Tame those brows, 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 just love throwing them about freely, complements 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 an unfortunate 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, perhaps, 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 Sonia Kashuk Spoolie Brush is our go-to. We’ll get to our favorite brow products and their various uses after the deed is done.
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 further 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. This post by a brow and lash professional makes a great visual aid for this concept!
Time to trim.
Using your 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 it’s easier to brush these down than up to see which hairs are too long. Note: 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!
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. Basically, 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 are our go-to everyday pick, 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. Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizing Eyebrow Gel literally gives your brow more volume and fullness by using miniscule fibers (Quite genius!), which is perfect for those lusting for fuller eyebrows. Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade lets you use a small angular brush to apply (and has over 6,000 five-star reviews on Sephora), and the Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil lets you shape and fill your brows like it’s your certified profession.
WATCH: How To Get Perfect Eyebrows
When it comes to shaping up your eyebrows, it’s all about enhancing your natural shape, not fighting it. We can’t help it if we just wish our natural brows were a tiny bit more perfect, right? If you’ve fallen victim to the woes of past over-plucking, invest in a top-notch serum, such neuBROW Brow Enhancing Serum, before embarking on this brow-power journey.