How to Shape Your Brows for the First Time

A beautifully shaped brow looks clean and natural, not overplucked and artificial.
... Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Whether you're in middle school, high school, college or beyond, the first time you try to shape your virgin brows can be a memorable moment. Unfortunately, trying to tame those caterpillars without a plan can result in an eyebrow disaster that takes weeks -- or months -- to grow out. For your first eyebrow shaping, follow the less-is-more approach. Cleaning up stray hairs and filling in sparse areas will do wonders for your brows and help frame that gorgeous face.

Plan your eyebrow attack right after your shower. The warm water and steam will help open your pores and soften your hair, making it easier to remove.

Brush your brows up and out with an eyebrow brush, a spoolie brush -- it looks like a clean mascara wand -- or an old, stiff toothbrush. Take note of the stray hairs both between and underneath the brows and the hair that sticks up above your brow-line.

Choose a sharp, slant-tip pair of tweezers. Pointy tweezers are touted for grabbing each and every hair, but they can be difficult to use for first-timers and even lead to painful skin pinching. Tweezing is more precise and pulls the skin less than waxing or threading, making it a more foolproof option for novices.

Use your tweezers as a guide for where your brows should begin. Hold them vertically at the side of your nose so they form a straight line that crosses over the inner corner of your eye and the inner tip of your brow.

Remove the hairs that fall in between where your brows should begin -- aka the "unibrow." Don't pluck any hairs beyond the inside corners of your eyes.

Fill in any sparse areas inside your brows with a soft pencil or brow powder and a stiff, small brush. Choose a color that's one shade lighter than your hairline, and use soft, tiny up-and-out strokes for a natural look. Filling in your brows before you remove any hair will give you a clear idea of what your finished brow will look like.

Remove stray hairs one by one from underneath your brows. Never pluck from the top of your brows, which causes gaps. Remove just a few hairs, then carefully examine your work.

Trim the hair that sticks up over the top of your brows with a small pair of eyebrow scissors. Hold the scissors against your skin in a diagonal line between the inside corner of your eyebrow and your natural arch. Trim just one-eighth of an inch at a time, and step back after each snip to check your work. Remember, you're just trimming away any scraggly hairs that poke out at the top of your brow.

Set your brows with a stroke of clear mascara, using the same up-and-out motion to apply it. In a pinch, you can also use a tiny bit of hair gel or a spritz of hairspray on a spoolie or old toothbrush.

  • Avoid using a magnifying mirror. Getting that up-close-and-personal with your eyebrows can make every hair look massive, leading you to over-pluck.
  • Rounder, fuller faces look balanced with an angular brow that arches in the middle, while square or heart-shaped faces can rock a softer brow with a less obvious arch.
  • If you're nervous about tackling your brows on your own, consider visiting a brow specialist to help shape them. You can then use this shape as a guide and pluck away any stray hairs on your own as they grow back.

Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.