Arch Angel We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Arizona Muse eyebrows We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Yeah, I really am talking about OWS and beauty in the same sentence! But only because I interviewed an eyebrow expert the other week who told me that 99 percent of us need professional help with our eyebrows.

It’s true. The one percent, as you might imagine, are genetically blessed with brows that grow themselves perfectly and require nary a tweezer, thread or dollop of wax to maintain. But it’s a rare, rare gift from the Eyebrow Gods. Everyone else needs to consult with a pro at least once to get an idea of the right shape (to then maintain at home), or—ideally—for regularly scheduled maintenance visits.

The work doesn’t end there, of course, because you still need to find The One (the right eyebrow lady), know which brow-taming method will work for you and then do daily clean-up work at home. Here are 10 pro tips to keep in mind.

1. If in doubt, assume you’re part of the 99 percent who need brow help.

Brows are important. They’re the one feature that makes the biggest difference to your face and how you look. You might think yours are fine, but just like you’d talk to an interior decorator about where to place the sofa, I think it’s definitely worth your while to consult with a professional who can see possibilities for your eyebrows that maybe you can’t.

Megan Fox is obvi the best celebrity example of what a difference a brow change can make. Here’s her before circa 2005:

Megan Fox eyebrows before We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Now look at her transformation:

Megan Fox eyebrows after We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Crazy improvement, right? Beautifully-shaped brows really do make the look.

2. A fuller brow is a younger brow (and face).

It’s not the ’90s anymore, even though I just downloaded Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It for my iPod. Unlike the (super-thin) brow crimes of that decade, the 2011 brow is way fuller and way more natural-looking. (Although still groomed—we don’t want an early Julia Roberts look either.) I know a lot of y’all have trouble with this one—it can be scary to contemplate going thicker—but take a gander at how much younger, and better, Gwen Stefani looks here:

Gwen Stefani full eyebrows We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

compared to here:

Gwen Stefani No Doubt We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Make sure you’re on the same page with your esthetician—bring pictures of brows you like and listen for keywords like “full” and “natural.”

3. Just because your esthetician can wax a bikini line doesn’t mean she has the gift of shaping eyebrows.

Right? So many spas offer brow-shaping services, but I have trust issues. It’s one thing to be able to do a quick and relatively painless French bikini wax… and another thing altogether to be able to skilfully shape someone’s eyebrows without making them too thin, over-arched or like little tadpoles. If you’re tempted by the all-in-one convenience of getting hot wax slathered over multiple body parts in one visit, PLEASE think this through. I’m not saying it’s impossible to get a good result, but you’re likely better off going to someone who, through word of mouth, is recognized as a brow specialist. Ask around; talk to women whose brows you admire and find out who does them; don’t go to just anyone. It’s a smart beauty investment.

4. Only get your brows waxed if you have thick and resilient skin.

waxing We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Wax can give great results, and yes, most brow experts use a combination of wax with tweezing. But both the wax itself and all of the pulling and stretching can be irritating—and that’s bad news if your skin is thin, sensitive or thin AND sensitive (like mine). Also, if you’re on any sort of retinoids (oral like Retin-A or topical like Accutane), it can hurt like a beeyotch when the wax removes the uppermost layer of your skin… and this can even cause scarring. Threading or tweezing are definitely better options if you have any of these concerns.

5. But if you thread, choose your threader wisely.

I love having my brows threaded, but I’m on my third threading lady now—and I’ve got to say, not all are made equal. Some will give you a lovely shape but aren’t very gentle with the thread—I used to walk out of my appointments with lines all over my face from where she pressed it into my skin. And they would take DAYS to go away! Others do a passable job but aren’t very detail-oriented: just because they’re using thread doesn’t mean they don’t also need to perfect their work with tweezers and trimming. I would also be careful going to your city’s Little India for this as there’s more of a risk that your threader isn’t up on the full and natural look. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting super-skinny brows there. So again, do your homework and get a word of mouth recommendation.

6. Book a brow appointment every three to six weeks.

Eyebrow Threading We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Did you know that brows grow in three different cycles? That’s why things can look fine for one, two, three weeks after you get your brows done… and then suddenly, everything starts going amiss (even if there’s not a huge over-growth of hair). This is why I really do think it’s best to have regular appointments for maintenance. You can go in as early as three weeks or leave it as long as six; most people average at four weeks.

