The Dos and Don’ts of Grooming Your Eyebrows at Home
Do: Step away from the tweezers
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major change in our daily lives. While everyone who can is (hopefully) helping slow the spread of the virus by staying home, regularly scheduled beauty appointments for treatments like haircuts, eyebrow grooming and manicures—remember manicures?!—are on pause while salons remain temporarily closed. And while a bushy brow is a thing of beauty, seven weeks of letting our arches grow freely means things might be looking a little *too* wild. Since we are the masters of our own beauty routines ATM, we tapped a few top eyebrow pros to share need-to-know tips for how to groom and care for your arches from the comfort of your own home.
Read on for all the dos and don’ts of at-home brow maintenance from three trusted experts.
Do: Let ’em grow
All of our experts agree: during this time of self-isolation, let your natural brows grow in. “The more hair growth, the better,” says Haley Bogaert, founder of Haley Bogaert Face in Toronto. If you’re able to grow in your eyebrows, once isolation is over, your brow tech will be able to create a better, fuller shape, she says. While patience is key to letting those babies grow, adding a brow serum to your daily routine helps the hair to grow in quicker and thicker. Bogaert recommends applying your growth-boosting serum in three areas: above and below the brows, and all over the hairs. “Ensure that the head and tail of your brow are coated heavily with the serum as those two areas are the most important to create a full effect.”
Don’t: Go tweezer happy
“The best advice I can give to people trying to maintain their brows until they can see a professional is to tweeze and trim with extreme caution,” says Mary Dang, brow expert and founder of Eye Love Beauty Bar in Toronto. She recommends cleaning up those obvious hairs in-between your brows and just above your eyelids but says to to avoid manipulating the natural arch of your brows. “To be on the safe side, you can create a guideline for yourself,” she says. “Fill in your brows first with pencil and then remove the hairs outside of the pencil line ensuring you don’t go past your guide.”
If you just can’t stay away from your tweezers, follow the expert tips below to ensure you don’t end up with sad, over-plucked arches.
When tweezing, hairs that sit one finger width (or three cm) above your natural brow line are fair game to pluck, says Brittni Alexandra, certified aesthetician and owner of B.Beautiful Studio in Toronto. But she warns against removing any hair from the tail of your brow. “That’s where people make the biggest mistake and usually where they need to grow their hair in.”
Another tweezing “red zone” as Alexandra calls it, is just below the arch of your brow. “You may think your arch begins sooner but it most likely begins later, and you will end up with ‘surprise’-looking brows if you pluck those hairs.”
Take your time. Alexandra advises tweezing one hair at a time to ensure you’re not taking too much off. “Pluck one hair, stand back, assess, and then go back for another.” Plucking even just one wrong hair can make a difference, she warns.
There’s no need to pluck every day, says Bogaert. Instead, clean up your brows every one to two weeks, depending on how quickly your hair grows. “This is essential in brow maintenance as cleaning up your brows everyday will affect the growth cycle and hairs will then grow in at different times,” she says.
Always place your tweezers on an angle when plucking hairs and pull directly from the root. This will prevent hair breakage which results in unwanted little black dots, says Bogaert.
Do: Get your tweezers right
For the most professional-looking DIY brow cleanup, using the right tweezers makes all the difference. “A good pair of tweezers is key,” says Dang. Both her and Bogaert swear by Tweezerman tools for a precise pluck while Alexandra raves about the tweezers by brow pro Kelly Baker. No matter which set you go with, look for a pair that has a slant tip and a good grip as it will help minimize pain and up precision.
Do: Trim your brow hairs—if needed
If you have long brow hairs, you can give them a little trim in-between professional visits, but don’t get carried away. “Trim your hair one by one with very small brow scissors or they might end up looking like blunt bangs,” says Dang. Bogaert recommends brushing your brow hairs up before trimming to ensure you’re snipping off only the tips. To avoid creating bald spots, slant your scissors toward the middle of your brow so the hair is cut on an angle and not a straight edge, says Alexandra. If trimming sounds too advanced, she advises skipping the scissors all together and instead reaching for a brow gel that will safely keep long hairs in place.
Don’t: Wax, thread or dye at home
Repeat after us: Don’t do it. No matter what you normally get done in a salon, you should not attempt to do more complicated treatments like waxing, threading or dyeing your brows at home. All three experts agree that this could lead to disastrous results that could take weeks (or gasp, months) to fix. All together now: “I will not wax, thread or dye my brows at home.”
