If you’re used to getting your eyebrows professionally shaped, you may be noticing the ramifications of your missed appointments right about now. And, while you can certainly go DIY with your arches, managing your own brows can be intimidating. (Where does one start tweezing? Should scissors be involved? And when do you stop?)
Whether you’re working with a Frida Kahlo-inspired look or an Oscar the Grouch situation, it’ll help to get a shaping routine in place sooner rather than later. That way, you’ll still have some semblance of your ideal brow shape remaining from your last visit with a pro, and it’ll get you on a schedule from the start. “I would try to do it in one go and as infrequently as possible, so that you train your brows to grow in one cycle, rather than constantly plucking erratically-growing brow hairs every few days,” says Vanita Parti, the founder of BBB London®. “It is harder to maintain a good shape that way.”
Also, make sure you have a pair of tweezers on hand. Leave wax to the professional, or for legs — somewhere with less of a mess-up quotient. “Mistakes can happen with waxing, as many brow hairs are removed at one time,” Parti warns. “Waxing is also sticky and messy, whereas tweezing, with the right method, can be very effective.” With that in mind, here’s how to most effectively shape your eyebrows with a tweezer — without going too far.
How to Shape Eyebrows
First, accentuate what you don’t want to remove. “Mark the sacred brow territory — the part that you don’t want to touch — with a brow pencil or highlighter,” says Parti. Giving yourself a visual boundary will keep you from tweezing too far into your arch.
It helps to map it out, too, says Anastasia Soare, celebrity eyebrow guru and founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills®. “Brows should begin directly above the middle of your nostrils and end where the corner of the nostril connects with the outer corner of the eye,” she says. (You can use a brow pencil to visually connect the two points, and even make little marks to help you see them before you get started.) For your arch, “the highest point of the arch should connect the middle of the tip of the nose with the middle of the iris,” she explains.
Once you begin, the number one rule is to go slowly. “[Plucking] a couple of hairs below the arch should do the trick,” says Parti. “Remove one hair at a time, and then stand back to observe the brows from a distance before proceeding.” Getting into the habit of pausing and assessing how your brows look will help you avoid removing too much or from the wrong spot.
Gradually remove any hairs that fall well outside your outlined brow area. If you’re not sure about what else to pluck — or are on the fence about continuing — make this your mantra: “Always choose fullness,” insists Soare. So, err on the side of caution and put the tweezers down.
How to Trim Eyebrows
After you tweeze the hairs around your brows, you may need to deal with the length of the hairs that remain. If you’ve never trimmed your brows yourself before, good news: This part is hard to mess up. Use either small nail scissors or a thin, straight-bladed pair of brow scissors (we like Joey HealyTM Precision Brow Scissor, $28) to keep the line consistent.
Assuming your brows are already filled in or outlined from the tweezing process, simply “brush your brow hairs up, cut only what falls outside the filled-in area, then brush the brow hairs down and repeat,” says Soare. Note: If you’re generally nervous about overdoing it with your brows, Soare recommends only doing this step, skipping tweezing entirely, as it’s super simple.
Finally, make the most of what you’re working with. After all, “this is a great time to let your brows grow out in a healthy way and start again,” says Parti. BBB London’s Nourishing Brow Oil ($35) keeps brows glossy and nourished; apply it morning and night as part of your skincare routine. For more hold and polish, you can also try Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel ($22).
Learn more about how to shape and trim brows:
- Why Eyebrow-Building Fibers Are The Key To Youthful-Looking Brows
- 4 Mistakes You Might Be Making With Your Eyebrows, According to Anastasia Soare
- I Tried the Trendy Brow Lamination Treatment You’re Seeing All Over Instagram
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