Hannah Betts…Better not younger: Why the right shape of eyebrow will take years off you

Victoria Beckham Beauty is consistently impressive: practical, pragmatic and resolutely high-performing, while being chic and sleekly pleasing.

At 49, Victoria herself is also squarely in the midlife ballpark, meaning she’s au fait with the phenomenon of waking up after a long night and thinking: ‘Wait, whose face is this?’

Her ride-or-die, even-my-husband-doesn’t-see-me-without-this obsession is her brow pencil (BabyBlade Brow Pencil, £30, victoriabeckhambeauty.com). 

As she explains: ‘Over the years my brows have been so over-plucked that, if you saw me without it, you’d be horrified. 

‘David has never seen me without my brows. They’re the first thing I do: wake up, put on the brow. I’ve used lots of nice, creamy brow pencils over the years, but all of them slid off. This doesn’t move.’

Victoria Beckham revealed that her husband, David Beckham, has never seen her without her brows. The first thing she does when she wakes up is pencil them on with her BabyBlade Brow Pencil

Victoria advocates a straight-ish shape, wielding her pencil to diminish any angle. ‘A straight brow looks quite fresh,’ she noted. ‘Too much arch can be ageing.’ 

She may suffer from Generation X eyebrow damage, but her preferred shape reveals she has Gen Z influences in the form of 11-year-old daughter Harper.

Even TikTok is fixated with the #straightbrows trend, the hashtag having amassed 148.2 million views; #straighteyebrows 95.3 million. 

In response, teens and twentysomethings are busy plucking or shaving off the tail end of their brows — the area that naturally curves south. The argument runs that this drags the face down — a straight brow making it appear more lifted.

Those of us who came of age in the 1990s — or indeed the 1970s — will be pleading with our daughters to drop the tweezers.

I hear what Victoria is saying about arches: if they’re too skinny, they can look ageingly retro. However, I believe a fuller, more natural arch will open up — and raise — the eye area, and the entire face.

Eradicate the tail and you can easily look weirdly furious like the rage emoji, with brows bizarrely short for your features. 

The upshot: if you are going to experiment with this vogue, use Victoria’s pencil trick plus concealer rather than any lasting approach.

I cannot emphasise this enough when it comes to eyebrow crafting: employ an expert to create the shape, then repeat their design.

Mine were the work of genius face-shaper Vaishaly Patel (£50, including a tint for Vaishaly herself, £25 for one of her team, vaishaly.com). Vaishaly threads the likes of Nigella Lawson, Sophie Dahl and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Her salon is in Paddington, making it convenient for anyone coming from outside London, including those jetting in from Heathrow.

Otherwise, Benefit offers walk-in waxing and tinting at its counters across the country (from £27, benefitcosmetics.com), starting with brow-mapping to establish your ideal shape.

Benefit was an early adopter of eyebrow artistry, its 27(!) wares being the best-selling brow products in Britain. 

I had slightly forgotten how good they are — lending hair-like texture and volume, not merely colour. I like Benefit’s new Goof Proof Brow Powder (£19.50), a lightweight yet waterproof affair in ten shades for a soft, natural look that’s perfect for midlifers.

Its Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Pencil (£24.50) combines fibres and powder for natural fullness and comes in 12 hues.

The transparent Fluff Up Brow Wax (£24.50) provides texture and that all-important youthful lift (brush up, up and away) without any unflattering stiffness.

Benefit’s tinted Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel (£24.50) conceals any silver — I swipe it across my boyfriend’s unruly caterpillars when they’re looking old-codger-ish.

Although, Kosas Brow Pop Dual-action Defining Pencil (£20, spacenk.com) has a terrific grey shade, if you’re happy staying that way. It also works on ash blondes.

Clean beauty champions Ilia are launching a brow duo at Sephora tomorrow: Ilia In Full Micro-Tip Brow Pencil (£24, sephora.co.uk) cunningly fuses wax, powder and pigment; while the brand’s In Frame EyeBrow Gel (£24) lends shape while fostering growth.

Budget-wise, Zara Eyebrow Pencil makes a convincing choice (£7.99, refills £5.99, zara.com).

I carry one in my travel bag for emergencies because odd things happen in the world of middle-aged brows. Only this week, I woke up with a fresh bald spot, happily now faux-ed over.


M&S’s popular Summer Beauty Bag (£155, marksandspencer.com) is filled with seven full-sized items and four travel minis including Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle and Eyeko Beach Mascara 




Naomi Campbell, 53, uses the cult, plumping make-up primer Pat McGrath Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence to achieve a hydrated look

Naomi Campbell, 53, uses the cult, plumping make-up primer Pat McGrath Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence to achieve a hydrated look

The supermodel turned 53 last week, and has said: ‘I love shine. I love skin to look hydrated, dewy, oily . . . As you get older, less is best — and it’s better to have a hydrated face, as opposed to a matte base.’ Her key product for this effect is the cult, plumping make-up primer Pat McGrath Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence (£81, patmcgrath.com). Use after cleansing and before moisturising for maximum sheen.



Made with 100 per cent natural ingredients, this French classic is enriched with shea butter. 



A zesty, vitamin C-filled favourite since 1870, in a pot that keeps on giving 



A lemony sheen that cleverly wards off summer bugs and soothes irritated skin. 



A physical and chemical exfoliator that proves the dream facial awakener.



This freshly scented natural salve really does nourish skin and nails.



My first and last experience of fake tan took place on the day of Live Aid back in 1985. However, my naturally tawny boyfriend was looking a tad sallow, so I used him as a guinea pig for the new Dior Solar The Self-Tanning Gel (£37, dior.com). And, boy, did it give a convincing gleam.

Not only is its formula made with 90 per cent natural-origin ingredients, its gel texture renders application foolproof, leaving no tell-tale patches or tidemarks — giving an even tan with a natural finish.

Dior recommends one layer for ‘a touch of radiance’, building up to four for full bronzed god/goddess — the effect gradually deepening over 24 hours — to create a revitalised, luminous, satiny glow.

Film stars lapped it up during the Cannes Film Festival — and rightly so.


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