If your eyebrows are out of shape and looking worse for the wear, the number one solution is (always) to visit a brow stylist you trust who can objectively look at each hair and decide which you need and which can go. But it isn’t always feasible to get to a salon and there are always going to be days when an unexpected event pops up, forcing you to take matters into your own hands.
Don’t panic–you can shape your own brows in your bathroom and do so without removing three-quarters of them. Eyebrow specialist and celebrity brow guru Joey Healy offers his expert tips on how to create a flattering look that will make you appear younger, more rested and more beautiful.
There are three major components when it comes to eyebrows: positioning of the head (beginning), arch, and tail (end). These positions are different on everyone since it’s all based on a woman’s unique bone structure, but here are the basic steps:
1. The head of your eyebrow should begin at the bridge of your nose. This point can be easily found by vertically holding a pencil up to either side of your nose bone. At this point, the brows should begin in a clean, squared off manner (ideally at a 90 degree angle). Never rounded!
2. The arch should be placed approximately 2/3 of the way out toward the temple. One of the biggest mistakes I see day to day is a centered arch. This gives the dreaded “rainbow” shape.
3. The tail of your eyebrow should, at the very least, end on an imaginary line from the corner of the nose to the corner of the eye. You can allow it to extend slightly further as long as that tail doesn’t end lower than where the head begins (this can make the eyes look droopy). Make sure your tails always taper to a crisp point to best lift the eye.
Now that you’re armed with tips on what to do with your trusty pair of tweezers, Healy cautions against making these five common mistakes:
1. Using a magnifying mirror. “By zooming so close, you will instantly fall under a deep tweezer trance resulting in over-plucking,” Healy says. “By getting too detail oriented, you will lose track of the big picture and your brows will ultimately pay the price. Pluck in good light close to your bathroom mirror and continue to step back and assess the overall shape from a short distance. It’s also extremely helpful to use a hand mirror to review the shape from both sides.”
2. Tweezing more than one hair at a time. Patience is a virtue. “Taking just one wrong hair can spell eyebrow disaster,” Healy says. “You must step into your role as an artist and judiciously remove only the necessary hairs with care. To tweeze, use a quality pair of slant tip tweezers, like Joey Healy Elite Sculpting Tweezer. Hold the skin slightly taut, and gently pluck one hair at a time in the direction of hair growth. Remember, you can always take more, but you can’t put them back.”
3. Trimming aggressively. Put down the scissors. “Trimming often leads to unattractive gaps in your shape–this is because when you trim your brow hairs too short, they stick straight out instead of lying down,” Healy says. “Often, it is the longer brow hairs lying flat that give the entire area shape, fullness and depth. The idea is not to trim to make your brow hairs uniformly short. Rather, just take care of the wild, rebellious few that spring up once in a while. Also, avoid trimming brow hairs shorter than half of their natural length–you’ll be left with tell-tale stubs.”
4. Taking too much hair from the top of the brow. While there’s no need to follow the outdated rule that you shouldn’t remove hair from the top of your brow, Healy says caution must still be used. “Simply go after the peach fuzz above the brow and the hair in ‘no man’s land’–the area that creeps across the temple toward your hairline,” Healy says. “Generally, most of the shaping should come from underneath to lift the brow up. If too much hair is plucked from above, it instantly flattens the brow and can give you a scowling effect. Use your best judgment when working above the brow and be sure to keep it to a quick cleanup.”
5. Relying on waxing and threading. “Waxing can cause burns, involves chemicals and will ultimately break down your collagen, giving you wrinkles,” Healy says. “Threading creates brow shapes that are harsh, thin, and asymmetrical. Stick with your trusty tweezers and small trimming scissors for optimal results. Not only is it a chemical-free approach that can be used on all skin types (sensitive, retinol users, etc.); the results are simply more precise and thus more flattering. Artistically speaking, you are given complete control to sculpt the brow in a manner best suited to your bone structure. Additionally, chances of ingrown are highly diminished and it is a method that you can uphold at home.”
After you carefully shape your brows on your own, Healy reminds us not to neglect to take care of them by filling in spaces with a pencil like Joey Healy Brow Architect Stylo or dabbing a bit of powder to them so that they look less sparse. “Pencils can be considered more corrective while powders ‘turn up the volume’ on your shape,” Healy says. “Women should always use waterproof brow products to ensure everything stays in place throughout the day. Choose a color that matches your natural base tone, keeping the color neutral unless your hair is explicitly warm toned (I.e. red heads).”
Finish off with a non-crunchy clear gel like Joey Healy’s Brow Structure Clear Set to hold the brows in place. “The finished brow shape should be harmoniously balanced, never calling too much attention to itself and away from your beautiful face,” Healy says.
For more beauty tips, check out the one skincare product every woman should be using, no matter your age and how to make your eyebrows grow faster.