Brow Pros Tell Us the Most Common Mistakes They Have to Fix on the Reg

Photo: Well+Good
I take the "never trust someone with bad eyebrows" meme (you know the one) very personally, because for the first 25 years of my life I had absolutely freaking terrible eyebrows. When they weren't completely overgrown into an Oscar the Grouch-style unibrow, they were plucked into these pencil thin straight lines with a creepy cowlick on their inner corner. As many, many mean girls in middle school made me very aware of, it was not a good look.

And so, I will be the first to admit that navigating the world of "doing your eyebrows" can be a complicated undertaking—especially now, when there is an endless buffet things you can actually do to your brows, from tweezing to waxing to threading... the list goes on and on. But whether you're your own at-home brow guru or leaving the work to the pros (which, at 25-years-old, I realized was my personal #keytosuccess), there are a few common mistakes that experts see all the time—and would never, ever do to their own brows... or to their clients. Scroll through for what they had to say so that you, too, can remain a trustworthy person with good eyebrows. It's fun!

Shaving your brows: While eyebrow razors can be great for trimming or dealing with those pesky little unibrow hairs that seem to grow in overnight (just me?), they should never, ever be used for shaping. "Instead of tweezing or waxing, some people shave the hair around the brows," says Josh Beeler, a brow specialist at Brooklyn's Shen Beauty. "It makes really hard lines and I think it’s more modern to have not a perfectly sharp, hard line but look a little more fuzzy around the edge and look a little more natural and pretty."

Getting waxed somewhere you shouldn't: Back in the day, I was the queen of tacking on an eyebrow wax in the back room of a mani/pedi salon as a way to get everything done all at once. But according to Beeler, this probably isn't the best idea. "People think, 'I’m already here and I’ll save some time,' but it doesn’t in the long run," he explains. "Yes, you can get the wrong shape, but a lot of times people will also breakout because some places aren’t as sanitary." This will show up as little bumps or pimples around brows, and is a telltale sign that wherever you got your wax done wasn't totally clean. This has happened to me before, and lemme tell ya—it isn't pleasant. Or cute. Especially when combined with bad shaping.

Trimming them in a straight line: It's easy to get a little bit scissor happy (especially when there's a magnifying mirror involved), but celebrity eyebrow artist Joey Healy warns that you should never, ever trim your brows into a straight line. "Your brows always grow in a little fringe-y, so trimming them one at a time is a good option," he says. "Trimming them in a straight line makes them look blunt and over-worked, and then they don't grow in well at all—they just start looking really scraggly really soon."

Putting the arch in the wrong place: Truth be told, shaping is best left to the professionals (even if you plan to do upkeep on your own). But if you are trying to sculpt your brows yourself, Healy has one important piece of advice. "I would never put an arch at the center of your brow—it immediately turns you into a full French clown," he says. "The arch should really be two-thirds of the way out." He calls a centered arch "the worst thing you could do," so be sure to map out your shaping before doing anything.

Faking it too hard: As someone with an eyebrow cowlick, I am well-versed in the miracles that brow powder, pencil, and gel can work on a seemingly dire situation. But they can only go so far. According to Healy, you never want to use your products to draw brows where there aren't any at all, or else you run the risk of them looking fake. "I would never draw past your brow or over-extend the color," he says. Instead of trying to create something out of thin air, use your brow arsenal to supplement what you've got for the most natural results.

Here are 5 of our favorite tips for getting your most naturally gorgeous eyebrows ever. Plus, the scientific reason we think bigger is beautiful when it comes to brows. 

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