Step by Step Instructions on How to Pluck Eyebrows

1. Cleanse and Exfoliate before Beginning to Pluck Eyebrows

Using makeup remover and cotton pads {or pre-prepared makeup remover towelettes} cleans the face and remove makeup. Wash with a cleanser, then exfoliate the brow area. Pat dry. Apply witch hazel to disinfect.

2. Brush and Trim the Brows

Get comfy in front of a well-lit mirror and brush the brow up and over, then down so the longer hairs are visible. Using curved scissors, trim the long hairs. Bush again, trim stragglers – only the ones that extend below the natural eyebrow shape. Don’t cut too much. Now, brush hairs back so they lay flat.

3. Measure and Mark Where to Begin Shaping / Trace Eyebrow Stencil Outline

Take a long eyebrow pencil and hold it against the side of the nose and mark the point where the pencil hits the brow. Mark it with a white highlighter pencil. This is where the inner brow should begin. Do the same for both sides. You may also measure the eye length and use that as a guide to mark the distance between each brow. {For example, if your eye is 3 centimeters long, the space between the two brows should also be 3 centimeters.} If you’re going to use a professional stencil, now is the time to place it on the start point and trace the contour using the white highlighter pencil. If you’re not going to use an eyebrow stencils kit you’ll need to mark the outer brow ending and the highest point where the arch will be. {Watch the videos below to learn how to do this freehand, and for detailed instructions on How to Use Eyebrow Stencils, see related post.}

4. Apply Hot Washcloth

Using hot water and a washcloth, apply heat to the brow area to open pores and make eyebrow plucking easier. Repeat this process as you pluck eyebrows little by little. Also, apply witch-hazel to the area throughout the plucking process.

5. Pluck Eyebrows

{To choose your best eyebrow plucker or tweezing device, see related post entitled: Tools and Products to Prepare Before Starting to Pluck Eyebrows.}

{a} Starting from the outer corner and working inward, pluck eyebrows using slanted tweezers by pulling the hairs in the direction they’re growing.

{b} Using your chosen eyebrow plucker, try to grasp the hairs as close to the root as possible without pinching the skin.

{c} Hold the skin tight, using two fingers, as you tweeze to lessen discomfort. Use sharp movements to pull individual hairs as quickly as possible, one after the other. Pause every few hairs to brush the brow, dab the area with witch hazel, check that you’re not removing too much, and press a hot cloth to the area again and again. Take your time. Don’t start to pluck eyebrows if you’re in a rush.

{d} Learning how to pluck eyebrows is something you need to get a feel for as you develop your own shape. Generally, it’s good to pluck from the outer edge, then toward the arch, and finally clean up the inner corner and the area between the brows, but the exact order isn’t written in stone.

{e} If you have fine hairs on the top of the brow these may be removed with tweezers or a razor. It’s not taboo to remove hair from the upper brow, however most women don’t need to eliminate more than an odd straggler. It’s never a good idea to take much off the top because it can destroy your natural shape.

{f} Never remove hairs from the main body of the brow.

{g} The biggest mistake is over-plucking. Fuller brows are more flattering than thin ones.

6. Finishing Touches

  • Place a cold pack {or some ice wrapped in a cloth} on the brow/eye area and relax
  • Wipe off the white markings used to determine the brow shape
  • Cleanse with witch hazel
  • Add aloe gel to cool / sooth, then some unscented moisturizing lotion
  • the ice pack may be added again to relax the eyes and reduced redness

It’s not recommended to pluck eyebrows then immediately apply makeup. Wait a few hours, preferably overnight.

Knowing how to pluck eyebrows in order to achieve professional results is about getting into the habit of doing little things that are normally done in a salon, but that may be omitted at home. Here are some salon tricks that make brows look and feel great.

Tricks on how to pluck eyebrows like a pro even when doing it at home:

  1. take your time to create the INITIAL shape. Measure the eye, mark the space between the brow, and use a stencil to get the FIRST outline
  2. brush your brows between tweezes to see how hairs lay, which direction they grow, which ones are wayward, and to give you a reason to PAUSE and check results
  3. pluck one hair at a time – not clumps of three or more. That’s why the best eyebrow plucker tool will be a simple, lightweight pair of slanted tweezers – nothing else.
  4. keep applying hot cloths as you work to make tweezing easier
  5. dab with witch hazel every few hairs to reduce swelling, refresh and eliminate bacteria

Here are two videos that show the above eyebrow plucking steps and techniques.

1. How to Pluck Your Eyebrows courtesy of VideoJug:

How To Pluck Your Eyebrows Video

2. How To Pluck Your Own Eyebrows courtesy of Howcast:

Editors Note:

The tools and products you use when you first learn how to pluck eyebrows will be the ones that stay with you for a very long time. Buy the right tools, use only high quality products, and develop good tweezing and eyebrow care habits right from the start. To help you in this endeavor, I’ve prepared a list of Tools and Products to Prepare Before Starting to Pluck Eyebrows.

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About the editor

Nena Argent, editorial director of EbT magazine since 2009, oversees online editorial content in English and Spanish. She joined EbT after ten years as an investigative journalist in Asia where she researched oriental health, nutrition and beauty treatments. Now based in Europe, she reports on the latest beauty trends, health issues, high-tech medical advancements and state-of-the-art cosmetic procedures from around the world.

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