For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.
For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.

French Grooming Essentials – Part Two

Excellent eyebrows

I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit that, when it comes to eyebrows, I’ve been guilty of neglect.

For more years than I’m happy to admit, I didn’t pay any attention to them at all. No shaping, no enhancing, no nothing.

Eventually, maybe about ten years ago or a little more, my eyebrows finally made it onto my grooming radar. While we were on holidays, I headed to a luxe brow salon in a fancy Sydney suburb, and subjected some poor beautician to my hitherto untended brows.

The work she did that day was absolutely life changing! I immediately understood the importance of well groomed brows, although truth be told, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve fully committed to regular brow maintenance. Now I never go too long without a visit to my favourite brow threading salon.

It won’t surprise anyone reading this to learn that, once I’d discovered the value of caring for my long suffering eyebrows, I was keen to understand how French women maintained their brows.

So to continue our conversation about the lessons you can learn from the French dedication to grooming (you can find Part One here), I thought I’d have a little look at eyebrows.

French Grooming Essentials – Eyebrows

Given the reams written about the grooming regimes of French women, I was interested to find that the focus on eyebrows is relatively limited. While there are a lot of cursory mentions about the French loving ‘strong brows’ or ‘natural brows’ and warnings to readers not to ‘over pluck’, eyebrows don’t get anywhere near the attention of say, hair or skin.

When it comes to shaping your brows like a French woman, the best advice comes from the inimitable and ever helpful Vicki Archer in a piece entitled French Women Know How To Shape Their Brows. In this article, the photos Vicki features prove that they actually do know exactly what they are doing…my only question is how do they get so good at it?

The majority of the grooming guides, including Vicki’s suggest filling in your eyebrows with pencil rather than powder for a more natural, longer lasting look. Over the years, I’ve tried both pencils and powders, and would agree with this advice, if only for the fact that I find pencils easier to manage.

Once I thought about it, I realised that you don’t see any ‘Brow Bars’ or threading salons on French streets…and I was wondering where French women go if they decide they need help with their brows. I should have guessed that French brow salons would be super stylish and extremely discreet, as this article by Carin Olsson for HiP Paris shows.

In The French Beauty Solution, French born author Mathilde Thomas confirms that waxing is the preferred method of hair removal, if you do decided to hand your brows over to French professionals. Apparently threading has not caught on in France. Mathilde recommends using a mascara brush for brushing out your eyebrows each day. I’ve tried this one, and agree that the ‘spoolie’ type brush does seem to work better than regular eyebrow combs.

Do you have any French inspired tips for grooming your eyebrows? If so, it would be fabulous if you could share them in the comments section below.

Until next time – au revoir.



Photo Credit: Scott Gould.

Model: Ruby Cotton, inspired by Frida Kahlo.

Photo taken at Carla Coulson’s ‘Picture This’ workshop, Sydney 2014.

Headpiece by Sara Dobson. You can see more of Sara’s work here.

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