Brow Rehab: Overtweezed Brows

Elizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine

Anyone with a magnifying mirror and tweezers can recklessly prune their brows, but patiently growing them back? That takes real pluck. Here's how to undo the damage.

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RETIRE THE TWEEZERS: It takes three to four months to see real change, and up to a year for brows to grow back entirely. "The first week is the hardest. It feels like the hairs are mocking you," says Ramy Gafni, a New York City brow groomer. "But if you leave them alone, those random little hairs will eventually form a full brow." If a stray is growing at an odd angle, resist the urge to tweeze-trim instead.

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Fill in sparse areas with a brow pencil (eyeliners are too creamy and heavily pigmented). Go one to two shades lighter than your hair if you're a brunette, or try taupe if you're blonde. "Otherwise you'll look like Joan Crawford," says Gafni. Use short, angled strokes in the direction of hair growth to beef up bald spots, but stay within your natural brow line. "Never create an arch with makeup," says Gafni. "Even the right shade can look obvious. Your bone structure should create the arch for you."

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Define the arch (the brow's highest point, just beyond the iris as you look ahead) by yanking a few hairs beneath it. "The most common mistake I see is people taking too much off the ends," says Kristie Streicher, an eyebrow groomer at Warren-Tricomi salons in New York City and Los Angeles. Eyebrows that fall short look tadpole-y and aging, since the ends thin as we get older, she says.

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