Your eyebrows may unwantedly become the focal point of your face if not groomed properly. Big, bushy eyebrows, pencil-thin tattoo-looking brows or oddly shaped ones distract from your smile and facial features. The well-defined eyebrow, however, does much to brighten your eyes and light up your face. But achieving this takes time and know-how. Whether you manage your brows at home or give that task to a cosmetologist, it’s important to know the difference between creating a shape and simple in-between maintenance.

Figure Out Your Face Shape

Your facial features dictate the best eyebrow shape for you. To determine your facial shape, measure the length of your face with a ruler and divide that number by 3. Then measure the length from the bottom of your nose to the bottom of your chin. If the last number is larger than the first number, than chances are you have a long face. If the last number is less than the first number, you probably have have a round face. If the last number is equal to the first number, than you most likely have an oval face.

Align Face with Brows

The oval face looks best with a soft, angled shape eyebrow, while a round face looks best with a high arched brow. Stay away from a rounded brow shape, because it will make your face appear full. A longer face does well with a flat eyebrow shape, which makes the face appear shorter. Stay away from arches that elongate the face. A square face with a heavy jawline warrants a brow with a strong arch at the top. Or, choose the curved brow shape that is used to soften features. For a heart-shaped face, round your brows with a low arch for the most natural look. For a lengthier face, angle the arch a bit higher. Lastly, you can soften the angles of a diamond shape by curving the eyebrows. This also makes the widest portion of the face narrower.

Consider Maintenance Tools

Even though you may go to a professional to wax, tweeze or thread your eyebrows, it’s a good idea to have some tools at home for maintenance in between visits. Use tweezers for plucking stray hairs and keeping the arch shaped. An eyebrow brush or comb and tiny scissors are useful when brows get long. Simply comb upward and carefully cut the hair tips that are longer than the rest. To keep hairs in place, brush on a brow gel or mouse that doesn’t flake or look sticky. To brighten your eyes, use a opaque pale pink highlighter just under your arches.

What Not to Do

Over-tweezing can easily happen, especially when you’re using a magnifying mirror. Your brows should end where you feel your ocular bone ends by your temples. Tweezing before this point leaves you with short brows that lack elegance. It’s also important to pluck one hair at a time. When plucking a few at a time, you run the risk of misshapen brows and unwanted holes. In addition, when using an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in thin brows, make sure the color is two shades lighter than your hair color.