How to Pluck Eyebrows for Beginners

With a little practice, plucking becomes second nature.
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If eyes are the windows to the soul, then expressive eyebrows are the windowpanes, the all-important accents that help balance your facial features. Plenty of services, from personal stylists to “brow bars,” offer to tweeze, wax or thread your eyebrows. But even as a beginner, you can streamline wild hairs with a pair of tweezers in just a few minutes. Once you've got the basics down, you can move on to more advanced shaping and arching techniques.

Take a warm shower to open up your follicles and wash your face thoroughly with your favorite gentle face wash. Dry your face and brows. Plant yourself in front of a well-lit mirror and use a brow brush to brush your eyebrow hairs upward.

Hold an eyebrow pencil -- or even a regular pencil -- in front of your face vertically, lining it up with the outside edge of your iris. The point where the pencil meets the brow is your natural brow arch. This is what you seek to accent when you pluck your brows.

Hold the skin above your eyebrows taut and using tweezers, pluck obvious stray hairs that fall underneath the top of the arch. Pull the hairs out in the direction in which they grow.

Take out the pencil again and hold it vertically against the side of your nose. Do this on each side. This time, the place where the pencil meets the brow indicates where the inside end of your brow should begin. Pluck any hairs that grow between the two ends of your brows, in the area above the bridge of your nose and between the brows. As you pluck around your brows, visualize your ideal brow shape and strive for symmetry. Focus on plucking stray hairs below and between the brows; only pluck the hairs above the arch sparingly.

Massage a bit of aloe vera gel into your brows just after plucking to ease any redness that may occur.

  • Step away from the mirror and have a look at yourself from a distance after every few plucks. This helps you avoid over-plucking, which can lead to thin, spotty or unnatural looking brows. As a general rule of thumb, err on the side of under-plucking rather than over-plucking. As a beginner, avoid magnifying mirrors, as they may lead to over-plucking.
  • If you're bothered by the pain of eyebrow plucking, numb your brows with a bit of ice beforehand.
  • To help mark your arch and brow ends, make little lines with a white eyebrow pencil. This serves as a guideline for your plucking boundaries while you're still coming to grips. Of course, don't forget to wash the liner off before you go out.
  • If you fill in your brows with a pencil, do so before you pluck. This helps defines your brows and prevents you from overdoing it.

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.