Why Your Brow Shape Matters

A few wrong plucks and you can go from looking like Heidi Klum to Cruella De Vil. Eyebrow experts Kristie Streicher of Streicher Beauty Bar and Anastasia Soare explain why having well-groomed arches is so important. By Robyn Macy, REDBOOK.

Balance your features
"Eyebrows are the framework for the entire face," says Soare. "The proper eyebrows can balance wide cheekbones or make the length of the face appear more proportionate." And according to her, beauty is all about emphasizing the features you love, and taking attention away from those that are less than ideal. Get your brows up to the job the easy way by tweezing after a shower, or dab a warm wash cloth over your face to let the follicles soften, making the hairs come out less painfully.

Frame your face

Let your face shape, features and natural eyebrows - not celeb trends - determine the style of your brow," says Streicher. What works for Michelle Obama's square-oval shape may not suit you, so before you bring her photo to the salon, compare your face shapes. Frame a round face with a more angular, medium to full brow. Heart shapes can try for a straighter brow, and ovals can shoot for a more prominent arch.

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Look happier
For all eyebrows, it's important to avoid over-plucking, which creates too severe of a look and will have your family and co-workers constantly asking, "what's wrong?" To avoid taking off too much, invest in a stencil to help outline the shape you want to create and mark it with an eyebrow pencil. And be weary of taking too much off the top of your brows, a common error.

Even everything out

To determine where your brows should start, look at the top bridge of your nose. Usually, the beginning of your brow should more or less line up; however, advises Soare, "If your eyes are far apart, bringing the brow shape closer together gives the illusion of shorter distance between the eyes." For those, with long faces, it's better not to over-pluck at the bridge as well. If eyes are close-set, the opposite is true; create a wider-set look by plucking a few more strands away from the center on both sides.

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Find your perfect shade

Applying the right brow shadow can help freshen your overall appearance. Try to get close to your hair color - whether it's god-given or dyed - for a more natural look. Too pale of a color may make your eyes look dull and washed out, while a too dark one can distract from your eyes. If you have dark hair, aim for two shades lighter than your stands' color. If yours is lighter, try for two shades darker.

Distract from a round face
Self-conscious about a heavier face? "Brows more or less can sculpt the face and minimize features you find less flattering," says Soare. Those with rounder faces should stay away from too much curve, which will only emphasize the shape. For a slimming effect, try a straighter style with a higher arch.

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Look younger
Finally, once you've plucked to perfection, keep brows well-groomed, and the most youthful looking by brushing them upward and out. It will instantly make the space around your eyes more open, and therefore you appear younger.

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