Some people are happy to age gracefully, by I am so not loving my rogue grey eyebrows. They are unruly and stick out at crazy angles. But of course having thin, sparse eyebrows doesn’t allow me the luxury to pluck them. So I asked the eyebrow queen, Svetlana Burckhardt, for some ingenious tips on covering grey eyebrows with powder, pencil, tint & eyebrow tattooing.
Svetlana has more than 16 years’ experience as a qualified Beauty Therapist, Make-up Artist and Cosmetic Tattooist, and is quick to warn me about the dangers of plucking. “Do not pluck grey hair!” she says. “It can damage hair follicles, and personal experience has shown that the hair that grows back in place often sticks out at weird angles, which draws even more attention to the grey. And if you continue to pluck each grey, you won’t have any eyebrows left!”
I hear you sister. After letting a friend ‘shape my eyebrows’ when I was a teenager, I’ve spent most of my life sporting one and a half brows, so I’m not keen to lose any more. But Svetlana has a few tricks up her sleeve to help me manage those rebellious greys and replace my missing half brow. As the owner of EyebrowExperts, based in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay, Svetlana specialises in cosmetic tattooing, eyebrow styling and runs international Brow Masterclass workshops for beauty therapists. And she has transformed thousands of unruly, sparse, and bushy brows. Here’s her finest tips to cover unwanted grey eyebrows and fill in the blanks…
Perhaps the easiest and less permanent of the options is using a brow pencil, but if you get it wrong, like me, and eye up with line drawings across your lids, this could be why. “Choosing a brow pencil isn’t just about matching your hair colour,” explains Svetlana. “It’s also about your skin tone, hair colour and eye colour.”
Pink skin tone: “If your skin tone has pink in it, choose a pencil that is a little ashy. If you match the brow pencil to your hair colour exactly, it will end up looking orange.”
Black hair: “Avoid using black pencils and black powders to fill in brows – it just looks fake. Instead, choose a cool, medium-brown.”
Brunettes: “The general rule for brunettes is to stay within one to two shade ranges of your hair colour. If you have light brown hair with light eyes, choose a darker tone to add definition. If you have dark eyes, it’s better to go slightly lighter. You should match to your highlight rather than your base.”
Blondes: “Blondes don’t want to look mousy, so if you have pale skin and light eyes, match to the base tone of your hair. This will provide get definition and, more importantly, make you look more awake. If you match to the lightest part of your hair, you’ll look tired and washed-out.”
This has been my method of choice for years now, but despite the daily practice, I still get it wrong sometimes. Hence the reason I enlisted tips from Svetlana. Black is the only colour that can take on those powerful greys, but ‘spot painting’ single hairs takes practice. If you apply too much powder to your brush, you end up with a solid black patch that’s difficult to remove. Instead, go easy with the powder and build up where needed.
What is it? “Eyebrow tint is a form of semi-permanent hair dye formulated specifically for use on the eyebrows,” explains Svetlana. “Greying hair is a natural part of getting older, but while some people choose to let nature take its course, others prefer to conceal it.” Yes, that would be moi!
Svetlana says that while plucking the odd stray grey hair from the scalp is fine, plucking hair from the relatively sparse eyebrow area is likely to produce unsightly bald patches and leave the brow misshapen. News I’m a little bit late receiving. “For this reason, avoid the tweezers and go for an eyebrow tint, which simply dyes the grey to match the surrounding hairs.”
How to do it? “Tint the hair to a close shade to your natural brows,” advises Svetlana. “Grey hair is hard to get good coverage of, so apply one or two shades darker to the grey hair. Eyebrow tint is described as semi-permanent dye, not because the colour fades, but because eyebrow hairs have a very short growth cycle. Eyebrow hairs tend to fall out within 6-8 weeks, taking the tint with them.”
Eyebrow Tattooing After Over Plucking Brows
My first rendezvous with eyebrow tattooing was when I took my mum to get her brows done. And she loves them. So what’s involved? “Tattooing is done with a small, hand-held cosmetic tattoo implanter,” explains Svetlana. “An advanced practitioner will utilise more than one implanting machine and variable needles appropriate to the client’s individual needs. The depth of the pigment deposited is carefully and expertly regulated, making the procedure safe and controlled. A high-quality, topical anaesthetic is applied before and during the procedure, and the sensation will vary from person to person.”
Colour matching: “The range of colours available is almost endless and can be customised to suit every individual’s needs,” explains Svetlana. “Results can be as understated or as dramatic as you like, creating a long-lasting look to enhance your natural beauty.”
How long does it last? “Even though this is a semi-permanent process, colour can be modified or changed. It has been known to last for many years, but generally does fade, or metabolise over time and may require maintenance. The beauty of cosmetic tattooing is that you can live free from the burden of brow pencils, powders, and gels – as well as the constant worry about them smearing off!”
What Is Brush Stroke, Feather Touch & Hair Stroke Eyebrow Tattooing?
Are there different strokes for different folks, or are they one and the same? “Brush Stroke eyebrow tattooing has many names including Feather Touch, Hair Stroke, Microblading, Micropigment and Embroidery,” explains Svetlana. “Hair Stroke eyebrows, otherwise known as the ‘hair simulation technique’, is a technique we use for creating the most natural brows possible. The Hair Stroke technique mimics your own eyebrow hairs, thus creating a feathering effect. This innovative technique is far more natural looking than a solid fill.”
How much does eyebrow tattooing cost?
“It depends on what technique your brows need,” explains Svetlana. “The prices for brow cosmetic tattooing can vary between specialists, location and expertise from $500-$1800. My advice is to choose wisely rather than based on the price. Check their portfolio, reviews and look for consistency in their brows. If you only see one or two good brows and the rest are mediocre, then that isn’t good. Look for lots of before and after photos, and ‘healed’ photos – they all should look great. The best benefit to eyebrow tattoos is the ability to be free from applying makeup eyebrows every single day. You won’t have to purchase anymore eyebrow makeup for 1-4 years and some cases it’s even more, which can save you money long-term.”
ABOUT SVETLANA: Svetlana Burckhardt is the owner of EyebrowExperts, based in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay, Svetlana specialises in cosmetic tattooing, eyebrow styling and revolutionised waxing with her 7minsBrazilianWax. Svetlana is also a published author of the book Confessions of a Brazilian Waxing Queen, has been featured in Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Grazia, SMH and Women’s Weekly, runs international Brow Masterclass training programs and has been an educator at the Beauty & Spa Expo. Svetlana is also typical working mother with two small kids under four. Check out Svetlana’s work: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or EyeBrow Experts. Main Image: @angelinajolieofficial