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I always hated my thick eyebrows until they slowly stopped growing and started to thin-out. Now there was no need to pluck them anymore.
At first, I was glad, no more plucking or waxing. Yeah!
Then as years went by, my brows became more sparse and so faded you could hardly see them. So, instead of plucking my eyebrows a few times a month, I have to pencil them in every day.
That's when I noticed how different I looked without my thick eyebrows and wished I had them back. I looked tired, drained, and washed out. And, dare I say, older!
Could brows make that much of a difference in your appearance and perceived age? Apparently so. There have even been a few studies on this topic that suggests prominent or thick eyebrows are a sign of youth. But why?
What’s the connection between eyebrow hair loss and an aged appearance? Facial contrast!
Studies suggest that high contrast of certain facial features (like eyebrows and lips) against skin tone can make one appear younger. Facial color contrast probably explains why wearing a little makeup as we get older can help us look more youthful.
When we were young, our facial features have more color contrast. Eyebrows, eyelashes, eye color, and lips are more vibrant and richer in color. Faces with higher contrast appear more youthful. 1
“Eyebrow contrast may be specifically important for age perception since facial hair becomes gray and of lesser quantity with age.” - Porcheron A, Mauger E, Russell R. Aspects of Facial Contrast Decrease with Age and Are Cues for Age Perception
However, as we age the opposite is true. The hair on our head and eyebrows start to thin, fade or turn grey. The once vibrant color of our eyes and lips fade too. As a results, there is less contrast between our features and skin tone, which can make us look faded, washed out, or tired.
And, this is a cross-cultural perception, crossing all ethnic groups and skin color.
Regardless of how dark your skin tone or eyebrow color is, when it fades to the point where there is not much contrast between facial features and surrounding skin tone, you may be perceived older than you are. 2
Find pictures of yourself from 5, 10, 20 years ago to see what your eyebrows looked like. You’d be surprised how light, sparse or thin your brows have become. Then try some of these tips to make your eyebrows standout again.
For Thin Eyebrows:
-Thicken or fill in those brows! Use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill-in sparse or bald spots. This can help make your brows fuller looking. Try using a slightly darker color if you eyebrows have faded or turned grey.
But be careful here. Overdrawn, too thick, or too dark eyebrow can look fake and harsh which will only age you more. See eyebrow makeup tips for ideas and an excellent and easy eyebrow tutorial on how to quickly fill in those brows.
For Eyebrow Hair Loss:
Use products to help encourage brow hair growth. Or consider microblading (which is like a tattoo) that gives the appearance of eyebrow hairs.
If you’ve lost a significant amount of eyebrow hair, especially on the outer 1/3 of your eyebrows, consider speaking with your doctor since this type of eyebrow hair loss could be linked to low thyroid function.
Wear Eye Makeup:
Don’t be afraid to wear a little eye makeup. To add more contrast to your facial features, try lightly lining the rims of your upper and lower eyelids. If done correctly, this can make your eyes standout more. Click here Eyeliner Makeup for some simple tips and step by step instructions.
Thick eyebrows, dark eyebrows, or full eyebrows - try to achieve the natural look you once had for best results. For example, if you never had very dark or full high arched brows, don't try to create that look. It will only appear strange and could make you look older.
Instead, bring your eyebrows back to what they were when you were younger. Looking at pictures of your younger self is a good idea for the most natural look.
As stated earlier in this post - too thick, or too dark eyebrow can look harsh and may age you more. So try to achieve what you naturally had.
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