Tweezers are a very tempting contraption. Once you pick up a pair and remove one hair from your brows, it’s easy to get pluck-happy — until you’ve gone too far. That’s when you turn to the experts for advice on how to fix over-plucked eyebrows.
Even the best brow groomers know the feeling of peering into the mirror after a tweezing sesh only to see they’ve over-done it. And more people have taken their grooming routines into their own hands since the pandemic — which means the beauty dilemma has certainly become more common. “Usually [over-plucking] happens when we are doing things in a rush or don’t have a clear shape in mind,” says Nilam Holmes, beauty expert and founder of brow brand Eyebrow Queen.
Sometimes over-tweezing results in just subtle misshapenness, but you’ll be able to tell based on a number of tell-tale signs. “Aside from an obviously thinner shape, over-tweezed brows can make the shape seem uneven with one side being higher than the other, or making the face seem more surprised, or even make the eyes seem droopy,” celebrity brow artist René de la Garza, founder of Brow Down Studio in Los Angeles, tells Bustle. “Brow shaping is all about proportion, so over-tweezed brows can make the face look larger or make another facial feature seem out of place.” You’ll also notice a general loss of the flow and shape in your brows along with some sparsity in places you’re used to hair, adds Jimena Garcia, a bicoastal brow pro and brow artist for Chanel.
Well, now what? While you’ll have to just bid adieu to those plucked hairs, there are ways to remedy over-plucked brows to keep your arches looking fine until those lost strands grow back.
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How To Fix Over-Plucked Eyebrows
1. Calm the skin: First up, soothe the area where you over-tweezed. De la Garza recommends rubbing cold globes over the skin to decrease inflammation (a cold compress or ice cube wrapped in a paper towel works too), then apply a soothing cream. “I like the Sheald Recovery Balm from iS Clinical,” he tells Bustle. Look for gentle, reparative ingredients like oat extract, ceramides, and aloe vera for the job.
2. Conceal: An easy tactic to hide sparse spots or misshapen areas is to grab a concealer. “It’s great to use a concealer, especially when you’re growing your hair back out and you get those little black dots,” says Garcia. “It brings light to that area so it doesn’t look gray and shadowy.” Even a dab of shimmer can help — Garcia says it works to lessen the shadow of hair growing in.
3. Fake Your Brow Hairs: Thankfully, there are a ton of brow products that can swoop in to give the illusion of fuller, not-over-plucked arches. “Disguise sparse gaps with a good brow pencil or brow powder until they grow back in,” says Holmes. “Draw tiny feather strokes to make them look natural and choose a color that’s as close to your brow hairs as possible.” Garcia recommends pencils over microblading pens since you can be more precise with your strokes. “A pencil allows you to create one or two strokes in places you need,” she says. Holmes says you could also use a brow gel to comb the remaining hairs over any gaps to hide them.
4. Promote Hair Growth: You can’t replace those hairs, but you can use a serum that helps them to grow back a little more quickly. “Start using a brow growth serum that has nutrients and peptides twice daily to start nourishing the follicle,” says Holmes. “This is good to use anyway on healthy brows as they become weaker and finer as we age.” De La Garza echoes this tip, and notes using pure castor oil twice a day can help as well. “Castor oil strengthens, conditions, and nourishes existing brow hair,” he says.
How To Avoid Over-Plucking Brows
Do you over-tweeze your brows often? Holmes says you should throw away your tweezers. If you need expert guidance on shaping and grooming your arches, see a professional. “It’s worth the time, money, and effort to have your brows done professionally every six weeks,” says de la Garza.
It’s also key to avoid plucking stray hairs every single day. “What happens when you do this is it makes your brows get really uneven because the hairs aren’t on the same growth cycle,” says Garcia. “So let your brows grow out for at least three weeks before you tweeze them or else you’re going to constantly be taking hairs out.”
And, for the next time you pick up your tweezers, make sure you have a plan. “Knowing what type of brow you’re going for is going to help you prevent over-tweezing,” says Garcia, who actually suggests making a brow mood board for inspo. “You can even use makeup to create the brow shape you want before plucking so you know what to take out to create that look.”
In the meantime? Try embracing those thinner arches. “You can use this as an opportunity to experiment with another type of brow that you never thought you’d try,” says Garcia. “You can see the different shape, which you wouldn’t be able to do with your brows fully grown in. So it’s not such a bad thing.”
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