Every once in a while its good idea to take a hard look at ones self and pose the question “Do the way my eyebrows look represent who I am?”. Do your eyebrows, RAISE other’s eyebrows? If while still considering what your brows are about you say to yourself “I’m going for the Whoopie look” or “my eyes are down THERE” or “Hi, my name is BatSHIT crazy”, you should probably step away from the tweezers, take deep breath, and continue reading this article.
Q: Why should we care that the world has decided it is now important to pay attention to our brows?
A: Well, it’s not “all of a sudden”! The world always thought it was important, you just weren’t paying attention. And besides, it’s fun to look fierce as fuck and this just helps us get to the next level.
As if it wasn’t already hard enough to keep on top of all the other crap in our life, we now have to make sure our brows are on point or they may end up on Buzzfeed’s next Top 10 Worst Brows Ever. Eyebrows are like snowflakes. No two are exactly the same. Much like the rest of your body, all your parts are unique to you. No ones face is symmetrical but sometimes wonky brows can make it even more exaggerated. Balancing the brows can assist in balancing all your features.
HEY! It’s going to be OK! Because for the last several decades, every single beauty magazine ever published has included a “how-to” on shaping brows. For the most part, people should REALLY stop messing with their eyebrows. The natural shape is there for a reason. Believe it or not, they have a funtion too! To keep sweat out of the ol’ eye balls. Also, it’s good to flip through a few fashion magazines every once in a while. Most often the womana and men you see modeling clothing or makeup have nice full hardly touched brows. We are not all that lucky though, and if you still insist on shaping them up, you may as well do it correctly.
If you are either looking to shape up your brow routine or fix something you did very late one night cracked out on coffee, I will attempt to absolve you of your latter day plucking sins.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Do you remember that brow diagram showing what shape your eyebrows should be? In case you forgot, it looks like this:
The diagram is showing us the “ideal shape” and sure, it looks good, but I would say its safe to assume only a small percentage of ladies have this natural arch. It’s not a perfect guideline and we really shouldn’t get caught up in trying to match this. However, there are a few lessons we can learn from this:
1. Your brow should start around the same place as where your nostril ends. Take a pencil and line it up and down next to your nostril. (line A)
2. Your brow should end somewhere past the edge of your eye. Grab that pencil, angle it out from your nostril and have it pass by the edge or your eye. (line B)
3. If your brow hairs allow, there should be some kind of angle in there. But don’t be too hard on yourself.
We now have some loose basis of the length of your brow. There are always exceptions to the rule. For instance, some people prefer their natural inside edging that may creep in further than where your nostril pencil suggests. And that is totally cool! This is just a guide line people and there is no need for brow shaming when it comes to an inside creeper. Same goes for the outside. Personally, mine do not grow that far out. But whatever, just work what you got.
BELOW THE BROW
I really think this area of the brow is where people most often go wrong, in terms of shaping. In the diagram above the drawn brow has a perfect lower edge line. No ones brows grow like that!
The purpose of plucking below opens the eye up. It frees up some real estate for your peepers to shine. If your eyebrows are distracting people from making eye contact with you, it is time to hit the switches girlfriend. The trick is to grab hold of those random hairs that are not a part of your main brow. If you are unsure about a hair close to the bulk of your brow-keep it.
Pulling hairs out at random is where most of us go wrong.
How To Pluck
It is also important to plucking the hair correctly. When removing a hair always pull it out in the direction it is growing. Pulling out hairs in the opposite direction can damage the follicle, causing the new hair that grows in it’s place to grow incorrectly. This can lead to rogue hairs or ingrown hairs. Its also important to find a nice pair of tweezers. I like Body Toolz Double End Tweezers, one side is flat and the other side is pointed.
A good trick for removing hairs below your brow without messing with the shape is blocking out the stuff you want to keep. Grab that pencil again and hold it up over your everybrow. Creating a edge will help you focus on the hairs to remove. Another good trick is picking up a handy eyebrow stencil. These can have a duel purpose. One use is using the stencil to fill in your brows with some dark shadow. Okay, yeah you’ll look like Brooke Shields for a few but this will help show what NOT to pluck. Simply remove the hair around your filled in shape, wash off the dark brows and you should have an even shape on both sides. The second purpose is for filling your eyebrows in, stay tuned for a “how-to”.
ABOVE THE BROW
Most of the time, this is not necessary. Some people with dark body hair will find their eyebrows creeping up their forehead into their hairline. Again, the stencil will help you determine what hairs will stay and what to remove. I prefer to pluck my eyebrows over waxing. I pluck almost every night this way I only plucking a few hairs a day. But I do wax the outside top corners of my brow. The hairs grow long and dark into my hairline.
Should definitely go, right?? I don’t think so. I have a technique I use on my boyfriend (sorry for calling you out boo) to help keep his monobrow in check without it looking over worked. I pluck about half the hairs that fill the middle of his brows, keeping a random pattern. Of course, waxing can be a bit easier for guys, one good swipe compared to tedious plucking is a more compelling sell. I find with plucking my boyfriend is less likely to develop ingrown hairs or acne.
Hopefully I’ve uncovered some brow mysteries for you or at least entertained you with my untrained writing style. Remember, you can always get help from a professional. Most hairstylists can shape or wax eyebrows but make sure they have good references. Almost every brow disaster story I’ve ever heard started with “I didn’t know the girl…” or “It was a last minute discussion”. It is your face and deserves a trusted and well trained professional. Waxing mistakes can cause injuries like burns and scarring. YIKES!
PROTIP: I keep a pair of tweezers in my purse. I find my car mirror to be very helpful in pointing out the strays I always miss.