1. Taking too much off the sides
To avoid the dreaded unibrow, some women tend to over pluck the space between their brows. “A larger space between the eyes make the nose look bigger and eyes too far apart,” says Malynda Vigliotti, owner ofBoom Boom Brow Bar in New York City. The beginning of your eyebrow should line up with the bridge of your nose — not the outer edge of your nostril. “The further in, the better,” Vigliotti adds. Don’t overdo it when it comes to the outer brows, either. To find out where your eyebrow should end, imagine a diagonal line from the corner of your nose to the outside corner of your eye. It may help to use a pencil as a visual guide.
2. Making too much of an arch
Rainbow or paisley-shaped brows leave a face looking perpetually surprised. Find your natural arch by looking for your eyebrow’s highest point, normally about two-thirds of the way from the inside of your brow (it’s not supposed to be perfectly centered). Tweeze below the brow to create a lift. If you have lighter brows, Vigliotti suggests using a brow powder to shade in the shape before plucking to help you see what you’re doing better. Then, pluck around that shape — but no more than that.
3. Using an old pair of tweezers
If hairs are slipping through your tweezers or you’re struggling to bring the two points together, it’s time to invest in some new tools. And don’t let them get all gunky in your makeup bag: Clean them with a dab of isopropyl alcohol after each use to avoid bacterial build-up.
4. Over plucking
Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it. Brow specialists Michelle Wu and Santi Garay atBrowhaus, an international brow and lash grooming company, say tweezing about once every three weeks is best. That way, hairs that may be on different schedules have time to grow out, which will make your brows look more even. “Over plucked brows don’t frame the face very well,” says Wu. Plus, the full eyebrow has been trendy for awhile and is showing no signs of going away.
5. Forgetting the top
As we said, tweezing below the brow can create a nice lift— but don’t neglect the top,Joey Healy, celebrity eyebrow stylist,cautions. “You want a nice, thick brow,” he says. “But there’s a difference between thick and polished, and thick and messy.” Keep the above-brow area free of stray hairs, as they tend to look more noticeable there.
6. Overusing your eyebrow pencil
Just a few feathery strokes with an eyebrow pencil (never an eye pencil; it won’t adhere as well) can take your brows from so-so to gorgeous and well defined. Pick a brow pencil a shade lighter than your eyebrows. “Brows that are too dark look harsh and fake,” says Garay. Use light strokes to shade in any patchy areas, and trace the natural shape of your brows. “The point is to shadow, not draw in your brows,” says Vigliotti. If a pencil is too much for you, Vigliotti suggests using an angled brush dipped in a brow powder that’s about a shade or two lighter than your natural hair color.
7. Waxing when you’re using anti-aging retinoid creams
Prescription and over-the-counter anti-aging retinoid creams boost collagen, unclog pores, and speed up cell turnover. But they can also wreak havoc on your skin if you wax your eyebrows. “Retinoids make skin extra-sensitive and thin,” says Vigliotti. “Waxing can cause painful tearing. Stick to tweezing, if you’re using a retinoid.” Dermatologists recommend waiting six weeks after discontinuing the use of topical retinoids before booking an eyebrow wax.
8. Never seeing a brow professional
If you’re at all unsure about your brow look, or made a mistake like over plucking and want to fix it, get yourself to a brow bar. Even if you only see a pro once or twice a year, they can help you find the natural shape of your brow and give you helpful guidelines for your at-home routine. “Eyebrows have the power to draw attention to the eyes, making them the focal point of your whole face, and thus, can make or break your appearance,” says Wu.