If you fumble while plucking your eyebrows or simply don't pluck them at all, you can end up sporting a perpetual "who me?" look of surprise on your face or even a "unibrow," where the hair from each eyebrow meets across your nose.
But the right eyebrows can make everyone look peaceful, happy, relaxed and sexy, said Eliza Petrescu, the waxing director and eyebrow designer at AVON salon and spa in New York. She appeared on Good Morning America to complete some eyebrow makeovers and share some basic tips on grooming eyebrows.
Here are some common blunders to avoid:
Too-close eyebrows: Sometimes called a "unibrow", this happens when the brow hairs stray until they meet above the nose, giving the appearance of one long brow. This will make the face look tired, sad, angry and ungroomed, Petrescu said. These hairs should be tweezed or professionally waxed.
Overplucked brows: Often too skinny or misshapen, the brows look discordant with the face.
Eyebrows too far apart: This can create an off-balance or "who me?" look of surprise.
Here are her four steps to beautiful brows:
1. Map it Out: Determine the shape that you want your eyebrows to be — the space between the eyebrows, the end of the eyebrow, and the arch. The space between your eyebrows should be equal to, or a bit smaller than, the width of your eye. Hold a brow pencil parallel to each the side of your nose. The inner edge of each brow should start above the nostril. You may want to draw a line to guide you the first few times. Remember: do not pluck too severely between eyebrows. To determine the end of the eyebrow, hold the brow pencil diagonally from the nostril, following the outside edge of your eye. Extend the pencil to the end of your eyebrow. This is the correct length of the brow. To figure out the arch, hold the brow pencil parallel to the outside edge of the iris, the highest part of the arch. View the brow geometrically, as if it were divided into quarters. The first three quarters should head upward, the last quarter downward.
2. Trim Before Tweezing: Always trim your eyebrows before tweezing. To trim, brush the eyebrow upward with a spiral brow brush. While brushing upward, hold a pair of curved brow scissors in the other hand and trim any hairs that stick out from the brush. Remember, the brow hair will be longer where the brow is thicker, near the nose, and shorter where the brow is thinner. Brush the inner three-quarters of the brow upward, and brush the last quarter section on a slant to avoid cutting the brow too short. *Warning: Do not trim the very last hairs from the end of the eyebrow.
3. Tweeze Symmetrically: If you are a beginner, use a slanted tweezers. Experienced pluckers can use the pointy kind. Tweezing should be done after a shower, when your skin is supple. Do it in natural light, and begin by applying a bit of toner. Brush eyebrows up with a brush, and hold the tweezers from the middle. Hold the skin with the opposite hand, and gently stretch it. Place tweezers close to the skin, near the roots of the hair.
You should always pull the hair out in the direction of growth to avoid breaking the hair follicle and causing ingrown hairs. Pull fast to reduce the pain.
Always check your work to see that your tweezing is symmetrical. Tweeze a few hairs from one brow, then stop and pluck a few from the other. Check to be sure hair is even on both brows. Avoid tweezing the top of the brow. Professional waxing can be used to remove those hairs. *Warning: Do not tweeze white hairs. You should color them instead.
4. Finish by Filling In: Choose a brow pencil or powder to fill in any spaces. The color is determined by your hair and skin color. Go one shade darker if your hair is light, and one shade lighter if your hair is dark. Light brunettes or blonds should stick with yellow-based browns, and brunettes or darker look best with blue-based browns.
Fill in and contour the shape: Brush eyebrows up to make sure they are even, and then brush down. Use the brow pencil to draw a straight line for ¾ of the brow to the highest part of the arch. This gives a straight arch. The last ¼ section of the brow should contour downward toward the temple. Then brush hair upward again. To make the brows look thicker, brush upward. To make them look thinner, brush sideways. After contouring the arch (with hair brushed up), you should fill in as close to the line of the arch from the point closes to the nose, up to the highest point and out to the end of the brow toward the temple.
Brow Gel: If you want to use brow gel as a final touch, gently brush the eyebrow up following the contour. This helps to set the color and fill in at the same time as holding the brow in place. After using gel, do not use more color or powder. Since the gel is wet, it can make the brows look messy.