Eyebrow Shaping

How to Get the Best Eyebrow Shape For Your Face

Woman having eye brows waxed, close-up

Paul Burns / Photodisc / Getty Images

Beautifully shaped eyebrows with a nice arch are an important part of a polished look. Few people know this better than Eliza Petrescu, a New York City-based eyebrow designer who is famous for her celebrity clientele and long waiting list at Eliza's Eyes, the brow sculpting salon on 171 East 74th Street near Third Avenue in New York City. When done well, eyebrow shaping calls attention to your eyes, frames them, and makes them appear more open. 

But it's easy to make mistakes when you shape your eyebrows yourself. The most common mistake is over-tweezing into a thin, high, rounded eyebrow that gives your face a permanently surprised look.

Another common do-it-yourself misstep is creating an unflattering fish-hook shape where the thickest part of the brow gets much thinner abruptly. For people with thin, blonde eyebrows, it's easy to take too much off the sides so the brow seems to disappear. 

So what's the secret to getting the best brows for your face? Here are Eliza's tips:

  • Do find an eyebrow designer who specializes in eyebrows. A good eyebrow designer will create a brow shape that is right for your face shape and the kind of eyebrow you have to work with: light, medium or full. To find the best eyebrow designer in your area, start looking at other people's eyebrows. If you see someone with beautiful eyebrows, ask them who did it!
  • Don't shape your eyebrows yourself. It's too easy to ruin your whole look with a badly shaped brow. If you can't visit an eyebrow specialist regularly, don't do anything besides cleaning up the strays that are well below your eyebrow. "You're better off with what God gave you," says Eliza.
  • Do build a monthly visit to the eyebrow designer into your beauty budget, just like haircuts, color, and manicures and pedicures. It will cost anywhere from $30 for smaller cities to $128 for a well-known eyebrow designer like Eliza.
  • Don't have your brows tweezed for free at make-up counters. The people there are make-up artists, not brow experts. They tend to make the same mistakes that people do at home.
  • Do check out products that can help thin brows look fuller. Eliza has a brow definer to outline the shape, a brow filler to fill in bare spots, and a brow shaper that looks like clear mascara and holds the full, defined brow in place.
  • Don't get your eyebrows waxed if you're using a product like Accutane or Retin-A. It can take off the outer layer of skin.
  • Finally, don't get your brows waxed at a resort spa, or with anyone whose work you haven't seen. You don't know how often they wax brows, and could end up with a disaster—badly shaped or overwaxed brows that don't grow back easily after your visit.