The thing I get the most questions about, especially from strangers, are my brows. People usually only notice brows if they do a great or horrible job of framing the face. Don’t be noticed for the latter. My standby for years has been the Tweezerman Slant Tweezer. I bought a second pair to keep in my travel bag so that I can be sure I’m never without them. This is important because maintaing brows requires daily attention. Sometimes it only takes 30 seconds, but a daily check to make sure everything is as should be will ensure top-notch brows. This post is a mini-review and a rundown of what I do to shape and maintain my brows. Everyone can have fabulous brows, and the process doesn’t have to involve a spa.
First, you need good lighting. Good lighting is so much more important than people realize. Without it, you won’t be able to see the individual hairs well enough to shape your brows. Most bathrooms aren’t the best place to pluck. My last apartment didn’t have adequate lighting in the bathroom, and my brows paid dearly because I didn’t bother to check them in better lighting. Choose natural light if possible.
The second thing you need is a great set of tweezers. I prefer slant tweezers because the tweezing planes have a lot of surface area, which makes grabbing tiny hairs less infuriating. Please don’t pick up a pair at the drugstore. This pair is well worth the $20. They can remove any hair you can find because the grip is so good. Also know that if you drop tweezers on a hard surface, they often become misaligned. To fix an outward pointing prong, align the side of the offending prong flush against a piece of scrap wood and pull with the direction of the metal grain. To remedy a prong that points inward, close the tweezer on a piece of 320-grit sandpaper (nothing coarser!) with the damaged prong touching the sandpaper. Again, pull in the direction of the metal grain. If you notice that the grip on your tweezers isn’t what it should be, they probably need to be realigned. If you’re not up to the task, send your tweezers into Tweezerman to have them repaired or sharpened free.
Next, you need an eye liner pencil, brush, whatever’s in your bathroom to help you determine the shape of your brows. Use a spoolie to brush brows up and into place, then position your chosen tool on the outer, lower corner of your nose and point it vertically toward your brow. Make sure that the pencil covers the inner corner of your eye. Where your tool hits your brow is where your brow should begin. Tilt the top of your tool so that it covers your pupil, leaving the bottom touching your nose. Where the tool touches the brow is where your arch should be. Repeat both steps for the other brow. I have my arches moved out slightly because that fits the shape of my brows and face better, but the pencil trick is a really good starting point.
Grab hairs that don’t belong as close to the skin as possible and pull firmly in the direction of growth. This helps prevent ingrown hairs. You can also soak a washcloth in warm water and apply it to your brows to open up the area and make tweezing easier. Use a magnified mirror only for maintenance, not when shaping. You’ll end up pulling out too many hairs if you use a magnified mirror for shaping, and one hair can make a huge difference.
When you’re trying to spot all the thin, light hairs that surround the brows, tilt your chin back about 40 degrees. This angle allows you to see these extraneous hairs (especially between brows) much more easily. Finally, trim the hairs that curl and extend beyond the scope of your newly shaped brows. Despite my unruly brows, I often skip this step because I love the look of thick brows. I’ve instead invested in multiple brow gels.
A final word of advice: Spending too much time at once on brows leads to over or mis-plucking. I limit my brow time to 10 minutes at a time. Any longer than that, and I start making mistakes. You can do your own eyebrows. It just takes a light hand, patience and dedication. If you have any other tricks, post them in the comments below!