Brow Beat

If our eyes are the window to the soul then our eyebrows are the pretty little awnings that shade them. I’m a firm believer that eyebrows shape our faces and can provide an instant lift. Here’s some pointers from to get them in tip-top shape. Happy Tweezing!


1. The basics

Before you start improving your brows, there are a few universal standards you should know.

• Your brow should frame the entire eye — no exceptions.

• Pay attention to the brow’s arch and to its width and length in relation to your features and face shape.

• Everyone looks great with a medium-arched brow. This classic shape is ideal, says brow expert and makeup artist Ramy Gafni of Ramy Spa in New York, who boasts a laundry list of celeb clients such as Naomi Campbell and Brooke Shields.

2. Balance your features

Think about what you like best and what you dislike.

• Find the formula. “If you have strong features, you should have a stronger brow to create balance,” says Landy Dean, arch expert and makeup artist at Edris salon in New York. If your eyes are large, keep brows thicker so your features are in proportion.

• Examine your face shape. Is it round, oval, long, heart-shaped or square? If your face is round like Cameron Diaz’s, have the tail of your brows extend as far as possible. Think of it this way: “A wider frame for a wider face,” says Gafni. Again, balance is key. When in doubt, have a pro sculpt your brows and provide you with maintenance tips.

3. Think about color

There are always color rules, and when it comes to your brows, there’s a set for them too.

• Drastically changing your hair color? Don’t try to figure it out alone. See a brow expert to determine if your brows need reshading. Otherwise, stick with cosmetic products like pencils, powders and pomades to manage brows after they’ve been sculpted.

• DIY coloring: As a general rule, “you want to use something one shade lighter than your hair color or something totally neutral,” according to Gafni. If it’s the same shade, it will look too heavy and artificial.

• Mind the balance. When you wear a deep red lip color (and have light hair), step up your brow color a shade by using a pencil to darken the hairs.

4. Learn to enhance

How do you decide whether to use a pencil, powder or pomade? “It depends on the brow,” says Gafni, who has his own line of grooming products.

• Pencil: When you need to lightly fill in the brow to make it more dramatic.

• Powder: If your brows are mostly grown in but you want to make them look fuller. If there is little hair, the powder won’t stick.

• Pomade: Because it adheres to the skin, use pomade to fill in big gaps or add volume to sparse brows.

• Stencils: “Don’t use them,” says Gafni. “They’re unflattering. Eyebrows are like fingerprints. No two people’s are the same.”

Tweezing tips

• Store your tweezers in the freezer so you numb the skin as you pluck.

• Don’t stand too close to your reflection or use a magnifying mirror; both can distort your perception. Instead step back to look at your face.

• Make sure you have good lighting (near a window is best) so you can see all the hairs.

• Invest in a great pair of tweezers, which should have a good grip and a rounded tip so you can grab the hairs without poking delicate skin.

• After tweezing, soothe eyes and reduce redness with a cold cucumber or conditioner. 



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