The ultimate guide to living your best brow life
Be the babe with the bomb brows—no salon appointment necessary.
Thanks to 2020, you've mastered the at-home mani and can trim your bangs with your eyes closed (well, almost). Next up? Maintaining your brows...without a drop of wax, spool of thread or a spare set of hands.
“As we’re all going to be wearing masks for some time to come, our brows really need to pack a punch and frame the eye,” explains Joey Healy, brow specialist and owner of Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio. Whether you're new to brow grooming or were once a regular at your local brow bar, we’re sharing the lowdown on how to ace the ideal arch, all from the comfort of your own home.
It’s easy to give your look some love between salon sessions, even if you’re the type who swears by working with a pro. The key is to master a two-step method that gives you tons of control. That’d be trimming and tweezing, both done with the lightest of touches.
Got a few extra-long brow hairs sticking out in all directions? Snip ’em. “Trim the hairs by holding small brow scissors at a downward angle,” says Healy. Just be sure to snip one at a time rather than giving your brows a straight-across haircut for the most natural look.
“When it comes to plucking, focus below the brow bone,” says brow expert Azi Sacks of Hawthorne Studio, “and avoid removing any hairs above the brow.” By using your brow bone as a guideline, you’re more likely to keep your brows the right shape and thickness for your face, she shares. You can also tweeze hairs that sprout up where you prefer to be hair-free, like on your forehead or right between the eyes.
We know we never want to go back to that skinny ’90s vibe, but what does a 2021 brow look like?
“We’re still into the full, bold look of the 2010s, with just a bit more of an arch for a lifted effect,” Healy reveals. You do you, but if you’re into the trend, Healy recommends just removing a few hairs from under the outer third of your brow. Pro tip: Go slow and avoid using a magnifying mirror (it’s easy to zone out and forget how your brows look in the context of your entire face). “Pluck a hair, then stand back and see how it changes your look,” advises Healy. Then pluck another, and pretty soon you’ll have gorgeous arches.
Think about your goals: Are you trying to fill in sparse spots and add definition? Grab a brow powder and an angled brush. Just want to shape? Go for a lightweight brow gel. Whichever product you pick (and this technique is perfect for pencils, too), start at the arch and work toward the bridge of your nose, using small, flicking motions in the direction of how your brows grow to get the most realistic result. Then, use that same product at the tail of your brow so it doesn't end up looking uneven.
Crucial PSA: Don't overextend the tail of your brows (that creates a droopy effect, drawing down your face and making you look, well, a little sad). To measure where your brow should end, place a pencil diagonally at your nostril and line it up with the outside edge of your eye. Where the pencil hits your brow bone is a solid stopping point.
Now finish your look by using a spoolie to buff out any harsh lines with a subtle back and forth motion. Brilliant babe!
THREE MORE ARCH AESTHETICS WE'RE INTO RN
This look is about brushing your brow hairs all the way up with a strong-hold gel to show off just how fluffy they are. We love NYX The Brow Glue Instant Brow Styler ($8, nyxcosmetics.com) because it lasts all. day. long.
Go long. Let your brows grow free and do their thing. The only tool you need is a spoolie like the Jane Iredale Deluxe Spoolie Brush ($10, janeiredale.com) to smooth strands in the direction of hair growth.
Just add glitter
"I've recently fallen in love with glitter brows," says Sacks. Fill in your brows with a pencil like the L.A. Girl Brow Besties Triangular Auto Pencil ($8, lagirlusa.com) to give them the shape you want, then sweep some clear gel through your brows before adding as much glitter as you like while the gel is still damp. (We love Lit Cosmetics Over a Rainbow Bio Glitter, $16, litcosmetics.com.)
Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that a version of this story originally ran in our April/May 2021 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.