Shape Your Eyebrows at Home–Tools and Tips
We’re probably all familiar with the saying, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” But how about, “eyebrows are the frames of the eyes”? Not sure that’s a common aphorism. But it should be.
Your eyebrows can accentuate your eyes and and enhance your face. Eyebrows can even change the appearance of your face depending on their thickness, arch placement, and shade.
Think of a beautiful work of art. Even a Monet, without its frame, looks undressed, a little blah. But dress up that art in a complementary frame, and it deserves a place of honor on the wall.
The same theory applies to eyebrows. Give them a place of honor as the frames of your eyes.
And You Can Do It At Home!
With the right tools and techniques, anyone can master the art of eyebrow shaping.
And, the best part: It’s fairly simple to shape your eyebrows in the comfort of your home and without investing a significant amount of money.
Hello to polished arches that complement your unique features!
Respect Your Eyebrow’s Natural Shape
Many of us admire the seemingly perfect brow shapes of celebrities or people we know. We sometimes work endlessly to imitate that “perfect” arch and the thin or heavy eyebrows of our brow crush.
You’ll be much happier if you honor the natural shape of your own eyebrows when you groom and shape them.
If your eyebrows are naturally thick, trying to emulate the thin brows of someone else is going to be a futile effort–or at least a cumbersome job. If you have naturally thin brows, trying to make them appear thicker by doing a lot of filling in may result in a clown-like appearance. 🤡
You’ll have a much easier time keeping your eyebrows in shape if you keep as close to their natural shape as possible.
Before getting into shaping your eyebrows, let’s talk about tweezing. The best time to tweeze is AFTER you’ve shaped and filled in your eyebrows. This helps prevent over-tweezing and ending up with over-plucked brows that are too thin, too short, or misshapen. (My favorite tweezer is the slant edge tweezer by Tweezerman. It would also be great to have on hand a pair of point tweezers for those stubborn eyebrow hairs.)
A word of caution: Shape your eyebrows by tweezing predominantly under the brows rather than above. While you may want to pull some strays above your eyebrows, actually doing the shaping from above can result in an unbalanced shape.
Eyebrow Shaping Guide
Youthful model and real person over 50 (me!).
1. Start of Your Eyebrow: Using a straight edge (the handle of a long makeup brush or a pencil works well), place the straight edge against the outside edge of the nostril and line it up with the inside edge of your eye (A).
2. The Arch: The general rule is that the highest point of the arch should be just at the outer edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye) (B). Another method that may work with the natural shape of your eyebrows is to line up the straight edge with the outer corner of the eyeball (B line on the right)–anywhere between the two B lines is optimal.
3. The Tail: The tail of the brow should taper off where the straight edge lines up against the nostril and the outer edge of the eye (C). The end of the eyebrow tail shouldn’t drop below the level of the beginning of the brow (D).
Note: To quote my niece responding to a comment that her eyebrows didn’t match: “They’re sisters, not twins.”
The right and left sides of our bodies are not symmetrical. This includes eyebrows. In fact, looking at these photos, I’m surprised at how much higher one of my brows is than the other. There’s not much we can do about it. Work with what you’ve got and know that one side of your body isn’t a mirror image of the other.
At-Home Shaping Methods
There are several shaping methods you can use at home that are simple and don’t take a lot of time:
- Eyebrow Pencil–An eyebrow pencil is a good tool for shaping and filling in sparse spots. It’s fast and fairly easy. But if you have significant places that need filling in, you may end up with brows that look drawn on. You can use small, short strokes to mimic hairs, but it’s not that easy. If you have bare spots, you can combine an eyebrow pencil and a gel for a more natural look.
There two types of eyebrow pencils: wood pencils that you can sharpen like a regular pencil with a makeup sharpener and retractable “pen” type that allows the stick of color to roll up from a plastic exterior. This type usually has a sharpener that’s built into the pen. I prefer the wood pencils as I find it’s easier to sharpen to a fine point.
- Eyebrow Gel–Colored brow gel is a good option for filling spaces and for covering those pesky, uninvited gray or white eyebrow hairs that crop up. It’s most flattering to choose a shade of brow gel that’s a tad darker than your hair color. You want your brows to stand out, especially as we age and our facial features begin to be less visible.
The two brow gels I’m showing in this post by Thrive Causemetics and Beautycounter are very different in their formulations. Thrive’s is more liquid-y. I find it a little tricky to apply without “going outside the lines,” but it’s easy to quickly swipe away any gel from the skin. Thrive’s gel has a more hair-like appearance. Beautycounter’s gel is more waxy and easier to control. It easily fills in the sparse places. I like them both and use them interchangeably.
- Eyebrow Stencil–I recently purchased Trio Beauty’s Brow Trio Stencil Kit after seeing mutliple ads and demos on Instagram. I just had to try it for myself to find out if it’s as easy as the videos made it look.
I can report that a fan! There’s a tiny learning curve when it comes to placing and holding the stencil. But the result is really nice. The stencil leaves a full and nicely shaped brow that makes it easy to identify and pluck any stray hairs. The pomade also covers gray hairs.
The stencil kit comes with the sponge tip applicator with a spoolie brush on the other end, pomade in the shade you choose (there are nine), and ten brow stencils so you can use the one that best matches your brow shape.
I use all of these methods, sometimes in combination, depending on how much time I have or how casual or dressed up I’ll be.
If you’re a novice at shaping and grooming your brows, I suggest starting with an eyebrow gel in a shade just a little darker than your hair color. The gel applicators are easy to control (especially Beautycounter’s) and forgiving if you draw outside the lines.
Bare Eyebrows + One Finished for Comparison
2 Brow Gels: Thrive Causemetics & Beautycounter
Trio Beauty Brow Stencil Kit
Care for your eyebrows so they’ll be as healthy as possible. Remember: there’s skin under your eyebrow hair. Be sure to moisturize this part of your face just like the rest. This will also help your eyebrow hair stay moisturized and healthy. You can also apply a balm at night to the eyebrow hair. My favorite balm is Beautycounter’s Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm (yes, it’s a luxurious and moisturizing cleanser, but it’s also a wonderfully rich moisturizing mask for the face).
You can also use an eyebrow brush or spoolie brush to slough off dry skin under the brow hair and dislodge any hairs that are ready to be released.
This brush set from Amazon includes both a spoolie brush, a regular brush, and an eyebrow/lash comb.
And Then There’s Professional Shaping
If you find you’re struggling with shaping your brows or getting them to match as closely as possible, visit a professional. Many estheticians provide brow consultation and shaping services. When I’ve had my brows professionally shaped, I’ve always been happy with the result. This can help you with continuing at-home shaping because it gives you a shape to follow.
Another option if you have very sparse brows is microblading. Microblading is a tattooing technique and form of permanent makeup in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin. The pigment typically last a year or two, I believe. People I know who have had microblading have loved the result. If you go this route, make sure that your microblading artist is reputable.
Eyebrow Shaping Videos
Each method of at-home shaping and filling eyebrows is demonstrated in the videos below. I filmed the first two from our campground at the Russian River area town of Duncans Mills in Sonoma County. Just thought I should explain why I’m doing eyebrows outside. 😜