The search for the perfect brow is ongoing and for most of us, mistakes have been made along the way.
When it comes to brow maintenance, there's a reason so many people leave it up to the pros. After all, the full process involves dodging a minefield of hazards like over-plucking and over-filling, not to mention selecting the wrong products. So, to help us craft exquisite Cara Delevingne-esque brows, I wanted to share some tips in The New York times from the ever-wise Sania Vucetaj, one of New York City’s top eyebrow experts and shaper to the stars.
Tweezing is your best option
Tweezing is the most natural and precise removal technique, Ms. Vucetaj said.
“Waxing stretches your skin, and there’s no precision,” she said. “It’s wherever the wax falls, and that’s your shape.
“Threading breaks the hairs, and there’s also no precision.”
Waxing and threading are also less hygienic, she said. Wax is sometimes not warmed up enough to kill germs that may be on the application stick; and threading, the use of a small string to loop around hair and remove it, involves putting the string in the threader’s mouth.
A new trend called microblading offers a semipermanent option to draw on individual strokes of eyebrows in a tattoo-like application. Ms. Vucetaj also shies away from that procedure.
Tweezing should be done at most every two weeks.
“People go in and they attack,” she said. “Do you ever notice tiny, thin strays on somebody’s lid? No, so they won’t, either. Stop obsessing.”
Pull the hair in the direction of the growth as close to the root as possible. Removing the hair in the wrong way will make it grow back coarser and thicker, she said. Tweezers last for four or five years. Ms. Vucetaj recommends cleaning the tip with an alcohol swab once a month to remove residue.
Don’t go freehand
Ms. Vucetaj uses a light powder-based pencil to “outline the shape of what you’re going for.”
“Fill it in with a pencil, top, bottom and underneath, to make them look symmetrical,” she said. “Once they look symmetrical, use it as an outline. You can go in and tweeze little hairs around it to make sure the root doesn’t sit inside the line.”
“If you do it freestyle, you’re not going to get it right,” she said.
If you can’t figure out where your brows should start and end, Ms. Vucetaj suggested watching videos online, going to an eyebrow specialist or asking someone on the street.
“If you see someone with good brows, ask them what they do,” she said.
Ditch the magnifying mirror and bright light and take a step back into more-natural light, Ms. Vucetaj said.
“If you’re using a magnifying mirror, you’re seeing hairs too soon, so you’re pulling way too soon, and it will result in some ingrown hairs,” she said. “If you can’t pull once, it’s not ready, step back and wait a couple more days.”
Trim to keep the shape
Trimming long eyebrow hairs is just as important as tweezing in order to preserve the shape, Ms. Vucetaj said. Using a spiral eyebrow brush and nail scissors, brush the hairs upward like a feather and lightly trim them at an angle in the direction of the eyebrow.
“They look fuller once you trim the tops,” she said.
Brushing and trimming your eyebrows and keeping any type of lotion off them is key to a fuller brow, especially for those looking to grow them back, Ms. Vucetaj said. She recommends avoiding any type of lotion, moisturizer or gel on your eyebrows.
“It blocks the growth and makes them shed,” she said.
For the fellas
Ms. Vucetaj offers men their own grooming suite at her studio, and often sees “clumps and choppiness” in the brow lines of men who often have their barber trim their eyebrows.
“Don’t let your barber chop into them,” she said. “They should be brushed up and trimmed straight across, it makes them look even and clean.”
The No. 1 eyebrow offense in men is having too big a space in the center.
“Once you separate it, it makes all your features look too wide and throws off the balance of the face,” she said. “Especially for men, less is more.
“If you do the arches, or they’re overdone, it alters the guy’s face.”