Brow toolsYou’ve asked and now we’re answering. Keep them coming by commenting below your most pressing questions on all things beauty + skincare and our new Beauty Director, make-up artist Michelle Acosta will answer them.

I’ve discovered the secret to perfect brows: be me right now. That doesn’t sound like something you can do? What is a perfect brow? Eyebrow trends have come and gone over the years, in high school everyone was obsessed with the super-thin, overly plucked brow, and now the Elizabeth Taylor full brow has come roaring back. The only rule that’s remained constant is that “brows should be twins, not sisters.”

But what’s the best way to maintain them? Is it a faux pas to fill them in? How do you avoid ingrown hairs? Sometimes being beautiful is so complicated we just want to give up, and wear a paper bag all day. Fear not, we’ve asked Michelle Acosta for tips on not only perfecting the perfect brow but maintaining it.

Tweezing/waxing/threading. There are so many options on maintaining eye brows. Can you help clarify which is the best option? (I also want to avoid ingrown hairs) — Felicia D. 

When talking brow maintenance, there are so many ways of going about it, it’s crazy. There isn’t really any option that trumps the rest of them. Like all things beauty, it’s a matter of trial and error. But one thing that can help refine the options is by asking yourself (1) if you already know exactly what brow shape you want, and (2) how to achieve that brow shape.

If the answer is either “nope!” or if you’re not sure, I would highly recommend going to a salon and seeing a professional first. After getting the initial shape down, you can easily maintain your brows by tweezing them in between salon visits.

For those who know exactly what they want, and want to save a few bucks by avoiding a monthly/bi-monthly salon visit, tweezing and trimming at home can work just as well! I always recommend leaving waxing to a professional, but if you have it down, go for it!

As for ingrown hairs, they’re pretty much unavoidable any time you completely remove or shave hair (versus trimming), but there are products out there that you can try that helps alleviate this. Definitely don’t forget to exfoliate your skin (especially your face and neck) regularly! Exfoliating regularly is one of the best ways to avoid ingrown hairs.

How do I find and build my arch? — Patty B. 

Brow arch example 3This is probably one of the most difficult beauty topics to explain without a one-on-one demonstration. Everyone has a different, unique brow shape, making it virtually impossible to have a one-size-fits-all approach to find your arch. However, there are lots of tricks that beauty gurus swear by, but you first have to take a really good, honest look at your brows. Naturally, some people have a high arch, low arch, arches somewhere in between, or might not even really have one at all – they’re all beautiful!

To Find your Arch: As you can see in the photos, one of the girls has a very defined arch (blue-eyed beauty), and the other hardly has an arch at all (brown-eye beauty). But one thing that you can see in both photos is the slight change from one end of the brow to the other. You can see each girl’s arch by starting where the brow is fullest (closest to the nose) and then begins to taper slightly (where the arrow points). Over the years, I’ve noticed that most people have this to help them find their arch. If you really can’t see any signs of an arch on your brows, try going to a salon or makeup artist that can help you define your arch.

To Build your Arch: Depending on the overall shape of your brows, you can really accentuateBrow arch example 2 your arch, or you can downplay it slightly if a high arch isn’t your thing. With all the brow products out there, you can pretty much make your eyebrows have any shape you’d like. To accentuate your arch, play around with your eyebrow product of choice, and overdraw just the arch area little by little. Defining the upper and lower areas of the brow bone will further accentuate your arch. To downplay your arch, slightly overdraw the areas surrounding the arch. By leveling out the area, your arch will become less noticeable.

In high school I seriously over tweezed so now my brows are taking forever to grow back. What can I do in the meantime? — Melissa C. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to make hair naturally grow back. In some cases, eyebrow hair has a tendency to never grow back (where we actually want it to grow back!). In any case, you have options for filling in brows:

* If you’ve over-tweezed a little bit – Filling in brows with an eyeshadow, pencil, or gel will do the trick. You can either fill in just the spots that are sparse, or fill in the entire brow to create a full shape that will easily distract from any sparse areas.

* If you’ve over-tweezed a lot – Using a richly pigmented pencil or waterproof eyebrow gel/crème is best. When creating eyebrows that really aren’t there, you want to make sure that the color really sticks and doesn’t start fading or melting off. There’s also another beauty trend going on right now called “eyebrow extensions” that you can look into if you’re absolutely desperate for fuller brows, where individual hairs are glued on one-by-one onto the brow area. However, like all new, up-and-coming beauty products, please do your research before trying it yourself.

Should guys tweeze/wax their eye brows? —Tri D. 

If a guy wants to, why not? Depending on how groomed a guy wants to look, brow maintenance is totally fine in my book! I think people often forget that guys want to look good just as much as ladies do, but most importantly, they want to feel confident in their appearance just as much as girls do.

Brow image 1So boys, how groomed do you want to look? If you want a more natural look with your brows, I would suggest tweezing only the areas under and in between the brows. Only with tweezing can you really pace yourself and see your progress as you go. You have the most control, and you don’t have to go to a salon to get good results.

If you want an ultra-groomed, sleek look, I would suggest going to a salon for a professional waxing.

Note: Photos courtesy of Martin Delfino. Make up & Hair styled by Michelle Acosta.

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