Ah, eyebrows. Those seemingly insignificant arches of hair above your eyes that can make or break a pretty face. I remember being sixteen and convinced that mine were too thick–how would anyone take me seriously with two caterpillars on my face? Too squeamish to tweeze or wax, I took a razor blade to my face in the shower with the intention to “thin them out a little”. As I haphazardly glided the tool across my face, I noticed that my newly groomed eyebrow felt a little strange. Stepping out and wiping off the mirror, I was confronted with a line of bloody stubble over my left eye. My mother was furious, citing it was one of the “dumbest things I’d ever done”. For the next month or so, I wore my bangs over my face like an overgrown sheepdog. Eyebrows, I had learned, were serious business. Don’t make the same mistakes I did! Avoid these common pitfalls.
- Going too thin. My eleventh grade self in the shower had wanted a more stylized look, but overcompensating leads to inevitable disaster. Thin eyebrows can give you the “Dr. Evil” appearance, and no one wants to look like a relic from Austin Powers. I know that every stray hair can seem like you have a Ron Swanson mustache perched on your forehead, but fuller brows are nothing to be ashamed of. Look at Cara Delevingne! She’s regarded as one of the most famous Victoria’s Secret models and her eyebrows are so wonderfully thick! Now, we can’t all have the body and bone structure of Miss Delevingne. That shouldn’t stop you form being kinder to your eyebrows, though. Have a little faith in them and let them grow to their full potential.
- Shaping them too harshly. Getting tweezer happy is an easy thing to do–something about seeing those pesky long hairs whisked off your face is unsatisfying. Shaping is imperative, though, and one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen people make is forming their eyebrows into a straight line. Repeat after me: arch is imperative, ladies! A too-straight brow can box off your whole face and make it look harsher than it is. Try plucking above where your pupil rests in your eye to get an arch–how far you go with it is up to you. Natural, healthy looking brows have a curve to them, so don’t be too harsh on yourself you’ll end up doing more work than you need to.
- Making the gap too wide. There’s nothing worse than a unibrow, I know. I’ve tweezed and plucked and practically scalded the inch or so in between my eyebrows trying to eradicate any trace of hair from it. In our quests to make sure that our foreheads are smooth, though, we often end up over tweezing again and making the space between our eyebrows wider than the Grand Canyon. The important thing to remember when confronted with this situation is how your eyebrows look in proportion with the rest of your face. Grab a brush or any other straight object and line it up with your tear duct; that’s how far out an eyebrow should go. You can adjust it according to how you like to look.
- Trying to make them identical. A wise beauty guru (okay, it was one of the queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Same thing, right?) one told me that eyebrows should be sisters, not twins. My best advice to dodge this one is to be kind to yourself. You are under no obligation to look perfect or pretty for anyone but yourself; stressing out about a misplaced eyebrow hair can seem like a big deal, but very few people will actually notice if your brows are uneven. After all, how much time do you spend examining how even other peoples’ are? If you do end up over plucking and messing one up, treat it gently and wait for it to grow back. You’re perfect the way you are.
- Plucking from a magnifying mirror. The only tasks magnifying mirrors are good for are getting out splinters and making you feel self conscious. If you’re constantly zoomed in, not only will you miss the big picture and end up with some wacky brows, you’ll also spend too much time analyzing your every flaw. It’s a slippery slope–once you notice one minuscule blemish, it becomes easier to detect others. Try to remember that literally no one is going to be seeing you that closely unless you’ve volunteered to go under the microscope for some biology experiment. Take a breath and turn away from the mirror; you’re a whole person, not a tiny speck in a magnifying glass.
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