7. Invest in a pair of slanted tweezers for at-home maintenance.

Tweezerman’s are the classic choice because they grip the hair really well without pinching the skin.

Tweezerman Slant Tweezer Pink We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Don’t get obsessive about it, but you’ll probably want to inspect your brow area daily and remove any strays as they come up so that you can maintain your shape. But don’t try to trim your brows yourself at home, and only remove hairs from underneath—never above—your arches.

8. Remove a hair, and then take a step back and check your work. Repeat.

Woman looking in mirror We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Magnifying mirrors are the devil. How many of us have gone tweezer-crazy sitting in front of a mirror that blows up your face by 200 percent? At that angle, it’s so easy to pluck, pluck, pluck… and then when you pull back, you realize you’ve removed half your eyebrow and look totally deranged. That’s why the rule of thumb is to keep moving back and forth between a normal mirror and a magnifying one, one hair at a time and alternating between each brow.

9. If you’re not sure whether to remove a hair, the answer is LEAVE IT.

woman plucking eyebrows We are the 99 percent! Of people who need help with their eyebrows, that is—10 tips for OMGamazing arches

Honest to God, even a single hair can change the entire shape of a brow, and therefore of a face. If you’re not sure whether that hair that’s bugging you belongs or not, exercise some willpower and leave it alone until you can make it to your esthetician. It’s better to have one hair too many than a bald spot where you’ve mucked up the shape.

10. If you have a brow disaster and remove too much, you don’t have to suffer for months.

Really, you don’t. Obviously it’s going to take a while to grow them out, but the best thing you can do is keep up with your brow appointments. Even if she doesn’t have much hair to work with, a pro will always be able to improve the shape so that the grow-out process will be easier. The idea is to cultivate the right shape so they grow into it… instead of leaving them completely alone (where there’s a risk you’ll get impatient and sabotage everything by trying to DIY).

Tell me:

When it comes to brows, are you part of the 99 percent or the one percent?
What’s your brow-shaping method of choice?
Have you ever had a major brow disaster?

31 Comments

Nomadic D
Friday, November 18/2011 at 1:49 pm

I love my brows and always have, even when they were more one than two, but of course, I recognize that they look much much much better with a little help. I became a threading addict in nyc where there are some amazing experts, but here in madrid there’s only one place that will do it, and it’s pretty hit or miss. So I find myself not going nearly as often as I should. But I certainly can’t go back to waxing, I’m not quite sure what to do. For now it’s basic maintenance with my tweezers and hoping for an excuse to head back to nyc or london sometime soon…

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Freya
Friday, November 18/2011 at 2:27 pm

Being a DIY-er, last year I took the plunge and went to a salon, talk about the biggest mistake of your beauty life. Pencil thin wonky eyebrows. Still growing out the small bald patches. Depressing. Never again. They’re now fuller, but I want moarrrr.

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Johanna
Friday, November 18/2011 at 2:45 pm

My borws are thin and scandinavian, they kind og stop where my arch would begin so I have to fill them inn everyday. I use a serum to make them grow out a bit, but it’s a slow process. It has worked wonders on my lashes though, it’s called stimulash.

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jenny
Sunday, November 20/2011 at 10:08 pm

my eyebrows are exactly like this. i guess its the price i pay for very little body hair overall. i have such a complex over them though….and they will. not. grow!!

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Laura Eliza
Friday, November 18/2011 at 2:59 pm

I am probably in the 99%. My eyebrows are so much better than they were when I was a teenager, but I honestly have no clue how to shape them properly. It’s very hit and miss, especially since one eyebrow grows different thanks to a chicken-pox scar. That being said, the thought of going to a specialist scares me to DEATH.

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Que Banh
Friday, November 18/2011 at 3:42 pm

I am in the 99%. My brows are awful. They grow all over the place & I need to find an easy way to tame them. Problem is they don’t grow like other people’s brows do – have areas on my brow where no hairs grow – it’s weirded out some estheticians I’ve gone to for taming & dying them.

