Some people go for thin brows with a high arch (giving them a perma-shocked look we can thank the 90s for.) Others prefer for the strong, straight brow that’s becoming increasingly popular today. Whatever your eyebrow taste may be—here are tips on how you can keep people from confusing them with woolly bear caterpillars.
Tweezers — Finding the right tweezers is really a matter of personal preference so finding the perfect tweezers can be time consuming. You can either go with slanted edge tweezers or point tip tweezers. I prefer point tip tweezers because they are good for grasping difficult hairs and I find them to be more dexterous. Whatever you choose—make sure to pick stainless steel so they don’t rust.
Brow brush/comb — Many make-up stores (Sephora, etc.) sell these as a combined item but you can also find brow brushes that resemble mascara wands and combs that look like they belong in Barbie’s Dream House. I swear they do the job though.
Manicure scissors — Kiddie craft scissors are not acceptable substitutes. (Fine, they will work in a pinch.)
Find Your Shape
Again, current fashion trends can dictate how you want your eyebrows to look but generally speaking there are rules about where your eyebrows should start and end. You can check your measurements using a brow pencil or another straight instrument.
If you take the pencil and place it next to your nose in a straight vertical line past the inner corner of your eye, you can find your starting point. Turn your pencil 45 degrees outward, and that’s the endpoint for your eyebrows. The brows should peak in line with the outer side of iris (sorry no pencil trick for this one).
Brushing and Trimming
Shockingly, the first step to eyebrow maintenance is messing them up. Take your comb (not the brush) and comb your brows in the opposite direction of hair growth (if you don’t have a comb, your finger will do). It makes your hair stand up every which-way and you’ll look positively unkempt.
Don’t worry it’s about to get better. Take your manicure scissors and trim away any hairs that stray WAY above your defined brow line. These are hairs that have gotten a little long and out of control. Tame them and now you don’t have to worry about plucking them.
The next step is to brush your brows back in the direction the hair grows. It already looks better right? Now that they are in place again, take a look at your brow line. You’ll notice there are a couple of hairs growing below your brow line. These are the hairs to which you say goodbye. Grab the hair at the root and yank. (If this is your first time, it’s going hurt like a bitch, sorry!) Start with a few hairs on your dominant side and then switch to the other eye. (In my case, my dominant side would be my right eye because I’m right handed.)
Make sure to do this in a well-lit room in front of a standard mirror. No need to use a magnifying mirror—if you can’t see the hair normally, you don’t need to pluck it.
You also ALWAYS want to tweeze from underneath your brow. Never above—otherwise you might end up with bald spots. If you trimmed correctly—everything up top should be under control.
Make sure you don’t get too tweezer happy. Remember how I said to switch eyes? Well you want to tweeze a couple on one side, switch, and then compare so you don’t over-pluck. Specifically, people had a tendency to over-pluck their dominant side.
If you do over-pluck, have a soft brow pencil nearby to fill in any thin spots. But you don’t want to have to draw on your eyebrows everyday so take a step back to gain some perspective throughout the whole process. Walk away from the mirror and come back and see how they look, tweeze a few more then walk away again. Moderation is key.
Also, try not to pluck in the morning before work or before an important event, especially if your skin is sensitive. Obvious swollen red patches all around your eyes are not awesome.
Pro Tip: The best time to tweeze is after a warm shower. It opens your pores and softens up your hair so it’s an easier pull. If you are super sensitive, dab some numbing gel (like baby teething gel) before tweezing. Just keep it out of your eyes.
Photo by Anastasia Heuer