Guidelines for Correct Eyebrow Shapes

Shapely brows add drama and structure to your entire face.

Photo: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Bodacious brows are all about balance. Not enough and you get the dreaded invisible brows effect. Not a good look on anybody (sorry, Mona Lisa). Too much and you run the risk of slipping into lycanthrope territory. So find the natural brow shape that's perfect for your face and stick with it. That, ladies, is how you score a real arch of triumph.

Finding Your Natural Arch

Get in line with your perfect arch. To find where your own personal perfect arch should be placed, hold a brow pencil horizontally across your face, with one end pressed against the base of your nose. With your finger, follow along the pencil from the nose outward until your finger is directly over where the iris, or colored part of your eye, begins. That's where the arch of your eyebrow should start. Mark the spot with your eyebrow pencil for reference while you pluck or pencil your way to beautiful brows.

Rock What's Right for You

With brows, as with everything else, it's best to work with what you've got. If you've been blessed with petite, dainty features, keep your brows slim and fine so they don't overwhelm your face. If you've got strong, defined features, you can totally pull off those lush, dramatically sculpted Marilyn Monroe-style brows that are all the rage on the runway. If you're rocking a cute round face, fuller eyebrows will flatter you best. Also, check out your forehead before you settle on a shape. If you've got a lower forehead, avoid thick eyebrows, which can start to get a little wolfman-esque. Instead, aim for a high, sculpted arch. If you've got a high forehead on the other hand, thicker, more softly arched eyebrows will add balance to your face.

Pro Plucking Tips

To prep your brows, use a clean mascara wand to brush the hairs straight up, then outline your desired shape with a white eyeliner pencil. Then get to plucking, but don't let yourself get carried away. Remember, you can always pluck a little more later, but you can't put the hair back in. Rule #1 of eyebrow plucking: Always pluck from the bottom, never the top.

Tools of the Trade

To get the beautiful brows of your dreams, you've got to dual-wield tweezers. Invest in two good sets of tweezers: one slant-edged pair for tougher, coarser hairs and one needle-nosed pair for catching those wispy little stragglers. If you need to fill in sparse brows, don't ever try to pencil in the whole thing -- everyone knows that's fake. Use a pencil to outline your arch, then fill it in with brow powder. Choose a sable-toned powder if you're a redheaded vixen, a powder one shade lighter than your hair if you're a brunette beauty, and a powder one shade darker than your hair if you're a blonde.

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