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lolly
Sunday, November 20/2011 at 11:39 pm

I think some Asian eyebrows just grow a little sparser and wonky. Mine are pretty much straight and half grow downwards so it’s a challenge getting a proper arch and a super challenge finding an eyebrow person who can do them properly. In Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces he writes about the Asian eyebrow and recommends trimming and then filling them in. I try not to trim so much though because it makes them sparser! My left eyebrow also grows a little weirder and I heard in a Pixiwoo video that it might be because that’s the side I sleep on (which is true) which makes them grow that way. Anyways, I always fill mine in and then set them with either hairspray sprayed on an eyebrow brush or clear mascara.

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Melanie
Friday, November 18/2011 at 4:08 pm

I don’t know if the 1% is all that blessed. I don’t pluck, wax, or thread. I have to fill in my brows every morning because they are so blonde! If I don’t I just look a tad scary and eyebrowless.

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LMC1971
Friday, November 18/2011 at 4:16 pm

I’ve been a brow fanatic/enthusiast for most of my adult life Unfortunately I went really thin in the 90′s (didn’t we all!?) but know I like a natural full brow; however full for me doesn’t mean the very thick “Brooke Shields” look, it just doesn’t suit me. I also just started to have mine professionally groomed by a threader here in Toronto….she’s terrific and after only 4 visits my brows have never looked better! I’m a convert for sure and just love the clean results from threading. BTW, I’m 40 and this is the time EVER I let someone else besides myself touch my brows, glad I did :)
Thanks, Lisa

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Queen
Wednesday, January 29/2014 at 9:04 pm

Can you please post the contact info for where you get your threading done? I live in Toronto and desperately need an amazing eyebrow threader! :)

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Nadia
Friday, November 18/2011 at 4:28 pm

Great post, Michelle! I’ve been on a brow transformation for about 6 months now…it’s slow growing!! The weird thing is that one brow grows way faster than the other

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Alicia
Friday, November 18/2011 at 4:41 pm

i`m from Toronto and I found the perfect eyebrow threading place for me. i love the work they do and the price is great too. but I moved to Northern Ontario (Sault Ste Marie) for school and can`t seem to find anywhere to do it for me. I agree with that you said I do my brows about every 2 – 3 week and maintain them in between but since moving up here i feel like my brows are out of control. anyways THANK YOU for this post!!

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Jenna
Friday, November 18/2011 at 4:45 pm

I had my eyebrows waxed when I was in my teens, and can now manage home tweezing touch ups myself. I was lucky, in that the first woman who did them refused to make them too thin, the craze at the time. I’m glad now she didn’t, especially since I have quite thick dark hair everywhere, so it would’ve looked weird. I think generally that fuller brows look better, but the model in the first photos brows are too much (I know, modelling shots, but still!)

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Elsie
Friday, November 18/2011 at 4:51 pm

Hmm, brow shaping method of choice? Honestly, I shave the strays right off. My brows have seen some serious times. I was born with super thick, heavy brows that looked like two giant catapillars over my eyes. Then came the 90′s, and I went totally pencil thin and like an arc shape (best I could do with my archless brows). Then came the 2000s, and I had my brows done by Eugenia Weston who is a brow genius!!! I grew them in, she located the natural arch, and showed me how to carefully trim the longer hairs on top, while really teaching me what a great brow looks like. That was so long ago, and I have mostly maintained what she did. My brows would look pretty darn good, I must admit, but all of a sudden in the last couple years, they have developed bald spots!! In the pattern of my overzealous 90′s plucking!! Heinous. My brows really don’t grow any strays anymore (too much plucking?), so I just shave the little renegade hairs (the little downy ones) and fill in the bald spots with pencil.

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Ashley
Friday, November 18/2011 at 10:58 pm

I have blond basically none existent brows with one that grows weird from a scar. I have been thinking about going for some sort of shaping for awhile in hopes that maybe they would look a little better and fill in nicer but my fear is if i get them done I will have zero brows, less than I already have if they even go slightly too far. thoughts anyone? Im afraid….

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Nicholas
Saturday, November 19/2011 at 8:50 pm

Was the first model participating in Movember too?

