You might be full of energy and ready to get things done, but those droopy, poorly arched brows are telling the world you’re exhausted. Small as they are, our eyebrow shapes play a crucial function in emotional expression, and the wrong shape can not only throw off the balance of your face, but send an inaccurate message about how you’re feeling. Overly-arched brows can make you look harsh and angry, while rounded ones can lend a sad, bewildered look.
How you shape your eyebrows depends on what you’re working with. If you’ve got naturally lush, full brows, you’re in luck – a bit of trimming and tweezing is all you need to make the most of them. If your brows are sparse and shapeless, mastery of eyebrow-enhancing products can make all the difference in your appearance.
Tweezing Tips: Pluck a Perfect Shape
When it comes to plucking, less is more. It’s so easy to tweeze away what seems like just a few hairs and realize that you’ve fundamentally altered your eyebrow shapes. Plus – bold brows are in. The best course of action is to have a pro shape your brows the first time, and then keep them up at home, but if you’d rather tackle it yourself, here are some tips.
It’s best to pluck right after showering, after the warm water gets a chance to open the hair follicles, using a pair of tweezers with sharp, slanted tips. Before you take away any hairs, use a brow or mascara wand to brush the hairs up. If they’re overly long, carefully trim off the tips just past the natural line of your brow.
Start by assessing the overall shape of your brows. Do they have a noticeable arch? Use a pencil to find the most arched part of your brow and line it up with your eye. The most flattering location for the arch is at the outer edge of your iris, not over the tear duct or the middle. Arches over the front part of the brow create a shape that’s too round. Once you’ve located the arch, pluck just a few hairs along the bottom edge of the brow at this point to create a little bit of definition. The video above illustrates this process.
Note where your eyebrows start and end, as well. Plucking too far in from the bridge of the nose can make your eyes look too far apart, and if the ends of your brows are too long, they can drag down the shape of your eye, aging you and making you look tired.
Faking It: Enhance Eyebrows with Powder, Pencil or Wax
The most foolproof way to find a shape that’s right for your face without doing any permanent damage to your brows is to play around with some eyebrow stencils. Most likely, there will only be one or two that really work for your face shape, so you might use the pack just one or two times before you figure out what you like and how to do it on your own, but it can be a helpful tool to get started.
The biggest mistake women make with brow products is choosing a powder or pencil that’s too dark. Even if your hair is black, you likely don’t need anything darker than medium brown to achieve a soft, natural look. Your brow product doesn’t have to match your hair color exactly; the trick is finding a product that’s not either too ashy or too red for your skin tone and hair.
When filling in brows with a pencil, make sure it’s sharp and use a light hand to apply short, hair-like strokes in the direction that the hair grows naturally. The same technique is helpful when applying powders and waxes with a brush. If your brows tend to be unruly, hold them in place with a clear brow wax or mascara.
One kit that’ll give you lots of control is the vegan and cruelty-free Jane Iredale Bitty Brow Kit, which is available in blond and brunette shades and comes with pigmented brow powder, three brushes and botanical brow wax. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse is another great product to help achieve a natural look, and it lasts longer than most pencils.
Still feeling lost? Take a few minutes to browse some eyebrow tutorials on YouTube, so you can see how the products are applied.
Top photo: Nadia Martinez
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