Chances are you’ve got a pretty good grip on how to handle facial hair. If you prefer to go clean-shaven, you probably have a full shaving routine down, from your go-to shaving cream to your best razor blade. And if you sport a beard, there’s a good chance you’ve got a beard oil in your arsenal and know how to trim it just right. But what about your eyebrows? Men’s eyebrows are often forgotten territory when it comes to grooming, but they shouldn’t be a total afterthought.
“Brows bring balance and proportion to the face and eyes,” says Benefit Cosmetics Global Brow Expert Jared Bailey. “Brow shaping is the easiest thing anyone can do to ensure that their face looks polished, groomed and symmetrical.” Grooming men’s eyebrows is a lot easier than it sounds. To prove it, Bailey answers all your questions and walks you through the process step-by-step.
Men’s Eyebrows: How To Choose the Right Shape
“Whether you’re attempting to shape on your own or going to a pro, brows should always be custom built for your individual face,” Bailey says. “At Benefit, we use a technique called brow mapping to help identify a shape that’s going to bring balance and proportion to the face and eyes. Following these three measurements helps keep your brows in the right proportion with the rest of your face and features.”
If you’re a more down-to-earth fella, then you’ll want to go with a more natural look. Basically, no one should be able to tell that you’ve been trimming or shaping your brows.
With a pair of tweezers and some patience, you can give your bushy eyebrows a little definition and make yourself look more polished, like so:
On the other end of the spectrum, you can go full glam:
The first look can easily be accomplished at home, while more advanced looks take some practice (or professional assistance).
For a DIY job, Bailey suggests sticking to these tips:
- Grab a brow pencil and start by finding where your brow should begin by following a straight line up from the dimple of your nose to the front of the brow and make a mark. This is your start and will help slim your nose and balance your eyes.
- Next, find where your brow is naturally at its highest by measuring from the outer edge of the nose across the center of the eye and make a mark. Say hello to your arch. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be angled or sharp; it means that this particular point is going to help open up the eye area.
- Finally, mark where your brow should end by following a diagonal line from the outside of your nose to the outer corner of your eye. This will show you where your brow should end. Length is important because it gives your face proportion and you don’t want your brows connecting to your hairline.
Maybelline Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil
This eyebrow pencil will do the trick to help you map your brows. The teardrop tip makes it easy to draw with and the spoolie brush on the other end is useful for brushing your brows into place so you know exactly where you need to pluck.
Why should men avoid shaving their brows?
“A lot of guys tend to have coarse facial hair, brows included,” Bailey says. “When hair is dense and coarse, it tends to be a bit thicker at the base and shaving the brows will only cut that hair at the surface. While a 5 o’clock shadow is a look you can easily lean into along the jawline, it’s harder to pull off around the brow. Additionally, a slip of the razor can leave you with a gap or no brow at all — for a few weeks, anyway.”
Benefit Brow Grooming Tweezer & Brush
“When it comes to tweezers, it’s all about finding tweezers with a tight closure, as brow hairs can have a light coat of oil on them and tend to be a little slippery,” Bailey says. “Benefit’s slanted tweezers are coated with diamond dust to firmly grasp and pluck even the finest hairs. There’s also an attached brush on the other end which is a good thing to have to tame your brows before you start tweezing away.”
Tweezerman Slant Tweezer
Known for their precision thanks to their hand-finished tips that land a good grip on hair, these award-winning tweezers are a go-to for Bailey. “The Tweezerman Slanted tweezers have a nice tapered end that allows you to grab the tiniest of outgrowth,” Bailey says. Plus, the blue hue makes for a fun pop of color.
How can men deal with a unibrow?
“A unibrow might be your style, but if the hair is dark and coarse it can result in a bit of a surly expression,” Bailey says. “The easiest way to keep people from thinking you’re scowling is to remove the uni. For this, use a brush, or a micro-lining brow pencil and measure from the dimple of the nose (right where you would have it pierced) straight up to the beginning of the brow. Make two little marks on both of your brows and this is your ideal start. This is the ideal amount of space to balance out the eyes and not leave the bridge of your nose looking too broad. FYI, it’s often much smaller than the width of a razor — don’t try it. Remove these hairs individually with a slanted tweezer.”
HOLLYWOOD BROWZER 2 Professional Dermaplaning Blades
Another alternative is dermaplaning, a hair removal tool that is great for shaping eyebrows. Safe and gentle, the stainless steel-coated blade has safety guards on both sides so you don’t have to worry about serious nicks, plus it won’t cause razor burn or irritation. It’s also designed to prevent ingrown hairs and redness. It’ll work to remove both coarse and fine hair.
