By Michelby Whitehead

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then eyebrows are the drapes that draw attention to said windows. That may not be the best analogy, but you get what I’m trying to say!

Eyebrows frame the face and can really make or break your look. Arch and shape them too thin and you like a 1920s flapper. Let them grow for months and you’re serving Oscar the Grouch vibes. Arch them too high and you look like the victim of bad botox — permanently surprised.

Whether you choose to wax, tweeze, microblade or thread is totally up to you. No matter the method you prefer, there are some standard rules that apply to shaping the perfect brow for YOU.

And this is where it gets tricky. You can’t necessarily copy someone’s brow shape and get the same look. Forcing your brows to contort into a shape they’re not accustomed to can leave you looking like a hot mess.

Before you grab a tool and ruin the natural shape Mother Nature blessed you with, Shape.com has 10 tips to give you the best brows ever:

1. Choose the right tweezers.
“Opt for a sharp, slanted style,” says Kristie Streicher, creator of The Feathered Brow and one of the most sought-after celebrity brow experts. “Unlike pointy versions, they grab tiny strays quickly and won’t pinch your skin along with the hairs.” One to try: Revlon Slant Tip Ultimate Tweezer

2. Tweeze after your shower.
Warm water opens the follicles and softens hairs, helping them slip out more easily.

3. Ease the plucking pain.
If plucking is too painful or it’s right before your period (when skin is most sensitive), dab on a numbing gel, like Baby Orajel Teething Gel, before you tweeze.

4. Ditch your magnifying mirror.
This tool can make it look like there’s more hair to remove than there really is, says Streicher, which can lead to overplucking. Instead, use a regular mirror in a well-lit room — if you can’t see stray hairs under these conditions, neither can anyone else. “After every few tweezes, take a couple of steps back to see the bigger picture,” she says.

5. Know your arch limits.
Hold a pencil for guidance, advises Streicher. “Your brows should begin directly above your tear duct, peak in line with the outer side of your iris, and end at a point that falls 45 degrees from the outer corner of your eye.” Be sure not to arch your brows too high or they’ll look unnatural.

6. Create your shape.
Once you’ve determined how your brows should curve, outline your ideal arch using a soft, creamy brow pencil, such as Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil. Then remove only the hairs that fall above or below your self-made stencil.

7. Reduce redness.
Immediately after tweezing, gently pat on an over-the-counter cortisone cream, like Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing Formula, to minimize any resulting inflammation.

8. Brush up.
Style your arches with a brow brush or a clear brow-gel wand, coaxing hairs upward at the start of your arch and brushing the rest toward the end of your eye. Try Sonia Kashuk Deluxe Lash and Brow Groomer ($8; target.com).

9. Fill in the blanks.
Color in sparse spots with a crayon by MAC or powder by Anatasia Bevery Hills. Brunettes should opt for a shade or two lighter than their hair color. Lighter blondes can go for golden shades, while darker blondes call for a taupe-y tone. Redhead? Reach for a warm, brown hue.

10. Grow them in.
Overplucked? Refrain from tweezing for at least three weeks so you can see the natural growth pattern and shape. If your brows need a little extra encouragement, brush on a growth serum or some type of natural oil that won’t cause breakouts on your forehead.

How do you shape your eyebrows?

Photo by Ernesto Norman on Unsplash

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