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We asked an expert. 

Maintaining your brows can be risky business, especially because the shape of your brows can totally change the way you look. There seems to be a laundry list of things you shouldn’t do when it comes to showing your brows a little TLC, so I called my stylist from home—the woman who waxed my eyebrows for the first time and gave them the shape that they still have today—to pick up some tips on what you should never, ever do when plucking your brows.

“When you pluck your own eyebrows, you should just be cleaning up those little stray hairs,” says Kathy Van Dyke, a stylist in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. “Don’t try to shape your eyebrows if you pluck them yourself—leave that to the professionals.”

But if you’re feeling bold and decide to DIY your brows, don’t go tweezer-crazy, says Van Dyke. If you over-pluck and make any part of your brows too thin, the shape of your brows will change.

All is not lost, though, if you do over-tweeze.

“If your eyebrows get a little too thin in some spots, you can always use makeup and fillers to even them out,” she says.

While you can use eyebrow powders or pencils to make brows look full and finished, Van Dyke prefers volume-boosting gel options.

“It looks so much more natural, and it’s really easy to apply. Plus, powders end up smearing or coming off during the day, and pencils leave lines,” says the stylist. “Even my mom, who’s 81, can use a volumizing gel and have it look natural.”

For those who prefer to get their brows waxed, Van Dyke offers this helpful advice: “If you’re using a retinol cream or acne product, don’t use it for five days before you get your eyebrows waxed. Those products make the skin so sensitive that it will blister from the wax.” Yikes. Beauty is pain, I suppose.

WATCH: How to Get Perfect Eyebrows

Have any foolproof tricks for pretty brows? Share them with us in the comments.