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Eyebrow Basics

Achieve the perfect brow shape in three easy steps

Step One: Assess

Whether you like full, luxuriant brows or exquisite arches, you can get the shape you desire with or without a professional’s hand. But before you go it alone, remember this: The best brows follow their natural shape. So, with your natural brow as a guide, use an eyeliner pencil to draw the shape you want. Don’t focus on trends; instead work with a brow shape that flatters your face. Practicing with a pencil allows you to see a variety of lengths and shapes before you actually remove the hair. Once you choose the brow shape that suits you, you can move on.

Step Two: Shape

Make sure you have the basic tools: tweezers, cuticle scissors, clear mascara, a white eye pencil and an eyebrow pencil or powder. Looking into a magnifying mirror, use a clear mascara to brush brows upward. Let brows dry so the hair stands up. With cuticle scissors, trim unruly or longer hairs above the upper brow line. Then apply white pencil to hairs below the brow that need to be removed. Tweeze them by pulling in the direction they grow—one hair at a time so the lines of the brow will be just right. Repeat on other brow. Finally, brush brows with clear mascara again to be sure you haven’t missed any hairs.

Step Three: Define

Look in the mirror: Are there any sparse areas? If the head of the brow (which starts near the nose) looks overplucked or the tail looks really thin, you may want to fill the spaces in with powder or pencil. If you go this route, fill in brows one stroke at a time for a more natural look. Powder calls for a light hand; you want to stroke, then blend. Set either look by brushing brows upward with clear mascara. Avoid black pencils or powders for this last stage. Black brows look harsh and artificial. Instead soften with a dark-brown shade.