No, we don't all look like perfect K-Princesses IRL. Image: Benefit Cosmetics
Here’s the tough truth, guys: K-Brows are not for everyone. K-What? Think brows sported by the sulky Bert from Sesame Street: Stubby, solid, straight as a ruler … and as trendy as oh, lobster rolls and soft serve ice cream.
But why? What is it about K-Brows that make them so appealing to so many? I posed this question to Jared Bailey, Benefit Cosmetics’ international spokesperson for global services, and his explanation is delightfully droll: “Thick brows are quite simply a telltale sign of youth, [but] another option of looking five to 10 years younger is to make much older friends.”
WHY I'M NOT K-RAZY FOR K-BROWS
All jesting aside, there’s a reason why thick brows can backfire. Take it from James Molloy, dapper director of makeup artistry for M.A.C Cosmetics Asia Pacific, who’s of the old-school beauty breed when it comes to brows: “I think there’s something really nice to be said about an arched silhouette. If you add a really strong eyebrow to the equation, it’ll tend to dominate the face in an off-kilter way.” Translation? You’ll look like a peevish Sesame Street puppet, or worse.
So what’s a girl to do? Here’s what must surely be the single best beauty rule to live by, courtesy of Jared Bailey: “You should always think about bringing proportion and balance to the face. That should be the guiding principle for any ‘look’ a woman would want to try, trendy or not.” (Duly noted, Jared; I’ll be printing that out and sticking it next to my vanity mirror.)
To get out of a hairy situation, consider submitting yourself to the expert hands of what I privately refer to as brow bosses; Benefit boasts a really neat Brow Mapping service, essentially a tailored trim and tweeze that should give you bespoke brows worth shouting about.
Once you’ve procured the perfect brow, all you need in the way of maintenance is a simple shaping kit; Jared recommends using Benefit’s all-in-one Brow Zings or Gimme Brow, depending on your preference for powder or gel-type formulas. Simply pick up a smidgen of your go-to brow product and “feather” it on with short, deft strokes.
Any other DIY tricks? Jared has a pretty neat one: “Take it slow. ‘Power-tweezing’ multiple hairs at once usually results in bald spots.”
Oh, and here’s a personal tip: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Brows may come in pairs, but they’re by no means identical. Don’t fret over every single strand; brows are sisters, not twins!
I’ll sign off with a personal anecdote. Blunt-talking beauty buddy, on meeting me a month or so ago: “Why the frown? Oh, wait, it’s just your Korean brow.” Makeup artist Larry Yeo doesn’t mince his words – and he most certainly wasn’t a fan of the furry caterpillars crawling across my face. (My ill-advised foray into the bewildering K-Beauty world has since sorted itself out over time, thank goodness.)
Key takeaway? Fads fall in and out of favour, so it’s best to hew to the beauty brow basics: Keep it soft, keep it full, keep a lovely little arch. Sesame Street's Bert would knit his bushy brows in approval!