Ask the expert: Styling options for your brows that flatter your face

MiNDFOOD PROMOTION in partnership with OFF & ON

Beautiful eyebrows are more in focus than ever thanks to bold and playful eye makeup topping beauty trends for the season, as well as the ongoing use of face masks meaning the area is thrown into stark relief. But where once devotedly following brow trends was a given, we’ve now moved on to embracing – and enhancing – our own natural set, with a few guidelines.

With more than a decade’s experience focusing on hair removal and boosting brows and lashes, the team at OFF & ON’s six salons are dedicated to helping you achieve the most flattering and fitting set for your face with a selection of bespoke services offering the latest techniques. OFF & ON’s head brow trainer Rachel Steadman explains how services like a Brow Shape and Tint, a Brow Lamination or Microblading can easily freshen up your look without looking obvious or overdone.

Brows are more in the spotlight than ever. Why are they so important right now?

Masks are changing the way we look, while also making it a bit trickier to communicate. Never has it been so true that the eyes are the window to the soul and they are now the key focus of our face. Enhancing this feature not only brings out our expression but also creates a more defined and awake look to the eye area.

What are some options for ensuring ours are in great shape?

Now is the time to create your best brow with a shaping treatment or you could step it up by adding a brow colour. Tone, strength and definition come together for the perfect colour. Our custom brow colours are created by our experts who do this day in, day out and truly understand colour, like a hairdresser. You will never be ‘just’ dark brown! Low maintenance would be a simple brow shape every 3-4 weeks. Your brow artist can give you the overall shape that you can then enhance throughout the month with a good brow gel for grooming. Higher maintenance would be creating a pattern of every 3-4 weekly appointments to have a brow lift, brow colour and shape, like our signature OFF & ON Brow Wow, to keep your brow game strong with a full, fluffy-looking brow.

What’s influencing the way we wear our brows now?

Trends come and go but the one that endures is ‘your best brow’. We take into consideration feature size, face shape, brow measurements and our professional opinion to tailor your brow appointment to you. Not trend based or someone else’s brows on you – the most beautiful brow is your most believable one. In saying that, we’re seeing a lot of people asking for a fluffy, lifted brow at the moment, which our new Brow Lift treatment is designed to achieve.

What does a brow lift involve?

We love a brow lift! Also sometimes referred to as brow lamination, it works by resetting the brows into a straighter, more uniform position to allow more flexibility in styling your brows. It’s a popular treatment right now as it creates a fuller, fluffy-looking brow. Despite not being hard-and-fast followers of trends, this is one that we hope is here to stay!

What’s the difference between a brow tint and henna brows?

Brow tints come in a wide colour range and we can tailor the colour very specifically to the client’s complexion. It lasts up to four weeks and results in a subtle brow colour, great for tinting newbies. Henna on the other hand acts like a blanket over the hair, great for stubborn hairs that don’t grab colour and has the added benefit of giving the appearance of a thicker brow. Henna is amazing for helping problem brows as it has a strong staining power on the skin and the colour can last up to six weeks.

What’s the best approach for someone who has sparse or overplucked brows?

Brow colour will help pick up even the fine fluffy hairs and really fill the brow out nicely. If this isn’t quite enough, we offer a free microblading consultation to come and talk to one of our experts about what the next step looks like. Microblading is a semi-permanent technique akin to microfine tattooed hair strokes used to create the illusion of fuller brows.

How do brows naturally change as we age and how can we minimise these changes?

As we get older, our brows get sparser, thinner and lose their colour. We can minimise this by having a regular brow tint or henna that will help fill out the brow but also add depth and colour back in. Microblading is also a great option for those who feel that they want to bring back the look of more fullness to sparse brows.

What’s the best approach to styling brows at home?

Everyone needs brow gel, whether coloured or clear, to groom and hold the brows in place. Depending on the look you are wanting to achieve, a skinny pencil will create that feathery or fluffy brow, whereas brow powder is buildable and great for filling in larger areas or creating an ombré look. When choosing shades, staying close to your natural brow colour or one shade darker is key to add some attention to your brows, or match it up to the root colour of your hair.

