How to Trim Your Eyebrows: A Step-By-Step Guide

Brow trimming

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie

Truth: Trimming eyebrows is probably one of our greatest fears in life—after all, the only thing worse than an over-tweezed eyebrow is an over-trimmed eyebrow. Even as beauty editors, we've inflicted one too many brow-related misdemeanors over the years to even consider doing it on our own—well, until now, that is. Turns out, with the help of some expert A-list guidance, trimming our eyebrows is actually way easier than we ever thought possible. (Add it to the list of grooming-related tasks we've just been over-thinking all these years).

To get an expert-approved step-by-step explanation, we reached out to one of Hollywood's most in-demand brow artists Kelley Baker, as well as brow expert Kristie Streicher.

Meet the Expert

Learn how to groom your eyebrows with these eight simple steps.

01 of 09

Choose the Right Tools

Choose the right tools

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie 

As with anything beauty- or makeup-related, the tools you choose will make a big difference in the ease of trimming your brows. You'll need scissors that are small and easy to use, as well as a spoolie brush with soft bristles. Try the Kristie Streicher The Essentials Eyebrow Grooming Kit ($225)—it comes with scissors that have lightly curved blades and a pointed tip perfect for precision trimming, a spoolie brush that allows you to brush through brow hairs easily, and a pair of chic, vanity-worthy tweezers.

02 of 09

Clip Your Hair Back

Clip your hair back

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie

Especially if you have bangs, clipping your hair back will allow you to see your brows without any disruption, minimizing the risk of over-trimming.

03 of 09

Fill In Brows With a Pencil

Fill in brows with a pencil

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie

Streicher recommends filling in your brows with a pencil according to how you actually "wear" them before trimming. This helps create a visual guide and will avoid over-trimming. To do this, use short, feathery strokes to lightly shade the skin underneath your brow hair, making sure to go against the direction of hair growth to access underneath the hair. Surratt Beauty's Expressioniste Brow Pencil Refill Cartridge ($18) is Streicher's pick because it has the ease of a pencil, gives the soft natural look of a powder, and is refillable. "The precise tip and powdery formula is great for filling in sparse areas and adding fullness and definition to the brow," she says.

04 of 09

Brush Upward

Blend out with a spoolie brush

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie


Baker tells us that in order to assess which brow hairs need to be trimmed in the first place, you have to begin the eyebrow-trimming process by taking a clean mascara wand (or a spoolie brush) and brush all of your hairs in an upward motion—tails included.

05 of 09

Begin Trimming

Trim hairs

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie​ 

Next, Baker advises taking your brow scissors (both experts recommend a pair that is slightly slanted, which provides a superior angle) and trimming the long hairs that stick out above the top of your brow's hairline. Cut the hair where it starts to bend or curl, staggering the lengths for an even more natural look. "Make sure you take your time trimming your brow hairs and don't rush the process," warns Baker. "If you trim the hair too short, your brows will look like they have holes in them."

Streicher says to avoid cutting the hairs straight across or all at once. Instead, use caution to only trim the longer hairs that protrude past the brow line, cutting one at a time. 

06 of 09

Assess and Evaluate

Assess and evaluate

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie

After your initial run-through, it's a good idea to move back from your mirror and assess. In many cases, it's recommended to just stop (after all, we all know how easy it is to just keep going when it comes to brow maintenance).

07 of 09

Trim More and Tweeze If Needed

Trim more if needed

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie

If you find that the brows still look uneven, Baker suggests continuing to brush the hairs up and trimming any strays until they all align with your natural brow shape. When it comes to stray hairs, this would be the time to tweeze them. Normally, stray hairs sit beneath your brow shape. A word of caution: Be careful tweezing above the brow—you'll find very few strays there to begin with.

Always tweeze with a regular mirror versus a magnifying mirror (it could cause you to remove too many hairs). Also, tweeze in natural light so you don't go overboard.

08 of 09

Finish With Styling Gel

Finish with styling gel

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie​ 

To keep brow hairs in place, Streicher says to finish with a styling gel, making sure to brush the brow hairs up and out. We're fans of R+Co Magic Wand Brow Gel ($20) for its strong hold and conditioning, flake-free formula.

09 of 09

The Finished Look

Finished look

Kristie Streicher for Byrdie


Voilà! Perfectly trimmed brows ready for action.

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