Some cancer treatments cause hair loss or thinning, including the eyebrows.
Eyebrows frame your face, so losing them can change how you look and feel about yourself. Learning how to disguise this can boost your confidence and help you to look and feel better.
Watch this 3 minute video on how to define your eyebrows.
Eyebrows : Tips on defining your eyebrows during your treatment – Transcript
Hello, my name’s Annie. I have had several years experience running worshops for women cancer patients to help with issues of low self esteem. And in this video I am going to show you a few tips for disguising brow loss.
Brows are really important because they frame your finest feature and that of course is your eyes. And because of this I would steer away from using a pencil alone as it just creates a very harsh and artificial looking line.
I am going to take a gentle tissue and just wipe across the eye area. You could also use a cotton pad. That removes any residue of natural oils or moisturisers. And then I am going to pop on a little bit of eye primer. These are brilliant because they act as a great base for whatever product you are going to use. But most importantly of all they keep that product in place.
Now I am going to demonstrate a stencil if you’ve still got your brows it’s really important to start practising now so that you get a feel for where your brows are in relation to your eyes. But if you have already lost your brows it might help to look back at an old photograph but as a general rule of thumb your eyebrows start in line with the nostril and the inner part of the eye, they end on the diagonal with the nostril and the outer corner of the eye with the high point being just above the brow bone.
Now, if you find it difficult to raise your arms to do this just lean on your work surface or pop a couple of pillows on your knees and just lean into them.
So, I am just going to pop on my stencil. Take my brush and just put a bit of the coloured shadow on but I am going to take off the excess because what you don’t want is a great big blob of colour however if you do over-do it just go over very gently with a dry cotton pad. And then I am just going to finish off free hand. And then all you need to do, and this is optional, is just pop a little bit of highlighter under the high point and you’re good to go. So, I am going to exactly the same now on the other eye.
So, that completes the look now it does take a little bit of practise but feedback assures me that women gain a lot of confidence from doing this so keep practising and don’t give in at the first hurdle.
So, we’ll go a quick re-cap of what we have covered. Clean the eye area, pop on a little bit of your primer, line up your stencil and fill in lightly with your colour and then if you want to just a little bit of highlighter. All you have to do then at the end of the day is remove it with a gentle eye make up remover. Don’t try to perfect and make your brows look identical, because eyebrows are sisters not twins, so good luck.
Make up tips
Try to buy products before you start your treatment. You might be tired and not feel like shopping once treatment starts. It will also be easier to find products that match your natural eyebrow colour and give you time to practice before the hair falls out.
Choose a colour that is similar to your hair or wig colour if your hair has already fallen out. You can test the colour on the back of your hand. Grey, browns and soft black colours suit most people. There are different types of products and each has its own pros and cons. You might be able to use the same eyeshadow to replace your eyebrows and define your eyes.
Start by washing the eyebrow area. This removes the skin's natural oils or extra moisturiser and helps the make up to stay in place. Applying eye primer or a light dusting of loose powder can also help make up to last longer.
What products you need
Eyebrow stencil packs
These include different sizes of stencil, a small brush, a shadow and highlighters. They can be hard to use at first but with practice, it is relatively quick and easy.
Some eyebrow stencils have a single shadow and others have several colours that you can mix and blend to get the right colour for you. Most department stores and some high street chemists stock these.
Use the highlighter (a light colour) to raise your brow line. Just use a little, under the arch of your eyebrow.
You can also use the highlighter:
- to cover any blue tint in the skin at the inner corner of the eye
- on the top of your cheekbone to emphasise it
- down the side of your nose to make it look slimmer
Eyebrow wax or gel
You can use eyebrow wax as a base for eyebrow powder. It helps hold the colour in place. It’s good for filling in gaps and keeping them in shape.
You can put the wax on first and then the shadow. Or you can mix the wax with the shadow and put both on together.
Eyebrow gel helps keep your eyebrows from flaking and drying. It also helps in keeping them in place. You can use the eyebrow gels to add colour. There are different colours available and you can mix them to get your natural eyebrow colour.
These are good if you have just lost some of your eyebrows or they have partly grown back. You can also use them to add depth to your eyebrows.
First, colour in the brow with your shadow. Then use the pencil to add a few strokes to look like hairs. Use a sharp eyebrow pencil so you can draw fine lines. This can look very natural but takes practice. It may help to practise doing it on your arm.
Some eyebrow pencils have a universal colour. The lighter you apply them, the lighter they look.