Secrets to Beautiful Brows

Want to brighten your whole face in just minutes? Get your brows into shape. Eyebrows, when shaped properly and maintained well, can enhance more than just the look of your eyes.

“The eyebrows are the frame of the face,” says esthetician Arsi Tavitian of the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, which counts celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Renee Zellweger and Jennifer Lopez among its clientele.

But there’s more to getting and maintaining beautiful brows than just whipping out a pair of tweezers and plucking away. Tavitian, along with Beverly Hills celebrity brow expert Robert Bolanos, offer tips on the do’s and don’ts of eyebrow care.

DO tweeze gradually.

“One of the common mistakes I find is that consumers tend to over-trim their eyebrows,” says Bolanos, who has worked with Jessica Alba and Queen Latifah. “You should trim just enough to lay the brows down into their natural shape.” He recommends plucking a few hairs at a time, then stepping back from the mirror to check before going on. “If you take out three or four from the right, that doesn’t mean you automatically take out three or four on the left,” he says. “You may have more growth on one side than the other. Do just enough to balance and that will save you from over-tweezing or over-shortening.”

DON’T try to shape your eyebrows yourself.

Tavitian says that many women who try self-shaping end up with a harsh or overdone look because they don’t know how to follow the natural curve of their brows. To ensure the best results, go to a professional salon esthetician who can examine your face and determine the brow arch and length that will work best for you. Between salon visits, you can remove new hairs with fine-point tweezers.

DO consider the merits of various shaping methods.

Tweezing, waxing, threading, shaving -- each technique has its share of fans as well as critics. “Shaving is the worst way to go; waxing is the best,” says Tavitian. “Tweezing is great for in-between visits, to get all the new growth. Just don’t use it to start shaping your brows yourself.” Threading, a method in which two strands of thread are used to pull out unwanted hairs, may be an option if waxing irritates your skin. However, Tavitian says, waxing produces a more precise shape than threading.

DON’T try to match someone else’s arch.

Trying to copy a celeb’s dramatic brows could make you look more Gaga than glam. “The goal is to have the natural arch for your face. If it’s too thick or too thin, then the arch looks wrong,” Bolanos says. “The arch is determined by the framing of the eyebrow, the bone structure of the brow bone, the space around your eyes, how much space you have on the lids -- even how close together your eyes