13 Eyebrow Mistakes You Might Be Making And How To Avoid Them

Let's be honest, a good eyebrow game is one of the strongest beauty weapons we have. So much so that time and time again, our brows have proven to be one of the most important features on our face. As Nilam Holmes, brow expert and Eyebrow Queen founder, put it while speaking to Glamour, "Your eyebrows create the frame and balance to your face. Having the right style and shape of brow can make a huge difference to your look." See, we told you they were important!


It's no wonder, then, that it's considered so vital in the beauty industry to get brows right. Hey, brow bars have been popping up all over the place for a reason. An eyebrow that's too thin can be instantly aging, while a brow that's too dark can look out of place and unnatural. But how on earth do we actually get our eyebrows, arguably one of the hardest part of our makeup routines, right? Well, if you're not happy with the way yours are looking right now, there may be a few mistakes in your routine you have no idea you're actually making.

Going too dark isn't always flattering

Although thick, dark brows certainly make a statement, the reality is very few people can pull off the look without it looking very harsh. Though you'd be forgiven for thinking your brows should be the exact same color as the hair on your head, sometimes that can actually be too harsh — or even (gasp) aging! Finding your perfect shade can take some trial and error, though, as it's usually more flattering to go for a dark shade over light... just not too dark. "Dark, bold brows only look good when you have dramatic makeup and need the brows to balance the makeup out," Ursula Cervellone, founder and CEO of Sydney's Feather Brow Couture, explained to Daily Mail. "On a day-to-day basis, natural brows look much better."


Instead of going for a super dark brown or even a black, opt for a medium taupe shade, as it's seen as universally flattering for a range of different hair colors, from brunettes to medium and dark blondes. If you have redder hair though, you'll want to choose a lighter taupe to keep your brows looking natural. "I find some colors can be too harsh for their soft features. You really do not want a red brow," makeup artist Deanna Melluso told StyleCaster. We'd also recommend when filling in your brows as part of your makeup routine to use two different but similar shades to create a little dimension.

Using only one shade might be making your eyebrows look flat

The hair on your head, even if it's all natural, has multiple hued to it. The same goes for your brows, which is why using only one singular brow product sometimes results in brows that look drawn-on. So, how do we get that dimension instead of flat, one note brows? Well, we have a little advice on how to help the blend two shades on your eyebrows without making them looking like an abstract painting. The best way is to use a shade closer to your natural brow color alongside one that's one to two shades darker. There are a couple of different ways you can then bring two shades into your eyebrow routine, no matter if you're using a pencil or powder.


Ursula Cervellone advised Daily Mail, more of a gradient technique, getting darker as you move towards the sides of your face. "Keep that front area near the nose a light color and get darker as you get towards the tail end," she shared. Another technique you could try? Putting the slightly darker shade around the arch. "I usually take a shade that matches the brow, and I enhance it more on the arch of the brow or at the tip. This will make the brows have more of a pop and frame the face with a soft fill," Deanna Melluso suggested to StyleCaster.

Your brow outline is too thick (or thin)

There's a real sweet spot when it comes to the thickness of the eyebrows that's most flattering, it seems. Some believe that brows that are too thin will instantly age a person, because it's natural to lose those hairs as we enter our older years. "Facial features like eyebrows become less noticeable as hairs become more sparse, and so most makeup artists would recommend full, bushy brows to help signify your youth," permanent makeup artist and founder of K.P Pro, Karen Betts, told Safety in Beauty. But, equally, a brow that's too far the other way won't do many people many favors, either. "Make sure you don't overdo it though, as thick, overdrawn brows can portray a harsh look, giving the opposite of a youthful effect. Less is more," Jamie Long, HD Brows lead stylist explained. In fact, Ursula Cervellone told Daily Mail that a brow that's super thick and essentially block shaped may even end up making your eyes look smaller. 


So how the heck do you actually work out the ideal brow volume for your face? One of the easiest ways is to follow the natural thickness of your brow rather than trying to create something new. If you've already over plucked though and need to build something thicker, we'd recommend booking an appointment with an eyebrow professional who can give you some personalized advice and create a specialized shape you can then maintain.

You're a little too friendly with the scissors

It's not only over-plucking that can have a detrimental effect on your brows. If you've gotten a little too heavy-handed with the scissors while trimming your brows, then regret is probably a familiar feeling. When it comes to actually cutting the hairs down to size, it's usually a good idea to leave it to the professionals so you don't end up with a serious bald spot in the middle of your brows. Either that or a totally uneven, choppy look.