What if men want thicker brows?
“The easiest way to get a thicker brow is by using a fiber gel,” Bailey says. “If you want it to look natural, like you grew them yourself, go for a gel that has a layer of opacity built into the formula like Benefit Gimme Brow+ so you can see the true tone of your brows coming through. You simply brush the gel through the brow and the tiny micro-fibers adhere to the hair and instantly make your brow look thicker in a very believable way that won’t smear or smudge.”
Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel
Easy to apply, just brush on this buildable eyebrow gel to add volume, tint the hair and groom brows all in one swipe. It delivers totally natural-looking results, plus it’ll stay put for the long haul since it’s water-resistant and long-wearing.
How To Groom Men’s Eyebrows: Step-By-Step Instructions
“If you’re going to attempt your brows at home, use a micro-lining brow pencil like Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil to mark up the shape first using the steps above,” Bailey says. “After you make the points, connect them by lightly sketching from point to point. Any hair that falls outside of the shape can be removed. The hair that falls inside the shape is what stays.
Before you start to remove any hair, hold the skin taut with one hand and remove each hair outside the brow shape one at a time in the direction of its growth. Holding the skin taut will make it hurt less and protect the follicle. Always remove the hairs one at a time so you don’t accidentally grab a hair that needs to stay behind.
The most difficult part of DIY brow grooming is the trim, but a good trim job can change your entire look for the better. For this, you’ll need a tiny pair of brow scissors and a flexible brow gel like Benefit 24-Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel. Start by brushing the hair up toward the hairline and out towards the temple and let it dry completely. Next, use the tiny brow scissors to clip just the ends of the hair that extend past the shape. Err on the side of longer hair versus shorter hair. If you cut coarse, thick brows too short, the hair won’t lay correctly, and you’ll have a brow spike.”
Macs Professional Eyebrow Scissors
Aside from looking very cool on your vanity, these scissors are ideal for shaping men’s eyebrows. They have an ergonomic design to make wielding them comfortable, plus the thin, sharp blades are as precise as it gets. They’re so exacting that you can even trim a single hair. They come with a safety pouch for storage.
How can guys avoid eyebrow dandruff?
“What most people see as ‘brow dandruff’ is simply dry, dead skin,” Bailey says. “To keep this from happening make sure you’re working your cleanser into your brow hairs just like you would your beard. After you cleanse, go ahead and bring your eye cream up and around the entire orbital bone. Be gentle as you do it because it’s still the eye area, which can be a little sensitive.”
Baxter of California Under Eye Cream for Men
Designed just for men’s skin, this Baxter of California eye cream will instantly shrink dark circles and puffiness while over time it works to smooth skin. The impressive ingredients — caffeine, antioxidant vitamins and seaweed extract — team up to deliver an energy boost to skin while smoothing wrinkles. Apply a little over your brows to keep that skin hydrated, too.
How often do men’s eyebrows need to be groomed?
“Hair on your brows is like the hair on your head: it grows on a cycle and it’s slightly different on everybody depending on several factors,” Bailey says. “However, to stay as polished as possible, I’d recommend an appointment with a pro every four to five weeks. If you have thicker hair along your brows, you’ll probably have to go more often in the first few months until all the hairs begin to get on the same cycle of growth.”
What are common mistakes guys should avoid while eyebrow grooming?
To help the process go as smoothly as possible, Bailey shares blunders to avoid:
- Never use a beard trimmer to trim your brows. The hair in your brow is different lengths for a reason and sometimes it helps to cover scars or less dense portions of the brow. Strategic trimming is the way to go when it comes to cutting length from the brows.
- The most common mistake people make when tweezing is removing the hair in the wrong direction. Each hair is connected to a tiny blood vessel (derma vessel) that keeps it healthy and allows it to grow back when the hair is removed. Once that vessel is ruptured, the hair never returns. Bummer, right? So, to tweeze properly, you must hold the skin taut with one finger and then tweeze the hair in the direction it is growing. Typically, that direction is upward or toward the temple, rather than straight out. It’s really important to work with Mother Nature on this one!
- Brows bring balance and proportion to your face and eyes so it’s important you use a mirror where you can see both of them at once. Using tiny magnifying mirrors should be illegal because you can only see a field of tiny hair versus the actual shape and what it’s doing for your entire face.
- Always use natural lighting. Not everyone’s bathroom is built like a terrarium, so if possible, take a mirror you can prop up and tweeze near a window with even lighting on your face.
- Just say no to power-plucking! As tempting as it may be to grab multiple hairs, go for one brow hair at a time. This will help ensure you don’t grab the wrong one and end up with a patch or a hole.