The art of eyebrow shaping has taken on heightened significance during this era of Zoom chats and mask-wearing when attention focuses squarely on your eyes and brows. Eyebrow grooming calls for an expert hand – and a measure of restraint. Here’s how to find the right grooming routine to suit your style and features.
Start With Shaping
You can play around with shape to see if you want to resemble an’ 80s-era Brooke Shields or go untamed, like artist Frida Kahlo. To make eyebrows thicker, thinner or more angled, experiment by filling them in with a makeup pencil and use that as an outline. Or you can be guided by your natural arch. The general rule in finding your shape is to look just above the nostril line as the point where eyebrows start. Place a mark there. Then, arch your pencil line slightly above the far side of the pupil. Complete your outline by adding a mark just above the outer corner of the eye.
Trim The Stragglers
Brush your brows up with a clean mascara wand or spoolie dipped in hair spray for hold. Look for hairs that extend above your penciled-in outline so you can give the stragglers a careful trim. Pro tip: use a pair of brow or cuticle scissors. You’ll want to start from the inside of the brow, close to your nose. From there, work out to the arch by cutting each hair on an angle. This method will prevent you from cutting too much and leaving patchy brows. You want ends that are softly angled, not blunt.
Use the same technique to brush your brows down and trim hairs falling below the lower edge of your outline. Give yourself enough brow to work with later by leaving most strands alone from the arch to the end of your brow.
The temptation to over-pluck is the greatest challenge that most DIY stylists face. This step is where you need to exercise disciplined restraint to avoid the overplucked look from the early 2000s. Tweeze in the direction of hair growth to remove stray hairs between your eyes and under your arch. Pluck just a few hairs at a time, then stop to take a look at the result in a full-length mirror. Finish off with a touch of antibacterial witch hazel or rose water to calm the redness or irritation. Using slanted tweezers gives the best result since wax or gel strips can take off too much hair in just one rip.
Sculpt And Refine
Fill in empty spaces with a hard-wax brow pencil or a liquid pen to sculpt, shade, and refine your brows. Choose a color similar to your hair color for a more natural look; go darker for a more dramatic look. Use short strokes and a light touch, then blend with a brow brush. Apply powder for a fuller look, a gel for a brushed-up effect or side-swept style, or a pomade to hold thick or unruly brows in line. Finish off with a touch of concealer under your arch to give your eyes a lift.
You’ll notice that brows need grooming every six to eight weeks. Take care of them between sessions by removing dry flakes with a light application of exfoliant or facial scrub. To encourage new hair growth, try patting on castor oil for nourishment and stimulating circulation with a facial roller.