Women who neglect their eyebrows are missing an opportunity to enhance their features and roll back the years, writes HILARIE STELFOX. We offered three Examiner readers the chance to experience first-hand a technique called eyebrow threading to discover what a difference properly shaped brows can make. Here’s how they got on ...
EYEBROWS are the most abused of facial features. If they are not neglected entirely and allowed to grow into bushy appendages, then they’re badly plucked and over-plucked, pencilled in and re-located.
And yet, a pair of properly-shaped brows gives definition to the eyes, enhancing and framing these key facial features.
Lubna Adnan, who is a trained brow threader – using an ancient Middle Eastern technique to remove hairs – sees every kind of eyebrow on a daily basis. And nothing, she says, is beyond redemption.
As well as threading away unwanted hairs she can tint greying eyebrows and trim unruly and overgrown brows with a pair of tiny scissors.
She said: “A lot of people have never heard of threading and are amazed when they see it done.”
We asked Lubna to ‘thread’ the brows of Steph Ball, 44, from Marsh, Cath Ingham, 63, of Holmfirth, and Joan Chapman, 69, from Mirfield, at the Biju Brow Bar in House of Fraser, at Kingsgate in Huddersfield.
Steph, who is manager at Superdrug in Dewsbury, says she has never had a professional eyebrow treatment.
“I have only ever plucked out the odd hair myself and I never know what shape to make them,” she said.
“It’s funny really because we sell all the plucking, waxing and shaping instruments, but I’ve never tried them.”
Lubna decided that Steph needed just a hint of eyebrow tinting to give them more definition.
“As you get older, your eyebrows tend to fade or go grey,” she said.
The tinting takes only minutes.
“I didn’t expect the tinting,” said Steph afterwards. But she is pleased with her new, more shapely and darker eyebrows.
“I’d definitely have it done again,” she explained. “It wasn’t as painful as plucking and it’s quick.”
We asked Lynda Armitage, Chanel consultant, to give Steph a glamorous new look to go with her eyebrows.
“I don’t usually wear much eye make-up,” said Steph. But she was delighted when Lynda used eye shadow, waterproof eyeliner, kohl and mascara for full effect, really showing off her new eyebrows.
Cath, a retired teacher, was keen to have her unruly eyebrows tamed and shaped for her youngest son’s wedding this month.
She had experienced threading once before while on holiday in the Red Sea area last year and wanted to have it done again.
“I didn’t know you could have it done in Huddersfield,” she said.
Cath also needed eyebrow tinting. “Most people usually require the tinting after the age of 40,” said Lubna.
Full-face threading is also popular among older women and Cath agreed to have it done. Removing all the fine hairs above the brows and around the mouth and jawline gives even greater definition to the eyebrows.
Cath, who has sensitive skin, is better off having a threading treatment than facial waxing.
Lubna said: “We only use cotton thread so there are no chemicals and the surface of the skin doesn’t get pulled.”
Due to her sensitive skin, Cath needed make-up that wouldn’t irritate, particularly after threading.
Angela Harriott, Clinique consultant, created a natural look using soft colours and a line-smoothing concealer. All Clinique cosmetics are 100% fragrance free.
“I don’t normally wear make-up much at all but I’ve enjoyed the experience,” said Cath, “and I’d have the threading again.”
Joan, a retired administrator for a youth offending team, first heard of threading 40 years ago when she got married in the Middle East.
“I was getting married in Cairo, my husband was Egyptian and my father had his nose hair threaded,” she said. “But I’ve never had my eyebrows done or plucked or anything like that at all.”
She was intrigued by our offer of a threading appointment with Lubna and was thrilled with the results. “It wasn’t too painful at all,” she said. “And it looks absolutely fantastic and quite natural.”
Joan also had a light tint applied to her eyebrows to match the darker shade of grey in her hair.
After full make-up by Nicky Mazinani using Guerlain cosmetics, Joan’s verdict was: “It’s a different me, it’s taken years off.”
Threading uses a twisted cotton thread rolled over fine hairs and plucks them at the follicle level.
As many hairs can be ‘plucked’ at once it is fast and less painful than individual plucking. Treatments range from £12 for eyebrow threading to £30 for a full face.