.Visit to find out more about the range of brow, appearance and hair removal options at OFF & ON’s six locations in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.


The must-try makeup trends for spring according to a MECCA expert

In the mood to have a little fun with your makeup? Or at the very least switch up the auto-pilot approach you’ve been accustomed to these last few months?

There are plenty of new options on offer right now, and the best part is, most of them are easy, with little precision or expertise required.

We asked Lauren Hegley, MECCA’s Education Partner her tips on the trending approaches to jump on board with right now and her favourite products to create them.

What are some key makeup trends coming into the new season?

For me, when I think of Spring I think of fresh, glowing skin and a pop of colour. With eyes, I see pastel colours being a big trend – fun yellows, lilac, baby blue. NARS does single eyeshadows in fun colours! My top picks are ‘Matcha’ (green), ‘Baby Jane’ (baby blue), ‘Douro’ (yellow) and ‘Sultan’ (purple).  Simply choose a fun colour and apply it to a primed eye, pressing the desired shadow across the lid, and blending it out with a clean blending brush.

A tip for if you want the eyeshadow to pop, try an eye primer with a very light base colour to make the colour pop! My pick is the Anastasia Beverly Hills eye primer. Eye primer is super important for eyeshadow longevity and stops eyeshadow from smudging. Paired up with a pastel eye, a nice tinted balm works really well.

The Kosas Wet Lip Oil has a great range of tinted lip oils that hydrate and provide a beautiful sheen to the lips. For a more pink nude, try ‘Malibu’, for a more neutral nude, try ‘Dip’ and for a clear lip treatment that you can pair with any other lip product, try ‘Jellyfish’. If pastel colours aren’t for you, try a pop of colour on the lips. Spring is all about fresh, clean looks, think pink and peach.

The NARS Audacious Lipstick is a satin, high pigment lipstick that feel nourishing on the lips and has great colour payoff. For a peachy colour, try the shade ‘Juliette’, and for the perfect spring pink, try ‘Natalie’. This looks great with a complimentary shade of blush swiped across the cheeks.

For that glowing skin, try a cream blush. RMS Lip2Cheek is a coconut oil-based cream product that helps provide the skin with a wash of colour, and provides a glow thanks to the oil base. If you’re just wanting to start with a wash of colour on the lips, try using your Lip2Cheek on the lips and cheeks.

Which trending colours are you picking to dominate?

As mentioned above, pastels for sure. I find people are wanting to experiment with makeup more and have fun with colour! When it comes to choosing colours, there are no rules but if you are wanting a colour that is going to make your eyes pop, you generally want to choose a colour that is completely opposite. For example – colours like colbalt blue, turquoise for brown eyes, oranges and pinks for blue eyes, red and purple for green eyes and yellows and greens for hazel eyes.

The main thing is to have fun! Start off by trying a coloured eyeliner for an effective pop of colour.

We’ve noticed a lot of pink! What are some modern ways to wear pink now?

Pink can be worn everywhere! Eyes, lips, cheeks, you name it! My favourite way to tie pink into a makeup look is by using a pink blush on the cheeks and using this same colour through the crease of the eye – this ties everything together for a seamless look.

My favourite universal pink blush is Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheek’s blush stick in the shade ‘Poppet’. It works well for all skin tones, and melts straight into the skin. If you have applied to much blush, simply just use fingers to blend out into the skin.

If cream blush isn’t your thing, the NARS Orgasm X blush is a pink shade with flecks of gold, which looks so stunning on all skin tones. Although this trend was born in the 70’s, trending is my favourite makeup trend and is trending again much to my delight. Draping is when blush is used to contour, but my favourite way to drape is to bring the blush right up the cheekbone. Start by the apple of the cheek and look straight ahead – the blush should start where your pupil is, and gradually blend it up the cheekbone. This doesn’t only define and shape the face but brings colour and dimension back into the complexion.

What’s key with lips right now?

