From The Straits Times    |


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.” 


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.

benefit Brow Zings (New Packaging).preview.jpg

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!