Your Best Brows

Shaping your brows doesn’t have to be a dramatic change. Many times, a slight cleanup can make a big difference. 

First, understand that almost no one has symmetrical eyebrows. Our eyes are different shapes and sizes from one side to the other, and this goes for our eyebrows too. A common mistake is trying to make your brows match exactly. You start on one brow and nit-pick back and forth until what you are left with is too thin and sparse. Over-plucking can permanently alter your brow’s shape and its ability to grow back, so proceed with caution and the right tools.

Start by purchasing a good set of precision tweezers. Keep the tip protectors on whenever you’re not tweezing. Hitting the floor even once can damage the tips, making them unusable.

Measuring Your Brows

In a well-lit room, look straight ahead into a wall mirror. Have a good size hand mirror as well to see up close. Take a thin pencil and measure straight up from the edge of your nostril. This is where the brow should start. If you have strays between the eyes within these lines, feel free to clean them up. Using slanted, sharp tweezers, grip one hair at a time and pull in the direction it grows. Don’t tweeze beyond your start line—this will make your brows too far apart AND make your eyes look too far apart as well. The next step is to use that same nostril to find your brow’s ideal end point. Angle your pencil from the bottom of the nostril and line it up to the edge of your eye. The line that follows out is where your brow should end. The brow may naturally be shorter than this and that is fine. You can always add a little pencil or brow powder to extend it. Any strays beyond that point can be cleaned up.

Shaping Your Brows 

Lots of brow tutorials tell you how to arch your brows. This is where women get into over-tweezing. You should, within reason, clean up strays on the underside of your brow, but not everyone has or needs a perfectly arched brow. Some brows are straight, some are crescent-shaped. Don’t try to change your shape too much at this point. Your face will change shape in your twenties, and you’ll want that original brow shape intact till then. Once you have cleaned up the obvious strays underneath, you can take a look at the top of the brow. Strays that come up way above the top of the brow can be removed.

Understanding Your Brows

You may also find some “peach fuzz” gathered above your brows. Peach fuzz refers to the short, fine, lightly colored hair that can appear on the face or neck. If it’s thick, go ahead and clean it up, but be very careful not to “dig in” to the top of the brow. This top shape is your lift, your eye opening potential. It’s best to err on the side of caution. Shaping too far down from above can give you a pinched, angry look. Another trend to avoid is that of brushing up the brow and then trimming hairs short across the top. Only a few of us have such long, unruly brows that require trimming with scissors. This practice often leaves women with short, sawed off brows that look sharp and hard. Don’t try this! Clear mascara brushed through your brow should be enough to tame them.

Finishing Your Brows

Once you have shaped your brows, you can add a little color to finish and polish your look. Use a light pencil or powder to fill in only where you see holes or color weakness.

  • Blonde: Use a light blond pencil. Look for a matte pencil without any silver in it.
  • Dark blonde/medium brown: Use an ash-colored (dark blond) pencil or powder for a soft effect. Brown pencils are usually too red and leave an unnatural look.
  • Dark skin with black hair: Try a soft, dark brown pencil that is lighter than your hair color.

Cheat the color along the topside of the brow to raise and open your eyes. Then, brush through with a small brow brush to soften and diffuse the look. Finish with a little clear mascara or colorless brow gel.