Perfect eyebrows are the secret to a polished look and can make a huge difference on your overall look, but should you wax or should you pluck? What about threading? There are a few different ways to go about it, but before you decide how to shape and style your brow, you have to keep in mind that no two brows are alike. Their shape should be tailored to your face and eyes -- not a photo of some celebrity.
When, Why and How You Should Pluck
Plucking is the cheapest and easiest way to groom your brows and keep them in tip top shape. The key is investing in a good pair of tweezers. Tweezerman tweezers are the Rolls Royce of plucking tools and come with a variety of tips. Slanted, pointed or round they are all good and you will have them for life so they're worth the investment. If you're on a budget, Mira Cuticle Scissors and LaCross Exacta Tweeze Tweezers work well too.
Tweezerman tweezers ($20)
LaCross Exacta Tweeze Tweezers ($4.50)
When plucking your own brows take your time and use a hand mirror next to the daylight so you can really see all the little strays. Work with the dimensions of your face to create the perfect shape every time.
Print out these steps for your next at-home shape up:
STEP 1: Brush the brows straight up with a clean toothbrush and snip any wild hairs that are too long.
STEP 2: Take a pencil and hold it parallel along the side of your nose. (Where the pencil crosses the forehead is where your eyebrow should start so pluck any strays that fall in the uni-brow section.)
STEP 3: Holding that pencil again in the same place, angle it diagonally across the iris of the eye. Where it crosses the brow is where the arch should be. Only pluck a few at a time so you don't create any gaps.
STEP 4: Angle the pencil toward the outer edge of the eye -- this is where the brow should end.
*If you are a first timer, a great tip is to draw the ideal brow shape over your existing eyebrow with a white eyeliner pencil and pluck the hairs that fall out of the line. Then just wipe away the white pencil when you're done for a flawless brow.
Make Waxing Poetic
I recommend going to a salon to have your brows professionally waxed so plucking is a better option if you're on a budget. In my opinion, it is too difficult to control the wax at home If you go to a pro, ask her/him to show you in a mirror where she plans on waxing and make sure to tell her what you want. This is a really great option for women who tend to have very bushy brows and a lot of hair coming from the hairline down to the brow.
I have always been a believer that it is fine to wax or pluck above the brow. If done lightly it creates a perfectly styled look. Just make sure you're waxing just the stray hairs above the brow and not the actual shape of it.
Threading is a technique that has became very popular in the US recently, but many women in Asia and the Middle East have done it for years. It is done by twisting together two pieces of cotton to catch and pull out the hairs. It's really just a fancy version of plucking, in fact, plucking, waxing and threading are all the same -- they all end up pulling the hairs out by the roots. Threading is faster than plucking, though, and less abrasive than waxing. The women who perform threading are very talented and create smooth fluid shapes that always look natural.
Take Your Brow Texture into Account
If you have fine hair then plucking is your best option and you may need to fill in your brows a bit with groomer. Coarse or curly hairs do better with threading and waxing and may need a good brow gel to keep hairs in place all day. Asian brows tend to grow downwards so all the same rules apply but brush the hairs down when trimming any wild strays.
If You Make a Mistake
If you have over plucked or need to fill in any gaps (a lot of women loose brow hairs or the brows fade as they age), you can easily remedy the situation with a little brow groomer. A pencil is the quickest way to fill in any sparse areas and powder is the most natural though it does not last as long as a pencil. Brow wax is also great because you apply it with an angle brush and it is colored so you can fill in bald spots while the waxy texture holds the brows in place all day.
Liquid brow corrector is a bit harder to use, but offers the best results. It works like liquid eyeliner so apply a dot on the back of your hand, dab an angle brush in it, then feather it on the brows. It's waterproof so it's great in humid climates. Clear or tinted brow gel will offer a good hold but it's not the best when it comes to filling in holes.
Some great, affordable options are:
Avon Glimmersticks Brow Definer ($2.99)
Ardell Brow Defining Powder ($3.99)
If You Color Your Brows, Keep Them Natural-Looking
Brunettes, keep your brows about the same shade as your hair. If you have black hair, I think you'll look better with brows a shade lighter so the contrast against your skin isn't so stark. Blondes always look good one shade darker for a bit of definition to the face. If you need to lighten your brows, I recommend Jolen's Creme Bleach. That's right, regular facial hair bleach from the drugstore. It lightens brows so naturally and it's really inexpensive. Never leave it on for more than the allotted time.
Jolen Creme Bleach ($4.85)