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Eyebrow shapes can differ every bit as much as the different types of eye shapes, your nose shape, and the shape of your lips. Some people have thick brows, some have sparse, barely there brows, others have a little—ahem—too much brow. This leaves people constantly left with the question of how to shape eyebrows for your distinct look.
If you are blessed with thick brows, you might be ahead of the game since it’s a lot easier to thin your brows out than to thicken them up. If you want to get a sexy, dramatic shape that really suits your face, you’ve simply got to have something to work with!
Although, there are plenty of tricks to make sparse or light brows look lush and full, so don’t be discouraged. Remember, your technique is everything! Tools too. Tools are important.
What are Common Eyebrow Shapes?
Eyebrow shapes really depend on your face shape and structure. You always have a natural shape to your brows. Granted, it might not be a shape that you love, but that’s what eyebrow shaping is for!
Second to your natural brow shape is your makeup style and sometimes, even your hairstyle. Not to mention your overall fashion style.
Commonly, there are about 10 eyebrow shapes that occur naturally. These include:
- Short and Thick—this is a bold brow, with a thick smattering of hair and a somewhat rounded shape. This brow shape tends to lend a youthful and innocent look to the face.
- Straight—this is a brow shape without any arch. Straight brows look fierce, regardless of their width. It’s a look that’s especially ideal for a long face shape since it makes your face appear shorter and more proportional.
- Rounded—if your brow is arched, but not angular, you likely have a rounded brow. Rounded brows can be softly rounded, or sharply rounded. This brow shape looks especially good on angular faces—heart shaped, for instance—because the soft curves help reduce the sharp lines to your face and soften your whole look.
- Tapered—tapered brows are thicker at the start and middle of the brow, and then become comparatively thinner at the outer end of the brow. The beauty of straight brows is that they can easily be turned into tapered ones. However, it will require regular maintenance, so make sure you’re committed.
- S-Shaped—as the name suggests, an S-shaped brow dips in the center and arches at the end. Most people are naturally born with this type of eyebrow, and it’s a difficult look to achieve even with the best of tools. While that doesn’t make it impossible, it does make it unlikely you’ll be successful at rocking it.
- High Arch—this is a dramatic look. The high arch gives your eyes a well defined, picture perfect frame of your face. However, make sure the high arch is located more toward the outer corner of the eye—at the tail—rather than in the center to avoid looking like an evil cartoon character. Also, keep in mind that high arch eyebrows typically look best on square face shapes.
- Subtle Arch—this type of brow is a natural phenomena. Most people will have a subtle arch to their brow unless you’re born with straight brows. Otherwise, you’ll always have some sort of arch somewhere. Subtle arches help bring definition to the face, without looking sharp or angled.
- Arched in the Middle—this type of brow occurs naturally with an arch focused in the center of the brow. This brow shape can be neatened to bring more finesse to the look but really doesn’t require a whole lot of maintenance beyond that. This eyebrow shape tends to look best on oval faces.
- Arched Near the Tail—this particular brow look is better suited for round faces. It’s an eyebrow that is arched nearer to the tail, featuring a signature curved arch at the high point of the brow bone that gives a wide open look to the eyes. It also brings more definition to a round face.
- Extra Long Tail—whether the arch is in the middle or nearer the tail, sometimes eyebrows may extend beyond the eye’s outer corner. These brows are called eyebrows with extra long tails and can look quite dashing on the right face.
How to Shape Your Eyebrows at Home
There are multiple ways to shape your eyebrows, some that are easy enough to do at home. That means no inconvenient trips to a salon are required!
However, the first thing to consider before even touching your eyebrows is the shape of your brow bone. Feel the bone with your fingers to help you understand where you need eyebrow hair. The goal is to remove hair between the brows, on the forehead, on the temples, and near the lids.
To begin, start by figuring out the perfect eyebrow shape suited to your face. You may even decide you just want to improve upon and neaten the natural shape you already have. This is a great choice, as your natural brow shape can be very impactful and accentuate your eyes amazingly well.
You should also ensure you have the necessary tools needed before you start, and don’t forget to do your brows somewhere that offers excellent lighting. To get you started, we’ve made a few recommendations on tools and methods for eyebrow shaping down below, along with some basic steps to follow so you can get the perfect brow you're looking for. Happy brow shaping!
Tools and Methods to Shape Your Brows
There are a variety of methods to choose from. We recommend selecting methods based on your personal preferences and the condition of your skin. Some methods will be better suited for sensitive skin than others.
Probably one of the oldest techniques used for shaping brows, threading has been around for centuries. To use this method, you’ll need some thread and eyebrow trimming scissors. The gist of threading is based on thread that is looped and twisted on the fingers, then rolled on skin quickly, plucking the hair out with each roll. Granted, this technique does require practice, but it’s ideal for sensitive skin since it’s chemical-free.
Arguably one of the easiest ways to remove eyebrow hair is by using a pair of tweezers. Brush the eyebrows to align them neatly, and then pluck out any stray hair one by one. The best tweezers for this job are the slanted-tip kind that grabs at the root of the hair. This helps you avoid breakage and ensures the whole hair comes out in one shot.
Waxing is extremely popular—though for some quite irritating— and requires you to apply a layer of wax onto the unwanted brow hair. That hair is then rapidly pulled off with a piece of wax paper or a cloth strip.
This method is ideal for frizzy and fine hair that’s easy to pluck.It also works efficiently on thick brows. However, this method is not suitable for sensitive skin since the stretching and pulling could cause a reaction. Also, hello… hot wax!
This method is fairly new, at least for brows. Shaving your brows does require an eyebrow razor. It’s a simple technique that works by using the razor in a slanted motion to shave off unwanted hair. It is definitely one of the easiest methods we’ve discovered, and requires very little practice. The drawback is that the results won’t last as long as it does with other brow shaping techniques.
Steps to Shape Your Brows
Step 1: Brush
Starting at the inner edge, line up your brow with your nostril to get the exact shape. You can do this by holding a brow pencil or brush parallel to the side of the bridge of your nose. Brush the hair with an eyebrow brush to align the hair and see where it needs shaping.
Step 2: Trim
Use an eyebrow brush to brush the hair upward and trim off any strands that are longer than the natural hairline of your eyebrows. Be sure to use only eyebrow trimming scissors, not any other type.
Step 3: Determine your Arch
Again, using a brow pencil or brush, hold it diagonally from the nostril to the outer corner of the eye. This will help you to pinpoint your natural arch.
Step 4: Remove the Hair
Now that you have determined the shape of your eyebrows, you can use your preferred method to remove all unwanted hair and shape your brows into perfection!
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