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Becky
Saturday, November 19/2011 at 11:40 pm

I don’t exactly agree with this post, in that I don’t think you need to go to a full on expert to get good brows. Yes, both Gwen Stefani and Megan Fox look better post-eyebrow makeover, but they had terrible eyebrows to start with. They were obviously doing a horrible job by themselves. But not everyone does a horrible job by themselves – I do my brows myself usually and they’re fine. I have never liked that weird nineties tadpole brow thing anyway so I’ve always kept them very natural and full. I sometimes get a professional to pluck them (usually when I get them tinted – they are quite fair), but they don’t do a particularly better job than me and I don’t look particularly different.

So what I mean is, it’s not actually crucial to pay someone to give you good brows. You can do it yourself fine, especially if you research it properly. Or a compromise is going every 6 months or so and just making sure you keep to the shape the eyebrow lady did. Every 3 weeks is too much unless you have serious time and money on your hands.

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JC
Sunday, November 20/2011 at 10:29 pm

Oh Lisa, would you share the name of your threaded in TO? I really need a good one!
Thanks!
JC

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Cristina
Sunday, November 20/2011 at 10:44 pm

I’m all about eyebrows! I totally agree that the brows makes the face. Unfortunately I am part of the 99%. Since I don’t have naturally think eyebrows, when I do them myself I tend to make them a bit too thin – The fabulous lady who threads my eyebrows also showed me how to fill them in with a pencil! I get them done every two months and in between I just remove the strays.
About 5 years ago, I went to a salon and had my eyebrows waxed. The lady shaped my eyebrows into a semi-circle; she told me that arches were “out of style.” It was awful.

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Angela
Sunday, November 20/2011 at 11:03 pm

I go to Angela’s Beauty Salon (I don’t own it I swear) in Little India in Toronto and I ask for Thick Brows and I pay 3.50$ and they are sublime.
No thread marks, trimming, amen.

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Jody
Tuesday, November 22/2011 at 5:14 pm

Jeez, it’s only three dollars and fifty cents? I pay $35! I might have to try this place.

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Rita
Monday, November 21/2011 at 2:27 am

Anyone know about a good threader in Calgary? Thanks

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Lisa
Monday, November 21/2011 at 1:28 pm

Oh man… I’m so jealous of people with nice thick brows to work with! My brows are pretty naturally similar to Megan Fox’s before photo. I used to pluck a bit in the 90′s, but have left my brows since then pretty natural, aside from plucking out the odd stray hair. But the natural shape of my brows is just plain thin and arch-ey. I have tried to fill in with a pencil to make my brows look thicker, but then they just look super artificial to me (especially because my brows are pretty high-arched- it looks super dramatic)! I don’t want to get my brows threaded since I don’t want to remove any hair that I do have. I wish there were eyebrow extensions! would totally get them!

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CherieJolai
Tuesday, November 22/2011 at 8:16 pm

I really enjoyed this article. Like, really. Good points, but I go to the salon for my brows every week. For those that take matters in their own hands http://www.typef.com/article/shape-perfect-eyebrows/

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Nicky Bromow
Sunday, December 11/2011 at 9:38 pm

I used to go to the salon but since Im now unemployed I cant afford it and maintain them DIY and I seriously miss having them taken care of. Im the 99%.

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sachin
Thursday, November 29/2012 at 7:01 pm

Hi… I am a Male.
My eyebrow hairs are so black and weird. It looks very bad. So please advise that how can i make them weak and light…

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Cica
Friday, January 18/2013 at 6:35 pm

And if you are in the process og growing, use an eye powder or pen for eyebrows to make them look better :)

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G
Tuesday, January 28/2014 at 12:41 pm

Hi My name is G and I have been Threading for over 17 years and I have my own Salon and all customers love my threading. I can fix anyone’s eyebrows. You are welcome to contact me if you need to get your eyebrows fixed.

Thank you

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G
Tuesday, January 28/2014 at 12:42 pm

Hi My name is G and I have been Threading for over 17 years and I have my own Salon and all customers love my threading. I can fix anyone’s eyebrows. You are welcome to contact me if you need to get your eyebrows fixed.

Thank you

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G
Thursday, January 30/2014 at 8:40 am

If you are looking for perfact threader you are welcome in my shop….call me at 647 787 5581

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Queen
Thursday, January 30/2014 at 11:02 am

Hi – Lisa can you please share the contact info of your threader in Toronto?

Many thanks!

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