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1. WHEN TO GO PRO
Just as you wouldnt give yourself a new haircut, leave overgrown brows (or those in need of serious reshaping) to the pros. Pick one whose work youve seen on a friend or in a photo and take along a picture of your ideal brows for guidance. Choose a technique below, then maintain the new shape at home but go back a few times a year for a refresher shaping.
If youre nervous, get TWEEZED. An expert will pluck out hairs one or two at a time, so you can see whats happening and micromanage, if necessary! every step of the way.
If youre time-crunched, try THREADING, a technique imported from Asia and the Middle East. Typically working at lightning speed, a pro pulls out a row of hairs at once by twisting and rolling a cotton string. You can be in and out in 10 minutes, and its practically painless.
If youre lazy about upkeep, WAX. Waxing removes every last bit of brow fuzz (though the odd straggler may require plucking), so youll go longer without regrowth. TIP: Look for a salon that uses cream wax. Its gentler than hard wax and can be washed off if its applied to the wrong spot, says Valerie Sarnelle, a brow expert and owner of Valerie Beverly Hills salon.
2. TOOL SMARTS
Tweezing is the easiest way to maintain your brow shape at home but only if you maintain your tweezers! Hold them carefully and store them with the little plastic cap over the tips. Dropping tweezers can throw off their alignment and mess up their grip on hairs, Sarnelle says. Try the Tweezerman Animal Print Slant Tweezer, $25.
3. FAT BROWS RULE
Hollywood A-listers still love skinny jeans and skinny lattes, but brows are a very different story these days. Stars are realizing that their eyebrows should look classic, not trendy, says New York City brow expert Ramy Gafni, whos thrilled that the ultra-thin craze (remember Tyras twigs?) is a thing of the past. Full, well-shaped brows make you look younger and more sophisticated, he says. To beef up barely-there arches in a flash, try the latest enhancers: Add dimension with Tarte Emphaseyes Waterproof Brow Mousse in Medium Brown, $28 (the brush is included in the kit), or fill in any bare spots with a felt-tip brow marker, such as TouchBack BrowMarker, $19.95.
4. THE BROW BOUNDARIES FOR YOUR FACE
While one shape does not fit all, theres an easy way to get the basic brow blueprint that works for you.
1. The inner edge of each brow should line up with the side of your nostril. You can hold a pencil right next to your nose and extend the line up to your brows for a visual aid.
2. The high point of your arch should align with the outer rim of your iris.
3. Tilt the pencil so it runs from your nostril to the outer corner of your eye and beyond. Thats where your eyebrow should end.
5. THE ONE THING YOURE NOT DOING, BUT SHOULD
Tame wild hairs with a clear gel (you can even use clear lip gloss). A little shine and added control go a long way with unruly brows.