How to Perfectly Trim and Shape Your Eyebrows At Home
Tame those arches, once and for all.
We've come a long way from the plucked-into-oblivion era and the waxed-into-ambiguity chapter of eyebrows, thank our lucky stars. Gloriously full, impeccably groomed brows are quite en vogue right now, and it gives us so much more room for artful arches and stone-cold looks that we love to throw about freely, compliments of the house.
But as it goes, with all great power comes great responsibility. In order to enjoy the benefits of perfect eyebrows, one must perform regular trimming and shaping, especially if blessed with bushy brows, stubborn stray hairs, or the cursed unibrow situation.
We're breaking down the simplest, most foolproof steps for getting your best brows ever. It's time to transform those eyebrows from frogs to princes—or from tadpoles to subtly arched masterpieces.
You're going to need eyebrow scissors, slant tweezers, and a spoolie brush (or disposable mascara wand) to begin. This $2 e.l.f. Eyelash & Brow Wand is our go-to.
Map out your brow shape.
Using an eyebrow pencil or thin makeup brush, start by lining it up from the side of your nose to the innermost edge of your eyebrow to visually mark (or physically mark, if you want a lasting point of reference) where your brow should begin. Angle the pencil to cross over your pupil, and it should land around where your arch is. Angle it farther to the outer corner of your eye to find where your arch should end. You can mark these points with an eyebrow pencil if you prefer or simply get a visual gist of where you should be focusing later when plucking. The basic idea behind this is that you need to rid yourself of any pesky strays outside of those boundaries. Here's an easy visual aid to follow.
Time to trim.
Using a spoolie brush or disposable mascara wand—each of which can be found at any drugstore for dirt cheap, so stock up!—brush the hairs from the inner edge of your eyebrow to your arch upwards. Always remember: Brush in the direction the hair grows, and the same goes for when plucking. Trim the hairs that reach farther up than the top edge of your eyebrow, making sure to snip carefully and slowly to ensure no tragic mishaps.
Then, move to the section from your arch to the outer end of your eyebrow. These hairs grow downward, so sometimes it will be easier to brush these down than up to see which hairs are too long. Some people have faster growing eyebrow hairs and will need to trim more often. If yours are shorter and more subdued, don't overcompensate and trim too much. That's when brows start to look patchy.
Pluck the runaways.
You know how hard it is to color perfectly inside the lines? Well, our eyebrow hairs just can't seem to grow inside the lines, either. There are always some strays that need plucking, despite our personal aversion to yanking the little suckers out, cold turkey. When plucking, pluck each hair in the direction of hair growth, while holding skin a little taut to minimize the pain.
Some professionals recommend massaging the area with face oil beforehand or plucking after a hot shower (both practices help ready the hair follicles) if you think plucking should be listed as a top-notch form of self-induced torture. Just get rid of any anomalies that lay outside your eyebrow. Common problem areas are usually below the arch, between the eyes, and at the outer end.
Put on the finishing touches.
Brow products can take your brows from good to perfect. The best thing about great brow products, if used correctly, is that they don't make it incredibly obvious that you have anything on at all. It's just that little touch you need to frame your face in a more defined way. Tinted or clear brow gels make easy everyday helpers, especially if brows aren't super patchy or invisible. If so, however, pencils and powder are your way to get filled-in brows that still look soft and natural.
This Maybelline Brow Tint Pen feigns the coveted feathered brow look and stays all day long, no fail. Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade lets you use a small angular brush to apply (and has over 8,000 five-star reviews on Sephora), and the Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil is our all-time favorite brow product. It lets you shape and fill your brows like it's your certified profession.
When it comes to shaping up your eyebrows, it's all about enhancing your natural shape, not fighting it. If you've fallen victim to the woes of past over-plucking, invest in a top-notch serum, like this cult-fave Amazon pick, before embarking on this brow-power journey.