8 Things People With Great Brows Always Do

Illustration by Louisa Cannell
No one has an objectively perfect set of eyebrows. (No one has the "perfect" anything, for that matter.) Still, that doesn't stop us from gazing wistfully at Lily Collins', Emilia Clarke's, and Beyoncé's, wondering, How the hell do I get those? They're so well-shaped and full, you can tell just by looking that the over-plucking trend of the '90s and '00s eluded them. But is it so wrong for us to just want great brows, too, regardless of our brow-growth history?
Here's the thing: Achieving your perfect brow shape, size, and texture doesn't happen overnight. The journey requires patience, self-control, and above all, time. Up for the challenge? We asked the pros — brow and makeup artists Stevi Christine and Nikki Wolff — for a handy road map that will get you there.
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The 8 things you need to know to get the brows you've always wanted, ahead.
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Before you get started, make sure to ditch your perception of perfect. Christine says to remember one thing: Your brows were not made to be equal. Not unlike boobs, brows are sisters, not twins — and there's beauty in that.

"Trying to match them exactly is one of the most common mistakes I see my clients making when grooming at home," Christine says. "It can result in over-tweezing." And that's the sort of vicious cycle we're looking to stop.
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The thing about growing out your brows is that you have to let them grow, and that means no tweezing and trimming. You must allow them to freely do their thing before you can shape them, or else there won't be anything left to shape.

Of course, this is easier said than done. In case you get the urge to pluck, Christine suggests hiding your tweezers — so hopefully you won't be able to find the tool to carry out the deed next time. And remember, the growth won't happen overnight, so commit to your patience now rather than later.
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In the beginning, tweezers may feel like public enemy #1, but magnifying mirrors come in a close second. "Never look in a magnifying mirror!" Wolff warns. "It’s far too tempting to pluck when you see the little hairs up close. Take a step back and look at your brows as a whole picture, rather than a small detail."
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But just because you have toss some tools doesn't mean you have to toss them all. Christine suggests always keeping a stockpile of clean spoolies (no, not the dirty one on the end of your brow pencil). Why? "You can use a spoolie to apply oil to brows," she explains. "I have lot of clients who complain about their eyebrows being dry, and an oil is a great way to add moisture." Speaking of treatments...
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... find one and commit to it. Yes, there are ones out there that work and, if the formula doesn't exactly hit fast-forward on the growth process, it will at least keep your hairs conditioned and soft. While Wolff is a fan of castor oil, Christine loves Grandebrow and Neubrow. The latter, she says, will make your brows darker, but you might find you like the added tint. Rogaine Extra for Men works, too ("Apply a small amount of the product on a cotton swab daily," Christine explains).

Remember: If you're consistent, they'll work. "I recommend my clients leave the product near something they use daily, like their toothbrush or face wash, so they remember to use it," says Christine.
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As much as Instagram can be a self-esteem booster, it can also drain you of it. The sight of the ubiquitous "Instagram brow" — a whole new breed of brow grooming that gets its name from just how often you'll spot its sharp lines and bold color populating your feed — might make you question your commitment to going au naturel. But Christine urges you to stay away from trying to mimic this look while you're growing yours out. Why? The same way makeup doesn't always help your acne, it doesn't do much good for you eyebrows either.

"Be aware of how much product you’re applying to your brows. If you’re applying a thick layer of product to fill them in, remember, you will have to remove all of that later," she explains. "Daily removal of heavy product can pull out some of those beautiful eyebrow hairs." If you must fill your arches in daily, keep it light with minimal hair-like strokes throughout.
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Wolff is a big fan of bushy brows, and she suggests brushing yours up as much as possible during the grow-in process. "I do this before grooming brows and before filling in brows," she says. This will give off the illusion that you've got more than what you're actually working with.

If you're at the point where they're healthy enough to regularly groom once again, this technique will also help you see which hairs should and shouldn't be there.
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There are a lot of professional brow services out there, like waxing, tweezing, threading, and tinting. But do you really need to splurge on those kinds of treatments if you aren't already? "Everyone’s brows grow at slightly different rates, so the frequency of your visit to a professional is dependent on that," she explains. "I adore natural brow growth with very light grooming if necessary, so I wouldn’t always say visiting a professional is necessary."

Similarly, don't feel obligated to splurge on brow makeup and tools, either. That $8 brow gel probably works just as well as the one that costs you $20. Finding the right brow products for you is, of course, personal, but there are plenty of options to choose from that don't have to burn a hole in your wallet. In fact, Wolff's brow routine doesn't involve a complex makeup kit: Sure, she loves a good pomade, but Dr. Bronner's bar soap (yes, $5 bar soap) is her secret to keeping hairs in place with tons of volume and texture.
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