Helen Mirren is rarely seen with very heavy make-up even at formal events and happily posts snaps of herself on social media without having done any preening, but there is one beauty secret she reckons makes her look a lot better than she otherwise would.
The 72-year-old actress recently had her eyebrows tattooed and now swears by the procedure.
“I was fed up of my brows barely being there, and when one of my girlfriends got it done, I thought they looked great“, she told Women & Home magazine in the UK. “They’re very lightly and delicately done, but it means that when I get up in the morning and I have no make-up on, at least I have eyebrows! It’s made a huge difference.”
Eyebrow tattooing, and cosmetic tattooing generally, has been around for decades but eyebrow tattooing specifically has become hugely popular in recent years with the advent of so-called feather-touch tattooing, in which individual hairs are etched into the skin by the cosmetic tattoo artist, rather than a line or block that is ‘coloured in’.
The technique produces a much more natural look and can be used to fill in gaps left by long-term plucking, as well as to replace whole brows. It’s not hugely painful – at least, by the standards of anyone who has endured a bikini wax – and lasts for a year or more before it requires touching up.
Feather-touch brows can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $1,000, depending on the experience of the cosmetic tattoo artist – Amy Jean is one of the most famous purveyors of the art in Australia – and usually consists of two appointments, the first to do most of the work and the second to ensure no spaces were missed.
Healing takes less than a week, with most feather-touch fans reporting that the only noticeable sign of the work is slightly darker brows for a few days and a little bit of flaking of the skin underneath the brow hairs.
Mirren herself says that having her brows refreshed with tattooing gave her a confidence boost, particularly as she says she usually chooses not to wear much make-up.
“I look back at some photos of myself and think, ‘Oh my god, I look awful!’,” she told Woman & Home. “Ninety-nine per cent of time, it’s because I’ve been wearing too much make-up. I’m finding that as I get older, I wear less because make-up is so advanced now that you can do more with less, can’t you?”