If the eyes are the windows to the soul, your eyebrows are the curtains – a fun decoration that can help transform the room. Eyebrows help frame your eyes and create symmetry and balance for the face. Eyebrow shapes and styles can be changed to better suit a person’s preferred aesthetics with a pair of tweezers or waxing strips for a new look. Whether you’re looking for a shape that complements your facial structure or are trying something new, this eyebrow guide will have you sorted out in time for your next outing.
What are the Common Eyebrow Shapes?
When looking for a brow shape to best balance out your features, a good rule of thumb is to follow the opposite of your features. A softer, rounder face is best balanced by an arched brow, while angular faces look less severe with a rounded or soft arched brow. While eyebrow styles can change depending on trends, the basic shape of the eyebrow is fundamentally the same.The foundation of all eyebrow shapes is rounded, straight, arched, and s-shaped. From these shapes, you can then adjust details to reach your dream brow styling. Eyebrows can be further styled by changing the arch shape, length of the tail, hair thickness, and more.If you’re wondering if you’ve gotten in over your head at this point, fear not. Let’s learn first the basics of the brow for beginners and how to map your brows for a foolproof plan before you head in with your wax kits and tweezers.
How to Map Your Brows
If you have never touched your eyebrows and are unfamiliar with the segments of the eyebrow, you can begin by mapping out the three basic points of the eyebrow: the starting point, the arch, and the endpoint. You can map your eyebrows using a pencil and a mirror.
Step 1: Starting point
To find the starting point, hold the end of your pencil to the farthest point of your nostril. The starting point of your eyebrow is where the pencil hits your brow bone when held parallel to your nose. Use your pencil to mark this point so you remember where it is.
Step 2: Arch
Still holding the pencil to the furthest point of your nostril, turn the pencil until the utensil aligns with the iris of the eye. It will likely be around a 45-degree angle from where your pencil began. Every eyebrow has an arch, but you can emphasize and deemphasize the angle of the arch to change the effect on the face.
Step 3: End point
End points can be moved to achieve different looks (some people are shaving the tails off their eyebrows so they can be drawn in higher and shorter for a “snatched” look). This makes the end point the most subjective step of mapping your brows. For a classic, natural brow however, you simply continue to move the pencil outwards as you did to find the arch until the pencil hits the outer edge of your eye. Place the endpoint at least as high as the bottom of the front of the brow to avoid an unnaturally long tail.Now you have the three points of the eyebrow figured out, and you can begin to play with your eyebrow shapes. By manipulating the height of the arch, the length of the tail, or the thickness of the brow, the styling possibilities are endless. To start your eyebrow journey, here are the 8 most popular styles for you to try.
Style 1: Rounded Brows
Rounded eyebrows are a softer look compared to an s-shaped or classically arched brow. Rounded eyebrows are distinctive due to the soft curve through the front of the brow. Rounded brows suit diamond shaped faces the best and will aid in making the face look less wide. Celebrities that commonly rock a rounded brow are Julia Roberts and Gigi Hadid.
Style 2: Straight Brows
If you are a fan of the glittery Korean makeup trends that are all over the internet, then you are likely no stranger to straight eyebrows. If that last sentence couldn’t be farther from the truth, you’ll be happy to hear that straight brows are as simple as they sound. Straight brows have the bottom of the brow in a straight line with no curved arch. The top of the brow is straight from the front of the brow to the arch, and then angles down to connect to the end point. Straight brows look best on oval shaped faces as they add width to the face. If you are someone who wears makeup, try using your eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in your brow straight when you are trying to achieve an innocent look.
Style 3: Arched Brows
Classic arched brows are the style most people are familiar with. The phrase “arched brows” might give you flashbacks to the 2016 marker eyebrow that many would like to forget, but today’s arched brows are less intense thanks to a shift from pomade to pencil and gels. Playing with the height of the arch and the placement of the endpoint can transform the face. A popular trend is the “fox brow” or “model brow” where you shave the ends of your eyebrow and then draw the shape back in with the top of the arch slightly higher and the end point high with a short tail. The trend is meant to give a faux face lift ala Bella Hadid. You don’t have to go to the extreme and shave your eyebrows if you’re looking for a slight lift – simply accentuate the arch as high as you prefer with a pencil or powder for a little drama.
