Tips for At-Home Eyebrow Grooming Like a Pro


One of the best ways to obtain a sloppy, unpolished look is to have poorly groomed eyebrows. All the same, even the most proficient makeup users get nervous about brow shaping, and for good reason: one careless mistake and bald patches or a really misshapen arch will mar the appearance of the entire face until the hairs grow back.

Thankfully, the cosmetics world does an excellent job in supplying the consumer with all the tools and products necessary to whip brows nicely into shape, taking the guesswork out of at-home eyebrow grooming.

The Least Expensive Eyebrow Shaping Method

The cheapest way to shape the eyebrows is as follows; it requires only a white eye pencil, an ordinary lead pencil (or any other straight-edge implement), and a pair of tweezers.

  • Hold the lead pencil against the outer edge of the nostril and angle it up so that it touches the outer corner of the eye. Use the white eye pencil to mark the outermost spot (furthest toward the temple) that the lead pencil crosses the eyebrow. Remove any hairs that grow past that white mark in the direction of the temple.
  • Move the lead pencil so that it passes over the tear duct on the inner corner of the eye. Use the white pencil to make a mark where the pencil crosses the eyebrow. Any hairs past this mark toward the center of the forehead should be removed.
  • Now move the measuring pencil so that it passes right over the iris of the eye. The point at which it now crosses the brow should be the highest point of the eyebrow’s arch. Remove any hairs below the brow that interfere with this arch.
  • Also pluck any scraggly hairs above the brow that make it too bushy or oddly shaped. Pull out even white, blonde, or gray hairs; eye shadow will stain them darker and make them noticeable.

Eyebrow Grooming Products That Can Help

Ardell sells stencils to help shape eyebrows correctly; only buy the classic one, since the others create shapes too dramatic or unnatural.

The Brow Buddy Kit by Billion Dollar Brows refines the pencil method with a tool that measures more precisely and supposedly factors in the consumer’s facial shape. It costs $35, includes the white pencil, sharpener, spooly brush, and a DVD with instructions.

Tips on Eyebrow Tweezing

  • Invest in a good pair of tweezers like Tweezerman brand; they’ll last a lifetime.
  • Individuals who are sensitive to pain can apply Ambusol to the brow area for 15 minutes prior to tweezing. Plucking the hairs after a hot shower helps them slide out more easily.
  • Never tweeze right after waking up; the skin is still slightly swollen from sleep and the hairs will be more difficult to grasp. They may even break off, leading to ingrown hairs.
  • Apply a toner with chamomile or other soothing agents after tweezing. For those not allergic to aspirin, toners with acetylsalicylic acid are terrific.
  • Never tweeze too much at one time; it is better to get used to the new shape and try again later if necessary. It takes six weeks or more for eyebrow hairs to grow back. Application of castor oil seems to help them grow a little faster; try Rogaine with extreme caution, as it has been known to make unwanted hair appear on other parts of the face.
  • Ignore high-fashion eyebrow-shaping trends pictured in glossy magazines, especially the thick “Brooke Shields look” that makes a comeback every so often; the goal should always be glamour not Groucho.

Other Methods of Eyebrow Shaping

Waxing may also be done at home, but it is best to first have at least one appointment with a professional and then recreate the expertly-shaped line later. Never wax skin that has been treated with Retin-A or other retinoid; the skin can come off right along with the wax!

Threading is quick, albeit somewhat painful; but should always be left to the professionals.

Unruly brows may be trimmed with nail scissors, small razors (safe, inexpensive ones are made by Sally Hansen La Crosse), or personal care trimmers with special brow grooming attachments. However, tweezing is still the most precise shaping method. A newer tool is worth looking into, especially for the squeamish: The Christi Harris Brow Planer cuts unruly strands right off at the root with no pain and little risk of ingrown hairs.

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