How-to (Beauty)

Sarah Greenfield
Perfect Brows

The ultimate no-makeup (not to mention no-face-lift face-lift), well-groomed brows make a huge difference in your look. Here, expert tips—from waxing and tweezing to combs, gels, and powders.

The Technique: Shaping

1. It's worth spending money to go see an actual brow person the first time around. "Then you have the shape, which you can just keep touching up," says Warren-Tricomi's Maral Balian.

2. Assemble the tools: scissors for trimming and tweezers for sculpting. To minimize pain, tweeze after a shower or bath, when your skin is softest.

3. Clean up the area between your brows—but don't go too far in. Hold a pencil straight up from the inner corner of your eye: That's where your brow should begin.

4. Comb half of your brow (the part closest to your nose) straight up and trim stragglers. Starting at the arch, comb the hair straight down and repeat.

5. Fill in with a pencil before you tweeze. That way, you see the shape and avoid removing hairs that will cause holes or give you the wrong line. "Or draw marks at the corner, arch, and end your brow with a white pencil so you don't go past them," advises Amy Kernahan of New York's Robert Kree salon.

6. Pluck a few hairs from each side at a time. Never try to change the placement of your natural arch—its highest point should be right above your iris, and the brow should taper from there.

7. If you go overboard: Put away your tweezers and your magnifying mirror, because that's how disasters start. Use powder to fill in sparse areas, and wait until they grow back in. It's torture, but worth it.

Salon: Warren-Tricomi, NYC

Expert Tip: Maral Balian

"If you have a rounder face, make your brows sharper and sculpted. For a longer, thinner face, go thicker and more natural. Either way, it's all about balance."

The Technique: Grooming

If your brows are on the thick side, use a brow pencil or a clear brow gloss to fill in gaps.

For sparse brows, a mix of powder and wax adheres best: Press a small, angled brush into the wax, then the powder, and trace it through your brows with short, feathery strokes.

A mascara wand or a clean, flat toothbrush softens the shade and blends it in, says Warren-Tricomi's Maral Balian. "This is the key step in making it look natural."

Salon: Robert Kree, NYC

Expert Tip: Amy Kernahan

"Keep eyebrow color subtle: Light taupe works almost universally. Except for very deep skin tones or extra-dark hair, full-on brown is generally too harsh."

Rebecca Greenfield

For the Advanced: Add Wax

"You need a smidge of wax to whisk away extra fuzz," says Kernahan. "Removing all the surrounding hair creates a cleaner palette—it makes your brows really stand out.

Waxing Caveats:

Sensitive skin requires beeswax. It's not as irritating as waxes that involve a muslin strip.

If you use prescription versions of Retin-A or Accutane, you absolutely can't use wax—it will tear your skin and leave a scar.

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