I might not actually be brave enough to do this
January 6, 2013 12:33 PM   Subscribe

How long before a photo shoot to get eyebrows done? And by what method?

I don't usually do anything to my eyebrows except trim the out-of-control curly old-man-eyebrow hairs. But in a few weeks, I am having a vintage pin-up photo shoot, and I really want to do it right. In addition to getting an actual manicure, I am thinking of having my eyebrows professionally done. Two questions:

1. What method would you recommend? I hear eyebrow threading is a thing? I assume whatever I get done will be painful, so perhaps advice about the method that will be over with the quickest?

2. How long before the shoot should I get them done, in order for any redness to have faded, but the new shrubbery not to have started growing back in? My best guess is about 48 hours. In your experience, am I in the ballpark?
posted by not that girl to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I recommend tweezing or threading; waxing and sugaring, while generally safe, can seriously damage skin and I wouldn't do it for the first time ever, on your face, before an event. Neither is particularly painful compared to, say, upper lip hair removal or bikini area hair removal and you will be just fine.

The redness on my skin fades completely about an hour after tweezing or threading (I had them done the late morning before my afternoon wedding, for instance), but if you can do it 48 hours before, why not?
posted by halogen at 12:42 PM on January 6, 2013

I have my eyebrows threaded and within the hour the redness is gone. I am both a wuss and a fairly low maintenance kind of girl and threading is the one thing I have incorporated into my regular regime. It's inexpensive, quick and a liitle bit of shape to the eyebrows goes a long way.

48 hours seems like a good plan, but I get it done every few weeks as it's easy to do 'clean up' in between.
posted by readery at 12:53 PM on January 6, 2013

You have a few weeks?

Go get them done tomorrow. Take a picture immediately afterward, and every 12 hours or so thereafter until your photos look like they've returned to "baseline". They don't have to be great photos or anything, since you'll just be doing a sort of A-B comparison.

If you have enough time, you can even compare various methods.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 1:02 PM on January 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

I would get an eyebrow wax ASAP. Like, tomorrow. See if you like how it looks 48 hours later and then, if you're happy, make a follow-up appointment for a cleanup (probably mostly via tweezers) 48 hours before your shoot.

That way, if you are someone for whom a wax means days of redness or whatever, you'll have a couple of weeks to heal and form an alternate plan.

On preview: I agree with TheNewWazoo.

Do it! Groomed eyebrows do wonders for a vintage look.
posted by purpleclover at 1:07 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Threading for sure...
posted by pearlybob at 1:09 PM on January 6, 2013

I second TheNewWazoo. Get them done as soon as possible. It will give you time to live with them and time for them to grow back if you don't like them. You can always have them re-done right before the shoot. You do not want to get them done 48 hours before with no idea of what they'll look like and then possibly be stuck with a bad eyebrow job. Also, for your first time mention the words "natural", "not too thin, not pencil like", and maybe even "Brooke Shields". You can always get more taken off the second time. Growing back? That's a lot harder.

I would recommend threading. I've always done waxing myself, but when I was new to eyebrow waxing, my skin wasn't used to it and I wasn't wholly familiar with what a good eyebrow wax job was supposed to be like while in session. It resulted a session where a whole strip of skin was peeled off under my eyebrow. It was a good six weeks before it looked normal again. Tweezing works too, but you don't want to go to someone who will tweeze the whole thing since it will take forever and be horribly painful.
posted by schroedinger at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2013

Thanks. Oddly, it hadn't even occurred to me to do an early trial, what a genius notion.
posted by not that girl at 1:24 PM on January 6, 2013

If you can, try and get them done by eyebrow "experts". Depending on where you live, you should have a salon/studio that specializes in eyebrow shaping. Especially since you're doing it for the first time, the way you get them shaped is super important. Additionally, you'll want to get them filled in for the photoshoot (eyebrow hairs tend to look fainter on camera) - eyebrow aestheticians will know how to do this well and will show you how.
posted by krakus at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2013

Yes, an early trial is essential. Waxing/threading just doesn't work out for some people; for example, I come out in massive, painful pustules within 36 hours of a wax, no matter who does it or what method they use. (Tweezing, however, is no problem at all.) That's definitely not something you want to discover just before a photo shoot.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:14 PM on January 6, 2013

Warning! If you are on retinoids or anything that resurfaces your skin, get threaded rather than waxed or sugared.

Don't learn this lesson the hard way.
posted by gone2croatan at 2:44 PM on January 6, 2013

I would seriously, SERIOUSLY recommend threading. It hurts a whole bunch and takes longer than waxing BUT it doesn't leave me red for as long; when I get my eyebrows (and upper lip) waxed they get these really obvious red bumps for as long as three or four days days and it's unpleasant and embarrassing. If your skin is at all sensitive it's definitely a better choice. ALSO if you're getting anything threaded or waxed take some painkillers before you go. Three ibuprofen liquigels an hour before are the only thing that has kept me from running out of the room half-waxed.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:19 PM on January 6, 2013

(Note: the "running out of the room half-waxed" applies to especially sensitive areas, I'm not trying to scare you out of eyebrow stuff.)
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:19 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

I haven't seen many people emphasise the skill of the beautician.

I once had my eyebrows threaded cheaply at one of those pop-up booths in a shopping centre. It was the worst pain I've ever felt -- I saw stars -- and nearly stopped it halfway through. Conversely I went to a highly regarded salon and it barely hurt. I walked off in a daze that it could be so painless. There's skill in pulling out the hairs so it hurts far less.

Ask for recommendations and choose a proper salon. Seriously.

I also find I'm more sensitive to pain just before my period, but I've no idea if this is a problem for other women.
posted by NoiselessPenguin at 4:59 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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