In junior high school, I all but plucked my eyebrows into thin, barely there lines. I’d like to think it was all the rage in 1993, but the truth is, not a single one of us knew how to pluck or shape our brows. Sadly, by the time I recognized the severity of my nearly nonexistent brows, the damage had been done. Try as I might, I was never able to grow them back.
As a result, I’ve picked up some tips from pros and peers for making the best of mediocre brows. Use these tricks to learn how to shape them, fill them and keep them looking polished and on point.
1. Use a Brow Brush
Purchase a brow brush from your local drugstore, and use it daily before applying an eyebrow pencil or plucking errant hairs. If your brows are already full (you lucky woman, you), reach for a bigger brow brush. If you’re planning to use brow powder to fill in your brows, a thinner eyeliner brush will give you precise control.
2. Make Brow Powder Your Bestie
Use an eyeliner brush and a natural shade of brown brow powder that matches your hair color. Many brow powders come equipped with a wax that you should apply first to give the powder something to grip onto. Using short, light strokes, fill in gaps in your brown with the powder – but easy does it! Too much powder can give you a drawn-on look … and no girl wants that.
For those who prefer pencil to brow powder, a great pencil can work the same wonders.
3. Invest in a Great Pair of Tweezers
The difference between a great pair of tweezers and a terrible pair can be as little as $10. Do your brows a favor and spend the extra cash. Cheap tweezers = dis-as-ter.
4. Shape Your Brows
Stencils actually exist to aid your plucking (which, truth be told, would have been really nice to know in the eighth grade). I know some women who swear by them. I, for one, have never met a stencil I trusted. Instead, I follow my brow-line and pluck errant hairs above, below and between my brows, but never interfere with my shape. I leave that part to the professionals.
5. Hire a Pro
I’ve done everything from waxing to threading to hiring someone to tweeze my brows for me. Waxing is the least painful option, but in my experience the most, uh, rashy. I have never met a wax I didn’t hate, and I much prefer misshapen brows to sporting itchy red bumps above my brows for four to six weeks.
Threading is by far the most painful method of brow hair removal. I have never not cried while getting my brows threaded, but it’s almost always worth it when I see myself in the mirror with my gorgeous – and non-bumpy – brows.
Rebecca Woolf is an author, blogger, writer and mother who lives and shops in Los Angeles.