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Overplucking, not filling them in & much more

Your eyebrows can make or break your look, but many women (and men!) overlook them. Here are 9 eyebrow mistakes many people make. Are you guilty of these?

Mistake No. 1: Not Consulting a Professional

It seems every magazine article about grooming your own brows comes with a diagram showing you how to use measurements to determine your best brow shape. Many times pencils are involved. You're meant to do things like draw imaginary lines and place the pencil at the center of the line, angling it towards the inner corner of your eyes.

Mistake No. 2: Overplucking

 

Perhaps your mother told you that if you mess with your brows, they may never grow back.

Turns out, she was right. Over-plucking can lead to permanent brow loss. Sometimes, when plucked, brow hairs won't grow back in. And the older you get, the less chances plucked hairs will grow back in.

Why this is true of your brows and not the hairs that grow on your chinny chin chin, I have no idea.

So if you think it might be cool to wax your brows and then pencil in a new brow an inch higher than your natural brow for your Halloween costume or rave or Goth party or whatever: DO NOT DO IT.

If you think you might like a tiny little skinny line for a brow because that might be interesting: DO NOT DO IT.

You get the picture.

Mistake No. 3: Plucking Gray Hairs

I am guilty of looking in the magnifying mirror, spotting a gray hair nestled in my brow and then attacking it with my Tweezerman tweezers. (You must own a Tweezerman, buy a slanted one at Amazon.com).

This is a mistake because if this becomes a habit, at some point you will be left with super sparse brows. Remember: plucked hairs do not always grow back in.

Your better bet is to leave the hair alone and remind yourself that no one else can see it.

Here are your best options for a fix:

  1. Just a few grays: Use a brow marker that matches your eyebrow color. Unlike brow powders and pencils which adhere to skin, not hairs, brow markers have felt-tip points that allow you to paint hairs.
  2. If your brows are about half gray or less: Brush onto your brows a tinted brow gel that's slightly lighter than your non-gray brow hairs. I highly recommend Benefit Speed Brow Quick-Set Brow Gel from Amazon.com.
  3. Mostly gray brows? Dye them at the salon or even on your own. It's usually best to dye your brows slightly darker than your hair if you are blonde. If you're a redhead or brunette, ask your colorist for brow color help. The job takes seconds.

Mistake No. 4: Not Filling in Brows

If your brows are sparse or so light they blend in with your skin, you are missing an opportunity to look amazing. As we age, we can experience thinning eyebrows (just as we experience thinning hair). But don't fret, thinning brows, or patchy brows or non-existent brows can be fixed with a pencil or brow powder.

Simply filling in your brows can totally open up your eyes, brighten your look and make you look a few years younger.

For a brow powder, I like the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo. You can buy this brow powder at Amazon.com. And for brow pencils, I was sent the Laura Geller Brow Marble Pencil from QVC and it...is...amazing. Plus, it will last my lifetime. Buy it at QVC.

Here's a quick how-to. Note: Pencils and powders tend to stick to skin, not to hair, so if you don't have a lot of hair you'll want to shade in the skin where hair should grow.

  1. Pull your skin taut by placing your hand just on the end of your brow and holding it in place.
  2. If you're using brow powder, you need an angled brow brush. Dust the powder onto your brows in the direction they grow. Use light, feathery strokes. If using a pencil, lightly draw in strokes of hair. Use a light touch. We're not coloring in the empty spaces here, we're creating the illusion of individual hairs.
  3. Brush the hairs up and out with an eyebrow brush, a clean mascara wand or even a clean toothbrush.

If you want to go the permanent route, I've heard amazing things about eyebrow tattoos.

Mistake No. 5: Not Cleaning Up Above the Brow

It's a myth that you are not supposed to pluck above the brow. Please pluck above the brow. Why would you pluck below but not above? Makes no sense. If there are stray hairs standing out at attention, grab 'em.

Mistake No. 6: Letting Brows Go

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I am known for being direct with my closest friends about their brow issues. I have friends who don't bother with their brows. They just let them go and when I'm standing there talking to them about our love lives I can't help but stare at the stray hairs. Or their unibrows.

Yes, lush brows make a comeback every few years. But those strays that pop up between your brows or under or over them need to be swept away.

It takes seconds. It's like making your bed every morning. It just makes the room look tidy. Your face needs to be tidy, girls.

As for guys....

How to Get Your Guy to Groom His Brows

I have noticed a lot of guys with unruly eyebrows of late. I'm talking brows that grow to more than an inch and stick out in random spirals. The older a man gets, the unrulier the brows become because when gray hairs grow in, they tend to be of their own unique texture.

So how to get your guy to groom his brows? I suggest he ask his barber to do his brows when he gets his hair cut, but grooming bushy brows isn't so hard to do on your own. All it takes it a comb and a pair of scissors. Simply "comb" the brows with the comb and hold the comb in place. Any hairs that pop out of the comb should be whisked away with the scissors. I watched once as a lady barber used an electric razor in the same fashion on my then-boyfriend (now husband). She held the brow hair in place with a comb and then ran the razor over the unruly bits that stuck out.

Nick looked much better when she finished than he does when I cut his stray hairs with scissors.

For unibrows, I recommend waxing. But tweezing can work, too.

Mistake No. 7: Not Brushing Your Brows

 - Image source for Getty

If your brows tend to get wonky on you, brushing them into place with an eyebrow brush or clean mascara spoolie and setting them with either a eyebrow gel or hairspray works wonders.

Here are 2 options:

  1. Take an eyebrow clear gel and sweep it through your brows to set them. Brush up, thenn take the wand and swipe it across the top of your brows to the right on your right brow or to the left on your left brow.
  2. Or, take a clean mascara spoolie, like these from Amazon.com,  and brush your brows, then spray hairspray on the spoolie and brush your brows into place.

Mistake No. 8: Shaving Your Brows

Yes, they make tiny little razors just for the brows, like these "Tinkle Eyebrow Shapers" from Amazon. They're meant to shave fine hair and aid in shaping. But you're better off skipping the razor. The stubble alone is a good reason. Your best hair removal methods for your brows are:

Tweezing
Waxing
Threading

These pull from the root, so when the hair grows back in, it's soft. Shaving works great on the legs and your underarms, but it's not meant for a woman's face.

Mistake No. 9: Using Cheap, Drugstore Tweezers

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The drugstore is a great place to buy a simple face cleanser or sunscreen. There's no need to splurge on lipstick, eyeliner or shampoo. The drugstore will do you. 

But when it comes to tweezers, you must splurge on a good pair. And that means Tweezerman slanted tweezers or a good pair of Japanese tweezers. They'll put you back $20, but will save you a ton of time, frustration and bad brow moments.