Woman tweezing eyebrows

Want to know the secret to a perfect brow? They’re imperfect. Ever since Brooke Shields broke on to the scene, woe was the woman who had traded in her eye framing for pencil-thin lines and over-plucked arches. The new eyebrow was bold, untamed and sexy as hell. 

However, that’s not to say tweezers are a thing of the past. After all, not all of us can pull off the Cara Delavigne “thick brows, don’t care” look. Eyebrows frame the eyes, and finding the right frame depends on the picture (your eyes in this case). As they say, if eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are the curtains. So, how can you hang your curtains so that your windows are looking their most soulful? Here are some ways to get plucky with your brows.

Growing Thicker Brows

Now, let’s get one thing straight, there are plenty of gorgeous women out there with thin brows that would give Frida Kahlo a run for her money. Thick brows are not essential for natural beauty. However, if plush brows would make your life complete, there is a way to thicken them up. Before you go to bed, massage your eyebrows for 3-5 minutes with castor oil or almond oil. Eating salmon, nuts and raisins are also known to boost follicle growth.

Determining the Shape

While you’re waiting for your brows to thicken, it may be a good idea to start getting them into shape. The first thing to do is to determine what type of face you have. This will help you with finding the right angle, thickness, and width for your brows.

Oval face:  A full brow will draw attention to your eyes and flatter the balance of the oval shape. 

Round face:  Well-structured brows with angled arches will add definition to a round face. Look for a shape that that follows a straight line to the peak of the brow.

Square: Accented highlighted arches will make square faces appear narrower and less boxy.

Heart-Shaped Face:  A soft round arch will soften the hardness of this wider face shape.

Long: A shorter brow with a low arch will help fill out a long face.

The Pencil Method

When shaping the brows, it is a good idea to locate the three parts of your brow that you want to target. You can use a pencil to help you with this. 

As a general guide, you want to identify:

Where Your Brow Starts: Do this by placing the ‘pencil’ in a straight line along of the side of your nose.

The Highest Point of the Arch: Do this by placing the pencil along your nose, and across your pupil to form a diagonal line. 

Where Your Brow Ends: Do this by moving the pencil so that the end of your nostril is lined up with the end of your brow. 

The Thickness of Your Brow: Starting just above the thickest part of your brow, draw a line below the bottom edge, above any stray hairs and follow the natural shape of the line of your brow. Your brows should be from a quarter to a half-inch thick at their thickest point.


Woman plucking eyebrows

Now is the time to pick up thy tweezers and go forth. Here are a few tips to help you in case things get hairy.

  1.  Make sure you’ve got good lighting and invest in a high-quality pair of tweezers. That’s the main tool of the trade – look for something that grips the hair tightly and tweezes the brow effectively.
  2. Fill in your eyebrows with a pencil before you pluck, to keep you from overdoing it. Using a bright colored pencil, such as white, will make the outlying hairs stand out. Wipe it off using makeup remover when you’re done.
  3. After every few tweezes, stand back from the mirror to get a look at the big picture and evaluate.
  4. After you’ve plucked, use a spoolie brush or eyebrow comb to brush your brows upward.
  5. Trim any hairs that stick up above the brow line using a small pair of scissors.
  6. You may want to apply witch hazel to soothe your skin after you’re done, especially if its irritated or red. 

Filling in The Brows

Woman filling in eyebrows

Filling in your brows can be explained in a few steps. Getting it right can take years. But don’t be daunted, the sooner you start to learn, the closer you’ll be to achieving brows that say ‘wow.” Here are some expert pointers to set you off on the right foot. 

Color: Assuming you’re not going for that “Like a Virgin” era Madonna look, you probably want to keep your eyebrow color close to the color of your hair. If your brows are much lighter than your hair, you can try coloring them with an eyebrow dye. 

Pick your weapon of choice: When you’re looking in the eyebrow section of the beauty store, you’re going to find a lot of options:  pencil, pomade, powder, brow mascara, waxes, gels- the object is to pick the one that fits your look and your skill level. 

A pencil is the most commonly used, it creates a natural look and helps to conceal sparseness. When your working with a pencil, use short hair-like strokes to mimic the look of your natural brows. 

