A reader wrote in and asked for tips on how to shape your eyebrows. Eyebrows truly make your face as they create a natural frame your eyes. Poorly groomed eyebrows can be distracting on an otherwise beautiful woman. There are many ways to tame your brows — waxing, threading, plucking… it’s up to you. If you can swing it, getting them done professionally is going to be your best bet, but there’s only so much time in the day and my brows aren’t very unruly so I do my own.
You’re going to want to follow a few basic rules of thumb, and then your face shape and how your eyebrows grow in will determine how you shape your brows. Just remember, over-tweezed eyebrows can make you appear older than you are, so go easy!
Ideally, your eyebrows should balance with the rest of your face and hair. For example, if you have thick hair and larger facial features, your eyebrows should be thicker and more dramatic, which makes sense because that’s probably the way they naturally grow in. If you have thinner hair and more delicate features, your eyebrows should be more subtle.
As a child, I had fairly thick eyebrows, and when I look at my dad, I see triangular shaped brows that remind me of my own when I was younger. I also inherited his long eyebrows, so when I began plucking, I unfortunately plucked a few too many and they never grew back in. So if you do your own, I urge you to use caution. They don’t always grow back. Nowadays I use a eyeshadow and a very thin brush to fill mine in.
In this post, I will address plucking and shaping eyebrows at home.
How to Shape Your Eyebrows at Home in 9 Easy Steps
1. First, gather your tools. Ideally you will have two pairs of tweezers: a slant-tipped pair (good for thick hairs) and a needle-nose-tipped pair (better for grabbing shorter, hard-to-reach ones). I love my Tweezerman slanted tweezers. The tip about the needle-nose-tipped pair is a new one to me. You will also want brow shaping scissors and a brush, which you can buy as a set.
2. Make sure you have good light, and if you have a lighted magnifying mirror, even better!
3. Using an eyebrow brush, brush your brow hairs straight up and trim any long hairs with a pair of brow scissors. When the hairs are trimmed, it decreases the brow density and also helps the hairs lie flat and creates a nice clean line to your brows. Sometimes, this is all you need.
4. Carefully pluck away any stray hairs below the brow line. If you have super thick brows and you have eyebrow hairs growing above the eyebrow, you may need to pluck there as well.
5. Locate your starting points by holding a pencil parallel to the side of the bridge of your nose. The inner edge of your brows should start here. Then angle the pencil diagonally from your nostril to the outside corner of your eye to tell you where your brow should end. To find the arch, look at your face straight on in the mirror and find the highest point of your brow, then tweeze directly below it for a perfectly placed arch. Use your natural brow shape as a guide.
I tried to doctor up a photo of myself, but it’s hard to see because I’m not looking straight at the camera. Apparently I never am, because I couldn’t find one. But the pencil should line up with the side of your nose and the inner corner of your eye. You can see here that I should have penciled in my brow so it was a bit longer on the right. That is my sparsest eyebrow, it needs some help. It can definitely age you if your brow doesn’t extend long enough over the outer edge of the eye so if yours are sparse like mine, definitely use a pencil or eye shadow to fill in.
6. Carefully pluck away hairs that fall outside of these parameters. You can gently pull the eyebrow upwards to tighten the skin and allow you to pluck with less pain. I don’t find plucking too terribly painful, but then I’ve been doing it for 25 years.
7. Use the eyebrow brush to brush your brows into place, and pluck any other unwanted hairs away.
8. If you have any holes or empty spots, or if your eyebrows don’t grow far enough out to create a pleasing shape for your face, you can use an eyebrow pencil, or my favorite method, eye shadow and a brush to fill in (see my video tutorial for how I fill in my sparse brows with eye shadow). You want to use a color that is a shade lighter than your hair color or it may look too harsh.
9. Finally, set your brows with brow gel such as this one by Sonia Kashuk. Brow gel helps keep your brows in place throughout the day so you don’t end up with a renegade brow hair pointing the wrong way. Filling in your brows and using brow gel is a quick step in your morning makeup routine that is really important. Well-groomed eyebrows frame your eyes and help keep you looking polished and put together.
So there you have it, my 9 easy steps to perfectly groomed eyebrows at home!