Brows can make or break a face. It’s why those photos of celebs without eyebrows are so hilarious! And with eyebrow superstars rapidly emerging like Cara Delevigne, Emilia Clarke, and Rita Ora, inspiration for expertly-shaped brows is everywhere. But celebs have beauty stylists. Left to our own devices, the average person isn’t exactly a master eyebrows craftsman.

These are some of the most common mistakes people make when shaping and maintaining their brows. Find out why they’re no-nos, and see if you’ve been making these mistakes yourself!

1. Mistake: Fixing a unibrow by over-widening your eyebrow gap

Why: Often when people are taking care of a unibrow or just extra shaggy ends, they end up plucking a gap between their brows that’s wider than the Grand Canyon. It looks incredibly unnatural and just plain bad.

The Fix: Hold a thin makeup brush or pencil and line it up vertically with the edge of your inner tear duct. That’s the farthest an eyebrow should be plucked.

image source: Benefit Cosmetics

2. Mistake: Matching your brow color to your hair exactly

Why: This is mostly a problem for people who dye their hair. You dye your hair auburn and you buy an auburn eyebrow pencil. You bleach your hair and you think that your eyebrows must now be bleached. Eyebrow and hair shades don’t have to be an exact match to look good!

The Fix: Whether it’s dye or a brow pencil, picking a shade of brown with a slight tint that goes with your hair color is usually your best bet. For blondes, you can opt to go several shades darker than your hair; in fact, that’s how most natural light blondes look.

image source: Eduardo Gallegos via 500px

3. Mistake: Ignoring your natural arch

Why: Just because your eyebrows don’t have a sharp 45 degree angle arch doesn’t mean there’s zero arch there. Check your brows out, there’s probably at least a slight arch along the top edge. Plucking your brows in a rounded or straight line keeps that arch hidden when you could be looking fierce.

The Fix: When plucking, match the bottom edge to that top arch. You’ll find the arch becomes more distinct when you shape it’s opposite side.

image source: becominggeorgeous.com

4. Mistake: Sparsely-haired brows

Why: Eyebrows with hairs sparse enough to let the skin underneath show could be overly softening your features or just looking straight up messy.

The Fix: Fill those brows, girl. Invest in an eyebrow pencil in an appropriate shade. No clue which shade to buy? Go to a department or makeup store and ask one of the beauticians walking around for advice. They’ll be happy to help or even fill in your brows right there to show you how it looks. You’re not obligated to buy the makeup.

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image source: vevelicious.com

5. Mistake: Over-tweezing the top edge of your brows

Why: This can easily go wrong and mess up the natural shape of your brows. You could lose that arch I was talking about.

The Fix: If the top edge for sure needs to be tamed, get your eyebrows waxed or threaded by a professional. For home maintenance, stick to underneath the brow.

image source: Tracy O’Connor via Livestrong

6. Mistake: Laying the eyebrow makeup on thick

Why: It looks like your brows are painted on, for one thing. And it’s probably drowning out the rest of your face.

The Fix: Use light, short strokes instead of pressing down or dragging lines all the way across. It’s easier to control what you’re doing that way.

image source: makeupartistme.blogspot.com

7. Mistake: Trying to match your eyebrow shapes perfectly

Why: You’re going to end up over-plucking in your quest to make your brows look identical. It’s okay if they have slight differences.

The Fix: Remember this common mantra: “Eyebrows are sisters, not twins.”

image source: Metro UK

8. Mistake: Plucking brows too short or keeping them too long

Why: Eyebrows that are too short can make your eyes and nose look too big; eyebrows that extend too far out shrink your eyes and dominate your face.

The Fix: The golden rule for length is to take your makeup brush or a pencil, line it vertically against the side of your nose, then tilt it away from your nose so the other end rests at the outer corner of your eye. The top of the pencil/brush handle is where your eyebrows should end.

image source: makeupandbeautyblog.com

9. Mistake: Doing your brows before doing most of your makeup

Why: Your complexion looks different after you’ve put on foundation and/or blush. You’re doing brows for a different complexion if you do them before any of that.

The Fix: Make coloring/filling in your brows one of the very last steps in whatever makeup routine you do. That way it will match the rest of your face better!

image source: Palafoxxia via YouTube

10. Mistake: Tweezing before a shower

Why: The hot water in your shower sometimes loosens up hair follicles and a few eyebrow hairs likely slip out as you wash. Might have a noticeable effect on your newly-plucked brows, might not. It’s a potential risk unless you have dense brow hairs that are stronger than an ox.

The Fix: Simple, don’t pluck if you’re taking a shower or bath in the near future.

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Featured photo credit: Instructional photos/Sarah Scotford via theskiny.com

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