Powders give the brow a softer look than pencils and pomades, which can sometimes look too heavy or create harsher lines. 

If its “go big or go home”, it’s brow mascara all the way. Use the gel and brush for a volumized brow and for filling in the patchy spots. 

Pomades are for darkening brows and creating a bold brow look. 

Waxes and gels are for the ladies with rebellious brows. They have a light tint and keep brow hairs in place.

Basic Guidelines  

Now that you’ve got your weapons in hand, it’s time to start filling like your mamas’ didn’t show you how. Luckily, we can. Here are some basic guidelines so you can fill until you get your fill (right). 

  1. Use an eyebrow brush or spoolie to brush brow hairs gently, line the bottom curve of the brows and fill in the sparse parts.
  2. Create the tail of the brow, if necessary, and outline the top and bottom edges of your brow. Pay attention to the margins of your natural brow and be careful not to apply too much color, especially near the bridge of your nose.
  3. If you’re looking for a more defined shape, try highlighting the skin between the lids and the brows. You can do this by adding a few drops of concealer and blending thoroughly, then applying highlighter under the brow. For a more contoured look, use a light brow color at the head of the brow and a darker color at the arch. 
  4. If your brows are seriously skimpy, and you need real fill action, use a pomade and a slanted brush. 

Mistakes You May Be Making When Your Filling In Your Eyebrows

Think you’ve got your brow routine down, but still looking less natural than supernatural? Filling in your brows is a learning experience – it takes a long time to get it right. To avoid learning from your mistakes until after you’ve taken some really bad selfies, we’re going to tell you which ones to look out for beforehand. Here are some common brow mistakes and how to stop bad brows from happening to good people. 

You’re Using the Wrong Color

Experts advise using a brow filler that’s one shade lighter than your hair color. Using a tone that’s too dark can make your makeup look harsh instead of effortless and natural. For dark brown hair, choose a medium or light brown powder so that the brows complement the face rather than overpower it. For blondes and redheads, a taupe or dark blonde will work best. 

Too Much Highlighter Under the Brows

Adding a highlighter is an effective way of brightening the eye area but using the wrong color can draw attention away from your eyebrows. When you’re using a highlighter underneath the brow, it needs to be subtle. If your using concealer with your highlight, its best to look for a concealer one shade darker than your skin tone. 

Putting Too Much Product on Your Brush

Even if you’re working with minimum hair, you probably don’t need to use as much product as you think you do. Instead of covering the entire brow, concentrate your strokes on the sparse areas. To keep your work from looking too heavy-handed, use a spoolie or brow brush to soften harsh brush strokes. 

Filling In Your Brows When They’re Not Well-Groomed

Filling in your brows when they’re grown out is hard because you don’t have that neat guideline to work with. Getting your brows threaded or waxed makes the process much easier because the shape of the brows is more defined.

 The only time when it may be a better idea to fill in your brows before you groom them is when there are only a few errant hairs.  In that case, the hairs will stand out more after the product is applied. That will keep you from accidentally plucking a hair that is part of the brows overall shape.

Reshaping Rather Than Filling

We’d all like to have Cara DeLavigne-like boxy brows, but not all of us do, and trying to fill in your brows in a perfect rectangle is so not going to work. While some eyebrow shapes are boxier than others, none are rectangular. Even ladies with the fullest brows have some space in between the hairs where skin can be seen. A completely boxed in brow will look overwhelming and unnatural. If you’ve forgotten what your brows look like naturally, revisit childhood pictures and shape brows within those parameters. In other words, think out of the box. 

Woman with mirror filling in brows

You’re Trying to Achieve Perfection

We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect, but when you’re working with your brows, perfection isn’t always the goal. The aim of shaping your brows is to make them look natural, and nature is often imperfect. Brush brows upwards using a light coat of gel to get a full brow quickly.

Expecting Brows To Turn Out Right 

Getting it perfect and getting it right are two different things. In most cases, getting it perfect turns out too obvious to hit the mark. However, most of us have a look that we want to achieve and it often takes a while to get there. Think of it this way, beauty is an evolution. As a woman evolves, she not only gets more beautiful, but she also learns how to bring out her beauty. The more tools you acquire and the more that you learn, the closer you are to nailing your look.