How to pluck eyebrows like a pro for perfectly defined arches

Everything you need to learn how to pluck eyebrows for a salon-worthy finish

white tweezers on blue background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You might not be visiting the brow bar at the moment, so dig out your tweezers and learn how to pluck your eyebrows to get a salon-perfect finish. Don’t underestimate the power of your eyebrows – they frame your eyes, accentuate your features and can even help lift your entire face. 

Once you've worked out what eyebrow shapes work best for you, waxing and threading may offer a more long-term hair removal solution but plucking is quick, easy and completely mess-free. And once you’ve found the best tweezers, it’s a free way to keep your brows looking groomed and gorgeous. With all that being said, you don’t want to become tweezer-happy and over-pluck your eyebrows and have to invest big in the best eyebrow make-up or brow tinting at home to sort them out again. The harsh, sparse, tadpole look will add years to your face. It’s all about creating a neat, groomed look that follows your natural-born brow shape. 

If you’re worried about overdoing it, just pluck a few hairs from each brow at a time, limiting yourself to the area between your eyebrows and any strays underneath the brows. If you don’t feel confident, it’s best to leave shaping from above the brow as this can alter the natural shape. You can always neaten up straggly upper hairs with the best eyebrow gels rather than removing them completely. 

For those who are long-sighted, it may be tempting to use a magnifying mirror to pluck your eyebrows but this can mean you lose perspective, so have a larger, normal mirror in the background so you can constantly check the overall shape and symmetry. Remember, eyebrows are sisters, not twins, so it’s completely normal to have a slightly different shape between the two sides.

So, tweezers at the ready! We’ve got the best tips to pluck your eyebrows like a pro. 

Find the perfect brow shape

Before you start to pluck your eyebrows, you need to pin down your own unique shape and work out which hairs need to go. Place a pen or your tweezers, pinched together, in the following positions to locate where your brow should start, where the arch should be and where your brow should end.

illustration of eyebrow

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • The start of your eyebrow should line up with the outer edge of your nostril.
  • Hold the pen from the nostril through the outer edge of your iris to determine where the highest point of your arch should be. 
  • Line up the pen from the outer nostril, through the outer edge of your eye and up to the brow – this is where the eyebrow should taper off

How to pluck eyebrows like a pro

Follow our step by step guide for your own arch de triumph!

1. Begin shaping after you’ve been in the bath or shower and always in natural daylight. The steam helps to open the hair follicle so that plucking is slightly less painful.

2. Once you’ve mapped out your perfect brow from our handy illustration, trim any extra-long hairs. Brush your brows upwards with a spoolie brush and if any hairs hang over the edge of your brows give them a careful snip.

3. Brush brows back and start plucking a few stray hairs at a time, checking out the overall shape in a big mirror as you go. Alternate which brow you work on every few hairs to achieve the most symmetrical look. 

4. Use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in any gaps or sparse areas using soft, feathery strokes in the direction of the hair. Pick a pencil that’s a shade lighter than your natural hair colour for the most flattering finish.

5. Finally apply a brow mascara – clear or coloured – to tame any strays and give a groomed appearance. 

The best tools to pluck your brows

The spoolie

NYX Professional Duo Brow Brush

(Image credit: NYX)

NYX Professional Makeup Pro Dual Brow Brush, £9,, is a must-have duo for at-home brow shaping. The angled brush tip can be used with eyebrow powder or cream to fill in any gaps. Use the spoolie end to brush through brows for a quick tidy, or after make-up to help distribute product evenly.

The scissors

Anastasia Beverley Hills Scissors

(Image credit: Anastasia Beverley Hills)

Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Scissors, £20,, are the perfect size to fit into your make-up bag. Made from Italian steel, they snip away overgrown hairs effortlessly and feel incredibly lightweight in the hand to give you ultimate control. The thin, angled blades are great for trimming hard to reach hairs, too.

The tweezers

Tweezerman Slant Tweezers

(Image credit: Tweezerman)

Tweezerman Slant Tweezers, £21.95,, are the Rolls-Royce of the tweezer world, making it as easy and hassle-free as possible to pluck your eyebrows. Hold the tweezers between your thumb and index finger about halfway down the tweezers to give the most control, then start grabbing those stray hairs. 

The brow pencil

BBB Ultra Slim Brow Definer Cardamom

(Image credit: BBB)

Blink Brow Bar Ultra Slim Brow Definer, £17,, has a super fine tip that allows you to create hair-like strokes throughout the brow to naturally build up fullness and density. It’s even enriched with vitamins C and E to care for brows as it colours. The smudge-proof, water-resistant formula comes in five shades. 

The brow gel

Strength & Length Serum-Infused Brow Gel

(Image credit: BareMinerals)

BareMinerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Brow Gel, £18,, holds brows in place with a flexible, lightweight formula that is enriched with botanicals and minerals to minimise hair fallout so brows eventually appear fuller and thicker. A quick brush through with the angled comb will create a groomed appearance. 

Stephanie Maylor

Stephanie Maylor is a Beauty Editor working across five national magazine titles, with almost 15 years' experience in the industry.  She has written for many brands, including woman&home, Grazia, Now, More!, Fabulous, NW, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Essentials, Best, Chat, and OK! online. 

In 2010 she launched her own beauty blog, which was shortlisted for Best Beauty Blog in the 2011 and 2012 Johnson & Johnson Beauty Journalism Awards. She has interviewed many high profile industry experts and celebrities including Alesha Dixon, Twiggy and Christina Hendricks.