We had our fair share of brow blunders in our tweens and teens (read: over-plucked, over-tweezed), and as for us, we were over it fast. Thankfully, the trend has since shifted from pencil-thin arches to full, more natural-looking brows, so we've cast our at-home wax kits and tweezers to the side. It was a difficult breakup, but we've been happy exploring our relationship with powder, pencils, and pomade.
As much as we treat filling in our brows each morning like a therapeutic ritual, we still find ourselves eyeing a killer set of brows on our coffee run or daily commute, thinking, How do I get those power arches? Surely piling on more product isn't the answer, so we went to some of the most well-renowned brow gurus for their expert tips on how to achieve the brows of our dreams. Keep scrolling to learn more!
Celebrity brow expert Tonya Crooks said the most important thing to remember is that everyone has their own unique brow shape: "There are three shapes to brows: an arch, an arc, and a straighter brow. Properly identifying which shape is correct for you is what will lead to your own best brows." Crooks adds that if you're unsure what your natural shape is, go back into the photo archives from when you were younger and had virgin brows, or you can write to her for a free consultation (just visit thebrowgal.com for more info).
Robin Evans Brows, brow guru and founder of Robin Evans Skincare in New York City, says there's an important art to trimming your brows: "For trimming, brush the brows up and trim the longest hairs. Don't take the scissors and cut directly across as this can make them look too choppy." She repeats, "Just trim the longest hairs." However, be sure that your brows are actually long enough to warrant a trim. Says brow expert Sania Vucetaj of Sania's Brow Bar (also in NYC), "Very few women actually need trimming."
Think tweezing is an easy feat? Think again: "Tweezing is the most precise method because you're only pulling a single hair at a time. With brows, every single hair makes a difference and plays a role in the shape of the brow," says Vucetaj. Pressure's on, right? Though she explains that tweezing stray hairs is the best method, since waxing pulls at your delicate skin and threading tugs the hair in every which direction, possibly leading to breakage and ingrown hairs.
Surprised to learn this? So were we. Whenever we do go in to clean up our brows with tweezers (carefully and with a light hand, of course), we always like to get an up-close look. However, Vucetej says that magnifying mirrors cause you to lose perspective and over-tweeze. Of course, if your vision is impaired, having a closer look with a magnified mirror is a necessity—but if you're only using it to try to tweeze every last stray hair, you may be going overboard.
"If you use a brow pencil, make sure that you are using a pencil that matches the tone of your hair—either a warm tone or neutral tone. If the tone does not match, it looks incredibly unnatural," says Crooks. Think of your roots and determine whether you have red or gold tones (warm) or no trace of either color (neutral).
In terms of application, celebrity eyebrow specialist Elke Von Freudenberg says that when using pencils, you should apply the product then blend in the direction that your hairs grow so that the color stays exactly where it's needed.
"A favorite look of mine is to take a clear brow gel and apply heavily to the brow. Then take a sharpened brow pencil and apply in hair-like strokes throughout the brow. The gel turns the pencil into a watercolor and makes the brow pencil look like hair, but very natural," says Von Freudenberg.
If you have very light or gray brows, she suggests using a brow mascara. "I like to apply a brow mascara first and then apply a brow pencil after only in areas where needed. This avoids the heavy drawn-on look."
As much as we love patting our beloved La Mer moisturizer ($85) onto our faces each morning and night, Vucetaj says getting creams, gels, and sunscreens on your brows inhibits growth. As a result, she says that clients who were careful to avoid lotions on the brow area have noticed tremendous growth. Consider our brows a no-cream zone.
What's your all-time favorite brow product? Please tell us below!
Opening Image: Robby Mueller