There’s a little bit of me that never left high school, and that part REALLY enjoys writing book reviews. So when I stumbled onto Victoria Bush’s How to Create the Perfect Eyebrow, I had to review it.
Eventually, I want to cross reference this review with a post I wrote on grooming eyebrows, several months back. This book has DEFINITELY changed my eyebrow technique, and helped me learn to analyze other peoples eyebrows, for working on set.
First off–this book is DEFINITELY written with makeup artists, aestheticians, as the target audience. You’ll find it can be a little challenging to do the practice assignments on your own face, as Bush starts off by having you measure the dimensions of the face with a ruler. It’s MUCH easier to have someone else do this, or to do it on someone else, but you’ll go cross eyed trying to measure the proportion of your lips, based on your pupil…
While much of the basic information on face shapes, brow shapes, can be easily found online, the GREAT part of this book, for me, came from the measuring assignments. I think most people would have a difficult time seeing a face shape chart and saying “THATS my face. I’m a heart-shape!”. Heavens know I never really had a strong idea of which shape I had…. But by measuring and sketching the face out, you get a far stronger sense of the overall shape, overall feature size, as well as ideas for corrections. Bush recommends several basic face shapes(Square, Long, Oval, and Round, which are universally discussed shapes, as well as less discussed shapes-Heart, Inverted Triangle, Hexagon, and Pear). She also provides tests for determining your eye-set(Close, well, or wide), eye alignment(Almond, Even, or Drooping), Lip Size and length(Determined using the width of your nose, or the pupil of your eye)
Her discussion doesn’t just include the wealth of information usually seen on handling these face shapes(Balance a square or angular face with more rounded brows, balance a rounded face with more angular brows, use thicker brows with larger eyes and thinner brows with smaller eyes, etc.) but also includes notes on applying corrections to the brows, when one “fix” may cause another feature to look out of proportion. It’s INFINITELY useful for looking at less than perfect faces, and brows.
We all have little bits of asymmetry in our faces, and features we’re insecure about. So the information available about standard corrections may not always suit our needs. Bush does her best to suggest corrections that may help someone feel better about their features, and give their face a stronger sense of proportion and symmetry. She includes case studies with before/afters, including information on the womens desires, going into the appointment. While the difference may not be as noticeable in the less extreme clients, her technique DOES work, especially on less straightforward cases where the brow may be sparse or uneven, the shape wrong for the features, mature facial issues, unusual growth patterns that may prevent some techniques from being effective, etc.
The book includes an overview of most standard eyebrow enhancement techniques–everything from tweezing, sugaring, threading, waxing, electrolysis, laser hair removal, tinting, permanent makeup, etc. and notes on conditions that may affect the safety of the procedures. While it CERTAINLY isn’t enough to get you through the licensing requirements that may be required to sell those procedures in a salon, it is helpful for weighing the pro’s and con’s of each one.
This book was WELL worth the money. I wish that Bush had included more of the assignments—after the first few chapters, she stopped printing the answers in the back for the proper analysis, and stopped including new ones, outside of the client studies discussed. I would have loved more of those, since thinking analytically about them was very helpful in honing my aesthetic eye, and looking for logistical ways of managing my, and my models, needs. It’s certainly something that you(and I) will need to practice LONG after finishing the book—I’ve read it several times, pored over fashion magazines analyzing the brow shapes in them, measured every detail of my face, my boyfriends, my models, and it is still a far more awkward thought process than I would like.
Overall, though, it beats EVERY book or website I’ve encountered on eyebrows, with the depth of detail.