On-point eyebrow grooming can really frame the face and make your features look balanced. But how do you shape eyebrows so that they look powerful and polished, not over-plucked and severe? (If you’re still traumatized by the sparse brows of the ‘90s, you’re not alone.) It’s simple: Map your face, make a plan, and remove the hair (carefully). Here’s how.
Options For Eyebrow Shaping
From tinting to tweezing, to everything in between, there are many different methods of eyebrow grooming. Some popular options include:
- Eyebrow plucking
- Eyebrow waxing
- Eyebrow threading
- Brow tinting
- Brow lamination
- Brow extensions
- Brow henna1
Any of these methods can help give you a great brow shape. But perhaps only one of these methods – eyebrow plucking – is foolproof enough to do by yourself at home. If you’re wondering how to shape eyebrows at home, it may be a good idea to try this method.
Determining The Right Eyebrow Shape For Your Face
Map Your Brows
Your perfect brow shape is specific to your face. There’s no need to look at someone else’s brows and attempt to recreate the look. You can use a brow mapping method and follow the natural shape of your own brow bone and facial features to create balanced, flattering eyebrows.
Eyebrow mapping uses three points for the perfect shape: the start, arch, and end point. You’ll hold up a pencil, makeup brush, or any straight item to visualize these points on your face.
The Start Of The Brow
Take a pencil and hold it up so it reaches from the outer corner of your nose to the inner corner of your eye. This is where your brow should start.
For your arch, angle the pencil so it reaches between the outer corner of your nose to the center of your eye pupil. This is where your arch should land.
The End Of The Brow
Now, hold the pencil between the outer corner of your nose and the outer corner of your eye. This where your brow should end.2
Consider Your Face Shape
Beyond brow mapping, your face shape can also serve as a guide for your brow shape. To determine your face shape, measure the width of your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline and the length of your face. That way, you can easily determine the widest part of your face.
- Heart-Shaped Face: If you have a wide forehead and a thin chin, try a slight arch and full brows.
- Round Face: If you have wide cheekbones and a round chin, go with a sharp, angled brow arch.
- Oval Face: If you have wide cheekbones and a long, slim chin, try a full, natural brow with soft arches.
- Long Face: If your face length is your longest measurement, try straighter brows with soft edges.
- Square-Shaped Face: If your facial measurements are pretty equal, try a high, curved arch.
- Diamond-Shaped Face: If you have high cheekbones and a narrower chin and forehead, try angled brows.3
Are My Brows Supposed To Be Identical?
When you’re planning your ideal brow shape, try not to get hung up on making your brows look exactly the same.
Take a cue from your eyes and nostrils – they are not identical on both sides of your face. Your eyebrows needn’t be exactly identical, either. Try to think of your brows as sisters, not twins.4
Gather Your Tools: Brow Shaping Essentials
- Pointed, Slanted Tweezers
- Spoolie Brush
- White Eyeliner
- Brow Pencil
- Brow Scissors5
Create A Favorable Environment
- Work in natural light. This can help give you a realistic view of your brows while you’re eyebrow grooming.
- Avoid magnifying mirrors. Using a regular mirror is helpful so you can see your whole face and both brows at once. Magnifying mirrors may cause you to over-pluck.
- Pull or pin back your hair. You want to see both of your brows and your forehead while you work.6
Now It’s Time To Tweeze
1. Brush Your Eyebrows Up
Take a clean spoolie brush and brush your brow hairs up toward the sky. This will help you see if any eyebrow hairs are extra long and in need of a trim.
2. Give Them A Little Trim
Look at your brushed-up eyebrows. If any hairs rise above the natural shape of your brows, take a small pair of eyebrow scissors and carefully trim them.
3. Wash Your Face With Warm Water
After your trim, wash your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser. This will help wash away excess hair and relax your skin for easier tweezing.
4. Mark The Hair You’re Removing
Take your white eyeliner pencil and carefully mark the hair that you plan to tweeze away. Creating this guide before you start will help you identify unwanted eyebrow hairs when you’re looking at yourself closely in the mirror.
Step back and confirm that you’re happy with the new brow shape before you start tweezing.
5. Start With Your Arches First
For perfect arches, grab your pair of tweezers, hold skin taut, and begin removing hairs underneath your arch area. Use your slanted tweezers to grab the hair near its base. Pull in the direction of hair growth. Work on the arch of your first brow and then move to the second.
6. Clear The Area Underneath Your Brows
If there are any extra hairs on the underside of your brows outside of the arch area, you can remove them now. Trust your guide and only remove stray hairs that you’ve colored white. You can always go back and tweeze more later.
7. Clean Up The Top
Be cautious about removing hairs from the top area of your eyebrows. For many, it’s not necessary to take hairs off the top. If you’ve identified some hairs that are outside your desired shape, carefully tweeze them in the direction of growth.
8. Clear The Area Between Your Brows
Tweeze the brow hairs that fall in between your eyebrows. Remember the shape you decided on in the eyebrow mapping phase, and be sure you don’t take off too much.
9. Take A Step Back
Now is a good time to take a step back and look at both of your brows at the same time. How’d you do? Are they looking balanced? Go ahead and fine tune and remove extra hairs if you see any. Take your brow pencil and fill in any sparse areas.
10. Soothe Your Skin
If your skin is irritated, apply a gentle, oil-free moisturizer. Avoid working out or sweating right after your brow tweeze. Instead, sit back and enjoy your new, perfectly-shaped brows. You’re done.7,8,9
Tips For Specific Situations
Thin, Overplucked, Sparse Eyebrows
A good eyebrow pencil may help give you a hand while you wait for your brows to grow back. Lightly draw them in, using small strokes in the direction of hair growth. Your brow product should be slightly darker than the hair on your head.
Overgrown, Thick, Shapeless Brows
For thicker brows, a trim can really help. Take extra care on the trimming step and be sure to catch and trim the ends of any stray hairs. If your brows still look unruly, an eyebrow gel or powder can help set them in place.
Long, Messy Brows
If you have bushy brows with hair that sticks out every which way, you may also benefit from a trim. After you brush your brow hair up and trim it, try brushing it down to catch any extra long strays. Take care to only trim the ends of your hair.10
DIY Eyebrow Grooming
You can achieve perfectly-shaped brows by doing your own eyebrow grooming at home. Before you jump in, make a plan before you even pick up the tweezers. Once you decide on the shape, pluck your hairs one at a time and take plenty of breaks to step back and look in the mirror.
Once you achieve a look you are happy with, stop. Enjoy your new brows, and wait for the compliments to roll in.
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