Nothing frames your face and highlights your eyes like a well-shaped eyebrow. It draws attention to your brow bone, your cheekbones, and instantly gives you a more youthful look. Regardless of whether you like to keep them thick or prefer a thinner brow, you should learn how to pluck your eyebrows. It is a bit of an art, so - follow these steps below and you'll have a beautiful brow in no time!
Here's how to pluck your eyebrows:
- Begin with a professional. The first time (or even the first few times) you have your eyebrows plucked, consider having a professional do it. Most salons and spas offer this service (either plucking or waxing) for about $5 or less - and many will throw it in for free if you're doing it at the same time as other services. Going to a professional to pluck eyebrows has several advantages. First, it will hurt less, or maybe not at all. Let's face it - when plucking eyebrows, you're pulling hairs out of your face with a tweezer. If you haven't worked on precise areas like the upper eye with one before, you may end up pinching skin. That hurts, too.
When a professional plucks your brow, she will grab the hairs quickly and precisely enough with the tweezer that the nerves don't react as much. After a few times, the area becomes desensitized to pain, so when you attempt to pluck your own, it won't be as uncomfortable. A second reason to go to a professional is that it will give you a guide to follow as far as shape. Shaping is a difficult part of grooming bushy eyebrows. If you want the correct eyebrow shape for your face, it's best to go to a professional. It will be a lot easier to get a shape you like, and then you just have to pluck the hairs as they grow back in (probably every few days, depending on your hair growth cycle). That way, you won't accidentally pluck way too much in an attempt to get the shape you want. You're simply looking for the short hairs that are growing in each time you do eyebrow "upkeep." After the initial couple of times done by a professional, you can pluck your them at home.
- Proper tools. Before you begin forming those perfect eyebrows, you will need a good tweezer. Tweezerman makes the best one. It runs around $18-$20 dollars, but it is worth it. They will sharpen the them for life for free, so this investment will last you for a long time. Tweezerman tweezers comes in a variety of colors - it may help you to angle it correctly if it is in a bright color that you can easily see. While this is personal preference, a slant-tip one may be better for a beginner, as pointy ones are more likely to poke your skin and draw blood. Even for experienced "pluckers," a sharply pointed tweezer is often used just for hairs that can't be grabbed in any other way. A well-sharpened slant-tip one will be able to get the majority of hairs.
- Eyebrow brush: When it comes to other eyebrow tools, you will want a brush. A regular, no-frills toothbrush works great. There are also ones that look like mascara wands - Anna Sui makes one that has great precision. Another option is to clean up an old mascara wand with baby oil when you throw away the mascara. If it's a good wand for your lashes, it'll probably be a good brush for your brows. Of other miscellaneous tools, it would be good to have some triple antibiotic ointment just in case you do get some skin when you are plucking - the upper eye isn't a spot you want a scar or an infection!
- Eye pencil. Use an eye pencil that matches your eyebrow color. If you over pluck, you'll want to fill in the gap.
- Mirror. Use a good quality mirror. Place it on a table with good lighting - ideally in natural lighting. You will want to be sitting at a table so that your elbow can be resting on it to give you a steadier hand/wrist.
- Ice. If you're concerned about pain, get an ice cube in a washcloth and ice your brow bone for 15-20 seconds. This will numb the area a bit. Be sure to dry your brow completely. Also, tooth-numbing creams (available at any drugstore) work great if the sting is what stands between you and regular eyebrow plucking. Just make sure you still have some sensation in the area, or else you run the risk of not being able to feel when you pick up skin by accident.
- Brush brows. Take your eyebrow brush and brush your eyebrows straight up. This will show all of the new growth, as well as any other hairs that should be plucked. This will also help you see how to shape them.
- Tweezers. Hold your tweezers about halfway up, and slide one side of the slanted tweezer under the stubble. Slowly close it, and pull firmly and slowly on the hair, pulling toward your temple until the hair comes out. Repeat with all the new growth under the arch of your brow. Try to switch off between eyebrows with each section - you want your brows to match, so take a few hairs out of one side, then take the corresponding hairs off of the other.
- Unibrow. Pluck the hairs between your brows. Some of these hairs grow up instead of toward your temple, so when you grab them with the tweezers, hold them from above, and pull up as you pull out. Be careful when you are plucking the hairs close to the beginning of the brow - no matter how tempting they are to pluck, they affect the appearance of the placement of your eyes. If you over pluck those, your eyes will look too far apart, and your nose will look wider. If you do by accident, fill in with the eye pencil that matches your brow color and let those hairs grow back.
- Above the brow. This step is controversial. Most professionals will tell you never, ever to pluck above your brow. But if you are careful and don't get too close to the actual brow line, you can pluck those hairs out. Just stay at least an 1/8th of an inch away from your "true" eyebrow and you'll be safe - and as you become more of an expert, you can get closer if you wish. If you're uncomfortable with the whole prospect of tweezing above your brow, you can have the area professionally waxed and it will give a nice, sharp look to complement your hard work plucking under the arch.
- In case of misses. If you have pulled up any skin or are bleeding, swab the area with antiseptic and dab some triple antibiotic on the spot. Don't worry - this doesn't happen much, and rarely, if ever, once you're used to plucking your brows.
- Assess. Take your eyebrow brush and brush your brows back into their natural shape. You'll get a sense of the difference that your plucking has made, and if you need to pluck any "stragglers" at this point.
- Fine-tune. Take your eyebrow pencil and fill in any area that is too thin. If your eyebrows are naturally short, you can extend your brow line a little farther (don't go too far, or else it will look obviously fake). Use thin, quick, wispy movements of your wrist and hold the pencil close to the tip when you do this to make sure it draws on lightly. You can always add more, but it's hard to tone down. The trick is to make it blend with your natural brow.
You're all set! Now you know how to pluck eyebrows. Your plucked brow will make your eyes look more refined and younger. Just remember - go slow and don't pluck too much at one time and soon you'll be an expert!