Perfect Eyebrow Shaping & Tweezing

Learn the knack of tweezing eyebrows to perfection

My eyebrows have no shape and I don't even know where to start. How can I shape them?

Grooming your eyebrows can make a dramatic difference in your look, and I don't just mean your style, I mean your overall expression. In fact, one of the first tools I learned while studying theatrical makeup was how radically I could change how a character is perceived -- from harmless to wicked or calm to terrified -- by simply rearranging the brow shape. They convey that much meaning. Eyebrows can become the signature of your look; something distinctly unique about you. Think of the amazing Frida Kahlo, Björk or Marlene Dietrich. The eyebrows are significant personal effects, and you're right to want to make the most of them. Here's how to get great brows:


Do some eyebrow research

Put those tweezers down and start by cutting out pictures of eyebrows you admire. Practice on yourself by brushing them up with a firm eyebrow brush, or you can use a clean toothbrush. Then, using a white or beige eyeliner, trace over the hairs you might think of tweezing out (to give the illusion that they are tweezed out). This way, you get a feeling for the shape, and can try variations until you like what you see.


Find your tweezing starting point

First, don't start tweezing until you're sure! For the most traditional look, the inner brow starts above the edge of your inner eye. If you need a physical indicator, place a Q-Tip vertically against the side of your nose up to the brow. Mark the spot with an eyeliner pencil. For close-set eyes, you may want to 'start' the eyebrow slightly wider apart to create a more open look. For wide-set eyes, try allowing the eyebrows to grow a bit closer together.


Creating the perfect eyebrow arch

Ideally, the arch begins at the outermost globe of your eyeball. For an indicator, use the Q-Tip and place it against the bottom of your nose, slanting it over your pupil. Mark the place where the Q-Tip intersects your brow as the top of the arch. Eyebrows generally end about a third of an inch beyond the eye in a slightly upward fashion.

Creating the most flattering shape and arch for your eyebrows may be challenging, especially if you have missing, fine, or very coarse hairs. I went through the basics, but do consult with a professional if you feel the least bit unsure. Happy tweezing!


Recommended Products:

Tweezerman Slant Tweezers
My favorite and their bestseller, excellent grip and high quality.
Price: $20, stainless steel

Tweezerman Brow Scissors
Small and sharp. Comes with eyebrow brush.
Price: $18

MAKE UP FOR EVER Khol Eye Pencil (in matte white)
The soft texture of this pencil makes it a good marker for stray eyebrow hairs.
Price: $17
Available: Sephora,

Wet 'n Wild Color Icon Liner Eye Pencil (white 656A)
Can't beat the price. If needed, to soften the tip before applying, hold a few inches under your blow-dryer for 10 or 15 seconds.
Price: $0.99
Available: Mass market retailers,

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