You might be an expert at press-on nails or how to trim your hair at home. Your skin could be glowing thanks to at-home facials, and you might even know how to give yourself a pedicure. Now, it's time to learn how to shape your brows at home.
Bustle spoke with Benefit Cosmetics' global brow expert Jared Bailey about what you can do to keep those arches neat and tidy if you can't hit up your local salon or want a clean-up between appointments. (Bailey does point out, however, that now's actually a great time to let your brows grow to their full potential.)
First things first: If you're looking to shape your brows yourself, waxing is a no-go. Instead, Bailey says to tweeze and trim, leaving the wax to trained professionals, who know how to do the treatment so the result is both beautiful and safely done. Luckily, at-home brow shaping is pretty easy if you know a few tricks. Here, Bailey's step-by-step advice.
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1. Map Your Brows
Bailey says the first thing to do when shaping your brows is to map them, or create an outline of the structure you'd like. "A brow map is the simplest way to completely tailor your brows to your facial features," he says. Your nose acts as the single "point of origin" for your brows, and by using it as the way to map, it can create better symmetry and balance.
To get the perfect map, use your brow pencil. Place it vertically at the place where your nostril begins to flare and measure straight to the beginning of the brow above your inner eye. This is where your brow should start. Make a dot with your pencil. Next, find your arch by moving the pencil to the tip of the nose and placing it over the middle of the pupil. Draw another dot there. Finally, shift the pencil again, this time to the outer edge of your eye. That's the end of your brow. Draw a third dot.
Once that's done, connect the dots and you'll have your brow map.
2. Tweeze Stray Brow Hairs
The next step, Bailey says, is to remove stray hairs using tweezers. Any hairs that fall outside the lines of your brow maps can go — and yes, there is a specific way you should tweeze.
"Make sure you are tweezing properly by holding the skin tight with one finger and then tweezing the hair in the direction it is growing," Bailey says. "Typically that direction is upward and toward the temple, rather than straight out. This helps protect the derma vessel [the blood vessel connected to the skin] so you don't damage the follicle."
For those who have sensitive skin, Bailey recommends dampening two cotton rounds with water and throwing them in the fridge before you begin. Apply them to the brow after tweezing to reduce redness or irritation.
3. Trim Your Brows
Bailey recommends brushing up your brow hairs toward your hair line and setting them in place with Benefit's 24-Hr Brow Setter. Once the gel completely dries, use rounded brow scissors to trim the ends that stick out past your brow map. "Remember, it's a trim...not a haircut," he says.
4. Condition Your Brows
If you're looking to grow out your brows or keep your hairs growing in healthy after tweezing, Bailey says stimulating blood flow can help encourage growth. "Try giving your brow bone a micro massage with your fingertips," he says. "Gently use the fingertips to tap over each brow for about 30 seconds."
Bailey also says you can incorporate product into your skincare routine that can assist in healthy hair growth. He recommends Benefit's Browvo! Conditioning Eyebrow Primer, which contains soy proteins and keratin to help promote healthy growth. His tip? "Make it a part of your nightly skin routine, applying it before bed so it works its magic while you sleep."