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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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.