As we age, our eyebrows often tend to rotate down and in a bit at their outer ends. They also may thin and start to turn gray just like the hair on our heads does. The process is so insidious that we often don’t realize what is happening and that our brows may be part of the reason we suddenly notice that we look “tired”. Here are just a few tips on keeping a youthful brow. Know that I’m speaking in generalities since every individual is unique.
One of the hallmarks of a youthful brow is contrast between the color of the brow and the skin. While we want to keep our look as soft as possible as we age (since Father Time wants us to look harder and even angry), the whole upper third of the face will look prettier if the brows are well-defined. They truly are a frame for your eyes. The conventional wisdom is that we should keep the brows close to or a bit lighter than the hair color. If your hair is very light brown, blonde or gray, this rule does not apply. If the brows look faded, try a slightly darker shade of brow color. Give yourself a good day for your eye to adjust to the new color as the immediate change may throw off your perception of how it really looks.
If the brows are thicker, they will generally look younger. Pull out an old photograph of yourself and see if your brows are thinner than they used to be. If so, thicken them up a bit with your brow color, and again give yourself some time for your eye to adjust before nixing the result.
Ideally, the outer ends of your brows should be at the top of your brow bone, not curving down over the most prominent part of the rim. If the outer ends are lower than the inner ends, try lifting your brow color toward the topmost brow hairs laterally to improve the balance.
Also ideally, the outermost tip of your brow should be along a line that extends from the nostril through the outer corner of your eye on each side. Hold a pencil along that line and see where it falls when it reaches your brow. Since the ends of the brow tend to thin as we age, they can actually look shorter than the best proportion for you if you don’t extend it a bit.
Whether it’s just a matter of improving your brows with cosmetics or a situation that may require my help, we are just a phone call away if you need me or my wonderful aesthetician, Jill.
In Part I, we covered your best topical products for intercepting the aging of your skin, “AA (anti-aging) creams” notwithstanding. However, there are now “BB (originally blemish balm, then later beauty balm) creams” and “CC (color correcting) creams” that multitask so you don’t have to layer on multiple products.
The term “Beauty Balm” covers a lot of territory, doesn’t it? Technically, we could affix this moniker to just about anything out there, otherwise why would we even bother using it? (Quite frankly, when my face breaks out, the most efficient “beauty balm” I could use would be a thick paste of benzoyl peroxide and a paper bag over my head.) Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom is that a “BB cream” is a product that combines sun protection with some foundation-like coverage.
The difference between a BB cream and a tinted moisturizer with SPF is that the BB cream generally offers more coverage and more sun protection. You want to look for an SPF of at least 20 for a normal business day with minimal sun exposure. Also, since SPF refers only to the UVB rays (the ones that can burn the skin), you also want to have a product that includes UVA ray protection (those are the insidious rays that come through windows, for instance, and don’t burn or tan you, but just quietly destroy your skin). These will either specify “UVA protection” or be labeled “broad spectrum” sun protection. We carry Jane Iredale products because they are anti-inflammatory, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, pure and really effective at making people look wonderful. Her new BB cream, “Glow Time” is just as fabulous as we would have expected with an SPF of 25, UVA protection and coverage that goes from light to concealer-quality, depending on how it’s applied. And as for the original “B”, this mineral-based cream won’t break you out or make you greasy either.
CC creams generally have a slightly lighter texture than BB creams. They contain various ingredients that benefit the skin and will usually have some sun protection. They distinguish themselves by being “color correcting” in that they will have a tint to offset unwanted skin tones. For instance, peach tones generally even the skin and brighten it up if it’s looking dull (too little sleep, anyone?), green or yellow will tone down ruddy skin and lilac will brighten sallow skin. Some CC creams will have a bronzing effect to warm us up a bit. Jane Iredale has a great one, except it’s been around for about eight years, doing what CC creams do without the catchy title. It’s called Dream Tint and comes in Peach, Lilac and Warm Bronze.
There are even DD and EE creams out there. Personally, I can’t wait till the marketing gurus get up to QQ. That could be a literary challenge. And by the time they get to XX, we may not even be able to talk about it!
by Holly Barbour
Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, Sarasota, Florida
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