If you'd rather not have your eyebrows done professionally though or just can't help yourself at home, try to be very sparing and careful when it comes to putting the scissors close to your brow hairs. For the best results, Sania Vucetaj suggested to PureWow brushing the hairs upwards and then doing a very slight trim on the tips to create a feathery effect. "When you cut too short and choppy, the brows can look thinner, hang down and grow back coarse," she said. Safe to say that's not the look we're going for.

Trying to create a brand new brow shape at home rarely ends well, either

Another mistake too many of us make when it comes to our brows is by trying to create an entirely new shape. In many cases, that can result in a finished product that doesn't exactly suit our face. As Ursula Cervellone put it to Daily Mail, "If your face shape is nothing like Angelina Jolie's, Angelina Jolie eyebrows will never look good on you." Harsh, but true. Of course, it's totally fine to be inspired by someone else's brows, but it's important to remember there are a number of different factors that go into what brow shape work. The most important is to consider your face shape first. 


To combat a case of eyebrow imposter syndrome, we recommend following your natural brow shape as closely as you can. "Make sure you like the shape, and then tweeze just a few strays outside of the shape. Less is more," Vucetaj said. "People are trying to figure out shapes too much, and the best bet is stick close to what you have. Just a cleaner, tidier version of it," Brow expert and Sania's Brow Bar owner Sania Vucetaj reitterated to Elle of how to avoid the re-shaping pitfall. If your natural eyebrows are too sparse to do this, then trying something like microfeathering or microblading to get a professional shape is something we would recommend.

While overfilling can be just as bad

When it comes to filling in your eyebrows, going too heavy can be just as bad as creating a brand new shape. Applying too much product can leave your brows looking unnatural and, depending on what formula you're using, can even turn clumpy or dry. "Some of us have a more boxy brow, but none of us really have rectangle brows. You want to be able to see space between the hairs, you want to be able to see skin between the hairs," celebrity makeup artist Tatiana Ward explained to Self. "Some girls really do have such dense brows, but with even some of the most dense eyebrows you can still see skin in between. By trying to fill in every little space, you'll most likely get the look of an overwhelming brow."


To avoid this misstep, go easy on your brow products and only fill in areas that actually need it, which is any places where there's no hair. Unless the shade you're using is drastically different to the color of your brows (which it shouldn't be if you want your eyebrows to look more natural), not all of your eyebrow will actually need the product applying. Also, try not getting too much product on the brush. Remember, you can always add more, but it's harder to remove any excess without disturbing the product you've already put down.

Waiting too long in between brow appointments is another common faux pas

If you like to have your eyebrows done professionally, there's a reason so many brow experts like to book in their next sessions at the end of an appointment. That's because regular brow maintenance has a range of benefits, namely making it easier to keep any unruly hairs in check. If you're leaving it too long in between sessions, you have more chance of making the other mistakes on our list, like creating an unflattering shape or over plucking in order to maintain the look you once had. As Giselle Soto Brows' Giselle Soto put it to Self, "Sometimes people try to fill in their brows when they're grown out which is really hard, even for me, because you don't have that guideline."


How often you should be getting your brows looked at will depend on a few factors, including exactly what you're having done or how quickly they tend to grow. As a rule of thumb though, around 12 weeks is considered around the right amount of time in between treatments. A few signs that will let you know it's time? If you're noticing a lot of regrowth, if you've had them tinted/dyed and they're starting to fade, or if stray hairs are making makeup application tough.

And so is not keeping up with brow maintenance in between appointments

We totally get it. We're all living super busy lives where we're torn between work, and family, and friends, and fitness and oh so much more. But no matter how busy you are, totally neglecting your brows in the downtime between appointments (if you go to a pro, that is!) is a bad idea. If you want to be living your best brow life, try to spare a few minutes each week to practice good brow maintenance.


If you opt to have your eyebrows tinted, you can still fill in any sparse or fading areas in between appointments to keep them looking their best instead of patchy. "I recommend using a pencil for instant gratification, but don't apply it through the entire shape of your brow, just where you need it in the areas that are sparse and being grown out," Joey Healy, an eyebrow specialist and owner of Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio, suggested to Byrdie. But if you opt to have your brows shaped by a pro, try not to go heavy on the tweezing in between appointments so that you can keep your hair growth cycle consistent.

While using the wrong products can have a detrimental effect on the brows

When it comes to any kind of makeup, you want to make sure you're using products that are right for you. And it's no different when it comes to your brows. It seems like there are countless products out there all claiming to do something different, but that doesn't necessarily mean each one will be suitable for you. If you prefer softer, natural brows but you're not getting them, it may be because you're using a heavy pomade rather than a powder. "Powder helps give brows a softer, more natural look as opposed to pencils or pomades, which can sometimes look too heavy or leave harsher lines," Giselle Soto explained to Self. If you're finding that your brows won't stay in place, that could be because you're using a product designed to fill in rather than tame. To keep hairs in line, opt for a gel. You can even apply it over your existing brow product (just make sure the two are compatible).


