Lizzi Richardson

Perfect eyebrows is a life long commitment, or so it feels at times. I can venture out with no make up… and on occasions I can venture out with a messy up-do hairstyle, but the one thing I won’t venture out with is messy eyebrows.

With 30 years experience of plucking, waxing and threading plus a need to get my eyebrows worked on every fortnight, I would consider myself an expert on brows! That’s for sure.

I was blessed (or was I?!) with dark heavy eyebrows – thankfully I do not have a mono but over the years to create a good shape, I have had the area between my brows groomed and a little above the top as well.

But if you have never touch them… or you are about to start grooming your brows for the first time then only have them done under the browline to begin with.

As with everything in life, it’s different horses for different courses – but with having tested waxing and threading at both ends of the price scales on both, I would now only really consider threading, but before I explain why? Lets talk about plucking, because that option is FREE.

Plucking your way to perfect eyebrows

I’m going to say this out loud, even as I type this… “You will never achieve the perfect brow shape through plucking”. Plucking is purely in-between maintenance, the old stray hair that they may have missed in waxing or threading or that mega emergency if you truly cannot get an appointment.

Plucking the hair out with tweezers can damage the hair root, especially if you pull it out at the wrong angle. I’ve found to get stubborn hairs out, that you tend to have to do it at the wrong angle – this can form those pimplely ingrown hair bumps – and you really need to avoid this by your eyes, as the skin in that area is very sensitive!

Plucking also really hurts, especially if you have a lot to pull out in one session. The redness is unavoidable too and I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing it just before going out – you need a good couple of hours for it to be fine to then add make up.

Waxing your way to perfect eyebrows

Waxing is a very good option – and if you typically book in for legs and bikini wax, then it only makes sense to do this at the same time.

Now you get two types of wax in salons, both are hot – but one stays sticky and requires a waxing strip to remove it (in one hit!!!) or it hardens as it cools and again they will remove it quickly like a sticky plaster. I have had both many times over the years, and either is equally fine.

I think the pros to waxing compared to threading is that it picks up the tiny colourless hairs to get that really smooth fine finish. But what I have found with waxing is they never seem to achieve the same shape twice… there is always something different… something slightly goes wrong (or misshapen) compared to what I’ve experienced with threading.

I’ve yet to fully understand why they charge so much to wax your eyebrows, it a quick five minute job and yet rarely does a salon offer value for money. And I think this overpriced service that I needed fortnightly is what made me look at threading.

Threading your way to perfect eyebrows

Threading was not available as a service 30 years ago, I think I remember it starting to appear in salons or in pop up stores at shopping malls around 10 years ago. This indian service has saved me a lot of money in the last few years and I’ve never been so happy with my brows!

But it hurts. I’m not going to kid you, it does hurt. You also have to help as part of getting it done, so there is no relaxing in the chair; you’ve got to hold your eyebrows taught (as instructed by them) with both hands throughout the session. They are very quick and do go above, in-between the brows and below – so it’s a full on shaping every time.

I don’t know exactly how they do it, but they also use the thread to shorten the hair length, so that you don’t have any long ones sticking up – this really helps create a great shape and finish, which you will never get with waxing or plucking.

Now when it comes to costs – you can go all five star luxury in places like Brow Bar or John Lewis Beauty. Within the price you might get a nice little massage around your brows and they may offer to do brow make up too. Now this would be a lovely first experience or potentially treating yourself every now and then. But with fortnightly maintenance, this is not really an option for me.

I’ve found a local threading store that you simply walk in, wait your turn and I pay £5. I love going, I love the chat, I love that I am now a regular and I can fit it in whenever I am out shopping, running errands as I simply don’t need an appointment. I would highly recommend you find one of these places, it’s a no frills kind of experience but it does the job!

And why have I stuck with threading, not only the price but the consistency in achieving a great shape that I’ve come to love and recognise as myself.

How to get the perfect eyebrows

Here are my tips on achieving the perfect eyebrows

  • Don’t pluck unless it’s the odd hair
  • Give both waxing and threading a go – and see which one you wish to stick with
  • Stick with the same type of grooming and try to get the same beautician – that way you build a relationship, you develop a shape together and then it can be maintained
  • The day before going to your appointment, use a light exfoliator gently on your brow – all over where they will wax or thread. This gives time for any small hairs to make their way through the skin so that you get a cleaner finish
  • Try and avoid any brow grooming a few hours before applying make up
  • Keep them groomed all year round – a tidy brow is as important as clean shoes! (well that’s my opinion)



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