How to Wax Your Eyebrows
Why Wax Your Eyebrows?
Waxing can be a good way to shape your eyebrows as you can be more precise with waxing than shaving and it is quicker than tweezing.
Waxing essentially has the same result as tweezing, but enables you to pull out multiple hairs from the root in one fell swoop rather than one by one.
It has longer lasting results than shaving, which merely cuts the hair off at the skin's surface.
Waxing vs Threading
Threading, as the name suggests, involves using a length of cotton thread which is doubled over, twisted and then rolled across the area to be epilated.
As it rolls your hair is caught between the twists in the thread, plucking them out a few at a time.
This technique is effective and can be gentler on your skin than waxing, but is much more difficult to master and better left to a salon professional.
Summary of Pros and Cons
Pros of Waxing Eyebrows
- More precise than shaving
- Quicker than tweezing
- Can be done at home - method relatively easy to master in comparison to threading
- Better for coarse, thick hairs than threading
Cons of Waxing Eyebrows
- Painful (unlike shaving)
- Hair length needs to be ¼" to be effective
- Can cause ingrown hairs and/or irritation
- Easy to get carried away and remove too much hair - less likely with tweezing
Choosing Which Wax to Use
Whichever type of wax you choose, make sure that it is recommended for use on the eyebrows. It is a sensitive area and the wax sold for bodily use may be too harsh.
Cold wax is soft and used as is, straight from the pot or dispenser, whilst hot wax needs to be melted to soften it and make it spreadable.
Cold wax tends to be more difficult to spread to get the precision you require for the brows. However the advantage of it is that you don't need to use any judgement as to when the wax has reached the correct temperature and consistency.
There are two types of hot wax, one which is used with strips and one which is non-strip.
Non strip wax tends to be gentler as it adheres well around your hair and less to your surrounding skin than strip wax.
However, the flip side of this is that the technique for using strip wax correctly at home is much easier to get right.
Easiest of all to use are the pre-waxed strip kits that you can buy for eyebrows which are ready to use and some of which even come ready-shaped to help you.
The downside of these are that they tend to be most effective for light, fine hairs and so if you have thick, coarse hairs you may find the results disappointing.
How to Wax your Eyebrows at Home
If you have never touched your eyebrows before and they are particularly thick and bushy, it would be a good idea to go to a salon and have them shaped professionally for the first time.
This will ensure that you get the result you want as well as giving you the opportunity to see how it is done, first hand.
After that you can easily keep them in shape by following the outline already there.
However, if you don't want to do this, then if you follow the steps we have set out below, you shouldn't go too far wrong.
Above all, bear in mind that you can always take off a bit more, but if you go mad and remove too much hair at once, you will be living with the results for a fair while.
Firstly, having made sure that the skin is free from cosmetics, clean and dry, you should draw on the shape you want your brows to be using a brow pencil with a good contrast to your hair so that it can be easily seen.
This is a very important part of the process and it is well worth taking your time over it to make sure that you get it right.
After all, this is the part that will play a large part in determining the end result.
Female Brow Shaping
However thick or thin you want the end result to be, you first need to determine 3 points, as shown in the diagram on the right.
Taking a straight edge rested against the side of your nose and running straight up, you can mark where your brow meets the line with your brow pencil. This is the point where your brow should start.
Using the same principle take the line from your nose to the outer edge of your eye and where it meets your brow indicates where it should end.
To find the highest point of your brow, take the line from the edge of your nose to the outer edge of your iris.
Once you have these three points marked you can join them with your pencil in an arch, as you wish your brow to appear, making it as thick as you wish.
This may take a few attempts before getting it right, but it is well worth taking your time over.
Once you are happy, repeat on the other side until you have a matching pair.
Male Brow Shaping
Unless you are a fan of obviously sculpted eyebrows, the rules for men are a bit different.
If you want to tidy up your brows without making it obvious, here are my best tips:
First, determine where the brow starts and finishes as shown below:
Taking a line from each nostril straight upwards, where they meet your brows is a good start point.
Taking the line from your nostril to the outer edge of your eye and continuing until the point where it meets your brow gives you the end point.
If you have thick, bushy brows you should start by giving them a trim using a comb and sharp, round tipped scissors.
Then remove any hair that you want to get rid of from below and between the brows (avoid hair above the brow).
Once you have the shape outlined, what you want to do is remove all the hair that is outside of the lines you have drawn.
Working in small sections, apply the wax carefully and not too thickly in the direction that your hair is growing. For strip wax it should be a thin layer, and for non-strip wax slightly thicker, ensuring that all the hair you want to remove is covered.
If you are using non-strip wax, allow it to cool slightly and then flick up the end so that you can grasp it firmly, hold the skin taut and then zip it off in one quick pull in the opposite direction.
When you pull it off, make sure that you do so as close to the skin as you can, back on itself and not upwards away from the skin.
Immediately apply pressure to the area to reduce the sting.
Using non-strip wax requires a bit of technique to master - if you allow the wax to cool too much it will simply crumble and if not enough, will be ineffective and leave a lot of wax residue.
Therefore, I would advise you to practice first on a less sensitive area such as your arm, before attempting this method on your delicate eyebrow area.
If you are using strip wax, once it is applied you immediately place the strip over the wax and smooth down firmly, in the direction of hair growth.
Then the method is the same, holding your skin taut with one hand, pull the strip off quickly in the opposite direction and apply pressure to the area.
If you are using pre-waxed strips, you only need to warm the wax between your hands to soften it, and then follow the same procedure.
It is best if you wax small sections, working on the same section of each brow in turn, checking that they are the same as you go.
Each time, move to the next section of brow and don't go over the same area twice - you can remove any strays afterwards with a pair of tweezers.
When you have finished, you can remove any wax residue with cotton wool and a light oil and then apply a soothing lotion such as aloe.
Best Brow Waxing Products
The products we have picked out include a pre-waxed strip kit for easy use, a strip wax and a hot non-strip wax to suit all preferences.
We have also recommended some additional products you will need to complete your home brow waxing kit.
Easy to use pre-waxed transparent strips, suitable sensitive skin and fine - medium hair type. Includes 32 rectangular mini strips and 8ml bottle of Azulene oil for around $10.
Natural ingredients, dispensed from fine-tipped wand for precision (no heating required). Includes 10 washable fabric strips and 4 cleansing wipes. Online for around $9.
Heated in the microwave, this wax needs no strips. Includes point-tipped spatula for eyebrow precision. Good for coarse hair, comes in 0.5oz pot for around $8 online.
Large 1lb bag of wax beans for sensitive skin, non-strip all natural wax suitable for all parts of the body including face and brows. Use in a wax warmer. Online for $17.
If you want to go for a heated wax that is non-microwaveable, then a wax warmer is safest - it heats the wax to the correct temperature and keeps it there. This one from GiGi is ideal at around $26.
Durable and precise stainless steel tweezers, slant tips ideal for eyebrows. Perfect for removing any strays and maintaining shape between waxes. Cost around $14.
A useful little tool to help you achieve perfectly shaped, symmetrical eyebrows. Comes with brow pencil and full instructions. Full review of product here. Around $20.