Before booking that salon appointment to get the eyebrows of your dreams, there are a handful of things to know before your book an appointment. Because eyebrows can be the most important facial feature, it's extremely important to be aware of how to trim and maintain them. I mean, everyone can dream of having Cara Delevigne eyebrows, but the reality can be far from it sometimes.
I wish that I had known a thing or two before shaping my eyebrows. The first time I got my brows done was arguably the worst salon experience I've ever had. (My brows were full and healthy, but by the time I left I had two skinny lines hanging above my eyes.) While this was totally my fault, I wish I had known better. If I had just known what to say or provided my eyebrow artist with a visual of the kind of look I was going for — skinny, but not that thin — it would've helped immensely. I obviously wasn't fully prepared when getting my eyebrows done for the first time. Now, I know so much better.
To get a better idea of the essential things you should know before booking an appointment, celebrity brow artists René de la Garza, founder of Brow Down Studio, and Joey Healy, founder of Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio, broke it all down. So, if you feel disappointed every time you get your brows done, keep these things in mind to avoid mistakes (and sad brows).
Do Your Research
According to Healy, it is extremely important to research which brow specialist is best for you. “Look them up on their Instagram or TikTok to try to see examples of their work,” he says.
Also, do your research on the specific service or hair removal method you want. Choosing an ideal eyebrow shape is important for sure, but so is deciding what eyebrow grooming technique to use. Healy likes brow appointments that only involve tweezing and trimming as these methods are more precise, adding that waxing may cause irritation to sensitive skin and threading is less precise. Choosing between getting your eyebrows tweezed, waxed, or threaded all comes down to personal preference, but knowing the pros and cons of both will help you get a good idea of what to expect.
Make Sure You Have Enough Hair
Making sure you have enough hair to trim is something that might seem obvious, but it is absolutely necessary. “The more hair the better,” says de la Garza. “Oftentimes, clients come with brows they just plucked the day before, leaving the brow artist with nothing to work with. An ideal timeframe is no touching for four to six weeks.” This makes shaping easier and so much better in the long run. It's best to not tweeze between appointments so that the hairs are all evenly grown.
Don’t Get Your Eyebrows Done If You’re Sunburnt
Looking to minimize the pain factor? Cancel your appointment if you have sunburn. “Sometimes when it’s that time of the month, your brows can be a little bit more sensitive so that is something to remember if you're really susceptible to pain,” says Healy. Practice safe sun and wear sunscreen daily on all skin exposed to harmful UV rays, especially around the delicate eye area.
Don’t Wear Eye Makeup
Before getting your eyebrows done, swipe off your cosmetics and arrive with a clean, fresh face so that your pro can easily see where your arches need cleaning and shaping. Healy says that your makeup will be taken off anyway (and so will your skin care and sunscreen), so it’s best to come bare-faced.
De la Garza says it’s best to stop using both chemical and physical exfoliants three to five days before getting waxed. “Products like retinol, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and [other] AHAs can sensitize the skin and make it too weak before a wax,” he says.
Be Specific About The Trim You Want
When you get your eyebrows done, it's always important to let your eyebrow artist know the kind of shape and style you want. One way to avoid leaving them guessing is to bring a visual aid. “They offer inspiration for the brow artist or expert,” says Healy. “You’re unique with your hair growth pattern and your bone structure and facial muscles, so photos have to be a loose inspiration.”
He continues that it’s helpful to bring in photos of yourself from times when you’ve gotten your brows done and really liked them instead of bringing a celeb pic. Conversely, consider bringing pictures from when you hated your brows to show the brow artist what not to do. “When someone tells me they hated how they got their brows done one time, I would love to see a picture so I can see what they want to avoid,” he says. And if you're not exactly sure what you want, ask the brow artists for suggestions before they start.
Don’t Pluck Your Brows Beforehand
I used to have a real problem with overplucking my eyebrows. The thinner my eyebrows were from getting them done, the more I tweezed them. I guess you can say I became obsessed with making sure they were always clean and trimmed. Learn from my mistakes and do not pluck before going to the salon. If there is plucking to be done, let your pro take care of it.
Be Honest With Your Eyebrow Artist
Be sure to let them know if you have had certain procedures done to your eyes or if you use a special medication for them. De la Garza says the best experts will consult with you before even touching your brows, so this is when you’ll want to tell them everything you want.
“When I see a first-time client, we normally go through a detailed consultation to get on the same page,” he says. “Based on that consultation, I map the client's brows as sort of a ‘rough draft’ to ensure it is a flattering shape. After mapping, the brows are waxed, trimmed, and tweezed.”
When I got my eyebrows done for the first time, I remember wanting to stop the whole process in between the threading. Whether you're getting waxed or threaded for the first time, be aware that it might be a little uncomfortable at first. Stay calm — and tell your brow expert if the pain is too much.
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