With eyebrow shaping you take your appearance to a new level of beauty. A well-groomed brow line creates the subtle difference that will affect the overall look of your entire face. To demonstrate this effect, draw a simple face on a piece of paper leaving the eyebrow area blank. With a light pencil, try out different eyebrow shapes to conceptualize the impact that the brows have to change not only the look, but also the overall expression and emotion of the facial features.
General Guidelines for Eyebrow Shaping
Determine the Correct Shape
Eyebrows come in many different shapes; only one will be right for your face. Start the eyebrow shaping process by determining the correct design for your face and features. You will need a thin eyeliner pencil to start.
- Hold the pencil against the side of your nose, vertically, straight up to where it meets the brow. This is the spot where your eyebrow should start.
- As a guideline, make a small mark with the pencil there on your skin.
- Next, turn the pencil at an angle, holding it against the nostril, so that it crosses over the center of your eye. Notice where the pencil now intersects the eyebrow, this is where the peak of your arch should start.
- Make another mark on your skin as a guide here.
- Keep moving the pencil at an angle against your nostril until it meets the edge of the outer eye. Where the end of the pencil now meets the eyebrow is your eyebrow's ending point. Make another mark on your skin here.
Using these three marks on both eyes provides you a general guideline on how the shape of your eyebrow should be based on the shape of your face. You can also use an eyebrow stencil, if you are unsure about your shape.
The other consideration for the correct eyebrow shape is the thickness. Ideally, the impact of your eyebrows should balance with the rest of your face and hair. If you have thick hair with larger facial features, your eyebrows should be thicker and more dramatic. In contrast, if you have thin hair and petite features, your eyebrows should be more subtle.
Before you begin your eyebrow shaping, gather all your tools - tweezers, brow brush and small scissors.
Trim Before Tweezing
Begin by checking to see if your eyebrows need a trim. Eyebrow hairs are longer than most people realize, and simply trimming them can be enough for some faces. When the hairs are lightly cut, not only will it decrease the brow density, it also helps the hairs to lie flat - instantly creating a clean line to your brow.
Always trim before tweezing, not after, as you might end up removing some hairs that just needed to be trimmed. Start by brushing the eyebrow hairs straight up with your brow brush, then trim any stray hairs that extend past the upper brow line. Next, brush all the hairs straight down and trim the hairs extending past the brow line underneath. After you have done your trimming, brush all the hairs back into place.
When to Tweeze
Tweezing can be a painful process for some, so to ease the discomfort, you should pluck after a steamy shower or a warm face washing. This will help the pores to open and enable the hairs to remove easier. If you are particularly sensitive, slightly numbing the area with ice before tweezing will also help.
How to Tweeze
Always make sure that you have good lighting when eyebrow shaping. Using the previous method for ensuring the proper shape, follow the marks and tweeze the hairs in the direction they grow. Move back and forth between the brows after every couple of plucks, to ensure proper symmetry.
Adding to your Brow Line
For those of you with sparse eyebrows, tweezing is not necessary. Instead, build your eyebrows back to a proper shape. Selecting an appropriate pencil color is crucial, so test a few at the makeup counter to be sure the color is right. Some makeup artists also recommend an eyebrow powder, which looks less intense on your face.
After you have the correct tool for adding color, you will need to find the previous shape of your brows before they began to lose their hair. Look at old photos if you can't remember, or try the technique described above with the pencil for guidance. Fill the area with hair like strokes of the pencil, or up and outward strokes of the powder wand.
- For pale or thin eyebrows, try tinting as it looks more natural than an eyebrow pencil. Just be sure to use a professional, licensed cosmetologist, and never try tinting at home. You don't want to risk your eyesight, just for beauty.
- Embrace the natural shape of your eyebrows and don't try to change them completely. You are born with the correct eyebrow shape for your face, so let it guide you.
- Preview the look of your eyebrows before shaping by hiding the hairs with a white eyeliner pencil.
- Avoid overdoing eyebrow shaping, as less is truly better. Thin eyebrows tend to make your face look instantly older.
- Tweezing is usually more effective than waxing as the wax process can lead to a change in the hair direction and skin texture if overused.
- Ultimately the point of eyebrow shaping is to adjust the viewer's focus away from your eyebrows, to your eyes instead.
- While it is not preferred to completely change your eyebrow structure, you can make minor changes to what nature recommended in order to alter some eye appearances. For example, remove a few extra hairs from your eyebrows at the starting point to make close-set eyes appear wider.
- Consider permanent makeup techniques if you have very sparse eyebrows.
Hire a Professional
If you are still nervous about eyebrow shaping, consider hiring a professional. The technique is usually not an expensive procedure at most beauty salons. At the very least, you can pay for one session and then simply pluck the stray hairs at home for maintenance.