“Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a right brow shape for your face shape,” says Zoey Van Jones, owner of her namesake brow studio in Pasadena, CA. Simply put, the goal is to get the best brow you can with the brow that you’ve got. Here, helpful hints on making the most of your pair.
Use a Stencil.
If you’re a brow-shaping novice, invest in brow stencils. Van Jones sells a set—ZVJ Eyebrow Shaping Stencils ($35, shopzoeyvanjones.com); other companies offer them as well. These act as a cheat sheet so you know where to fill in your brows, and more importantly, prevent you from botching them. Hold the stencil over your arch, letting the front and end of the brow fall as they will.
Identify Your Shape.
If you don’t have a stencil, use a makeup brush handle or rattail comb (any long, slim, straight object works) to determine where your brows should begin and end. First, hold the handle up to the high point of your nostril, then follow it up to your brow. That’s the spot where your brow should begin. In the past, experts referenced the side of the nose as the marker, but that results in brows that are set too far apart. To locate your arch, hold the handle at the side of your nose, angling it so that it cuts through your pupil. To find where your brow should end, move the handle to the side of your nose, angling it so it reaches the outer corner of your eye.
Fill in Your Brows.
“Tweezing naked brows is the biggest mistake women make—you want to fill them in first, then tweeze around them,” Van Jones says. “You would never cut fabric without marking it—the same theory applies to your brows.” Using a pencil or powder and an angled brush (eye shadow works too), draw light strokes at the bottom of your arch. Most women start at the front, resulting in uneven brows that are heavier in the front. Another good tip: Keep your brows flat when filling them in, opposed to raising them like you do when you apply mascara. Once you’ve filled in the arch and tail, fill in the top of the brow, moving toward the front. Keep in mind: A good eyebrow should have a rectangle in the front and an elongated triangle as the tail. Double check that your brows are parallel by lining up the handle of your brush at the points discussed above.
Tweeze Outside the Lines.
Now you’re ready to remove any stray hairs that fall outside the lines. Remember that less is more and that removing only one or two tiny hairs make a big difference on the overall look of your brows. And don't use a magnifying mirror—that will tempt you to tweeze too much hair and results in super thin brows. If the hair in your brows looks too long or droopy, trim it. Comb your brows up, then cut just the tips (about one-sixteenth of an inch) with brow or cuticle scissors.
Conceal any redness caused by tweezing with a dab of concealer and apply highlighter under the the brow to fake a mini eye lift (or just a good night’s sleep). Using a spoolie (a soft brush that looks like a mascara wand without the mascara), comb brows upward, then set them in place with a tinted gel.
Plus: Here are our favorite eyebrow-shaping tools.