A well-maintained pair of eyebrows is like an expert swipe of red lipstick—while giving your look instant polish and glamour, they can help hide the fact that you’re operating on four hours of sleep—or whatever beauty sins you’d rather not reveal.
A long-time devotee of the power of the brow, I’ve been excited by the focus on brows that’s been trending for the past few years. Even though we may have a certain supermodel to thank for this trend (whose first name begins with a “C” and ends in “ara”), I’m strongly in the camp of finding your natural brow shape instead of trying to make your brows identical to a celebrity’s. Trust me, I once tried an Audrey Hepburn brow on myself, and the effect was just as bad as if I’d drawn Pamela Anderson lips on my own face.
It’s much easier, and far more beautiful, to work with the natural shape of your brow. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a little cosmetic accentuation, of course. The main goal, however, is to let your natural brow do most of the work for you.
Find your natural brow shape. If you’re like me, you started tweezing your brows in your early teens with nary a clue of what you were getting yourself into. From under-aged tweezers use to misguided brow stencils, many of us have dishonoured (to put it mildly) the natural shape of our brows over the years. To get in touch with their natural shape, you’ll have to lay off the brow grooming for at least two months. Only tweeze the hairs that are venturing out on their own, far from any reasonable boundary of your brow. You may want to take inspiration from photos of yourself taken before you did any brow grooming. Finally, the shape of the top of your brow (which people tend to leave mostly untouched) can serve as a guide for determining the angle of your natural arch.
Tweeze with care. Once you’ve established the natural shape of your brow and you’re ready to tidy up, set yourself up in front of a regular mirror where you’re able to see both brows and focus on the big picture (a magnifying mirror can make your eyebrows seem hairier than they are, leading to over-tweezing). Tweeze one hair at a time, preferably alternating between brows to keep them even. For less pain, pull in the direction of hair growth. Pointed, slanted tweezers give you the most control. Flathead tweezers are best for grabbing the fine hairs between the brows.
(A note on tweezing vs. waxing: For best results, leave waxing to the pros. Waxing is ultimately best for nixing the peach fuzz between and above the brows, while tweezing, according to beauty guru Eva Scrivo, allows for more precision shaping, leaving you with a softer, more natural-looking eyebrow.)
Maintain. Once you have a shape that you’re happy with, the hard part is over. Once a week, tweeze any strays hairs. It may be helpful to fill in your brows with brow makeup of choice (see below), then tweeze the hair outside of the brow you’ve defined.
Accentuate your eyebrows with makeup (if you wish). For a brow with definition, use both a brow pencil and a brow powder. Begin with a sharpened pencil in a shade lighter than your brow hair and draw short strokes that resemble brow hair itself (try Anastasia Brow Wiz). Using a stiff, angled brush, follow with a brow powder in an even lighter shade to fill in any gaps (try Lily Lolo Eyebrow Duo). (Matte eye shadow works in a pinch.) Gently blend with a spoolie, and, if you wish, set with brow wax or gel. (Hair spray works, too! Just spray into your palm and apply with a spoolie.)
Chances are, your patience has paid off, and you’ve got gorgeous brows that naturally complement your bone structure. No elaborate redesigning needed.