The mistakes you’re probably making with your brows right now

Common Eyebrow Mistakes

Plus, expert tips on how to avoid them

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / April 24 2020

Frida Kahlo, is that you? Jokes! We’re all counting down the days until we can hug our brow lady and tell her to never leave our sides again. But right now, we’re left to our own devices, and boy, is it daunting.  

While tweezing and messing with your brows at home is usually forbidden (thanks to the overplucking ‘90s era), sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. But don’t stress - we’ve got you.

Whether your brows are in desperate need of tweezing, a trim or a tinting sesh, we’ve rounded up tips from Benefit Australia’s National Brow Expert Hannah Mutze and founder of Garbo & Kelly, Carolyn Fox, on what NOT to do.

Mistake #1 / Using poor quality tweezers

When you’re shaping your brows, one thing is crucial – you need to have a pair of good quality tweezers. “I recommend slanted tip tweezers,” says Mutze. “They’re the most precise and easy to use. Good quality tweezers will last years if you look after them. It’s important to keep them clean before uses, too! Rubbing alcohol or antibacterial soap work well.”

Mistake #2 / Using a magnifying mirror

Magnifying mirrors are good for a lot of things, but using them while you pluck your brows is not one of them. “These make your brows appear bigger than they really are. Look for a normal mirror, ideally one you can see your entire face in – this allows you to maintain perspective on shape and size when tweezing,” suggests Mutze.

Mistake #3 / Poor lighting

Sometimes that dull bathroom light ain’t gonna cut it. “For best results, position yourself in front of bright, direct light when shaping at home,” advises Mutze. “Avoid downlights as they cast a shadow underneath the brows – the light source should come from in front. Cosmetic desk mirrors like this one from Etoile Collective are a great option.”

Mistake #4 / Not mapping out the shape first 

Unless you’re a total pro (*crickets*), don’t go rogue. You’re 3000 per cent guaranteed to overpluck your brows if you don’t have a game plan. “The most common mistakes when it comes to home brow shaping are not measuring the brows to create the ideal shape and over tweezing,” says Fox. “Brows are about symmetry and balancing the face and opening the eyes. Every hair counts towards creating perfect brows.”

To ensure a natural-looking result, Mutze says to use a brow pencil to trace around your brow shape first. “Stand back from the mirror to ensure you’re happy with the shape, then only remove the hairs that fall outside the lines. You can’t go wrong!" 

If you’re struggling with what kind of shape you should do, Garbo & Kelly have reusable brow guides for all different shapes of eyes (you get five in a pack).

Mistake #5 / Tweezing incorrectly

This is a biggie, people. In order to make your brows look natural and polished, both Fox and Mutze say you need to use the correct technique. When tweezing your brows, Mutze says to firstly make sure you support the surrounding skin with your non-tweezing hand, as this minimises pain and makes picking up each hair easier. “Grip hairs as close to the skin as possible and remove quickly in one motion –this minimises pain and ensures the hair is removed completely,” says Mutze. “Finally, when removing, pull hairs in the same direction as growth.”

If you’re not hella confident in plucking your face framers, Fox suggests letting your brows just do their thing. “Isolation is the perfect time to grow your brows into shape. Powder them every day to create fuller, thicker brows, especially while growing your brows back in,” she says. Mutze also suggests using a strong-hold brow gel to control overgrown brows; “Brush through with long bristles to coat all hairs then press the flat edge of the brush onto any unruly hairs while drying to secure them in place.”

Mistake #6 / Tweezing too often 

Don’t pluck too much. Overindulging in the ol’ tweezing can have a negative impact on your brows and really do a number on the brow’s follicle growth. “This interrupts your growth cycle and leads to inconsistent, constant regrowth. Instead, keep your cycle in sync by doing a thorough tidy every few weeks,” says Mutze.

Mistake #7 / Not prepping before tinting your brows 

To avoid staining your skin, do some prep before applying the brow tint. “Ensure your brows and the surrounding skin is clean before you start,” says Mutze. “Then, protect the skin around your brows from staining with a layer of Vaseline. Apply with a cotton tip and avoid getting any in your brows.”

Mistake #8 / Leaving brow tint on for too long

“You may end up with too-dark brows or stained skin. Put a timer on your phone so you don’t forget to rinse the colour off,” suggest Mutze. “It’s okay to go slow and apply tint a couple times before achieving your desired colour.”

On top of that, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct shade. “The incorrect shade selection can really have an impact on brows looking unnatural and overdone,” says Fox. “I prefer to choose a lighter tint and leave the product on longer rather than a darker shade that is on for less time as the results last longer with controlled timing,” she adds. 

Not confident on the tinting front? “Fake a brow tint with a tinted brow gel like Benefit Gimme Brow+. Just brush through for natural, thicker and more defined looking brows,” says Mutz.

Mistake #9 / Trimming too many hairs at once

“For a more natural finish, trim slowly – just one or two hairs at a time,” says Mutze. “Brush hairs up before trimming and only remove the excess length that extends above the brows. If you have sparse brows, trim long hairs sparingly to avoid creating gaps or holes in the brows.”

Fox suggests applying a brow gel before trimming your brows: “this will give you more control and ensure you don’t overdo it and trim too short.” For a more in-depth guide, check out our article on how to trim your brows.

Looking for more isolation beauty tips? Here’s how to colour your hair at home.

Main image credit: @lucyhale

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.