To paraphrase the Millionaire Matchmaker: “perfect eyebrows — everyone wants them, but not everyone has them.” It is well worth striving for perfection, though, because good brows set a good foundation for your whole face.
To help the over-tweezed amongst us, we turned to Anastasia Soare, a celebrity brow expert and founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, for tips on grooming and maintaining our brows.To start with a good base, Soare recommends getting a professional wax — as in, not from your local nail salon. Most women should get waxed every six to eight weeks, depending on how fast their hair grows. But if you maintain your brows correctly, you could be able to stretch out that time even further. If you’ve got low-maintenance brows, these at-home tips may be all you need.
1. Get the right brow equipment.
Soare recommends to keep these essentials in your makeup bag:
- Tweezers: “A good pair of tweezers will last you a lifetime if you take care of them,” she explained. Get a pair with a slanted tip to you can really get in there are pull out even the finest hairs. Try: Uni K Wax Centers High Precision Tweezers, $11
- A brow pencil: If you don’t have super full, luscious brows, you’ll also need a good pencil or pen. We like: YoungBlood Brow Artiste Sculpting Pencil, $25 or Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil, $22
- A brow powder or wax: Soare recommends her Dipbrow Pomade ($18), because if you’re a little sparse, the powder will have nothing to hold onto. The pomade is waterproof and smudge-proof so it will last all day. “It goes on like a cream but dries with a powder finish for an extremely natural look.” (We also love this powder/wax combo from Topshop Beauty.)
- A brow brush: You’ll also need a great, stiff brush with a spooley (i.e. the tip of a mascaara wand) at the end to blend the product to keep it from looking harsh. She sells a brush/spooley combo tool for $18.
- A brow gel: Whether it’s clear or tinted, it will keep brows in place all day long and set the look. If you have light hair, a tinted brow gel can create an extra bold look. Or, you can use a clear brow gel — or even clear mascara — as a top coat to set your brows. Try: Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel, $22
2. Follow your natural brow shape.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see women making is creating the wrong shape for her face by creating a brow that is either over or under-arched,” Soare explained. To nail the perfect shape, she recommends following your bone structure for your most complementary brows.
3. Trim the longer hairs occassionally.
Keep a pair of nail scissors handy for this very reason. It’s actually an easy way to fake a brow shaping — just don’t go overboard. Trim just the tips of the hair—1-2 millimeters maximum. Then, style with a pencil as normal.
4. Stop over-tweezing — please!
You might think that when it comes to brows that less is more. But remember, ladies, full brows are always in.
“When tweezing your brows, the tendency is to take a hair from one side and try to match it by taking a hair from the other side. Soon you have over-tweezed brows that take months to grow back,” Soare warned. To avoid going overboard, start by drawing an outline of your desired shape with your brow pencil. After creating the blueprint, only tweeze hairs that fall outside the area.
5. Use the right color.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but Soare says she sees women come into her salon every day with brows that are either way off compared to their hair color. The best way to create balance and definition (without overpowering your face) is to go about one shade away from your hair color. “If you have very light hair, you go one to two shades darker. If you have dark hair, choose a shade that is one to two shades lighter,” Soare explained.
6. Conceal stray hairs.
If you have small dark hairs showing through before it’s time for your next appointment, pluck them with your tweezers. Soare also recommended using an opaque highlighter or concealer (we like Clinique Instant Lift for Brows, $17) to highlight the brow bone and bring definition. It’ll also help hide the hairs and tide you over until your next appointment.
7. Ditch the magnifying mirror.
Are you an overplucker? Soare recommended a step away from the magnifying mirror: “It will give you a false perspective of how your brows actually look.” Use your regular old bathroom mirror so you can see your brows in the greater scheme of things. Seeing them as part of your entire face will help you find the best shape and know when to stop plucking.