Although coloring your own hair, waxing your own legs, and applying your own fake tan comes pretty easily to many of us, plucking our own eyebrows can be a minefield. And, of course, you want them to look perfectly shaped, arched and beautiful. After all, they sit right above your eyes — and as the old adage goes, the eyes are the window to the soul. They’re also the focus of many of the coolest and most intricate make-up looks we see online.

Messing up your eyebrows can lead to months of unhappiness, and no matter how much we toil away with a pencil, filling in all those weird gaps, there’s a danger they’ll never look quite right again. But worry not, there are some easy tips for plucking your eyebrows like a pro that you can master in minutes.

Eyebrows should be plucked after you apply your makeup

Iconic makeup artist Nikki Makeup took to her Instagram Stories to share her best tips for perfect eyebrows. As Cosmopolitan reported, the biggest takeaway is that you should be tidying up your brows after applying your makeup. This should help you to better ascertain which hairs actually need to be plucked, so there’s less danger of overdoing it and ending up looking like a permanently surprised cartoon character.

When you’re ready to start plucking, first brush the brow hairs upwards to discern what the natural shape is before trimming any lengthy hairs carefully with a pair of brow scissors, always pointing the blades diagonally down towards your nose. The more feathery you want your brows, the more carefully you need to maintain this angle when trimming them.

Pluck your eyebrows sparingly and carefully

Next, as Cosmopolitan advised, Nikki Makeup applies a soap brow product to set her brows in position and fills in any gaps with a brow pencil. Then, once they’re totally set, she gets the tweezers out, plucking only the hairs that don’t sit properly within the general area. It’s very important to pull the hairs in the direction of growth, which prevents breaking them and also ensures complete removal. It will prevent any ingrown hairs from burrowing in, too.

As Byrdie notes, Nikki swears by two products to keep her brows looking perfectly fluffy and full; a Soapbrows product to set them and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade to fill them out where necessary. But your favorite products will still do the trick, provided you take your time and always treat your brows gently.

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