Shaping your brows yourself has gotten a pretty bad wrap in recent years. It’s more often referred to as a lifetime regret than it is a success story…but with full brows à la Lucy Hale and Cara Delevingne clearly here to stay, it’s more important than ever to be able to maintain them at home (and save those dollar bills) between appointments. We spoke to bonafide brow queen and Benefit Cosmetics National Brow Artist, Hannah Mutze about her tips and tricks to nailing the shape to begin with, keeping them perfectly groomed and how to avoid falling into the ‘biggest beauty regret’ brow category.
“When it comes to brow shaping, I believe it’s a task best left to the professionals. The pros know what’s up and will take into consideration your lifestyle, face shape, facial features and personal style when it comes to crafting your brows. That said, I’m a huge fan of DIY brow tidying,” and as Hannah explains, maintaining your brows at home is actually super simple.
“You’ll need a fine tipped brow pencil to map out your shape, a spoolie brush for brushing into shape and a pair of slant tip tweezers — they’re the best for precision and ensure you don’t remove more than you hoped for,” she says.
Now, as far as the steps to take – Hannah recommends working in the brightest natural light you can and to use a normal mirror, instead of a magnifying one. “Start by measuring the perfect start and end points…for the start, measure vertically up from your nostril and use the pencil to make a mark. For the tail end, measure diagonally from the edge of your nose, past the outer corner of your eye and up to the brow, make a mark here. Use these points as guides when shaping. Hairs that sit between the two marks at the front and hairs that sit lower than the end marks can be safely removed. When tidying underneath the brows, start slowly and remove hairs one by one,” says Hannah.
It may seem obvious but she notes, only remove the hairs that sit clearly outside your natural brow shape. Remember..bigger is better and full brows are flattering on all faces, explains Hannah. As a result, only whip out the tweezers every two weeks or so and remove regrowth only to avoid having to get them completely reshaped each time you go back to see your brow wizard of choice (which should be every 4-6, as Hannah recommends). Tweezing too often or tweezing inconsistently is one of the biggest mistakes people make, she says.
As far as ensuring they are as groomed as can be, Hannah’s products of choice include a brow pencil which doubles to help shape and fill, a fibre gel and a setting gel. Find a brow pencil that is water resistant and has a spoolie to help blend, she says. A fine tip is also helpful for creating hair like strokes that mimic your natural hairs, but help create the illusion of fuller, thicker brows. Product layering then is the key. “Apply the base layer of brow pencil or powder to add definition and shape, then add a layer of tinted brow gel, like Benefit Gimme Brow+. The microfibres adhere to your brows making each hair look thicker, then backcomb for added volume and texture.”
For the low maintenance girl – trimming will be your best friend. If you have long, curly or unruly brows, trim only the excess length every two to three weeks and then brush up and set with a clear setting gel. “Brushing makes your brows look instantly groomed (and can also encourage extra growth) [and then set, as] no brow style is complete without a clear setting gel. Use on no/low makeup days for a clean, fresh-faced look or in the final step of your styling routine for all day hold!”
And while Hannah couldn’t put her finger on her number one brow rule [because she has three], we’re living by this one: “break the rules! Brows are such a transformative feature, have fun with them!”
Try our favourites: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Fiber Gel, MAC Cosmetics Brow Set in Clear