While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led many of us to take a more DIY approach to our beauty and skincare routines, I’ve always preferred to do my eyebrows myself. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m filled with immense joy when I perfect my arch, or maybe it’s due to the time I went to a waxer and ended up with swollen brows. Either way, it’s become second nature for me to shape and fill in my brows from the comfort of my own home.
It has, however, taken some trial and error to develop my routine — and I’ve picked up some pointers along the way. And, because you can never have too many brow-shaping tips, I also reached out to some industry insiders for their own tricks and recommendations. The result? This definitive guide to shaping, defining, and crafting your brows from home. Here’s what you need to know.
The Tools of the Trade
While everyone has their personal favorite(s) when it comes to brow products, there are some styling and shaping tools that are considered staples for any kit:
- Facial Razor: My tool of choice, a facial razor can help you shape your brows prior to filling them.
- Scissors: Similar to a facial razor, a small pair of scissors (like these from Tweeszerman) can be used to trim your eyebrows before applying any product.
- Tweezers: A classic tool, tweezers give you more control when plucking — and they’re particularly great for shaping the tail.
- Spoolie: Your brows need to be brushed too, and spoolies can be used before and after applying product to lay your brow hair and distribute color.
To set yourself up for success, you might want to consider investing in this quartet before trying your hand at brow shaping.
How to Shape Your Brows At Home
Now that you have the right tools, it’s time to break down the process of shaping and defining. Below is an expert-approved, four-step plan for pro-level brows:
1. Find Your Light
The first step for doing your brows at home? Find good lighting. “Great lighting is key, as it will ensure maximum visibility,” explains celebrity makeup artist Melissa Hernandez. “Make sure to position yourself somewhere with bright, natural lighting.” Once you’ve found the perfect spot, she suggests beginning the shaping process by brushing your brow hair in an upward direction and trimming straight across along the top line of your brow. “Focusing on hairs that are growing past your desired shape,” she says. From there, she recommends tweezing any stray bits in the direction of hair growth “because it will help prevent inflammation and potential scarring.”
2. Pick Your Product
Next, you’ll want to pick the right product to define and fill-in your brows. Celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter says that she looks at brow texture to determine which product to use. Her tips:
- Use a brow gel if your brows are unruly
- Try a brow pomade for lifeless arches
- Brow powders are great for adding color
- Get more definition with a brow pencil
If volume is your concern, fiber-based products can help create the illusion of fullness. “Brow fiber gels are buildable, so you can create everything from a natural to a fuller look,” says Kenna Murray, a national trainer for Amazing Lash Studio. “They are also great to use for securing your brows into place.” You can also mix and match products to create the perfect brow look. I personally tend to use a pencil to define the lower part of my brow and the tail, and then I switch to a pomade to fill it all in.
3. Add Arch Emphasis
Now that you have your product(s) in hand, you’ll want to define your brows — including those tricky arches. “The trick to defining your brows and enhancing your overall eye look is to measure from the outer edge of your nostril up to the highest point of your eyebrow at an angle,” Murray explains. “Mark that point with a pencil — it’s where your arch is.” While your brows naturally have their own arch, you can manipulate the shape. “You can customize your arch based on how much you pluck underneath the peak of the arch,” she says. But tread carefully when removing hairs. “Tweezing one to two brow hairs at a time is the best way to achieve the desired arch, instead of creating too thin of an arch,” Murray notes. This is an especially useful tip for those who have been working on growing fuller brows. As for the tail, many people fail to go far enough with their product. The end of your brow should line up with the outer edge of your nose.
4. Touch Them Up
Now that you’ve shaped and defined your brows, use concealer to clean up any mistakes. If you’re going for a natural look, use a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone. If you fancy an Instagram guru-level look, I recommend using one that’s two shades lighter. The contrast creates a really defined silhouette. Underneath your brow, line the full length with concealer. For the top of the brow, concentrate the coverup on just the outer half, then blend.
Insider Tips for At-Home Brow Shaping
At this point, I hope you’re feeling more confident and ready to take on at-home brow shaping. If you have any lingering reservations, our pros offer these tips:
- Avoid Magnifying Mirrors: The number one mistake brow newbies make when shaping their arches at home? Overplucking. “Magnifying mirrors often emphasize brow hairs that should be left alone,” Hernandez says. Instead, opt for a regular mirror and remember less is more.
- Try a Stencil: If you find that you’re having trouble developing the shape you want, eyebrow stencils are a quick and easy alternative. Our pick? The Anastasia Beverly Hills Classic Stencils five-piece set.
- Start with Scissors: “Sometimes after a slight trim, the brows don’t need as much tweezing,” Linter shares. “Press your finger on your brow and trim off the tips.” As with tweezing, be conservative. “Don’t go too short because then your brow hairs will not lay flat,” she cautions.
While doing your brows at home may seem daunting, start with sourcing your tools (i.e. a facial razor, scissors, tweezers, and/or spoolie) and deciding what styling product(s) are best for you. Once your kit is assembled, you’ll be able to map out your desired shape. When in doubt, remember less is always more and stencils and concealer will be handy extras on your journey to brow domination.
All products featured are independently selected by our editors, however, AEDIT may receive a commission on items purchased through our links.
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