6 Eyebrow Mistakes That Are Making You Look Older

First of all, put the tweezers down.

Woman Looking at Eyebrows in Mirror
Photo: Hoxton/Sam Edwards/Getty Images

We know our necks can give us away, but we haven't given much thought to what our eyebrows are saying about our age. Turns out, they're quite the chatty Cathy. Celine Russell, a makeup artist who's worked on her share of Southern Living photo shoots, agrees.

"The biggest giveaway of aging and brows is thinness," Russell said. "We lose brows over time as we age, and thinning brows can also be an indicator of underlying health problems," like thyroid issues specifically.

If you think your brows are doing your age a disservice, rest assured, you don't have to go to extreme measures for the fix (no microblading or tattooing needed, thankfully). All you need is a light hand, a good shape, and maybe a hint of tint to start turning back the clock. Here, we're breaking down the six ways your brows are making you look older—and how to fix them.

You Went Too Thin

Remember those ultra-thin brows that defined the 90s? We can probably all agree they didn't look great. Thank goodness the beauty industry has come a long way in the range of products we can now use to camouflage the repercussions of that sparsely browed decade. Now that we've reached a certain age, the thin brows of yesteryear might actually be making you look older than you are.

"As we age, the brows do not grow in as well. So if we over-pluck, that can become a problem," Russell said. She recommends looking at photos of yourself in your youth and aiming to mimic those full, natural brows.

Instead of surrendering to a life of bad brows, go ahead and fill 'em in, ladies, and watch the clock turn back—seriously, you won't believe the impact a fuller brow can have. Here's how Russell gets the job done:

"I prefer to use a brow powder with light strokes as if I'm growing in the hair," she said, noting not to press down hard with pencils. "Light-tinted brow gels are also an option. Anything that feels like you're naturally growing the brow back in is going to be a good technique."

You've Got Some Grays

You've embraced your silver strands with a sleek bob that's the envy of your sister-in-law, but brows are one thing you might not want to leave up to nature. A good brow tint will do wonders for brightening and youth-ifying your look. Just be sure you don't go too dark, which leads us to our next point…

You Got a Little Heavy Handed

Super dark eyebrows that don't work with your skin tone or hair hue? That's not going to help you get that youthful look. "That's a giveaway that it's artificial," Russell said. "Overly sculpted brows can be on trend, but they are not flattering and can be harsh on the face."

Take it down a notch by going a shade or two lighter on your brow pencil or powder, and make sure to use your spoolie as it is intended: as a blender for your brow color (alongside to brushing them of course). Stick to short strokes as you apply for the most natural look.

You Went Too Natural

Having thick eyebrows as you age is a definite win, but you may have to tame them to keep them under control. Stray, long, and coarse hairs can make your eyes look smaller and droopy. Don't accept unruly brows as a part of aging. Keeping them trimmed and shaped can be a total makeover. Tweeze them at home or get some professional help with getting them into shape.

You Went Too Light

Just as there's a limit to how dark your brows should be, you don't want them to go too light. Light eyebrows age you. The tails of the brows get lighter and thinner with age, and you may also notice some patchy areas. Fill the tail area in with a brow pencil, and then go over the whole eyebrow with tinted brow gel. For patchy spots, fill in with brow powder to make your arches appear fuller. The added contrast will give a more youthful appearance.

You Didn't Pay Attention to Shape

Don't neglect those arches. Soft tissue around the eyes starts to droop starting as early as in your 30s. A well-shaped arch opens the eyes. Define the arch with brow pencils, keeping the color tips discussed earlier in mind. Continue to assess brow shape as you age. The more you age, the more arch you may need.

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