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9 Super-Common Eyebrow Mistakes—and How to Fix Them

Your brows frame your eyes and are crucial for maintaining facial symmetry and communicating emotion. Avoid these common mistakes to keep your brows looking their best.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Creating a too wide eyebrow gap

Because most women don’t want a unibrow and risk looking like Bert from Sesame Street, they’ll veer in the opposite direction and remove too many hairs between the eyebrows, which can look unnatural. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to tidy up shaggy ends, but do so with limits in mind. Hold a makeup brush vertically next to your tear ducts. Hands off any hairs from that line toward your eye; the middle area, however, is fair game. Check out these seven tips to help you achieve the perfect eyebrows.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Filling with the wrong color of makeup

While your initial instinct may be to match your brows to your current hair color, surprisingly, that’s not always the best choice. That’s because you want your brows to complement your face, not overpower it. As a solution, aim for a hue that’s two shades lighter than your natural color; this will help define shape without overwhelming the rest of your features.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Trying to make them completely identical

Brows should be sisters, not twins, so don’t spend unnecessary minutes obsessing over the mirror to make them into carbon copies of one another. You’ll most likely end up over-plucking in your quest to make them look identical. Remember that brows aren’t winged eyeliner—it’s OK to have slight differences. Speaking of eyeliner, don’t miss these 12 eyeliner hacks that every woman needs to know.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Overplucking

The scary truth is that eyebrows take an awful long time to grow back, if at all. There’s not much you can do for them once you commit the deed, so take heed in always plucking with a light hand. If this advice is too little too late, your best bet is to step away from the tweezers for a while—meaning weeks—and start experimenting with brow makeup to fill them in. Interested in other hair removal techniques? Find out the things you need to know before you try eyebrow threading.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Having the wrong brows for your face shape

Above all, eyebrows are not a one-size-fits-all sort of accessory: Your eyebrow shape should complement your natural face shape. Ultimately, your features including your brow bone height, forehead length, eye size, and cheekbone structure all factor into how those brows should be shaped. That’s right—there’s a whole science to this beauty game. Here’s how to find the best brow shape for your face shape.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Misplacing your arch

An overly angled arch can make you look perpetually angry, while an arch that’s not angled enough will just appear flat as a horizon. How do you find the happy medium? When shaping your brows, use the side of your nose as a pivot point across the pupil. Angle the pencil so it (hypothetically) cuts through the iris; the place where the pencil intersects your brow marks your ideal arch location. Ultimately, your face knows best what it needs, so don’t stray too far from your inherent arch. Check out these 12 other beauty trends you also avoid.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Keeping them sparse

If you can see skin in between your brow hairs, it’s time to start filling them in with a brow product. It only takes a few extra minutes and will go an incredibly long way towards enhancing your appearance. If you’re using a pencil, short strokes are best, and avoid dragging the pencil or pressing down too hard; otherwise, it will make them look strangely stilted. And stay away from eyebrow stencils at all costs; their preordained shape will almost always end up looking unnatural. Find out the makeup mistakes that make you look older.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Neglecting the brow gel

Although it may seem like overkill to use brow gel in addition to the pencil you used to fill them in, it’s a necessary step. First and foremost, brow gel will keep the hairs set in the same direction for a more groomed and polished finish. But more importantly, spending all that hard work on your eyebrows is ultimately useless if they’re not going to stay in place throughout the day. Don’t miss these 12 other makeup mistakes that pros wish you’d stop making.

Common-Eyebrow-MistakesTatiana Ayazo /RD.com

Not blending enough

Blending isn’t just a mandatory regulation when it comes to face makeup—forgetting to do the same for your brow filler will make the fact that you drew them in incredibly apparent. The natural look is best when it comes to eyebrows, so make sure to blend generously. To prevent them from looking painted on, you can also use a spoolie brush to further comb your brows after applying filler; this will lightly blend everything into place.

 

Hana Hong
Hana Hong is a journalist/storyteller who writes for Reader's Digest, InStyle, CollegeFashionista, Her Campus, and The Fashion Network, among other publications. She hails from the midwest, where she graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in News-Editorial Journalism, but has a passion for the East Coast.