Eyebrow shapes come and go in fashion through the years, which is one reason why you may want to think twice before doing anything permanent when shaping your eyebrows. Compare, for example, the thin arches of Paris Hilton around 2000 to Brooke Shields’ luscious, full brows in the early 80s.
Eyebrow Shaping Tips
There are many ways to shape eyebrows. Shaping brows is a combination of removing unwanted hairs from the brow line in a conscientiously planned, controlled manner and adding color, width, and the appearance of volume to the overall brow line.
Methods to Shape by Removing Eyebrow Hair
For removing unwanted hair, there are several methods.
The most common is the judicious plucking with a pair of tweezers. The benefit is that this can be done at any time, anywhere, and is free. One of the downsides of this method’s ease is that it can lead to overplucking, causing overly thin brows over a long-term habit.
The practice of threading to shape brows has been used in India and other areas of the world for thousands of years but has come to be appreciated in the West only in the last few decades. A skilled technician takes two threads and twists them against the hairs of the brow, quickly removing the hair. It’s good for sensitive skin, but consumers are advised, as with all salon procedures, to ensure hygienic conditions.
Some people find tweezing and threading more painful than waxing as they take a bit longer to do. Waxing is the quickest way to remove excess brow hair and generally very good for thicker brows. If you’ve ever broken out in spots after threading, waxing is a good alternative. You can even buy a quality professional waxing kit such as Nacach’s Soft Wax Kit, which is perfect for eyebrow waxing and comes with not just a wax warmer and wax, but pre-waxing lotion and post-waxing care.
Many people have never heard of sugaring, but it offers a gentle alternative to waxing with some of the same principles, only using warmed sugar and water instead of wax. To make it easier than trial and error on your own, use professional sugaring techniques and sugar paste. Using a warmer like this Sugar Paste Heating System ensures your sugar paste is heated to the correct temperature.
Methods to Shape by Adding the Appearance of Eyebrow Hair
Any conversation about how to do eyebrows wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t mention some of the ever-expanding techniques and products to define the shape of eyebrows and enhance their appearance through additive methods. A Google search for “eyebrow products” returns over half a billion results. Here are just a few options that can be combined with removal techniques mentioned previously.
Brow-holding Waxes / Gels / Mascaras
Many women have relatively long eyebrow hairs that can look more beautiful if combed into place. There is a variety of “mascara”-type products that typically come in a clear gel with wands that enable you to both comb and hold brow hairs in position. You can also find brow mascaras in slightly tinted shades if a little color is desired to define blonde eyebrow or cover grays in the brow. Brow-shaping waxes (not to be confused with waxes to remove brow hair) are sold in pencil form and can also be found as small pomades filled with wax to apply with a brush to shape and control brows.
Powders can come alone or as a part of a kit, with either a waxy base or a waxy pencil to apply before brushing on the powder to make it last.
The newest devices are “microblading pens,” which have from one to four very fine tips to draw the look of individual hairs on the eyebrow. It’s a bit of the opposite of brow powder’s effect because it aims to create distinct hair strokes rather than just shade-in the brows.
Brow stencils are for beginners who want a little hand-holding on how to shape eyebrows or those who want to try out different eyebrow shapes. Typically filled in with pencil and/or powder, stencils can offer a variety of different idealized shapes. They are held or stuck with self-adhesive over the brow area and allow the user to “color within the lines.”
How to Shape Your Eyebrows for a Believable Look
There are a few guidelines for creating natural eyebrows when shaping the brows. Remember, think of guidelines rather than hard-and-fast-rules because nature embraces variety. Keep these in mind:
Learn about how to pluck eyebrows before doing it at home. Try not to pluck or remove hairs from the top of the brow. The exception to this is in trimming brows. The best advice on trimming eyebrows is to do it as the first step in shaping brows. First, brush upwards with a clean spoolie brush or old toothbrush, and then carefully trim only overly long hairs.
Avoid extremes, such as overly arched eyebrows that can appear harsh or unapproachable, or like a Botox mistake. Try to go with your brow’s natural curve; straight eyebrows are a natural look for some, but it’s not for all faces.
- Experiment with different styles through make-up and selfies to compare the different looks, view YouTube tutorials, and visit a make-up artist. Find a good esthetician by searching “eyebrow shaping near me” and look at their reviews and social media accounts to see if you like their brow work.