It's equally important to make sure you have the right tools. After all, you wouldn't apply eyeshadow with a blush brush would you? When it comes to a powder or a pomade, it's hard to go wrong with a short angular brush, as it can mimic the appearance of hairs. Equally, a brow spoolie is ideal for smoothing down the hairs, and slanted tweezers (not pointed ones) should always be in your brow arsenal.

Too big of a space between your brows can look super unnatural

It can be all too easy to overcorrect a unibrow by plunking too much hair above the nose, creating a big gap in between the brows that looks unnatural and, well, a little odd. The best way to avoid this mistake is to grab a thin makeup brush, pencil, pen, or anything similar and line it up against the inner tear duct of the eye so it's sitting vertically alongside your nose. Use this as a guide. Any stray hairs on the side above the nose are then fair game to pluck, but everything else should be left alone to avoid a Grand Canyon sized gap. "Your brows should begin directly above your tear duct, peak in line with the outer side of your iris, and end at a point that falls 45 degrees from the outer corner of your eye," explained The Feathered Brow creator and celebrity brow expert Kristie Streicher to Shape. 


If you have a lot of unruly hairs in between your brows and are worried about creating too much space there are a number of ways to get rid of the hairs quickly without risking uining the shape. We'd suggest going for a professional treatment, like eyebrow threading or waxing, as a pro will be able to remove the stray hairs without disturbing the main brow too much.

So can trying to match your eyebrows exactly

You've probably heard the notorious saying that eyebrows are sisters not twins, and, well, no matter how many times we've all heard it, it always bears repeating. It basically means that although our eyebrows come in a pair, they don't have to look exactly the same. In fact, trying to get your eyebrows to match one another exactly is probably only going to end up making them look unnatural. By letting your brows do their own thing and filling them or tweezing in the way they require, not in a way that will match the other one, you're much more likely to have gorgeous looking brows. "Try not to worry too much about making them perfectly symmetrical," Jamie Long, lead brow stylist at HD Brows advised.


But if you're conscious of the fact your brows look more like long-lost second cousins than sisters, we'd advocate for booking an appointment with an expert who will be able to personalize the shape to you in a way you can easily upkeep. "If it's something you wish to work on, it might require some re-growth, so step away from the tweezers and leave any shaping to the experts," Long suggested.

Not using a serum could be behind brittle brows

We all know how important it is to keep our skin moisturized, so why wouldn't we do the same for eyebrows? Skipping an eyebrow serum may be a mistake if you're looking for A-List eyebrows, as they may be in need of a little extra help. "Brows are constantly growing, resting, and shedding. They are not one static thing that stays the same, but rather more similar to a revolving door of hair. That's how and why effective serums can help in the growth phase," Joey Healy explained to Byrdie. Amongst a few of the big benefits you may notice when you start using a serum? Thicker, stronger brows that look all round healthier. What a win! That's why so many of the biggest names in the industry are advocating for it. "So many of us want thicker brows but forget that eyebrow hairs need taking care of. We suggest incorporating a nourishing serum into your beauty routine to promote hair growth," Anastasia Beverly Hills' Anastasia Soare told Glamour.


When it comes to serums, many people start seeing the initial results in around two or three weeks. The full effects can then be expected to bloom in your brows after around the seven-week mark. That is if you apply it once a day to clean skin and wait at least 10 minutes before applying other products over the top.

Getting product on your eyebrows that's not meant to be there is also a bad idea

It's all too easy to accidentally (or on purpose) smear your face moisturizer or eye cream on your eyebrows, but doing so could be one of the reasons you don't have the brows you want. In fact, too much product that's not supposed to be there could be the exact reason the hairs aren't looking their best. "Do not get product on your brows, ever," Sania Vucetaj warned while speaking to PureWow. "The product blocks the follicle, causing brows to shed, and stops them from growing back." Yikes. In fact, Vicetaj went as far as to point out that hair isn't the same as skin and should be treated as such. And she has a point. We don't put face moisturizer on our locks, do we? That means keeping anything not specifically designed for the brow area, like face serums, far away from them.


But it's not just skincare products that could be ruining your brow look. Though everyone has their own routine that works for them, we'd recommend doing your brows at the very end of your makeup. That will allow them to stay clean for as long as possible. By doing your brows last, you're less likely to have to do any touch-ups too — and keeping the amount of makeup used to a minimum is rarely a bad idea.