If anyone out there has finally mastered the art of creating the perfect brow shape, please call us immediately and share your secrets. If you're anything like us, it's an on-going process, involving constant tweaks, sometimes a little over-zealous tweezing, and experimenting with all kinds of brow products in an attempt to create the perfect arches. Turns out, it's important to consider both your eye shape and your face shape when doing so, says brow expert Jared Bailey. (Oh, maybe that's what we've been doing wrong.)
He suggests starting with a three-step process to determine the overall positioning (this is the part that plays off your eye shape). Place a pencil at the dimple of your nose (where a piercing would go) and point it straight up; this is where your brow should start. Angle the pencil so that it points towards the center of your pupil; this is where the highest point of the arch should be. Finally, tilt it so that it lines up with the outer corner of your eye; this is where your brow should end. Once you've mapped out your brow, it's time to tweak things according to your face shape.
IF YOUR FACE IS ROUND
"You want your brows to create balance and proportion. On round faces, they should have a somewhat slimming effect," explains Bailey. The best way to achieve that? Elongate the tail of your brows ever so slightly when filling them in; he suggests picturing the width of a grain of rice as a reference. That could mean a few extra flicks of a pencil, or an extra stamp of an angled liner brush. Yes, even something that subtle will create the illusion of a slimmer face.
IF YOUR FACE IS LONG
On the opposite end of the spectrum, your brows should be slightly shorter. "This will make your face look plumper and fuller," says Bailey. If you're concerned about over-tweezing, fake it with makeup. Simply avoid applying whichever brow product you're using on the last few hairs of the tail to achieve the same effect.
IF YOUR FACE IS SQUARE
Brows that are very defined and square at the start will only make your face look boxier. Instead, focus on keeping the brows soft and feathery, and raise the arches slightly. "A higher arch elongates the face, which makes a square [face] appear more oval," notes Bailey.
IF YOUR FACE IS HEART-SHAPED
You probably also have a pronounced nose, chin, and/or cheekbones, points out Bailey, which means you want to keep the brows soft and rounded. This applies mostly to the arches, which should be curved rather than harshly angled to help balance to the face.
IF YOUR FACE IS OVAL
Congratulations, because this is the ideal shape (at least, according to some theoretical measurements of which facial proportions are most beautiful). Since you don't really need to balance anything out, Bailey suggests opting for a straighter brow. "While brows often sit slightly above the brow bone, keeping them close to the bone will also help subtly accentuate the curve of your face," he adds.
For more tips on achieving your perfect brows, keep reading:
Go back in time and check out what brow trends looked like 100 years ago: