Eyebrows are often overlooked but, Believe it or not, they are pretty important. Especially if you want to pass en-femme.
Some of us are lucky enough to have fairly thin eyebrows that aren’t too bushy. Unfortunately, though, there are just as many crossdressers out there that have eyebrows that look like woolly caterpillars! Just like getting your hair cut or your face shaved, eyebrow grooming is essential. Most people need some form of remedial eyebrow maintenance every once in a while and, luckily for us, a lot of what works well for women will work equally well for men.
I know what you’re thinking: “What about looking too femme when I’m out with the boys?”. Well, you have nothing to worry about so long as you make any changes slowly over a period of time. That way very few people – if any – will notice. Of course, if you go overboard and shape them too thin or too highly arched then you’ll probably be asking for trouble!
So, what sort of things should you consider when plucking your eyebrows?
Consult a Professional
The best thing to do is to have a professional sculpt your brows for you and then you can maintain them afterwards. A professional won’t charge that much for their work and, more importantly, they will a better job than an amateur such as you or me.
This begs the question of “How do you find such a professional?”.
Sure, there are professionals in any one of the thousand or so salons in the country, but the trick is to find one who you are comfortable confiding in. If you have some personal friends in the community it can’t hurt to ask them who they use. Alternatively, then next time you’re at your local t-friendly club ask other girls there who they would recommend.
With a t-friendly professional, you can be open and honest with them about wanting to look decent as a girl without looking awkward as a boy and they can help you find a happy balance.
Doing it yourself
If going to a professional is out of the question, you can always take a stab at it yourself.
There are a few things that you should avoid. First, don’t use depilatory creams.
Depilatories are not a good idea to use around the eye area because they could seriously damage your vision if they get into your eyes. Also, there’s plenty of room for mistakes. They can irritate your skin and your hairs will also grow back much quicker than waxing or tweezing.
Second, never shave your eyebrows for a quick fix. You will regret it later when they all start growing back in. It will look obvious, and require constant maintenance – save the razor for your beard.
Like any task, having good equipment helps. You should invest in a good pair of tweezers with a slanted edge. You can use a straight edge, but the slanted edge gives you more control. Check out your local pharmacy next time you’re there – and go for a good, sturdy pair. Resist the temptation to go for cheap ones – they often distort easily and quickly become worthless.
You should try to do your brow grooming right after a nice hot bath or shower so that the hairs release easier. If not, try holding a hot washcloth to the area. It is best to groom your brows just before bedtime, so that if there is any swelling or redness, it has time to fade while you sleep.
Of course, you should use an eyebrow brush, eyelash comb, or toothbrush to comb the hairs so that they are less unruly. Most people should do a bit of trimming before plucking. Trim any really long hairs. Leaving some length, however, will make brows look thicker. Just make sure not to trim them down too much that the hairs do not overlap. One trick that works really well is to trim them to a fairly long length and then hold them in place using clear mascara. If you do decide to use this clear mascara trick, apply the mascara only after you apply your foundation.
When you pluck the hairs, pull them out one at a time and pull them out toward the ears, in the direction in which they grow. Pluck a few hairs and then pause. Look in the mirror, step back, and see how you are doing, step back more and look, and then step back even more and look again. Do a little on one brow and then some on the other to maintain a balance.
Remember, you can always take out more later, but once you have over-plucked, you’ll have to live with your creation until the hair grows back.
Your first target should be the area between the brows – that “mono-brow” isn’t a good look for anyone! The best rule-of-thumb is that the eyebrow should start just above the inner corner of your eye and the gap between brows should be wider if have close-set eyes.
Next you should tackle the area near your temples. Men’s brows are longer than women’s and will often grow around to the sides of the eyes. You should eliminate unwanted hair on the outer ends – the trick is knowing how much to eliminate? To find the “proper” end of your brow, hold one end of a pencil at the outer edge of your nostril and point the other end at the corner of your eye. The point where the pencil touches your brow should be about where your brow should end.
To avoid any unnecessary hardships it’s best to shape your brows slowly, over time, so that it is less noticeable. Therefore, the final decision as to the shape of your brow does not need to be immediate. Use the time to do some research – try an Internet search on “eyebrow stencil” for some suggestions.
Keep in mind when deciding on a shape that men generally have a flatter shape to their brows whereas women generally tend to have an arched shape. Regardless of gender at least some arch to the brow is flattering. Usually, this arch will have its highest point just beyond at the outer edge of the eye’s iris (the coloured part of your eye). If you want to get a better idea of how your brows will look after you shaped them, coat the hairs you want to remove with concealer or foundation. This will help you visualise what the end result will look like.
Get on with it
Now you’re ready to start tackling those hairs! Begin in the middle of the eyebrow and tweeze toward the outer end; then go back to the middle and tweeze toward the nose. Make sure you do under the brows first and pull hair in the direction of the growth. Take your time and extract one hair at a time. If you try plucking more than one hair at a time, it will be harder to get a good look, it will be more painful, and it may even damage your skin.
There is some advice out there that says you shouldn’t pluck above the brow but for us t-girls the hair is often coarser and the brows thicker. To help us look good en-femme we need to thin the brows a bit. If we never pluck above the brow, the overall result can look unbalanced and therefore not “passable” in boy mode. So the best thing would be to thin the brow from both the top and the bottom but concentrate your efforts on the bottom.
As I wrote at the start, eyebrows are important. They are especially important if you want to pass en-femme. Take the time and effort to make them work for you and you might just feel great!