I’ve been getting my eyebrows done since I was 12 years old. I’m 30 now, so that’s almost 18 years of brow styling. Whoa. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had uneven eyebrows. So, whenever I’d go to a salon to get them waxed, the esthetician would often make a comment about my brows being uneven. I used to take these comments personally because I was very insecure about my physical appearance and eyebrow unevenness (now I realize they were really just doing their job and almost everyone’s brows are mismatched), so I started plucking on my own. Unfortunately, this never ended well since I don’t have the steadiest hand or the greatest eyesight. Needless to say my brows usually ended up looking too thin and more uneven.
From there I moved on to getting my eyebrows threaded, but the process always made my eyes swell up. I dreaded going so I stopped doing anything to my eyebrows all together. Luckily for me this was during the bushy eyebrow movement that started a few years ago (thank you, Cara Delevingne!), and I felt inspired to just let my brows go free.
Over time, I learned to love my naturally messy and uneven brows. And while I hadn’t reconsidered my eyebrow routine (which at this point was literally nothing) in a long time, when I had the opportunity to attend the Benefit Brow Competition a few weeks ago, I jumped at it. An entire three-day event dedicated to eyebrows? I was intrigued, to say the least.
Being surrounded by beauty influencers and a team of Benefit employees who were wildly passionate about eyebrows got me more interested in all things brows, including how to get the perfect power brows. To me, power brows are those you feel most confident in. They’re your natural brows turned up a notch ever so slightly with the right products and some TLC.
For Teen Vogue, I spoke to some experts and here’s what they said about how to get your best brows.
Always Aim for Symmetrical Eyebrows
Your brows frame your face, so naturally they’re important! According to Jared Bailey, the Global Brow Expert for Benefit Cosmetics, your brows should bring balance and symmetry to your face and your eyes. “When you’re applying product you should take all of that into consideration,” he says. Whenever Jared works with clients, which he travels the globe every week to do (dream job alert!), he starts by looking to see how their brows line up with the dimples of their nose [the part where your nostril starts to form from the bridge of your nose on each side], then cleaning up whatever is in between the brows, outside of those areas. “I want your brows as full as my life,” he says.
Use Concealer to Hide the Hairs You Don’t Want to See
“You want to hide hairs that you don’t want show and enhance the ones that you really want to bring forward,” Jared tells Teen Vogue. “You can do a lot of things with concealer, you can pat it over those hairs that you want to disguise.” You can also do this with an eye primer, patting it over your eyebrow hairs that can be hidden. He calls this process, “glamo-flage” and recommends Benefit’s Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer.
Focus on Enhancing the Look and Feel of Your Natural Brows
When it comes to doing his brows, beauty influencer and Youtuber Patrick Starr says, “I used to do my brows super strong, but now I just enhance what I already have.” To achieve his famous look, Patrick first strokes a pencil (he uses Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow Pencil in shade 4) through the bottom of his brows for a good base and then strokes upward toward the front of his brow, finishing with a sharp tail. “I like to comb through Gimme Brow+ in shade 6 to add some definition and low lights to my brow,” he says.
Jared also likes to use Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow pencil to add some flicks and “re-create real, hair-like texture” because it gives you a “really full, natural effect” and enhances the edges and shape of your brows. This process doesn’t make your eyebrows look all that different, but according to Jared they will look cleaner.
Apply a Pencil With Just the Right Amount of Pressure
Jared says it’s important to keep in mind that eyebrow pencils are “super-duper pigmented” so you should always use really light pressure, but if you’re wearing more makeup then apply slightly more pressure. “You might want the pigment to be a little bit bolder and a little bit stronger, but you never want your brows to overpower your whole look,” he says.
You Should Probably Leave the Plucking to A Professional
Tweezing your brows is cheaper than waxing, buying products, or any other eyebrow styling option, but it’s not always the safest. Jared says it’s better to leave the plucking to a professional because sometimes it can go really wrong. “It's not bad for your skin or for your hair, but every hair is connected to a tiny little blood vessel. And when you damage that blood vessel, the hair won't grow back,” he explains. This is why he always recommends waxing over tweezing because as you apply the wax you can still remove it. “[Waxing] really lends itself to a safer removal process because you have to go backwards to pull it out and in that way it protects the hair follicle.”
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue