I spent the majority of my teenage life plucking away relentlessly at my brows in the search for 90’s style perfection, not really understanding the key to long-term success was to leave them be. For years I didn’t understand the power of a strong brow look, ignoring the need to fill in or shape my brows to anything other than a tiny tadpole – but as soon as someone showed me how, I was hooked. The difference a well styled brow can make is huge; it opens the eyes, frames the face and provides a youthful look. (We associate full brows and thick lashes with the signs of youth!) I’ve had temporary brow tattoos, used every brow pencil going and learned from the very best how to look after those hairy caterpillars, so here are four simple steps to perfecting and shaping your eyebrows…

STEP 1: Plot Out Your Shape
Before you begin plucking, filling in or faffing around, it’s essential to find your best possible brow shape. Hold a brow pencil vertically from the outermost part of your nostril straight up to your eyebrow; the place where the tweezer hits is where the head (or innermost part) of your eyebrow should begin. Hold the pencil diagonally from the outermost part of your nostril to the outermost part of your eye; where the tweezer extends past your eye is where the tail (or outermost part) of your eyebrow should end. Make small marks on your brow using the pencil to plot out the length of your perfect brow, which will help guide you in the following steps.

STEP 2: Fill In Your Brow
Filling in your brows before you start plucking will ensure you don’t overdo it. Using a pencil that is about one shade lighter than your natural colour, gently fill in the head of your brow using short strokes to mimic your natural hairs. (I’m currently loving Delilah Brow Line £20.00 and Mii Perfect Brow £9.95 for hardworking and precise brow pencils that last all day.) Move toward the middle of the brow, where hair is often most dense, and fill in any sparse areas for a stronger look. Finish with the ‘tail’ which should follow the contour of the eye, extending to the previously marked spot where your brows should naturally finish, taking care to create a thinner line that also lifts the brow.

STEP 3: Pluck & Trim
Using a sharp tweezer, pluck out any stray hairs that are outside of the natural shape you’ve created. Remove one at a time, focusing on underneath the brow first to ‘lift’, stepping back to check out your progress in a mirror as you go. It’s also a good idea to do a little from each brow at a time, moving between them to ensure you have a symmetrical and natural finish. Don’t over-pluck or remove more than a few stray hairs from above the brow, as this will cause your natural arch to ‘droop’ and age you instantly. (There’s a reason why eye lifts are becoming more popular than face lifts!)

STEP 4: Finish, Perfect & Set
Use a spoolie brush or clean mascara wand to brush through both eyebrows. This will blend in
the pencil with your hairs to make everything look uniform and natural, as well as lifting hairs up for volume and a natural arched finish – teasing them upwards a little works wonders. Fix everything in place with a transparent brow gel, or a tinted formula such as Benefit’s Speed Brow (£13.00, to ensure your look stays put all day long. Ta-dah! You’re ready to face the day.

Do you have any top tips for styling brows, or favourite products to use? 

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  1. Eve MacDonald
    July 2, 2015 / 10:37 am

    I loved this post, I'm the kind of person who plucks faaaar too much! I've recently started getting them threaded and wow, what a difference when someone else does it for you.Eve xo

    • Hayley Carr
      July 3, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      I find threading so painful! But I agree – if someone else helps it makes a big difference.

  2. Gillian: Eyeliner Flicks
    July 2, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    My brows go from wonderful to crazy each day. I just can't master filling them in so I tend to hide them with my long fringe but it's getting a little out of hand. I find the ladies in Benefit brow bar are wonderful but between visits I really struggle. Such a heavy hand.Gillian  xx  EyelinerFlicks

    • Hayley Carr
      July 3, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      The Benefit ladies are amazing – I always go to them if I can for a little maintenance!

  3. Isa Professional
    July 8, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    We used to be guilty of over plucking, so much that our boyfriend and husbands actually complained. So we've taken a less aggressive approach and everyone is happier, fuller brows just look better. Now we cringe when we think of 90's brows!

  4. Tina's diary
    July 13, 2015 / 10:05 am

    Nice post!! 🙂

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