When fixing up our eyebrows for the perfect look, it's easy to fall into some bad but ultimately time-saving habits. It's hard to change these habits once they've formed, but in the end, it's often better for our look and even our health when we decide to make better choices.
The thing is, when it comes to eyebrows, we have to be careful. If we make a huge mistake like accidentally shaving half the brow from our faces or plucking way too much, there's very little we can do to hide it. Even with tons of makeup, it'll still be obvious our left brow came into contact with a razor or our barely-there eyebrows were severely over-plucked in what may or may not have been an attempt at getting them to appear symmetrical.
What are the best ways to handle our eyebrows and what are the habits we need to drop? Thankfully, there are tons of sites with experienced beauty experts who are only too happy to share their opinions (and back them up with years of experience and even scientific evidence). If you want to learn the best methods for eyebrow prep, look no further. Here are ten truths about eyebrow-makeup prep you need to know and ten claims you need to forget:
20 DO: Plan Your Eyebrow Shape
Every person has their own ideal eyebrow shape that is dependent on the natural curvature of our bones. According to Women's Health, the best way to find the best eyebrow shape for your facial structure, all you'll need is a simple pair of tweezers.
Hold them with the opening pointing toward the floor and place the tweezers vertically along the outer edge of the bottom of your nose. If the tweezers are straight, the other side will be along the edge of your eyebrow, which is where you should mark with an eyebrow pencil.
Any hair beyond that line should be plucked.
To see how far the other end should be, just angle your tweezers against your cheek so the open end rests at the bottom of your nostril and the other is along the corner of your eye. Mark the closed end on your eyebrows and pluck any hairs beyond that point. For your peak, it should be right above the outer rim of your iris and lie right on your brow bone. However thick or sharp you make your brows and the peak are at your own discretion.
19 DON'T: Freestyle Pluck
Make sure to follow the instructions in the section above when you're ready to pluck your eyebrows. Failure to do so can lead to a few issues, such as not having symmetrical shapes, over-plucking or over-thinning your eyebrows.
When you're first starting to shape your eyebrows, you'll need to ensure everything is symmetrical. Once the shape has been drawn on, you can shape your brows and handle the maintenance later. You can absolutely freestyle pluck once the shape has been set because at that point you'll just be focusing on the new growth, but don't try to shape by plucking without first ensuring the end result.
18 DO: Use Tweezers At Home, Or Get Your Brows Professionally Wax Or Threaded
When it comes to our eyebrows, there's little room for error. If you'd like to tweeze from the comfort of your home, go right ahead. If you'd like to give wax or threading a try, call around town and look for some great deals.
By going to a professional, you'll learn the ins and outs of waxing or threading.
More often than not, you'll also be privy to some hygienic information most people don't even think about. By going to the professionals first, you're able to learn what to do prior to a wax or threading, what safety and hygiene practices to follow, and you're also with licensed professionals who can answer your every question.
17 DON'T: Use Razors, Try To Wax At Home, Or Thread Without A License
If you're trying to save some money, it makes sense that you'd try to just shave, wax or thread your eyebrows from home. Unfortunately, these methods are extremely unforgiving.
If you make a mistake, that's it. You're stuck having to go all the way by getting rid of your eyebrows completely or you're going to look pretty funny for a little while. Without a license, you're threading and waxing at your own peril. You haven't had formal training and little mistakes can be disastrous. Save yourself the embarrassment and just stick to plucking until you can see a professional or take some classes to learn the ropes.
16 DO: Use An Eyebrow Pencil, Powder, Or Gel
There are several products for great looking eyebrows, such as the traditional pencil, newer gels, and even newer powders. Each has its own merits and is appropriate for various occasions.
The pencil is known for its great job filling in bald or patchy areas, while the gel is known for giving your eyebrows a thicker, sometimes glossier, brow.
According to Marie Claire, the powder helps tint your brows to give an illusion of a shadow, rather than strands of hair, which results in a more natural and appealing look. Whichever you choose, just remember not to go crazy - add just enough to make your eyebrows appear naturally full.
15 DON'T: Use Products With Glitter
We all love shiny, sparkly things, but like most beautiful things in this world, there is a time and place for glitter. Unless you're heading out to a costume, sports or cosplay party, leave the glitter eyebrows at home.
