The goals of eyebrow shaping are to open the eye area, to lighten our overall facial expression, to structure the eyebrow, and to give us a more polished look. Don’t try to produce the “ideal” eyebrow shape; there is no such thing. Every face, and every eyebrow, is unique. Indeed, our eyebrows’ colour, density, and curve will mirror that of our hair. Most importantly, our eyebrows will usually correspond with our other facial features—fine or strong. Destroying this balance will only spoil our look.

In this article you will learn:

  • eyebrow grooming techniques: brushing, trimming, and tweezing.
  • which makeup products to use on your eyebrows.
  • how to avoid and fix the most common eyebrow mistakes.


Eyebrow grooming

If you have enough eyebrow hair, you may want to experiment with the shape and length of your eyebrows; however, keep in mind that the best shape for your face is already in place; it just needs to be revealed and enhanced.

Eyebrows grooming 1

Arm yourself with tweezers having flat slanted ends, and a mirror large enough to see your entire face. Before attempting any drastic measures, clean the contours of any excess hair under, above, and, most importantly, between the eyebrows.

Eyebrows grooming 2

Next, comb your eyebrows in the direction of the hair growth with a lash comb, and cut the longest bristles with a pair of manicure scissors. Note that the direction of hair growth may vary along the brow’s length.

Eyebrows grooming 3

Use light eye pencil or concealer to mark the bristles you intend to remove. Ensure that the shape of your brow is smooth, and that the width doesn’t vary much along the length.

Eyebrows grooming 4

Correct the eyebrow shape by plucking a single row at a time along the bottom of the brow. Start tweezing from the inside corner, working in the direction of the hair growth. If your natural arch is too sharp, pluck the hair above it to smooth the angle.

Work on both eyebrows simultaneously, in turns, pausing occasionally to examine them from a distance. Try to keep them symmetrical; however, don’t worry if they are not precisely the same shape—the two sides of a face are never identical.

Eyebrow makeup

Choose a fill-in shade according to the colour of your hair. For blonde to medium brown hair, the colour of your eyebrows should be about the same shade as the colour of your hair at the roots. If your natural hair colour is dark brown or black, you should fill in your eyebrows with medium brown or grey, depending in your hair’s undertones. Control your overall look by playing with the intensity of the fill-in colour; you can vary it from soft and sexy to strong and sophisticated by applying lighter or heavier makeup.

Choose eye pencil or eyeshadow according to your brow width. On wide eyebrows, thick or sparse, compact matte eyeshadow is perfect for enhancing them with a bit of colour. Fill in thick eyebrows with eyeshadow using a small brush with coarse bristles, or a sponge applicator, blending well. Apply eyeshadow to your skin rather than to your hair, in a very thin layer, creating a soft line without streaks. On thin eyebrows, try a hard powder-based eyebrow pencil. Extend and define the eyebrows by filling in any gaps, making short strokes in any open spaces, and then gently smudging with an eyebrow brush or wand.

Transparent mascara or eyebrow gel are indispensable tamers for unruly eyebrows. Your eyebrows will become naturally sleeker if you use these products regularly.

Common eyebrow mistakes, and how to fix them

Untrimmed eyebrows: Don’t underestimate the contribution that precise eyebrows can make to your feminine look. Take a large mirror so you can see your entire face, and then clean the eyebrow contour of any stray hairs. You will notice a big difference after this small change.

Over-plucked eyebrows: This can occur when you try too hard to copy someone else. Fill in whatever you have left with a soft eyebrow pencil, smudging the line. Try to grow everything back before you reach for the tweezers again.

Comma shape at the base of the eyebrows: This plucking mistake can happen when the hair at the base of the eyebrow grows upward, while the rest of the brow grows outward, forming a sharp angle that is difficult to smooth out. Fill in the gap with a soft eyebrow pencil. Brush any upward-growing hairs diagonally to cover the angle, and fix them in place with transparent mascara.

Eyebrow arches are too sharp: This can happen when the angle of your hair growth changes too sharply at the arch, growing downward past the apex. Fill in the gap under the eyebrow. Brush the hairs at the arches outward, and fix them in place with transparent mascara. Consider plucking the upper contour of the eyebrows, but be careful; observe where every bristle falls before removing it.

Eyebrows are not symmetrical: Normally, your two eyebrows are never exactly the same shape, because the two sides of your face are not identical. However, asymmetrical plucking occurs if you are using a small mirror and don’t take an overall look at your face while shaping your eyebrows. Use a mirror large enough to see your entire face, and try to correct as much as you can with an eyebrow pencil. Only if this doesn’t help should you pluck the thicker eyebrow.

Eyebrow colour clashes with the colour of your hair: This occurs when you dye your hair five or more shades lighter or darker, or if your hair is turning grey faster than your eyebrows. Also, if you have dark but very sparse eyebrows, the gaps between the hairs will look more pronounced. Tinting or bleaching your eyebrows is easier than dying the hair on your head, so don’t neglect it.

Eyebrow tattoos: Tattooed eyebrows are likely to look too harsh, and the shade is almost never right. Even worse, tattoos don’t fade. Don’t do it!