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The Beauty Vault - April
The Beauty Vault - April

Brow Shaping – Should you wax, pluck or thread?

15 February, 2017 - 10:49pm by - First Lady | 103 Comments

Article by BR Tabatha

"Why let someone else do for you what you can do yourself, except in the case of eyebrow maintenance."

Elle Woods - Legally Blonde

Eyebrows are the feature of your face to get right.  Whatever else is going on, be it breakouts or a bad choice of lippie colour, it's bad eyebrows people will notice first.  And even if everything else is going right with your makeup and overall look, bad eyebrow game will bring it down immediately.

Over plucked, under pluck, too sparse or unkempt are the main eyebrow faux pas, and unfortunately they are all very easily done by the amateur brow-scaper. 

So let's talk about how to step up your brow game by investigating the different options of maintenance.

Unless you incredibly blessed, your eyebrows will need some sort of shaping and as always there are several options to choose from.  Let's look at the most common options.


Waxing is quick and easy for a professional to do and it generally lasts for 3 to 4 weeks.  It's no more nor less painful than plucking and just how painful depends on your pain threshold.

It's going to set you back around $15 in the salon, but a trained technician and eye is invaluable.  You'll need about 1/4 inch growth though, so you could look a little bushy between appointments.  It's also important to note that waxing isn't for those with sensitive skin or those using retanoid products as it can cause the skin to tear.

You could DIY at home, but it's very easy to take too much off and very difficult to create even shapes by yourself.


A trained threader will use a thin cotton to pull the hair out.  It's generally quite less painful, but it does depend on how good you are with pain.  Threading lasts around 3 - 4 weeks but you only need 1/16th inch of growth, so you're going to look less bushy between visits! There are no chemicals involved, so if you have sensitive skin this is a great option. 

Prices vary from $5 threads to $20+, but you might want to bear in mind you're probably going to get what you pay for - with an experienced threader the experience is going to be quick and more precise than waxing.


Hands up, who has plucked their own eyebrows? Yeap, that's what we thought!  Where would a woman be without her trusty tweezers?  Well dare we say it, they might be with better eyebrows!

Once you've bought yourself a pair of tweezers, plucking is the most economical way to maintain your brows.  But like scissors, tweezers have a quality scale.  A decent pair of tweezers are going to set you back around $25 - $35.  Don't scrimp!  Your tweezers should have a slanted tip and you might find it useful to have a pair of super pointy tweezers for ingrown or very short hairs.  Square tips may allow you to remove more hairs at once but this can lead to ingrown hairs.  The inside of your tweezer tips should be scuffed to help them grip the hair.  They should be matte coated on the outside so you can grip them lightly without them slipping.  

Plucking puts you in complete control of your brow shape, which is great if you're a control freak, but if you get carried away and over pluck, you might just end up cursing yourself! 

Shaping Guide.

There's a whole science behind shaping your eyebrows to suit your face shape and features - this is why seeing a professional, at least for an initial shaping is your best bet.   

But here's a general guide for all eyebrows: 

  • Hold your tweezers (or a pencil) vertically against the side of your nostril.  This is where your eyebrows should start.  In particular, don't pluck them shorter than this guide.  Just as you don't want a mono-brow, you don't want too-far apart brows either.
  • Hold your tweezers diagonally from your nostril to the outer corner of your eye.  Where the line intersects your eyebrow is where they should end.
  • Stare straight at the mirror.  Your arch should begin level with the far edge of your iris, right on the brow bone.

Dos and Don'ts of eyebrow shaping.

  • Do schedule your plucking sessions after a warm shower, the hair is more easily removed
  • Don't continue plucking if you've over plucked.  Stop!  Do not attempt to 'even' out the other one.  Grab your eyebrow kit, fill it in and wait for it to grow back!
  • Do use a white eye pencil to draw a guide line - stick to it!
  • Don't pluck from above your arch unless you have errant strays.
  • Do brush your brows to your advantage - upwards for sparse brows and to the side for thick brows.
  • Do trim ridiculously long hairs carefully with a pair of nail scissors


And there we have our guide to eyebrow maintenance and shaping. How do you maintain your eyebrows?  Have you had any disasters or do you always leave them in the hands of a pro?





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Heck! I didn't know I can trim my brows! Also you have taught me what my eyebrow kit is for.... Um so is this where I tell you, I get the cutout that's my right shape, hold against by brow, colour in with a pencil, then the what's not drawn onto. IM SORRRY, can I blame the mixup on being a country girl??

Your brows always look great. I couldn't believe you use stencils - the shape looks so natural on you.

11th August, 2014 at 8:28 am

I have always done my brows which is highly noticeable I prefer to pluk not overly keen on waxing I am afraid I will hate the way they look after and I would kinda like to give threading a try.

