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Eyebrow Shaping Tips

Top 10 Do's and Don'ts to Mastering Your Brows

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Simple eyebrow shaping tips that will make the world of difference in putting your best face forward. We cover how to design your brows, to the tools you need, and how to reduce the ouch factor in our top ten do's and don'ts.

1. Do decide on the eyebrow shape first

Close-up of woman's eye
Stuart Dee/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
You need a plan of action on deciding where they're going to start, end, and where to to place the peak of the arch. (Here's the step by step for women.) Use a white eyeliner or concealer on the hair that you want to remove, so you don't stray off course.

if you're looking for tips for men where different rules apply check out: How To Groom Men's Eyebrows.

If you think using eyebrow stencils means you can't go wrong, you can. They don't take into account how your brows currently look and your other facial features.

2. Do use a quality pair of tweezers

tweezerman slant tweezers, tweezerman, tweezers
© Sephora USA, Inc.
Most people opt for tweezers. You'll be frustrated, and end up taking twice as long if your tweezers slide off or break the hair instead of pulling them out- or can't grab onto short hairs. A good pair of tweezers cost about $20, and worth the small investment. My pick: Tweezerman Slant Tweezers (compare prices).

3. Do trim if needed

Image Courtesy PriceGrabber
A big mistake people make is taking out more hair when trimming the excess length really is what needs to go. For men this helps make the brows look more neat and groomed and for women it helps them achieve that perfectly defined look.

4. Do clean up top (if you want)

Photo John Slater / Getty Images

I remember reading in my teen magazines growing up never to touch the top of the brow. How things have changed. While I'm not suggesting going into the main shape, most experts agree cleaning up the stray hairs above the shape create a more defined, clean look and can help trouble brows look more even with one another. Read on to see if it's right for you.

5. Do use a pencil, powder or mousse for filling or correcting

Photo: Altrendo Images / Getty Images

If you over tweezed, have sparse brows, or are growing them out to a fuller shape, filling them in will give you the look you want. Use the wrong products or technique and they will look painted on, instead of natural.

For fool-proof results choose a shade that blends with any brow color like Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil (compare prices).

6. Don't stand too close to the mirror

Photo Christopher Robbins / Getty Images
With some distance from the mirror you will be able to better see to balance your brows and see the 'whole picture', and have less chance of making them uneven. After you have your shape in, you can then get close-up to better reach the finer, lighter hairs.

7. Don't put a shape that isn't flattering to your face

Quavondo Nguyen / IStock Photo
Please keep in mind that arching your brow doesn't mean two perfect half circles or arches, which doesn't complement anyone's facial features. (The 70's are long gone!) It does mean to clean up the excess hair to better frame your eyes.

8. Don't use ice to numb skin

Photo: Anastassios Mentis / Getty Images
Cold tightens the pores and can make a firmer hold on the hair follicle. You want to soften skin and hair by using a warm washcloth on brows, or do your shaping after your come out of the shower. If you're really concerned about the 'ouch factor' use a numbing spray (compare prices) first applied to a cotton swab and then to skin.

9. Don't shave

Image Courtesy PriceGrabber
I know there are little razors sold out there specifically for your brows. Read why shaving your legs is okay, shaving your eyebrows is not.

10. Tweeze correctly

Photo Bambu Productions / Getty Images
Hold skin taut by gently holding skin firm with your free hand while tweezing, means less tugging and pain on the skin. (A good example of what not to do is in the picture to the left.)

If the hair is just too short for tweezing, don't push the tweezers into the skin. Scraping, bleeding or even scarring can result if you get a little too forceful with your tweezers. Having some hair is a better option over broken skin. Instead, just wait until the hair is a bit longer and can be easily grabbed on to.
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