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Five ways your eyebrows are aging you (and how to fix them)


Words by Giorgia Guazzarotti.

You slather anti-aging creams all over your face, touch up your grey roots, eat your kale and even regularly go for a jog, all in an effort to slow down the clock. But you’ve probably never given a second thought to the many ways your eyebrows can betray all your hard work and give your real age way.

Thin, unruly, and greyish brows can add years to your appearance, says eyebrow specialist Elke Von Freudenberg. The German-born, LA-raised eyebrow expert, who has worked with the likes of Kate Moss, Angelica Houston, and Diane Von Furstenberg, started her career as a makeup artist before specialising in eyebrow grooming and opening her own salon in the heart of Broadway, NYC.

The most common aging mistakes Elke sees women routinely make with their eyebrows include giving them an overly arched shape, making the tails look like they’ve been abruptly cut off, and drawing them on too heavily.

Luckily, all these problems have a quick and easy solution that will help you trim away the years:

Mistake 1: An overly arched shape

The number one eyebrow shape Elke says you should avoid is rounded and overarched. “Rather than giving an eyebrow lift effect to the eyes, a rounded shape can make you look surprised,” she reveals. If you haven’t given your eyebrows a makeover in the past few years, it may also be time to update your look now. “Any eyebrow shape that looks like it was done over 15 years ago not only makes you look outdated, but older as well,” adds Elke.

The number one eyebrow shape Elke says you should avoid is rounded and overarched

Mistake 2: Missing tails

Another common aging mistake women commonly make is to put too much emphasis on the fronts of the eyebrows, which in turn makes the ends almost completely disappear from view. “It makes eyes look smaller and closer to the nose,” Elke claims. To correct this mistake, she suggests using a brow highlighter on the bone under the eyebrow, going along the entire length. The highlighter reflects the light and brings attention to the tops, rather than the bottom, of the eyes, giving them a wider and fresher appearance. “A new version of this is to apply a soft brow highlight along the top of the brow as well,” Elke suggests. “Draw a line from the beginning of the brow to the arch and lightly blend up into the forehead. You want it to appear more like a sheen, or a glow.”

Mistake 3. Overly darkened eyebrows

Choosing a shade of eyebrow powder or pencil that exactly matches the natural colour of your eyebrows is key to a youthful look. When the time comes to apply it, using a light hand works best. Eyebrows that are drawn on too heavy or too dark make you look stern and much older than your real age, warns Elke. To give the illusion of a younger eye, “fill in sparse areas in the brow with a light brow pencil, focusing on the ends of the eyebrows and working your way towards the fronts. This trick also brings the focus away from crows feet and under eye circles.”

Mistake 4. Grey eyebrows

From afar, grey eyebrows cannot be seen and this gives the face an odd-looking and aging appearance. To camouflage the grey hairs, Elke recommends using a “vegetable-based brow tint that is natural in colour and makes grey strands naturally fade into the brow”. As a cheaper alternative, Elke also suggests a brown mascara. “As easy as applying mascara to your lashes, go a little lighter than your brows and brush through your eyebrows,” she explains. “Blend with a clean spoolie brush any excess on the skin and you will get the most natural looking brow.”

Mistake 5. Long and unruly eyebrows

Nothing screams unkempt and unpolished like a pair of long, coarse, and unruly eyebrows. To kick them back into shape, Elke suggests to simply trim the unruly longer hairs so they naturally blend into the eyebrows. But she strongly emphasises the need to keep your hands off your tweezers. Tweezing hairs, Elke explains, “might leave large gaps in the skin that you then have to fill in with brow makeup.”

Giorgia Guazzarotti is a freelance beauty writer specialising in online content for small businesses. She’s also the editor of Beautiful With Brains, an online community that helps women achieve their best skin ever at any age.

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