Your brows look great! The current trend for full natural brows makes for easier maintenance, I reckon.

18th May, 2017 at 8:40 am

Im definitely a waxer, quick and easy, Threading to me personally hurts far to much, especially if you get a lower technician. In between waxes I just pluck stray hairs, to keep them looking tidy-ish :)

I used to wax mine myself until I accidentally ripped off half of my brow! Hahahaha! Threading scares me - I have heard too many horror stories about how painful it is. I will just stick to plucking.

11th August, 2014 at 8:27 am

never tried threading but notice some indian ladies often offer cheap threading but i was a lil shy of that bc of the pain level lol

11th August, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Don't get me wrong threading gives amazing results in regards to perfect shape, but yes your pain tolerance must be high haha :)

11th August, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Once I got my brows threaded omg I was in tears, oh It hurt.

11th August, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Hi ladies, I wanted to add to this convo that if threading hurts, the lady is doing it wrong. It's meant to be less painful that waxing. I seriously feel no pain with my threader, as compared to waxing. Try someone new.

16th August, 2014 at 8:28 am

I use to have mine threaded in the past, not as painful as waxing imo but my eyes do the whole involuntary watering thing anyway lol

21st April, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I have also been blessed with good brows. Probably the only thing I don't have to maintain :-).

Lucky girl

16th February, 2017 at 7:04 pm

I am lucky! I pretty much leave mine alone and only pluck the very odd stray hairs and brush up and trim on the inner of my brows. I have sparse hair however and feel I need to fill them in to get a thicker fuller look. I have only started doing this recently and cannot believe the difference this makes to my face and makeup!

Hehe love my brows.. usually get mine threaded.. gives a great shape.. i can even threaf my own :) Have been to a few threaders who have over threaded my brows :( Thread mine every 4wks

I get mine threaded too. They look cleaner.

14th September, 2014 at 10:03 am

I am blessed with a natural arch which I am so happy about. When I was younger my mum wouldn't let me go to a salon to get my eyebrows done, claiming that they would make it too thin, after seeing what they had done to her friend's daughter. She would do it for me, which I am thankful for, because now I've learnt how to perfectly pluck the right hairs so that my brows look in top shape!

Good mama!

18th May, 2017 at 8:41 am

BR angels you totally read my mind!! I was just about to ask on the forum about the differences between waxing/threading/tweezing. I've been wanting to give my brows some TLC but didn't want to head down the wrong path (: Are the different methods suited to different brow types?

If you have sensitive skin then threading or plucking will be your best option. If you have a good natural shape the choice is yours, but if you need some extra definition, threading is more accurate!xx

11th August, 2014 at 6:24 am

Awesome thanks! Think I'll give threading a go x

11th August, 2014 at 8:19 am

My eyebrows are thick curly black hairs, its a nightmare to maintain, I have to trim them very regularly! On the plus side I have a very high pain tolerance when it comes to hair removal (leg waxing? Pfft easy!) so I'm not at all bothered by plucking :)

Im a waxer myself. Well I get them done professionally. I have tried plucking myself and I just didnt have the time or patience to keep doing it. Im lucky because my eyebrows are blonde (I tint them so you can see them) so any bushyness that grows in between waxing is so blonde you can't notice them lol.

My natural brows are super thick and have no shape whatsoever, but I looooove getting them threaded! They are now the perfect shape for me, and it's pretty easy to maintain at home by plucking strays inbetween appointments. I used to get my brows waxed about one a year! The rest of the time I'd just pluck my brows but I had no idea what I was doing so they were too thick for me, still pretty shapeless and uneven. I will never go back, threading is pretty much the only way for me.

Great Article, I havnt tried threading but am really interested in it. I love having my eyebrows waxed (strange I know) but it feels a heck of a lot better than having to tweeze them. Im currently growing an re-shaping mine after years of being uneducated, cant wait until they are finished.

I loved getting them threaded was fast and looked great

I love my brows! I was on the hunt for awhile to find someone who would do a great job a waxing and someone who trims them up also. It took me awhile but I found her! Iv been with her for 5 months now and she told me she pregnant - Wah!!! The hunt will begin once again :( Maybe Threading could be my next option

uhh eyebrows !!! I way overplucked mine in high school and even though that was a million years ago they have never fully recovered they don't grow back to never at risk for over bushy eyebrows....but I really want to get them in order so after reading BR's stuff last week on eyebrows and went and bought myself and eyebrow kit and going to see how I go there !. I wouldn't mind giving the threading a go either my sister gets it done but I'm always too chicken :)...I have sensitive skin so waxing will be a no.


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