Bigger is better when it comes to eyebrows. It’s a convenient truth for the current situation we find ourselves in. But with quarantine comes more time to examine ourselves in the mirror, and potentially more temptation to make, er, tweaks.
Tackling your own brows is a delicate dance. One wrong pluck can affect your whole face. It’s low on the list of things to be concerned about during the coronavirus outbreak, but if you’re abiding by shelter-in-place guidelines, you may find yourself wanting to clean things up, especially if you typically go someplace to have them done.
Sania Vucetaj, celebrity brow specialist and founder of Sania’s Brow Bar in New York City, has been fielding questions from clients since temporarily shutting down her space in line with the mandated closing of nonessential businesses.
“The first thing I tell them is to stay away from the magnifying mirrors,” she told HuffPost. “People are super bored right now, so the worst thing is to sit in front of that mirror and start going to town with it.”
As with the rest of the hair on your body, ideally you could just let it grow out until you’re able to visit the salon again. But if you’re going to try taming your brows at home, Vucetaj has a few tips and tricks.
Stay outside the lines.
The first thing you want to do, Vucetaj said, is outline your brow shape with a pencil in a shade that matches your brow color (she makes one herself). To outline, lift at the arch and lightly go over the natural curve of your brow. Here’s a helpful video. Whatever lies inside that line is what she calls “the red zone.”
“Step back, make sure they look symmetrical and make sure you didn’t make them too thin, because you’re going to tweeze around that line,” she said. “Once you create a strong barrier, then you tweeze lightly underneath the corners and in the middle ― but that’s it. You don’t want to go into the shape, you don’t want to try to create something. You just want to give a little bit of clean up.”
Take stock of your tools.
It’s worth investing in proper tools like tweezers and scissors for a few reasons.
“A lot of tweezers break the hairs because either they’re too sharp or pointy, which is wrong,” Vucetaj said. “They should have a slanted tip. You need to pull by the root of the hair so you grab it in full, which prevents ingrown hairs and breakage.”
Tread lightly with trimming.
While trimming is not a necessary step for everyone, Vucetaj offered advice on how to figure out whether you need to do it if your hairs have grown long.
“Brush the hairs upward,” Vucetaj said. “If they’re super long and messy, you just trim the very tips — not to create shape, just to keep them neat-looking. If you brush them up and the hairs are sitting layered over each other, you don’t need to trim.”
And in this case, she added, “better to do less more often than too much.”
Watch where you put your product.
If you’re using this opportunity to grow your brows back in, Vucetaj has a tip for promoting growth — not a product, but rather lack thereof. Basically, she recommends keeping any serums, lotions or creams that you typically use as part of your skin care routine away from the area.
“This is a great time to avoid anything on your brows and really let the hairs come through,” she said. “I strongly suggest — and I know from experience — that if you don’t put any creams or lotions on or around the brows, your brows will grow back. It’s really about letting the hair follicles breathe. It’s like your scalp.”
Don’t worry, you’ll bounce back.
Even if you don’t do a single thing, it will be very easy to restore your brows to their previous condition once you can get back to the salon.
“It’s actually going to be better if you let them go because you have more to work with,” Vucetaj said. “Two or three months in the house not doing much to your brows is an amazing thing. Brows is the one thing where the longer you wait, the better they’re gonna look.”
For more information, head to Vucetaj’s Instagram, which is full of information on brow maintenance ― and mesmerizing videos of her staff doing tutorials.