Eyebrows have never been as important as they are right now. When done right, they frame your face, make you look more put together, and stand out in a good way. Unfortunately, doing your brows can be hard, especially if you’re a makeup beginner. It takes skill, an eye for shape, and a lot of patience to groom them yourself, which is why so many people prefer to shell out cash to get someone else to do it for them. On top of that, using any of the endless brow products out there can be confusing – what’s the difference between brow gel and brow fiber gel? How do you know where to pencil in and what to leave bare? Should you go darker or lighter with the color? All of the questions and confusion can lead to a whole lot of eyebrow mistakes that are way too easy to make.
Luckily, though, learning from these mistakes can help you get things right in the end. It takes some time and practice, but eventually, you can become skilled enough to be literal #BrowGoals. It’s about figuring out which products work best for you, then trying out different tips, and finally, learning the routine that gives you awesome brows and makes you feel great. Want to get in on that? Start by figuring out what you’re doing wrong. These are some of the most common little eyebrow mistakes all beginners are guilty of. Of course, you don’t need to feel stupid for making them – we’ve all been there – but you should learn from them and get the basics down. Let’s discuss!
1) Over-plucking your eyebrows.
Over-plucking is probably the number one offense out there for brow beginners. It’s way too easy to get too invested in tweezing so that, before you know it, you’ve plucked away many more hairs than you wanted to.
Our tip on how to stop: Go slowly. Look in a magnifying mirror for any tiny hairs, but pull back and look at your brows a few inches away from a regular mirror every few plucks. Looking at your brows up close for too long can be a disaster. Pulling back and looking at them from further away gives better perspective and makes it easier to tell when you should stop.
2) Desperately trying to make your eyebrows identical.
Have you heard the phrase that your eyebrows should be sisters and not twins? It’s true. They don’t need to look exactly alike! Trying to make them the same can lead to over-plucking and incorrect shaping.
Our tip on how to stop: Same as above – pull back and look at your face in a regular mirror every few plucks. If you can’t stop obsessing over it, put the tweezers down and walk away for a bit. Sometimes you just need to stop yourself.
3) Using just any old tweezers.
Don’t dig your mom’s old tweezers out of the bottom of her makeup bag to use on your brows.
Our tip on how to stop: Get yourself a good pair of tweezers. Tweezerman tweezers are arguably the best, but at $25 a pop, they can seem expensive. They’re worth it, though! Make sure to get an angled pair and keep them clean. Don’t use them for anything besides your brows.
4) Trying to make your eyebrows bend into a shape they don’t want to be in.
We all have natural arches, and a lot of people try to fight them into a different shape.
Our tip on how to stop: If you have no idea how to shape your brows, it’s worth going to an expert who can do it for you. You don’t even need to keep going – seeing someone once and getting tips from them can show you how to tweeze and shape yourself.
5) Letting unibrow-phobia make the gap between your brows look gigantic.
You may be tempted to frantically get rid of any hair that could vaguely suggest that you might have a dreaded unibrow, and wind up making your eyebrows comically far apart from each other. A little hair in the middle isn’t always a bad thing and it’s better to be safe than always looking shocked by something.
Our tip on how to stop: Pluck stray hairs in the middle, but don’t pluck any that look like they’re in place. Your brows should extend just past the inner corner of your eye and against the line of the bridge of your nose.
6) Tweezing more than one hair at a time.
You’ll just kill two (or five) birds with one stone, right? Wrong, you’re going to rip out more hair than you think you’re going to and wind up with a gaping hole in your brows.
Our tip on how to stop: Work slowly! Don’t tweeze when you’re in a rush. And get a magnifying mirror. Looking close up can help you grab individual hairs instead of a clump of hairs by accident. Also, make sure your tweezers are sharp and angled so that they only grab one hair at a time. Again, I recommend Tweezerman!
7) Focusing on the hairs instead of the overall shape of the brow.
You can become so focused on plucking hairs that you forget to pay attention to your shape.
Our tip on how to stop: Look at your brows up close every few days after having them shaped, then only pluck the tiny hairs growing back in that look out of place.
8) Putting your arch in the wrong spot.
This is the trickiest part of brow shaping – finding your natural arch. Putting it in the wrong spot can make you look off.
Our tip on how to stop: Look at the image above and do that to find where your natural arch is. Don’t try to change it! Work with what you have instead of transforming everything completely.
9) Setting your arch sky-high.
Yeah, you want a nice arch, but you don’t want to look perpetually shocked.
Our tip on how to stop: Again, follow the tip right before this one. This is another time it might be helpful to get an expert to show you some tips.
10) Caking on the eyebrow makeup.
Filling in your brows can be great, especially if you want a full look. But it’s really easy to pile on the product, which can end up looking… not great.
Our tip on how to stop: Go slowly and don’t cake it on. Stick to one or MAYBE two kinds of products. For example, if you’re using a brow gel to keep hairs in place, you can put that over a light fill-in with a pencil. If you’re using something like a cream to fill in, you probably don’t need colored gel on top.
11) Picking the wrong shade of eyebrow makeup.
Too many people use the wrong shade of brow makeup, which can throw everything off. Find the right one for you!
Our tip on how to stop: Okay, here’s the secret – your brow makeup isn’t the same shade as the rest of the hair on your head. If you have a dark hair, your brow makeup should be a shade or two lighter than your regular hair. If you have light hair, like blonde, it should be a shade or two darker.
12) Tweezing every single day.
Your heart’s in the right place, but in the long term, this every day maintenance could lead to serious over plucking.
Our tip on how to stop: Uh, just don’t do it every day!
13) Cutting them too short or leaving them too long.
The ends of your eyebrows shouldn’t be tapered in so they stop somewhere over your eyelid. They should extend a little bit further, but not so much that they’re basically blending in with your hairline.
Our tip on how to stop: Make a triangle on your face by lining up a makeup brush to connect the edge of your nostril to the outside corner of your eye. Your eyebrow should end right about there. Simple!
14) Forgetting any hair that grows just above your eyebrows.
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Did you forget about those baby hairs? They need tweezing, too! They’re less noticeable because they’re usually thinner than the hairs that grow near your eyelids, but they’re actually key in making your eyebrows pop and really stand out.
Our tip on how to stop: Use a magnifying mirror to spot your baby hairs, then pluck away.
What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made with your eyebrows? How did you fix it? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter