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Eyebrow trends are as cyclical as fashion trends. One day it's all about thick, messy brows, and the next day thin and sculpted arches are all the rage. Regardless, eyebrow mapping has been a constant thread, a method pros rely on to create perfectly-shaped brows (whatever that shape may be).

But it's not just an expert technique: If you love all things DIY beauty, you can adopt this approach at home, because—spoiler alert—it's actually pretty easy. Here, brow experts explain what eyebrow mapping is, plus the easiest way to do it.

What Is Eyebrow Mapping?

"Brow mapping is a process used to create symmetry between both brows when styling," explains celebrity brow stylist Melanie Marris, CEO and founder of Brow Code. "It involves using measuring your brows and eyes to establish the most flattering, even shape for your face," she says. So, while the technique is the same for everyone, it ultimately yields a totally customized end result. It's all dependent on your individual eye and face shape. And it helps prevent major errors, adds New York City brow expert Azi Sacks, such as a brow getting too thin or an arch being pushed too far inwards.

eyebrow-mapping
Credit: Real Simple

How to Do Eyebrow Mapping on Yourself

Use a brow pencil to mark three key points along each brow: the front, the arch, and the tail. "To find the front, place the end of your pencil vertically from the dimple of your nose to the inner corner of your eye, noting where the pencil crosses your brow," says Marris.

To find the arch, lay your pencil from the dimple of the nose towards the brow, but this time turn it slightly diagonally so that it's in line with the outside of the iris—this point is where the arch should be the highest.

Finally, find where the tail of your brow should end by tilting your pencil from the side of your nostril to the corner of your eye, closest to your ear. "These three points will help you to determine the basic shape of your brow," she says. "From there, outline the top of your brow by connecting these points with your brow pencil. Then, outline that same shape along the bottom of your brow." (At this point the thickness is up to you.)

And voilà, you've drawn your perfect brow shape! All that's left to do is tweeze any brow hairs that fall outside the lines to help create symmetry and tidy up your brows.

What to Keep in Mind When Eyebrow Mapping

While this technique is a great, general guideline to follow, it's not an exact science. You're going for symmetry, but think of them as sisters, not twins. The hair in each brow can ultimately grow slightly differently, and one can even have a cowlick while another might not, points out Sacks. Work with the brows you have, and don't get super hung up on making each and every little hair look identical.

Secondly, particularly when it comes to the removing-the-excess-hairs part, go slowly. It's much easier to go back in and remove more than regrow new hair, especially as we get older. "Our brow growth cycle slows with age, and it can be difficult to regrow brow hairs in sparse areas. When mapping and removing hairs that fall outside the desired shape, less is always more," cautions Marris. Avoid the urge to get tweezer-happy and instead pluck one hair at a time, stopping often to reassess how things look.

Finally, if you're not confident in your abilities, or your brows are really overgrown, consider seeing a pro, suggests Marris. Even a one-time visit can help set you up for future success at home. Once they've created the initial shape, you can maintain that at home with brow mapping.