While you might not realize it, your eyebrows—the area of short hairs above your eyes—can be one of your most complimentary features. Despite what the Internet might tell you, you also don’t need to be a professional makeup artist to have perfectly shaped brows.
The most important part is finding the right technique and the right brow shape. Eyebrow shaping should take its cues from the existing curves and contour of your brow line. You can also use a stencil to experiment with different shapes!
Brows, like body shapes, vary from person to person. Some women have full brows, while other women’s eyebrows are tapered and thin. Your eyebrows can be straight, arched, or rounded.
Check out this City Girl Savings guide to shaping your brows!
Embracing Your Shape
If you have a natural brow shape, it can be enough to embrace the shape of your eyebrows as they already are. Full brows might require some additional maintenance, like trimming, or plucking stray hairs.
Naturally arched and lightly rounded brows are flattering for women with sharp or angular features. Straight brows can have a subtle natural arch; keeping them brushed will highlight the shape.
If you have a round face, consider an angled brow with more or less of a center peak to add dimension, drama, and definition.
A tapered brow is concentrated over the first two-thirds of the eye, getting narrower as you get closer to the outside corner.
The most common methods for modifying eyebrows are typically hair removal and makeup. As you get more experienced, you can practice a combination of shapes and experiment with your natural arches to enhance or soften definition.
Make sure you work in a well-lit area when shaping your eyebrows, so you can see your entire face. Begin with your inner brow and move outwards, following the direction your hair already grows.
Your inner brow should line up with the inner corner of your eye, and the arch should peak at about three-fourths of the way across your eye. When defining the tail end, follow the natural direction of your brow.
Brush through your brows in an upward and outward direction, especially after filling them in with powder or pencil. This will help soften any harsh lines.
If you fill in your brows too much or they look too dark, put a tiny bit of face powder on a brow brush and go over them again. This will lighten the color.
Brow gel and wax can be used to further define the shape of the brow. Brow gel is meant to darken and shape the hairs of your eyebrow, while wax has a stronger hold. Wax can really mold your hair to achieve the look you want.
Don’t forget your face shape!
Face shape also plays a role in deciding what approach to take to your eyebrows. If you have a round face, that is, your face is as wide as it is long and widest at your cheeks, you might want to opt for a high arched brow to create the illusion of a longer face.
Those with longer and slimmer faces may want to try a flattened brow shape, as that horizontal trace will soften the length of your face. A thicker, flattened brow tends to look more natural.
Women with heart-faced shapes may want to aim for a subtler arch. Adding some roundness can soften any prominent angles, and a thicker brow will balance out a defined chin.
If you have an oval face, your brows can be thick or thin! An oval face means your cheekbones are defined and your forehead is wider than your chin. Many brow shapes compliment an oval face.
Once you’ve figured out your perfect brow shape—whether through practice at home or with the help of a stylist—you can maintain it at home by tweezing.
The main function of the eyebrow is to prevent sweat, water, and debris from getting into your eyes. Eyebrows are also useful in communicating: your facial expression says a lot!
Related: 5 Eyebrow Primers to Try
Shaping your brows takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel like a professional. What method do you like when shaping your eyebrows?
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