We’ve discovered the power of a good lipstick and a lash-lifting mascara, but don’t underestimate the importance of good eyebrows. A flawless set of arches can do wonders for the entire face the way a good haircut can. While some of us are naturally blessed with good brows (hello, Cara Delevingne and Emilia Clarke), others need a little help.
Like eye color and face shape, all eyebrows are unique. Some are thin, some are thick, some are sparse and some are so full they don’t need any brow pencil. Half the secret of having good arches is understanding your natural eyebrows and how they should be shaped to suit your face. The other secret is avoiding some of the most common brow mistakes.
It’s easy to think waxing, plucking, microblading and putting on a makeup case full of brow products are the secret to flawless arches, but they may not be doing brows any favors. Over-grooming can actually be worse than not doing anything. Just think back to the days you over-plucked your brows as a naive teen. Whoops.
To prevent any brow regrets, we asked the experts to divulge the most common eyebrow mistakes people make and how to fix them, in case the damage has already been done.
1. Using a magnifying mirror to remove brow hairs.
People who have magnifying mirrors swear by them because they help us see every single brow hair that needs plucking. But Chey James, national brow artist at Le Métier de Beauté, says using a magnifying mirror usually causes over-plucking.
Solution: Accidentally over-plucked? Put the tweezers down. Trying to correct it can often make things worse. It’s better to focus on enhancing brows with pencils and powders while waiting for them to grow back.
2. Trying to shape eyebrows after getting them professionally done.
Sabah Feroz, Blink Brow Bar eyebrow expert, reveals that she encounters clients who try to maintain their brows between visits, but they’re unsure about what brow hairs to remove to achieve their desired shape. This can result in over-plucking or ruining the professional shape. Sound familiar?
Solution: Feroz states that those who are unsure about where to pluck their brows should avoid the area altogether and only pluck the stray hairs. Let professionals handle the shaping.
3. Removing too many hairs between brows.
According to beauty expert Jessica Jara, people have a tendency to over-pluck between their brows to get rid of a unibrow look.
Solution: Once the damage is done, allow brows to grow out while using brow color to fill in the area. Once brows have grown back, go see a professional to get them shaped. Those who prefer to pluck their own eyebrows can hold a pencil vertically along the nose as a guide. The brow should align with the bridge of the nose so avoid tweezing beyond that mark.
4. Not maintaining brows while growing them out.
Waiting for over-plucked brows to grow out can be a painful process, but there’s more to be done than just waiting. Use brow makeup to enhance eyebrows and create the shape as they’re growing out.
Solution: While letting brows grow, Feroz suggests using a brow product to assist in the regrowth process followed by a brow enhancer that will help create the desired look. After brows have grown out, visit a professional to get them shaped.
5. Using the wrong brush with brow products.
Just like with any makeup, having the right tools to apply brow products is key. Jara cautions that using the wrong brushes with cream or powder products results in messy and unnatural lines.
Solution: She suggests using a thin, angled brush to make strokes appear much more natural.
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6. Filling in brows with a too-dark pencil.
Another common brow mistake that James sees is clients with dark hair using black pencils or powders to fill in their brows. The end result can be too harsh.
Solution: James suggests people with dark hair should use a dark brown pencil as opposed to black because the former is much more flattering.
7. Not using brow measurements.
When it comes to filling in brows, don’t guess. Measure. Feroz reveals this is especially important for those with asymmetrical brows.
Solution: Feroz suggests mapping out the start of the brow, the arch and where the brow ends with a brow pencil. Then outline the brow shape ensuring they are symmetrical. Next, fill them in and blend the color for a natural-looking result.
8. Forgetting to use a brow tamer or brush.
Applying a brow pencil or powder enhances brows, but not brushing it out can result in a harsh finish that won’t fool anyone.
Solution: Feroz states that the final step in correcting or defining brows should be using a brow tamer or a brush to ensure a natural look. Swipe the brush through brow hairs to disperse the product.
9. Skipping brow gel.
Like a good hairspray, brow gel is the finishing touch that helps eyebrows stay in place. This gives them a groomed appearance and shows off their shape.
Solution: Jara says that brow gel should be applied after the filler or color has been applied and blended. Those who don’t need any additional color can use a clear gel.
10. Thinking brows should be identical.
Most of us spend ages trying to get our brows to look exactly the same. But as James explains, “Brows are sisters, not twins. Work to make each brow perfect, not identical!”
Solution: Stop trying to pluck brows until they are mirror images of each other. As James says, try to make them look similar. When applying brow products, define each one and ensure they’re balanced. In other words, check to make sure one brow isn’t drastically darker than the other.
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