How to Do Your Eyebrows at Home When You Can’t Get to a Stylist

During this time, it’s important not to leave your house unless it’s for something essential, and unfortunately, eyebrows don’t qualify. For some of us, groomed eyebrows might be the last of our priorities during a literal pandemic, but for others, maintaining one’s brows might be a way of maintaining a sense of normalcy. 

For those of you who fall into the latter camp, it’s time to get resourceful, since salon visits are now off the table. But don’t get too resourceful... please do not be like me in eighth grade and try to shape your eyebrows with nail clippers.

While learning how to do your eyebrows at home might seem intimidating, it won’t be long until you get the hang of it, especially once you determine your eye shape. Take it from me—even as someone who inherited her dad’s bushy, shapeless brows, I haven’t gotten my brows professionally waxed since high school. I prefer to tweeze them myself; it’s cheaper, less painful, and I don’t like waiting for my brows to grow out enough to warrant a waxing. I much prefer to tweeze each individual, unwanted brow hair as it grows back in. 

With these tried and true tips, you can keep your brows looking perfectly groomed during quarantine, and maybe you’ll even get inspired to start doing your brows yourself once this is all over.

General Tips

Everyone’s eyebrow shape is different, and certain brow grooming methods work best depending on your eyebrow shape or your preferences. But there are some tips that will always apply, no matter how you do your brows.

First, find your optimal distance from the mirror. Be sure you get close enough to where you can be precise and see each individual brow hair, but not too close that you can’t see your brow’s overall shape. Then—and I cannot stress this enough—before you remove even a single pesky brow hair, run a spoolie through your brows to see what your brow shape really looks like as is. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to do more shaping from the bottom of your brow than from the top. This will help you maintain a more bright-eyed, youthful look. When removing hair from the top, just tweeze or wax those fine hairs that are outside of the eyebrow shape, but don’t do any real shaping or grooming. Most importantly, only remove a few hairs at a time, because one too many or one too few hairs can completely change the shape of your brow. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Shaping

If you can’t just see your natural brow shape with your naked eye, use this timeless method: Take an eyeliner pencil, makeup brush, or really anything long and thin, and line it up with the edge of your nostril. Make a mark where your pencil matches up with your brows. Then, tilt the eyeliner pencil so it’s tangent to the outside of your iris. At this angle, where your eyeliner pencil matches up with the top of your eyebrow is where your arch is. Finally, keeping one end of your eyeliner pencil touching the edge of your nostril, tilt it so it matches up with the outer corner of your eye. This is where the tail of your brow should end. 

If you still struggle to find your eyebrow shape, fill in your brows using a brow pencil or pen, and see which brow hairs fall outside that shape. You can also try using concealer or white eyeliner to cover up the brow hairs you think are out of place. Play around with makeup to see what brow shape is most flattering on you. 

Grace, a senior at Wichita State, prefers to use eyebrow stencils to maintain her brow shape. She specifically recommends these from Anastasia Beverly Hills ($20). Some stencils come in a pack with multiple shapes, so you can see how each brow shape looks on you. You can hold the stencils up to your brows and fill them in first to see how your eyebrow will look before removing any hairs. Grace also likes using the stencils as a guide for when she trims her brows. 

Trimming

Whether or not you tweeze or wax, you might need to combine your method of choice with trimming in order to achieve the brows of your dreams. While tweezing and waxing remove brow hairs that are out of your shape, trimming your brows will tone down the length and unruliness of the brow hairs that are necessary for your shape, but a bit too long. If so, you’ll want to trim your eyebrows before tweezing or waxing. To do so, take a spoolie to brush your eyebrow hairs straight up. If there are any hairs that are sticking out too much on top, trim them using a pair of small eyebrow scissors ($19). 

Tweezing

Tweezing is my brow-grooming method of choice. I’ve noticed that the more I tweeze my brows, the less frequently the hair grows back. Once again, I like to brush through my brows with a spoolie before doing anything else, you know the drill. I personally don’t like to wait until my brows are grown out to grab my tweezers. I like to tweeze each unwanted hair as soon as I see it pop up; newly grown-in brow hairs will look darker, thicker, and shorter than the rest of my eyebrow, so they are really easy to identify. Tweezing a few hairs at a time and on a consistent basis has really helped me see and maintain my ideal eyebrow shape. 

Before pulling the metaphorical trigger, I like to use my tweezers to pull the brow hair away from the rest of my eyebrow so I can see how tweezing that particular hair changes the shape.

I’ll start with the most foolproof section of my eyebrows, which for me are those pesky hairs in between my brows, just so I can get comfortable and steady my hand. Other places that you will most likely need to tweeze, regardless of the shape of your brow, include your lower brow bone, and the tail of your brow. I also like to tweeze one brow at a time, first plucking out the hairs that are clearly outside of my eyebrow shape. Then, I like to stand back and see if my brows look at least like sisters. If not, I’ll go back in and tweeze any hairs that are making my brows look uneven. 

Siarah, a freshman at The University of Texas at San Antonio, recommends tweezing after you shower, because the steam from the shower opens up your pores and will make the process less painful.

You also want to make sure that you’ve picked the right tweezer. I really like this one from Revlon ($6) because it has a slanted tip. The texture on the handle also makes for easy gripping and better control. 

Waxing

For the more experienced brow stylists who could basically be estheticians already, waxing your brows at home is also an option. 

Each at-home wax kit might come with different instructions, so follow those carefully. If you’re using heated wax rather than wax strips, you should always patch-test the wax on your hand before applying it to your eyes. You want to ensure that your skin does not react and that the wax is not too hot. 

Once the wax is ready to be removed, hold your skin taute before pulling it off against the direction of your hair growth. When waxing, you’ll want to take off a little bit at a time, and if possible, don’t wax under your brow—if you only have a few stray hairs, it’s best to tweeze in this area because the skin above your eyelid is thin and delicate. To relieve any pain from waxing, apply light pressure to the area with your hand. 

Some affordable and highly-reviewed at-home wax kits include the Flamingo Face Wax Kit ($10) and the Bliss Poetic Waxing Hair Removal Kit ($24).  

Shaving

Annie, a junior at UCF, suggests using an eyebrow razor, because “even if you mess up and take off too much you haven’t impacted the hair follicle, so it’ll grow back guaranteed.” Your brow hairs will grow back more quickly if you shave them than if you tweeze them, so this is a good option for a beginner or someone who wants to try experimenting with your eyebrow shape. Nadia, a junior at Texas A&M University, prefers to use this facial hair trimmer ($13) and follows her eyebrow shape. 

Shaping & Filling 

If you’ve over-plucked, are letting your brows grow out, or even if your perfectly-shaped brows still need a little bit of definition, makeup can always help make your eyebrows look cleaner and shaped. If you’re missing individual brow hairs, use a brow pen or pencil to fill them in, drawing  upward strokes in the direction of your actual brow hairs. If entire sections of your eyebrows look patchy, define them using a brow pomade. Or if your brows are looking shapeless or overgrown, run a brow gel through them using upward strokes to define those arches.

Doing your eyebrows at home might be intimidating at first; the skin around your eyes and brows is delicate, and we all know how eyebrows can transform your face shape. But since we’re not leaving the house any time soon, and since there are many grooming and shaping options for every comfort level, eyebrow maintenance is actually pretty low stakes. And if you’re not down to experiment with your eyebrows, hey, there’s no shame in rocking the Eugene Levy look until this all blows over.

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