Sometimes you don't know what you’ve got until it's gone. If we didn't realise before, it's become crystal clear how much we all love and cherish the endless expertise and exquisite craftsmanship of our beloved brow artists. And we're not talking paintbrushes here, people. We're talking about those special people who we trust with our eyebrows. Those maestros of the makeover who can reshape those unruly blobs above our eyes no matter how unkempt they might look. Those creative colourists who come through with that top-notch tint to keep those greys at bay.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a bit tough to get into the styling chair (especially lately, but let's not get into that). We’re here to tell you that there is hope at hand for when your brows start going bonkers. Read on for some tips on how to pluck, shape and tint your brows at home, and explore a range of brow products that can help you get your look under control.
Brow styling at home: where to start
If you're giving yourself the full-blown brow treatment, the first place you probably want to start is with some brow shaping, but this can be a daunting task. Plucking eyebrows at home without supervision can be a little bit scary, we know.
If you're new to the at-home maintenance game and don't know how to pluck eyebrows like a pro, your best option is to start simple and just do some tiny maintenance. You can look at it like you'd look at cutting your own hair – aim small, miss small. You don't want to over pluck eyebrows because it can take them some time to regrow, leaving you with sparse, patchy brows. So don’t go too hard, too soon, and make sure you follow the below tips if you want perfectly shaped brows.
A beginner's guide to plucking and shaping
When you’re ready to get your pluck and shape on, the first thing you’ll want to do is use a clean spoolie brush to brush your brows upward. Any renegade hairs can get a bit of a trim with some clean, sharp small scissors (but don’t overdo it). Then, do the same but brushing downwards, once again taking care of any stray hairs by slightly trimming the tips.
When doing some general shaping (which, again, if you're a beginner is what we suggest, as it's not the time to get bold with the styling), the rule of thumb is that the inside of your brow should line up with your nostril/edge of your nose area. Give yourself a bit of a buffer to play with by using the nostril as your marker first. Basically, we give you full permission to attack your impending monobrow with tweezers! Just make sure you’re mindful of not tweezing past the lines that the edges of your nose line up with. If it helps, draw some marker lines on with an eyebrow pencil.
If it helps, draw some marker lines on with a brow pencil. Hold the brow pencil or crayon vertically, touching the bottom of your nostril. Then, make a mark just above where your pencil tip hits your eyebrow. That will give you your inside boundary.
For the outside boundary, you can keep the bottom of the pencil touching the bottom of your nose and tilt the top of it so that it lines up with the outside corner of your eye. Where this line hits in your brow area is where your brow tail should end. You can make a mark here too.
The arch is where things can get a little tricky, so we don't suggest taking any big swings here. Again, keep the bottom of the pencil touching the bottom of your nose and tilt the top of it so that it lines up with the outside edge of your iris as you’re looking forward. Where this line hits in your brow area is where your arch should be. Make all three marks before you start and connect them to create a boundary around your entire brow.
We don’t recommend totally re-shaping your brows based on these marker points, as no one can do this quite as perfectly as a professional! Use these marks as a rough guide to tell you where you should and shouldn’t be plucking.
A few other things to remember...
Go hair-by-hair (though it might feel slower and more painful that way), so you don't accidentally pull out too many, leaving you with a bald patch. We also recommend always plucking "with" the brows instead of pulling against the grain, so you don't do any damage beneath the surface. Finally, don't just pluck any time you feel like it, or before you know it you'll have nothing left to style. Keep it to once a week at most, but we recommend holding out for once a fortnight,
What you're going to need:
- Some trusty tweezers. We're partial to the Tweezerman Slant Tweezer, which has a slant that provides the precision beginners need when tweezing eyebrows.
- Your favourite brow pencil or crayon for making boundaries (something we could all use a bit of help with) and filling in your brows once they’re styled. If you haven't already, give a Napoleon Perdis Eyebrow Pencil a try. The ultra-thin tip allows you to create natural hair-like strokes, while the pigment-rich formula stays in place all day.
In it to tint it
Ok, so you've shaped up your brows and they’re looking clean and tidy. Now, you’re no doubt going to want to add some colour. While it’s great to have a brow pencil on hand to keep your brows looking fresh, tinting your brows means way less maintenance. When you tint your brows, you not only get a great shade that sticks around for longer than powders, pencils and gels, but also some more shaping help as well.
The safest and best way to handle brow tinting at home is to get your hands on a brow tinting kit. This will have everything you need to get the job done, as well as some handy dandy directions.
We're partial to the RefectoCil Tint Starter Kit Creative, which comes with a stack of colours, application brushes, eye and skin protection and more. The RefectoCil Mini Lash & Brow Styling Kit is also ace for beginners - it's basically a slimmed-down starter kit that is super easy to use.
Even though most brow wax and tint products have clear, specific directions, there are some ways you can get the tinting venture:
- As with plucking, we're gonna preach aim small, miss small here when it comes to colouring. Remember you can always go darker, so try a slightly lighter shade when you get started, to see how it turns out on your skin.
- Save the colour for your brows. Eyebrow tinting material can stain your skin, so try to wipe it off immediately if your aim is a little off when applying. If it does stain, don't stress. Just hit your skin with some exfoliant to help get rid of it. We also recommend wearing old clothes while tinting - the last thing you want is brow tint all over your fave top!
- Don't just target your grey spots or your brow hairs that are lighter in colour. Tint the entire brow to make sure you get an even look and avoid patchiness.
Keep your brow game strong
If tinting sounds like too much of a commitment for you or you want something to get you through when your tint starts to fade, there are some brow makeup products you can rely on to keep your brows looking fresh 24/7.
If your brows are looking unruly and you don't have time to give them the full-blown shape and tint treatment, consider using the elf Shape & Stay Wax Pencil, which can provide a bit of taming power before your next video call. This clear brow pencil will keep rogue brow hairs in place all day long.
Brow pomade can also help you make your brows look more full in just a few minutes. If they are starting to look a bit haphazard, a brow pomade can help fill in the gaps and add more volume to sparse brows. The same goes for brow mascara. Opt for a tinted brow mascara such as the MCoBeauty Magic Brows Brush On Fibre Gel to add a temporary tint and boost brow volume 0 just make sure you pick a shade that matches your brow colour.
Last but certainly not least, we recommend investing in a quality brow pencil/crayon. Perfect for touching up any gaps in your brows or refining your arch, its a good idea to always keep one on hand!