I’m noticing a lot of our makeup brands incorporating active ingredients into their products, and lips are no exception. As such, I would recommend lip products like the Kosas Wet Lip Oil. This features hyaluronic acid, peptides and evening primrose oil to lock in moisture and hydrate while wearing. Another option is the Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Lip Balm, which features a blend of nourishing oils to replenish and hydrate. Lastly, the Mecca Cosmetica Lip De Luscious Glide, this comes in a range of colours with hyaluronic spheres to hydrate and plump, and with vitamin E to protect the lips. The best part? It has SPF15+ to protect from the sun – it’s a win win!

L-R: Kevyn Aucoin The Curling Mascara; Kosas Wet Lip Oil Plumping Treatment Gloss in Malibu; NARS EyeshadowsWestman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Poppet; Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion Skincare Foundation

Makeup that has skincare ingredients, or just feels good to use, provides a degree of multi-tasking. What are some of your favourites?

Yes I agree! I love using makeup with added skincare benefits. For complexion, I love the Chantecaille Just Skin for a glowy medium coverage look. It has antioxidant protection with green tea and zinc oxide for a physical defense against UV rays. I love using a damp makeup sponge to apply this as it can be built up from a sheer coverage to a medium coverage. If your skin is on the oilier side, try Chantecaille’s Future Skin, this is an oil-free medium coverage foundation with seaweed and charged water to deeply hydrate the skin and a blend of arnica, aloe and rosemary. This is an oil-free option that gives a radiant glow to the skin.

Another great skincare-based foundation is the Kosas Tinted Face Oil, this has a base of avocado and meadowfoam oil, which hydrates and plumps the skin. A tinted face oil can sound daunting for people with oily skin however this really does work for all skin types. Just shake the bottle and apply a few drops with a dense foundation brush or fingers for a flawless complexion.

Drunk Elephant is a ‘clean’ skincare brand and they have two makeup products that are a great addition to the complexion. Firstly, the D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, which is a bronzing serum that you can wear alone, mixed in with moisturiser or foundation, worn as a cream bronzer for a fairer complexion or for extra glow to highlight a deeper complexion. D-Bronzi contains antioxidant protection to protect the skin from environmental aggressors, as well as adding radiance to the complexion! Drunk Elephant have also just released a product with a similar concept, O-Bloos which is a peachy, pink serum and can be worn as a blush or highlighter and mixed in with moisturiser or foundation. I would recommend O-Bloos for anyone who wants a natural flush to the skin, and can also help even out rosacea with the peachy golden tones. I personally love mixing them both together with a moisturiser for a sun-kissed, just-been-on-holiday look without the damage from the sun.

6. If we are going to be at home for the next little while or even a low key approach if we are out and about – what are some of your best small effort, big impact approaches?

First and foremost, SPF always. It is important to wear sunscreen everyday to prevent sun damage, even on the cloudiest of days. My holy grail is the Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF50+, it’s oxybenzone-free meaning it’s reef safe, lightweight so doesn’t feel thick like a traditional sunscreen, and vitamin E to nourish and protect the skin.

My go-to’s for low effort but effective makeup looks are a light-coverage complexion, brows, lip balm, mascara and a cream blush. The complexion products I mentioned above are perfect for this no makeup makeup look. The cream blushes I mentioned, such as RMS Lip2Cheek, and lip balm such as Westman Atelier’s Squeaky Clean are also great for achieving this look!

For brows, Kosas has recently brought out a brow range including a pencil and a gel. I love using the pencil first to define the brows, and finish with the gel to add depth to the brow and hold them in place. The Kosas brow gel also doubles as a treatment as it features a serum that helps to grow the brow hair while providing that fuller look.

For mascara, I highly rate the Kevyn Aucoin Curling Mascara. It’s a latex-based mascara that doesn’t smudge, and when it comes to removing the mascara, all you need to do is rinse with water and it comes off in little tubes, leaving no residue and doesn’t pull the lashes out – a great alternative to a classic waterproof mascara that can be harsh on the eye area. If this doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, my other favourite is the Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash, which it is a little bit more expensive but is totally worth it! Along with the mascara benefits, it also features lash growth serum and rose de mai oil to nourish lashes. The mascara can be built up for a more full look, but doesn’t make your lashes clump together – highly recommend.

All images courtesy of MECCA.