Since long before the term “on fleek” entered our collective lexicons, I’ve been obsessed with eyebrows. My quest for perfection probably began when I was about 10 years old, and noticed that my wily, wild, Scottish-moor-esque eyebrows looked slightly “odd.” Since then I’ve over-plucked, under-plucked, misguidedly plucked, had them waxed on a regular basis, and decided that I’m far too frugal to shell out $20/month. I still don’t shape them correctly, and I fear they might never be as groomed as I’d like. But, here are a few tips so you can learn from my mistakes and hopefully groom your brows into an artful arch.
“They’re sisters, not twins.” If you haven’t heard this before, the statement should be a revelation—I know it was for me. People spend far too much time attempting to attack their eyebrows into symmetry, not aware that they likely never will be perfect matches for one another. In this well-intentioned endeavour, there’s a tendency to over-pluck, over-trim, and generally over-do. Remember, your face isn’t going to be symmetrical, so don’t try to battle your brows.
Know your shape. Don’t go in blind: know (1) what shape will work best for your face, (2) the general areas where you should and should not venture, and (3) the shape you want to emulate. I’m in love with Cara Delevigne and Lily Collins’ thick, subtly tamed looks, but that also doesn’t work for everyone (including myself). Unless you’re Claudette Colbert or another ‘20s starlet though, you likely don’t want to go fine-liner thin. Some good in-betweens are Camilla Belle, Emma Watson, and Elizabeth Olsen. Start paying attention to what brows you envy, and see how you might echo those looks.
Take a step back from the mirror. I’ve been guilty of this on many an occasion, but try not holding the mirror so close that your nose smashes against it; if your breath is fogging up the glass, you might be too close. Not only does the fogging glass leave horrendous streaks on your mirror, you’ll also be seeing every little hair—increasing the likelihood that you’ll over-pluck. At the very least, take a solid step (or three) back after every couple hairs removed. This will give you a better idea of the big picture.
Work what yo’ mama gave you. Those brow models I mentioned? Remember, the reason their eyebrows look good is because they worked with their natural shape. Keep that in mind, and once again, don’t try to battle your brows.
Exercise caution. You can always pluck, polish, and perfect later, but it takes more effort (and time) if you go too far. If you’re worried, set your tweezers and brow scissors to the side and return to the mirror in a day.
Turn to the pros. If you have the money, get a brow arch by a professional. Whether you’re getting waxed or threaded, make sure you’re clear about what you want. If you don’t have the cash, watch lots of videos on YouTube for tutorials. You can learn, young grasshopper.
Fill your brows in. There are a lot of different ways to fill ‘em in, and doing so is not just for sparser areas; filling in your brows helps to make them look more groomed and complete. I’ve used brow mascara, powder, and Maybelline’s Define a Brow pencil. My current preference is the brow mascara because it also keeps your hair in place, but the powder and pencils are best for filling gaps. Just remember, use a shade that’s slightly lighter than your natural colour, so you can build up the product; use a thin, angled brush for powder; and use a clean spooly brush to comb through and evenly distribute product once you’re done.
Hopefully these tips, developed over years of attempting and frequently failing to groom myself have helped you in your endeavours! If all else fails, remember that they’ll grow back.