Style 4: S-Shaped Brows
S-shaped brows are not as common as the first three styles but are distinct enough to warrant a name of their own. The shape of the brow follows an S shape as the name implies, but not so dramatically that you look like a cartoon character. When done correctly, s-shaped brows add an air of sophistication, mystery and sexiness. Penelope Cruz is one of the most famous celebrities to flaunt an s-shaped brow. Add a dip down in the front half of the brow before drawing upwards to the arch to try out this shape and remember to brush the hairs down as well.
Style 5: Bushy Brows
Following the kickback of the ultra-sculpted makeup looks of the 2010s, 2020s cult beauty has emphasized a return to natural makeup – including brows. Instead of the carved-out eyebrow that was seen on social media with the rise of Instagram and “camera ready” makeup, bushy brows that feel less polished are now rising in popularity. Originally tagged as the “boy brow”, the bushy brow feels easy, less perfect and balances out the natural look (a highly sculpted and filled in brow would look heavy on the face without equally heavy makeup). Rather than playing with the shape of the brow, this trend emphasizes manipulation of thickness and definition of the brows. Take an eyebrow pencil, pen or powder and fill in the brow with short, hairlike strokes to add thickness without seeming too polished. Take it another step further and use a pomade or gel on a spoolie brush to brush up the hairs for an extra bushy brow.
Style 6: 90s Brows
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Y2K is one of the trendiest genres in fashion right now. And while 90s is not the same as Y2K, there is less adherence to strictly those 10 years of fashion when discussing the inspirations behind the trend. 90s brows are not for the faint of heart – if you are scared of change, turn back now. However, if you’re looking for a dramatic change there are few looks that can rival the skinny brow of the 90s (just ask Rihanna who recently rocked the 90s brow for British Vogue).To whittle down your brows to the skinny legendary brow of your dreams, try Nair Waxing Strips in combination with the eyebrow mapping guide for a fool proof brow transformation.
Style 7: Bleached Brows
If you have a TikTok account, then you have likely seen the bleached brow filter that has been all over your FYP. Bleached brows are another polarizing style but can elevate a look with a quick bleach. Bleached eyebrows add an ethereal element to your style, which is what makes them a favorite of the fashion runways. Evocative and other-worldly, bleached brows are striking and leave a strong impression. If you’re seeking a look to separate you from the pack, bleached brows are a great choice. Plus, once your brows are bleached, you can play with other colors for even more brow looks.
Style 8: Rhinestone Brows
For the person who wants a little extra fun, rhinestone brows add glitz and glamour with a simple spot of glue. Maddy Perez, played by Alexa Demie on the popular show Euphoria, is known for her bold and lavish makeup looks that often incorporate rhinestones. She takes it a step further though and puts rhinestones around her eyebrow for extra sparkle. Rhinestones can be attached with lash glue (we recommend a clear glue rather than a black one) and will last you through the day or night. Be the drama, it’s what Maddy would want.
How to Style Brows for Men
Eyebrows for men are no different from women’s - it’s just hair on the face. If you’re looking for the bare bones of men’s grooming though, you can begin with simply brushing through your brows with a spoolie brush for a clean look. If you have naturally bushy eyebrows, you can follow our eyebrow mapping guide for where to tweeze the brow hair on your face (Unibrows have made a comeback so maybe even skip this step). If you wish to take your grooming a step further, try trimming your eyebrow hairs by pushing the hairs upwards and snipping to the top of the brow. This will make the brow hairs more manageable and less likely to go rogue during the day. To remove any unwanted hair from your eyebrows or your face, try Nair Sensitive Wax Ready Strips for Face and Bikini.
Tools for Shaping Your Brows
Eyebrow shaping and styling can seem intimidating at first, but with practice and confidence, you can achieve any style you want to try. When it comes to tackling your brows at home, trust the 80 years of experience Nair has in hair removal. Nair Wax Ready-Strips are easy to use with no warming or rubbing required. Just apply to the face and enjoy up to 4 weeks of smooth skin without unwanted hair. For any stragglers that you missed, use tweezers or a thread to remove. There are no wrong answers when it comes to eyebrows, so rock your style whatever you choose!