How to Trim Eyebrows (Without Accidentally Cutting Off Too Much)

Trimming your eyebrows at home can be a nerve-wracking experience for those of us who have accidentally cut off too much in the past. However, with the right tools and some step-by-step guidance, we’re confident that you can master this skill. Ahead, an expert weighs in with her top tips for trimming your brows safely every time.

Meet the Expert:

Sharon Becker, a makeup artist and owner of SB Beauty in New York

how to trim eyebrows what you'll need
McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

What You'll Need:

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McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

Step 1

“First things first, you want to clip back your hair to remove anything that could be distracting or get in the way of your brows,” advises Becker. Once your hair is completely out of your face, assess your space to make sure that it’s well-lit and that the mirror you’re looking at isn’t a magnifying one. “This is a common mistake. If you use the magnifying mirror, you risk over-trimming, over-tweezing, and generally over-doing things to your face,” she cautions.

how to trim eyebrows step 2
McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

Step 2

“Next, using a thin pencil, outline and fill in your brows to exactly how you’d like them to look. You’re essentially mapping out a guide for the shape you want,” says Becker.

how to trim eyebrows step 3
McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

Step 3

“With a clean spoolie, brush up all of your brow hairs, making sure you brush them up all the way through to the ends, so that you can clearly see which hairs have grown in above the line you just drew in,” says Becker. On that note, there’s no need to brush them too aggressively. Brush them up gently, so you’re catching the top layer of brow hairs (aka the ones that need trimming).

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McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

Step 4

Take a deep, centering breath to steady yourself. It’s time to trim. “Grab your brow scissors and slowly and carefully trim the hairs that protrude above the brow line,” says Becker. “Trim no more than one to three hairs at a time, at a downward angle to keep the hairs feathery. Whatever you do, don’t cut straight across them in a single chop. We don’t want a crew cut situation here,” she adds.

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McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

Step 5

Step back to evaluate your brows from a distance. You can gently comb your brows up one more time to see if there are any long parts sticking out noticeably. If so, continue to trim a few more hairs until you reach your desired effect, but remember to go slowly so you don’t over trim your brows and cause an unintentional gap.

Step 6

Lastly, finish with your favorite brow gel or wax, making sure to brush it through your hairs in an upward and outward motion. This will help keep your freshly groomed arches in place.

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...