By Julie Ricevuto, Glamour
The days of tadpole brows and penciled-in shapes are long gone thanks to the likes of bold brow beauties Cara Delevingne, Brooke Shields, and Lily Collins. With show-stopping face-framers being the norm right now, you'd think we could finally dismiss those major brow mistakes as a thing of the past, right? Wrong. It turns out you may be sabotaging your own gorgeous eyebrows without even realizing it. The solution: Remember these tips before your next tweezing session. You'll thank us later!
Eyebrow Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong-Color Brow Pencil
If you have brown hair, you don't necessarily want to use a brown eyebrow pencil. Hibba Kapil, brow expert and founder of Hibba NYC says, "Buy a brow product that's a shade or two lighter than your actual hair color." It looks more natural and less harsh that way. Another tip? If you have highlights, match the pencil shade to the lighter strands for the most genuine-looking finish.
We like Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil ($29, sephora.com), for blending seamlessly with almost any hair color.
Eyebrow Mistake #2: Using a Magnifying Mirror
Magnifying mirrors are great for a precise makeup application, but when it comes to hair removal, not so much. "Be an arm's-length distance from the mirror and use as much natural light as possible when plucking your brows," says celebrity eyebrow specialist Joey Healy. "By viewing your brows too close up, you lose perspective on how much hair you've already taken off."
Eyebrow Mistake #3: Plucking Before a Shower or Bath
It's no secret that tweezing can hurt, but a steamy shower will open up the pores and soften the hair follicle so hairs can glide out easier. Bonus: This also helps limit redness and irritation. Tweeze after your bath instead and it'll be (almost) painless.
Eyebrow Mistake #4: Tweezing Too Often
"Routinely tweezing the eyebrows every day can lead to some serious overplucking," says Kapil. Instead, shape your brows every one to two weeks, depending on your rate of hair growth. By allowing them to grow in a bit, you'll have more to work with and avoid going too thin.
Eyebrow Mistake #5: Applying Skin Care Products to the Brow Area
You wouldn't slather face cream on your scalp, would you? Of course not! So there's no reason to apply it to your brows either. "Avoid getting any lotions, gels, sunscreens, foundations, or moisturizers on or around the brow area," says Sania Vucetaj, expert brow tamer and owner of Sania's Brow Bar. "They seep into the brows and prevent growth, or worse, cause the hairs to fall out."
A good pencil can really up your brow game when used correctly, but many of us tend to be a bit too heavy-handed when applying it. Instead of a hard line, pencil in your brows using short, light strokes for a more natural look. Alternatively, try a product like Glossier Boy Brow ($16, glossier.com), which uses a tapered brush for a clean and effortless application.
Eyebrow Mistake #7: Using Brow Stencils
In theory, brow stencils are a wonderful way to get perfectly shaped eyebrows. In reality, though, one style of brows simply isn't a fit for all. More often than not, the stencil creates a brow that doesn't work with your unique face shape. Ditch the stencil and work off your own natural shape for a more complementary style.
Eyebrow Mistake #8: Making Brows Identical
When grooming your brows, don't obsess over symmetry. Try to shape your eyebrows in a way that ensures they start and end at generally the same points. Keep in mind that your face isn't perfectly symmetrical, so your brows may not be either (as the saying goes, eyebrows should be sisters, not twins).
Eyebrow Mistake #9: Overtrimming Edges
Believe it or not, very few people actually need brow trimming. But if you feel like it's absolutely necessary for you, Vucetaj advises brushing the hairs upward and trimming only the ones that majorly stick out. Remember to never cut into the arch, otherwise you could end up with a choppy finish.
Eyebrow Mistake #10: Misplacing Your Arch
A strong arch is essential for giving you the ultimate sultry gaze (case in point: Marilyn Monroe's perfectly arched brows). An arch too close to the center of the brow, however, could leave you stuck with a perpetually surprised or angry look. Avoid this by keeping the arch two-thirds of the way out from the beginning of your brow, says Healy. This will enhance your eye shape rather than distract from it.
Eyebrow Mistake #11: Forgetting the Baby Hairs
Although those little blond baby hairs might seem like no big deal, their presence truly does make a difference in your overall look. By tweezing or waxing these small hairs, your brow lines will look cleaner and more defined.
Eyebrow Mistake #12: Tweezing Too Much in the Center
For those of us trying to avoid a unibrow, be very careful when tweezing the center area. Widening the gap between your brows can make facial features appear wider. Keep this rule in mind: "The beginning of your brows should never align with your nostril, but rather they should align with the top bridge of the nose," says Vucetaj.
Eyebrow Mistake #13: Plucking, Waxing, or Threading During Your Period
Most women are more sensitive during that time of the month, so hold off on grooming until after your period has ended to avoid an extra-painful hair-removal session.
Eyebrow Mistake #14: Skimping on Quality Tweezers
Using high-quality tools is vital for getting the job done right. Choose tweezers with slanted edges rather than a pointed tip; they tend to be easier to maneuver. Also, make sure you buy stainless steel tweezers to avoid any metals that could irritate delicate skin. One to try: Tweezerman Slant Tweezers ($23, tweezerman.com).
Eyebrow Mistake #15: Tweezing Multiple Hairs at a Time
It's difficult to be accurate when you're pulling out more than one hair at a time. Plus, by grabbing several strands instead of one, you're much more likely to overpluck and create sparse-looking brows (no, thank you!).
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