Your eyebrows are the punctuation marks of your face, adding expression and emphasis exactly where you want it. They also lend polish to your look -- even when you’re completely sans makeup.
For the most flattering shape, consider what you’re starting with.
1. Map Them
To determine where your brow should start and end, hold a pencil vertically against the bridge of the nose. Where it intersects the brow is the anchor, explains Benefit Cosmetics global brow expert Jared Bailey. Then angle the pencil diagonally from the nostril to the outer corner of the eye. Where it meets the brow is where it should end -- even if you have to fake it.
2. Color Check
Choose a tone that matches your eyebrows, not the hair on your head, advises Kristie Streicher, co-owner of Striiike Beverly Hills. Redheads should use a warm-blond hue, while blond and gray hair look best with taupe or ash brown.
3. Set the Look
Comb your brow with a spiral-bristled spoolie brush to remove ex- cess pigment and blend color. Seal your work with a clear gel, like Mary Kay Brow Gel ($10, marykay.com).
4. Growth Spurt
If you’ve overplucked, waiting for hair to sprout can take four to six months on its own. Growth serums, however, promise results in six to eight weeks. Maryland dermatologist Rebecca Kazin recommends prescription Latisse, which is known to stimulate eyelash growth (brows are an off-label use). You can also try over-the-counter formulas with peptides, such as Grande Naturals Grande Brow ($80, grandelashmd.com), Kazin suggests.
Groom for Improvement
Leave the tweezing, waxing, and big-time shaping to the pros. But you can work toward better brows at home with these smart techniques and targeted tools.
Fuller brows are here to stay, so go easy on the tweezing. And when you do, avoid using magnifying mirrors, which can lead to overplucking.
If you want thicker brows...
To beef up skinny sets, Sania Vucetaj, owner of Sania’s Brow Bar in New York City, is a firm believer in the angled pencil, which covers more area than a pointed pencil but also allows for a sketching fine lines. “Use its thinner edge to outline the eyebrow and fill in sparse areas, and the thicker end to subtly tint your brow’s anchor.”
Try Sania’s Brow Bar’s Angled Mechanical Brow Pencil, which combines the ample coverage of a powder with the precision of a pencil. $30, saniasbrowbar.com.
If you want bolder brows...
Powder is a natural-looking way to add emphasis to your brows, says New York City-based brow specialist Maribeth Madron. Use an angled brush dipped in brow powder (tap off any excess), and work from the center of the brow outward in the direction of hair growth. Use a lighter hue or gentler touch at the anchor, where the hairs aren’t as dense or dark.
Try Maybelline New York Brow Drama Pro Palette, which includes tinted sculpting wax and highlighter. $13, maybelline.com.
If you want tidy brows...
Schnauzer brows are cute on dogs -- not necessarily on humans. Brush the hair upward with a spoolie, focusing on the first two-thirds of the brow, and trim ends that extend beyond the outer edge with small scissors. And snip sparingly -- no more than a millimeter at a time. Then fill with color and set brows in place with a tinted gel.
If you want even brows...
Camouflaging bald spots and scars can be challenging. “Most makeup won’t adhere to scars, because the skin is nonporous with a sheen to it,” says Streicher, who relies on a waterproof cream formula in such situations. Dyeing brows can also help hair appear more abundant.“Be sure to see a licensed aesthetician, as most hair dyes aren’t designed to be used on the face,” says Betsy Branca-Hughs of Arch Apothecary in Chicago.
Try Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector, $22, makeupforever.com.
If you want longer brows...
Feel like you’re losing the outer third of your eyebrow? It could be a sign of a sluggish thyroid. (Your doctor can check that with a simple blood test.) In the meantime, reach for a pencil with an ultrafine tip to lengthen brows, using light, short strokes. Make sure to leave tiny spaces between each mark to give the illusion of hair and texture.
Try Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil Ultra-Fine Brow Defining Pencil, $24, benefitcosmetics.com.
Watch: Martha's makeup artist shows us how to groom eyebrows in five minutes