Not only does glitter tend to literally flake all over the place, but it also gives off an unflattering look when you're trying to appear professional or casual-nice. It's great for wearing your team's colors or to add a lot of fun to a specific look, but overall the glitter brow needs to stay tucked away for an appropriate time and place. Like Halloween.
14 DO: Try Eyebrow Stencils
If you don't have the patience or are too nervous to try the brow shaping technique listed above, you can always play it safe by purchasing an eyebrow stencil. They come in various shapes and sizes.
This allows you to customize your look and get a feel for what might be best for your facial shape and features.
Once you've picked your favorite stencil, it's all a matter of lining it up over your natural eyebrows and drawing on the shape you desire. After the shape has been determined, all you need to do is pluck whatever doesn't fit within the lines.
13 DON'T: Try To Make Zig-Zags Or Other Designs
Trends come and go, it's their nature, but the one thing that people have tried and failed to pull off are all the different eyebrow trends. In terms of thickness, there have been certain looks, but when it comes to shape, having an arch and keeping them within the natural shape of your brow and eye socket structures have always been key.
When you try to feather, create zig-zags or squiggles, or shave shapes into your eyebrows, you're making a statement and that's perfectly fine - just don't expect it to catch on. These trends often leave eyebrows looking messy instead of stylish, so you may be better off playing it safe and sticking to more traditional looks.
12 DO: Match Your Brow Color To Your Hair Color
Our eyebrows are often a shade lighter or a shade darker than our natural hair color. According to Hair World Mag, you should dye your eyebrows to match your hair to create "a cohesive and natural look." If you're not interested in dying your brows, you can also consider something more simple like coloring your brows to look like they match your hair color.
Style Caster gives us a general rule of thumb: remember that if your hair is light, keep your eyebrows one shade darker.
If your hair is dark, go with one shade lighter.
If you have ultra-light hair, like natural blondes with fair eyebrows, darken your brows more than just a single shade to show that they're there.
11 DON'T: Make Your Brows Different Colors From One Another
Whether you've got the rainbow hair going on or you decided you felt like becoming a brunette, remember your eyebrows help frame your face. They're meant to enhance other features, not take over your entire look. Even Teen Vogue says you should take it easy with the more creative trends.
Having two different colors or fun colors like bubblegum blue brows may be cute, but it just isn't practical in most situations, such as school, work or any kind of formal event. It's okay to have fun with your look but make sure to restrain yourself in classy or more social situations.
10 DO: Keep Your Eyebrows Thick And Luscious
Thick eyebrows weren't always the fashion, but these days thicker is better. According to The Indian Express, the natural arched eyebrow is the look to go for this year. It's also called the "Textured Brow," where the focus of your look should be the creation of depth rather than overly focusing on shape.
Your eyebrows should appear natural, which of course means you can't over-pluck or over-shape.
Embrace whatever your natural eyebrow shape is and while you can still pluck unwanted strays, keeping them as low-maintenance as possible is the freshest look of 2018. If you're tired of constantly plucking, maybe it's time to try the Textured Brow!
9 DON'T: Go For The Pencil-Thin Eyebrow Look
The 90's was a great decade where comfy clothes and super thin eyebrows were everywhere. While a lot of 90's trends are making a comeback, the teeny tiny eyebrows are definitely not.
The thinner your eyebrows are, the less they can frame your face. Over-plucking or small accidents can happen, but unless you're more interested in drawing your eyebrows onto your face, it's better to just keep them thicker and more natural.
Studies have proven faces with thicker eyebrows make you appear younger, so don't make the mistake of pulling all your hair out - hold onto it and use the look to your advantage.
8 DO: Exfoliate Your Eyebrow Area
Most of us grew up thinking the only thing we ever had to do with eyebrows was pluck and maybe fill in certain areas.
So few of us were taught to take extra care of them, so here's some advice: Exfoliate your eyebrows!
According to Byrdie, it will leave you with healthier skin and can stop the formation of ingrown hairs. You don't need to go crazy and start buying expensive eyebrow exfoliators from the priciest shops, just buy something that is appropriate for your skin type (sensitive, oily, dry) and gently massage it into your skin in a small circular motion, then wipe your brows clean with a damp cotton pad or cloth.