Don’t: Use a magnifying mirror
Put down the magnified mirror. While these types of mirrors are great for snagging those pesky little hairs that are hard to see, they can also give a distorted image of what you’re actually looking at which can mean you end up tweezing away too much, says Dang.
Do: Style your brows on the daily
A simple way to make your brows look more ‘done’ without a professional treatment is by using products like gels, pencils, pomades and powders to fill in and groom your arches. If you’re biding time until you see your brow artist again, Dang recommends using the product of your preference to make your brows look polished and intentional. “This avoids the feeling of looking like you have completely let [your brows] go.”
Your stay-at-home brow tool kit:
Shop the Best Brow Tools
Long Lasting Brow Color, $15, amazon.ca
Since DIY-dyeing your brows is a no-no, why not try a temporary tint? Paint this brow colour onto arches, let it set for 30 minutes, then peel off to reveal a natural tint that lasts up to three days.
Brow Styler, $45, sephora.com
A two-in-one wax pencil and powder, this brow product lets you customize your look. The 18-hour wear waterproof wax pencil allows you to sculpt and shape while the powdered doe foot applicator lets you create soft, natural lines.
Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Brow, $34, thebay.com
Waiting for that brow serum to kick in for fuller arches? Use this eyebrow gel in the meantime. It contains a volumizing formula that makes them appear naturally fuller.
Brow Flick, $22, glossier.com
This ultra-precise pen lets you paint on the most detailed hair-like strokes so your brows look like they’re naturally #blessed with fullness.
5/16 GrandeBROW MD
Serum, $104, pinkavenueskincare.ca
Formulated with vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids, this brow-enhancing serum is a favourite among the pros. Applied once a day, brows will start to appear fuller in about eight weeks.
6/16 Haley Bogaert Face
Brow Kit, $55, hbface.com
This one-stop-shop was created by Bogaert herself and contains everything you need for full, covetable eyebrows. Use the long-wearing brow pencil to fill in your frames then groom unruly hairs with the clear brow gel that’s packed with hyaluronic acid to soften and condition hair.
Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, $45, sephora.com
This brow pencil has a triangular-shaped tip that helps to achieve a precise application. It’s also a go-to for Dang to achieve effortless arches.
8/16 Kelley Baker Brows
Tweezers, $26US, kelleybakerbrows.com
Pesky hard-to-grasp stray hairs don’t stand a chance against these professional-level tweezers that Alexandra swears by.
9/16 L’Oréal Paris
Micro Ink Pen, $13, walmart.ca
Get the look of crisp, microbladed brows sans technician with this smudge-free and waterproof pen that provides a natural tint and a hair-like effect thanks to its comb tip applicator.
10/16 MAC Cosmetics
Great Brows, $37, maccosmetics.ca
If powder is more your preference, this palette comes with two matte shades and a highlighter, plus a double-sided brush with an angled side and a spoolie for the perfect application.
Brow Fast Sculpt, $12, maybelline.ca
The secret to this brow mascara lies in the ultra-precise brush. While the pigmented gel adds depth and fullness to frames, the small, easy to maneuver spoolie tip tames and shapes with just a few strokes.
12/16 NYX Cosmetics
Tame & Frame Brow Pomade, $10, nyxcosmetics.ca
With its waterproof and smudge-proof formula, this pomade lets you customize your look from natural to dramatic and won’t budge, even in extreme heat and humidity.
Nourish & Define Brow Pencil, $24, thedetoxmarket.ca
This refillable mechanical pencil gives you the best of both worlds: the castor oil and shea butter-enriched formula nourishes hair while the waxy pencil helps to naturally fill in sparse spots.
Brow Grooming Duo, $10, shoppersdrugmart.ca
To achieve perfectly trimmed brow hairs, you need to have the right tools (please don’t use those chunky kitchen shears). These nimble, easy to use scissors let you trim even the most miniscule of hairs without wreaking havoc on your overall brow shape.
Bell Bottom Blue Slant Tweezers, $32, tweezerman.ca
Known as the gold standard in the brow biz, the tips on these adorbs baby blue stainless-steel tweezers have the perfect 25-degree angle for the ideal pluck.
16/16 Fenty Beauty
Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil and Styler, $26, sephora.com
With 14 shades to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find the right shade match for your brows. Plus, the small, retractable pencil gives you full control over your strokes while the paddle brush expertly tames unruly hairs.