If you usually turn to a professional to shape and maintain your eyebrows, right about now you’re probably wondering how you can deal with your eyebrows at home, given our new socially distanced reality.
Maintaining your grooming and beauty routines isn’t a matter of life or death, of course, but it can be an important and soothing ritual that helps you feel like yourself in an increasingly scary and chaotic situation. I’ve definitely been bit by the beauty bug while in quarantine, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I haven’t touched my brows yet, but now that we’re a few weeks in, I can tell they need a little TLC.
Well-maintained brows take just the right touch and a whole lot of restraint—just ask anyone who over-tweezed in the late ’90’s and early ’00’s. Like me, you may need some guidance on how exactly to shape and maintain your eyebrows at home, so we spoke to two experts to get their best tips. Below you’ll find an overview of the basics, including where to start, how to find your best eyebrow shape, and steps for tackling tweezing and waxing.
Here’s how to discover your natural eyebrow shape:
Start by figuring out where you should tweeze or wax hairs away, because you don’t want to take off too much hair. The key is to determine your natural eyebrow shape first. “I would start by lining up your points using the bottom half of a makeup brush or pencil,” Nicky Cayot, a New York City-based esthetician and brow artist, tells SELF.
Here’s what that means: From the outermost point of the nose, line your brush straight up vertically, toward your eye. This is where your arch starts, Cayot says. From the next notch on your nose, where it would be pierced, line your brush up in a diagonal line moving straight across the middle of your eye; this is where your arch is naturally highest. Next, from that very same point on your nose, slant the brush diagonally to the end of the eye. This is where your brow should end.
If you need a visual, check out 10 Tips for the Best Brows of Your Life, previously published on SELF. And, when in doubt, honor your brow’s basic shape.
Here’s how much eyebrow hair you should tweeze or wax:
Whether tweezing or waxing, your golden rule should be to remove only the smallest amount of hair you can, at least at first, Tee Hundley, owner of Suite Tee Beauty Studio in Jersey City, tells SELF.
“Once you take off too much, you cannot add it back,” she says. “Some like to use a brow pencil to draw a line under the eyebrow where they want their brow line to be, then they just remove all hair under that line.” Hundley says shape is created from the top of the brow, so use a very minimalistic tweeze where there are obvious strays above your arch—or not at all.
Word of caution: Do not trim your eyebrow hairs with scissors.
You may have seen your stylist trim your brows with scissors to create the right face-framing look, but this is really hard to do at home. “Trimming the brows can be tricky and seriously change the shape, and then the look of your face,” says Hundley. “Leave trimming to your brow stylist.”
If you want to better manage your brow hairs, you’re better off using a shaping gel while you wait for your next brow styling appointment. A tiny brow brush is easy to maneuver and manage small hairs. Try ILIA Essential Brow Gel if you want to tame and enhance your arches, or Saie Brow Butter’s clear formula if you prefer to add subtle, barely there definition.
Another word of caution: If you’re not confident in your waxing skills, always tweeze.
Cayot says tweezing is much easier than waxing, and it’s highly recommended for at-home maintenance. “It’s accessible,” she says. “I love the slanted Tweezerman tweezers.”
If you’re interested in eyebrow hair growth, here’s how to approach that:
If you want to let fuller, thicker brows grow in, Cayot says now is your moment. She suggests purchasing NeuBROW Brow Enhancing Serum. “I’ve seen everything under the sun, and this is by far the most brow growth I’ve seen in a product,” she says.