7 DON'T: Use Too Much Brow Gel Or Skincare Cream
Brow gel is perfect for securing your brows in place, particularly when you have long strands of hair. While the gel is usually clear, it can also appear in different colors, to shape and fill your brows at the same time.
Like so many other things in this world, a little goes a long way so please use the gel sparingly! The same goes for skin care cream. Too much of a good thing is bad, meaning too much gel can make your brows look like plastic stick-on eyebrows instead of a natural brow, and too much cream encourages bad bacteria to hang out and turn into pimples! Keep your face clean and go easy on your products.
6 DO: Try An Eyebrow Serum To Speed Up Hair Growth
Whether you've accidentally shaved off more than you meant to or your eyebrow hair just isn't as thick as it used to be, eyebrow serums are a great way to get your hair to grow in nice and thick.
There are several products on the market but there's not one single serum to rule them all.
You'll have to purchase brands that you feel will cater to your needs and contain the ingredients your body can handle if you'd like to get the best results. Most people don't really need to worry about using a hair growth serum, but if you're tired of filling in your brows or if you're noticing your eyebrows are thinning, it's time to get proactive.
5 DON'T: Shave Off Your Brows In Hopes Of Thicker Strands Growing Back
This is definitely an old wive's tale. Shaving hair from your head, or any other body part for that matter, isn't going to encourage your hair to miraculously grow in thicker. If it did, we'd encourage balding people to start shaving in hopes of regrowing stronger, thicker strands.
If you're hoping to thicken your eyebrows, shaving is not the way to go. There are several products on the market to help you look like you have thicker brows as well as products that literally help you grow thicker strands of hair. Don't give in to the old "remedies," either fill your brows in with pencils, shaping, and powders or turn to the serums.
4 DO: Maintain Your Brow Shape About Once A Week
Once you've got the shape of your brows looking perfect, leave them alone! It cannot be stressed enough - your eyebrows will not require daily maintenance unless your hair literally begins growing back in and you've got five o'clock shadow on your eyelids.
There's no reason to pluck the day after you've had your brows shaped by a professional or you've after shaped them yourself.
Let your poor eyes recover from the waxing, plucking or threading. Let the hair grow back and remember it's better to maintain than constantly hover near mirrors, tweezers at the ready. Your brows will thank you for it, we promise.
3 DON'T: Pluck Daily
According to Medscape, plucking away can cause ingrown hairs, distorted follicles, pain, scarring and more. If you over-analyze your eyebrows after already shaping them, you may over-pluck your hair, which distorts the shape you originally created.
Over-plucking can also do a number on your face. If you pluck every single day, you're increasing your odds of getting the ingrown hairs, scarring and inflamed or distorted follicles. Once your brows have been shaped, be patient and give your hair a chance to grow back before you start plucking, waxing or threading away. It should take about a week for your hair to grow in enough to be plucked.
2 DO: Read The Ingredients In Your Beauty Products
You don't need to have sensitive skin to react to ingredients in your makeup products. If you know you're allergic or intolerant of certain ingredients, take a few minutes to read up on your favorite or newer cosmetics. Is that new eyebrow pencil safe for you? Does it contain anything you may react negatively to?
Don't wait until you try it on to see if you'll get a reaction (unless you don't know if you're allergic to anything in specific or not).
The best thing to try when using new products is first to read the ingredients, then try to use a little bit in a small spot and wait a few minutes to see if you react to it. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
1 DON'T: Buy Whatever Is Cheapest
We all know how pricey makeup can be, so it's really tempting to try that dollar store mascara or purchase that eyebrow pencil that's suddenly on sale two for a dollar. Unless it's a brand you're familiar with, don't bother buying cheap.
Not all products are created equal and the lesser quality ingredients tend to be found in the cheaper products. This doesn't mean all affordable cosmetics are bad, it just means you should practice caution when it comes to new, but extremely cheap, makeup. By all means, give them a try but always keep some of your trusted brands on hand, just in case the newer, more affordable products can't deliver what they promise.