You don't have to pay spa prices to get beautiful eyebrows. Helga Surratt, President of About Faces Day Spa & Salon, in Baltimore, MD, and Pam Messy, of Mary Kay Cosmetics, offer eyebrow shaping tips to help you look your best.

Before you get started with hair removal, consider what you want your eyebrows to look like and what shape best suits your face, says Surratt. She offers this advice regarding eyebrow shaping.

  • For small eyes: Make your brows a little thicker by building them up just a bit on the top.
  • For deep-set eyes: Enlarge the space between the eyes and brows.
  • For close-set eyes: Widen the space between the brows a little by plucking, and extend the ends of the brows with an eyebrow pencil.
  • For wide-set eyes: Do not extend the eyebrows out at the ends; instead, pencil them in a little closer to the nose.

Eyebrow Shaping Tips

  • Brush your eyebrows up and snip the longest hairs beyond the natural arch using sharp, tiny nail scissors, taking care not to take off too much at the outer corners. Brush brows down and trim what is below the brow line in the same way.
  • When tweezing, to lessen discomfort from plucking, wipe the brow area with a cotton ball soaked in an astringent. The cooling effect numbs the skin for some time. However, Surratt advises against using ice to numb the skin. "Cold tightens the pores and holds the hair follicle firmly, which makes tweezing more difficult," she says. Instead, she recommends using a warm washcloth on your brows or shaping them following a hot shower.
  • Take a lipstick liner pencil and position it vertically in line with the side of your nose. This point is where your eyebrow should begin. You can use the lipstick pencil to mark the spot lightly, to use as a guide. Tweeze hair that falls beyond this point, between the eyes.
  • Find the end of your eyebrow by using the same pencil and holding it diagonally across the opposite corners of your eye, nose, and mouth. Tweeze any hair beyond this point.
  • To determine where your arch should be located, hold the pencil diagonally so that it crosses the outer part of your iris and the middle of your nostril and mouth. Moderately tweeze from this point back toward where your brow should start.
  • Make sure your eyebrow is even by holding the pencil horizontally from where the brow starts and ends. It should be a level line.

"To get a natural look, brush your brows with a brush dipped in brow powder in upward and outward strokes," suggests Messy. Eye shadow or eyebrow powder gives more natural look to your brows than an eyebrow pencil, she says.

If you want to add volume to your brows, use a stiff, slanted brush to apply a matching eye shadow in short, gentle strokes.

If you over tweeze a certain brow area, fill it in using an eyebrow pencil by lightly applying in the direction of the hair growth.

Do's and Don'ts of Eyebrow Shaping

  • Do invest in a pair of quality tweezers. Those that are slanted, stainless steel, and have a good grip work best, according to Messy. They cost about $20, and are worth the small investment, she says, because they will pull hairs out completely and grab shorter hairs more effectively.
  • Do tweeze the top of your brows. Surratt says that cleaning up the stray hairs above the eyebrow will create a more defined and even look.
  • Don't stand too close to the mirror. You can see your eyebrows better from some distance from the mirror.
  • Don't pluck your eyebrows without holding the skin taut. Gently pull your skin with your free hand while tweezing to lessen any pain.
  • Don't dig tweezers into skin. If the hair is too short for tweezing, do not put the tweezers into the skin, which may result in scraping, bleeding, infection, or even scarring.

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