Plus a little tough love to help put your best face forward.

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Trends come a dime a dozen year after year. From home trends to clothing trends to beauty trends, we’ve seen it all in 2017—from the game changing to the truly cringe-worthy. And if there’s one life lesson we seem to learn (and subsequently unlearn…) while looking back over time, it’s that keeping things simple usually does us more favors than not. However, we’ll always remember 2017 (affectionately referred to as The Year of the Brow) as the year everybody (even your mama and your mama’s mama) hopped on the brow train—for better or for worse.

We’ll start by saying this: a well-shaped brow is an unbeatable accessory that if executed correctly, can transform your daily makeup routine into a striking work of art. However, by the looks of some of the brows we’ve seen out on the street—in the spirit of tough love—we all could use some more honest friends. It’s time to shape up, sisters. If The Year of the Brow is going to stick around for round two, it’s time to go to brow boot camp.

 

Brows should be sisters, not twins.

If mid brow-application you find yourself applying, and re-applying, and re-applying to match both of your sides perfectly…hold it right there. While a little touching up is necessary, by over-correcting you run the risk of going completely overboard and landing yourself a brand new set of brows sponsored by Sharpie. No two brows were made alike, so slight imperfections only make your case more believable. Less is more, sister.

 

Brows tend to look more natural when there’s, well, hair under them.

If you weren’t naturally blessed with bold, beautiful brows or have merely fallen prey to over-plucking, overcompensating with loads of product may not be your best bet in achieving a natural look. To give your skimpy brows the volume they deserve, it may be time to invest in a quality brow serum to promote growth (it’s never too late!)—or start working a daily dose of biotin into your daily beauty regimen. Providing your brows a base such as this is key when applying tints and liners to give them that coveted boost. While serums that really live up to their claims can fall on the pricier side, we think the confidence to walk outside without putting on your face every now and then is well worth the splurge.

 

Tints and liners and brow gels, oh my!

It appears that retailers of America have taken the hint on the epidemic of the brow, because every shelf of every drugstore and beauty counter is fully stocked with products claiming to give you brows à la Cara Delevingne. Who can blame them? They’ve clearly done their market research. But, with so much clutter, it can be difficult for the average consumer to distinguish which products ‘walk the walk’ from those that don’t. In our humble opinion, brow liners tend to be a little much for your average day at work. However, when you’re looking for that extra ‘oomph’ for a big night out, this one (under $10!) will do just the trick. For your daily routine, this top-rated filler will give you all the shape and pigment you need. And for those whose routine needs to be a little more heavy-handed, we recommend using a brow pomade or powder palette to fill in bare spots, using a small, angled brush for application. Dampen your brush under the sink for the most precise application, and good grief, y’all—please try to stay inside those lines.

 

Phone a Friend.

When all else fails, practice the art of the selfie and send your look to your most brutally honest friend for a genuine opinion. And likewise, be the friend you wish you had when offering your own opinion to a fellow lady in need.