While we like how defined our brows look after a well-executed waxing or threading session that gets even the finest of brow hairs out, it may not always be feasible to schedule an appointment with a professional every month. Work, family and other commitments may get in the way and before you know it, six weeks have passed and your brows may be starting to look a bit unkempt. Because self-administered waxing or threading is not recommended (you don’t want to rip out your brows and spend the next six months trying to grow them back out, do you?), the best solution is grab a tweezer and start plucking off the stray hairs one by one. Here’s how to do it right:
1. Use a pair of good tweezers
We’ve lost track of the number of times when we used a pair of tweezers with an uneven grip that broke off the brow hair we intended to take out, or one with a tip too wide that took off more brow hairs than was initially intended. So what should you look out for in a pair of tweezers?
First, the tips should be just the right width – anywhere from 2-4mm is ideal, from our experience. Leave those needle-like precision tweezers to the real professionals, lest you poke yourself or break your skin and cause a skin infection. Anything too wide is unwieldy.
When you squeeze the tweezer, the flattened parts of the tips should be square-shaped and come together without leaving any gaps. This ensures a firm and good grip so you can take out the brow hairs easily. If the flattened tips are too-thin rectangles, you risk snapping off the brow hair at its root. Plus, you should always check that the tips are sharpened, especially after any klutz (yourself included) drops the tweezer on the floor.
Lastly, choose a slightly angled one so your hand is not blocking your view when you are using the tweezer – precision is important because you want to be able to pluck out your brow hairs strand by strand.
Try Tweezerman Ultra Precision Slant Tweezer, a favourite of beauty editors from all over the world. This version is coated in titanium nitrate so it resists corrosion (great in Singapore’s humid weather) for longer-lasting tips.
Tweezerman Ultra Precision Slant Tweezer, $36 for the mini version, $58 for the full-sized one, from Sephora.
2. Determine the brow shape you want and outline it using a white eyeliner pencil
It’s easy to maintain your brow shape if you tweeze out stray hairs every other day following your professional brow grooming session. But if you’ve put it off for more than a few weeks, your brows may start to get out of shape. Using a white eyeliner pencil to draw out your desired shape serves as a good guideline and shows you exactly where the unwanted brow hairs are so you can start tweezing them out. Here’s an important tip: Only remove the brow hairs whose roots are growing outside of the lines. If the root is inside the line but the brow hair is too long and dips out of the line, leave it. You’ll trim off the excess length in the next step. If you’re adept at using a brow razor like the Etude House My Beauty Tool Eyebrow Razor, you can shave off the extra fine brow hairs that are not-so-visible, yet harder to get out with tweezers.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Eyebrow Razor, $2.90, from Etude House
3. Trim your brows with a pair of scissors
No, we’re not talking about that pair of kitchen or arts and craft scissors, but one specially made for trimming brow hairs. These scissors have a sharp tip for precision and are small enough to wield easily – they may or may not have curved blades (it’s your preference). We like The Browgal Eyebrow Scissors that is designed so you can grip and manoeuvre them easily. The stainless steel blades are also resistant to rust.
The Browgal Eyebrow Scissors, $34, from Sephora
You’ll also need a spoolie brush like those found on eyebrow pencils to help you hold the brow hairs in place as you snip off the excess length. These work better than combs at holding the brow hairs in place as you trim them, and are dense enough to catch even the shortest and finest brow hairs. We like the Benefit Cosmetics Brow Defining & Blending Tool, which has custom-blended bristles with just the right stiffness for this task.
Benefit Cosmetics Brow Defining & Blending Tool, $35, from Benefit Cosmetics and Sephora
Start from the head of your brows and use the spoolie brush to comb the brow hairs upwards and hold them in place. Snip off anything that falls out of the white line that you’ve drawn. Comb downwards and repeat. Work your way from the head of the brows to the ends. If you are new to this, try snipping off lengths of no more than 1mm at a time and step back from the mirror to check your handiwork. It’s better to err on the side of caution and have your brows more bushy than too-neat if you are not certain. Remember that practice makes perfect, so once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to have neat and well-groomed brows every single day.