink will eventually fade, creating their own set of eyebrow issues to correct.

“They lack dimension, which is what causes the brow to look so unnatural,” says Anastasia. “You’ll want to check if your old tattoo is the correct shape for your face by using the three measurements of the Golden Ratio.” And then follow the steps below to define your brows, whether they are microbladed or not:

 Brow essentials: Use a detail product such as Brow Definer or Brow Pen to draw realistic strokes of hair.

Prime your brows first with a primer or Brow Freeze. (ABH’s latest product — clear and lightweight, it sets your existing brows in place to prep them for definition.)

Then, use a powder to fill in your improved shape and color-correct as needed. (If your brows are tattooed, chances are, the ink will have faded somewhat, and the undertone will have changed. Counter any greenish hues by using warmer-toned products.)

Next, use a detail product such as Brow Wiz or Brow Pen in a shade darker than the powder to draw realistic strokes of hair, which will give the dimension of a more natural-looking brow.

If you think you’ve gone a bit too dark, don’t worry, mistakes are fixable — just take a clean mascara spoolie and blend out any boo-boos immediately. Mascara spoolies are your go-to tool for brow correction. You can use them to brush to blend out, soften, fix errors, and make the overall effect look more natural. And what if you have a wayward microblading stroke that looks out of place?

 Last step: Use clear brow gel to set your brows. Anastasia Beverly Hills is available at Rustan's Makati and Beauty Bar.

“If there is an area tattooed that falls outside of the Golden Ratio, you can touch it up with concealer,” Anastasia suggests.

Anastasia Beverly Hills began with brows, and has since expanded further into all aspects of beauty. “Since the beginning we have stayed committed to quality,” she says. “We never launch anything we’re not in love with ourselves. People remember how you treat them; the quality of what you’ve recommended and created. We put our customer first and make sure they know that we have their best interests in mind.” It’s been the secret to her decades of success.

“And we always have our eyes on the horizon for a new niche to fill. When we started, no one was creating products for brows,” she says. “ABH was the first, and in the process, we carved out a new category in beauty. We’re always working to give the community something innovative, whether it’s the first Contour Kit assembled, a new Lip Stain formula that’s perfect for mask wear, or an ultra-inclusive 50-shade range of Luminous Foundation.”

If you’re new to brows and still a little daunted by the prospect, just think: Practice makes perfect, and there’s never been a better time than now to perfect your technique at home.

The beauty industry was understandably hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. There are long-time beauty enthusiasts (like me) who actually gravitated away from cosmetics for quite some time, and are only just returning to makeup slowly. But there are also others who have leaned into makeup and beauty as a creative outlet, as a way to make their own joy in these hard and uncertain times.

“I’ve been in awe of the way the community has come together online,” says Anastasia. “People have radiated strength, support, and encouragement, often towards strangers on the other side of the world. Beauty has always been about an expression of self and creativity, and I believe it’s the ultimate respite: both comfortable routine and absolute indulgence.”

If you’re new to brows and still a little daunted by the prospect, just think: Practice makes perfect, and there’s never been a better time than now to perfect your technique at home. Besides, “brows have never been more important!” Anastasia quips. “With only half your face showing, you want eyebrows that are expertly crafted to best frame your features!”

Discover the Anastasia Beverly Hills range of brow products — and their Spring 2021 collection — at the Anastasia Beverly Hills counter at Rustan’s Makati, Beauty Bar, and through the following portals: @anastasiabeverlyhills, sephora.ph/brands/anastasia, and anastasiabeverlyhills.com.

Banner and thumbnail caption: Anastasia Beverly Hills founder Anastasia Soare