Do Your Brows Need a Trim? Here’s One Way to Tell

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Before we get to brows (in just a sec), first things first — happy Friday! πŸ™‚ Here, have a celebratory cup of chocolate macadamia kona coffee with me…


Mmmm, chocolately goodness…

I gotta power up today with some extra caffeine because your nephew kept me up with his shenanigans last night. He was being NAUGHTY! — in bold, all caps like that.

He kept running up and down the stairs all night long, who knows why, and then this morning, he used El Hub’s back as springboard, leaping into the air and landing in the middle of the bed.

But the worst — THE WORST — was the incessant pawing at the bottom of the linen closet door.

I don’t know why, but he’s become obsessed with opening and closing it. He hooks his claws under the narrow space at the bottom and pulls and pulls and pulls. It makes an incredible racket, starting off as a quiet bah-dump, bah-dump, bah-dump that turns into a fast and feverish thump-thump-thump-THUMP-THUMP! as he gets more and more fired up.

Finally, after about the third episode of this, probably around 3 a.m., I rolled out of bed and propped open the door. Of course, that took all the fun out of it for him, so he moved on to wreaking havoc somewhere else.

This is not the face of an angel…

Cats! You just can’t tell ’em what to do, but I guess that’s what gives them so much personality.

Now…I may have absolutely no control over Tabs, but I do have some control over my brows.

I usually maintain my brows myself at home because I’m a little reluctant to trust those little caterpillars to strangers (yes, I have control issues, LOL!), so I pluck to keep the strays at bay (always from below the brow, and never, ever above) and trim from time to time, too.

To determine if/when my brows need trimming, I grab a brow brush and brush my brows upward. If I see any long hairs that go past the natural shape of the brow, ding-ding-ding! — we have a winner. That’s when I’ll trim ’em down with a pair of scissors.

I just have to remember to work slowly, so as not to poke an eye out or snip away too much brow.

My outer brows (the sides closer to my ears) also get a little long and shaggy, so I trim those too, but instead of brushing the hairs upward, I brush ’em down, and whatever falls below the natural shape of the brow shape also gets snipped.

Do you ever trim your brows? Inquiring minds want to know.

One last thing before I run a quick errand. I woke up singing Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House this morning, and if you click that play button down below, you very well may get it stuck in your head, too. πŸ™‚


Have a fantabulous Friday!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,




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  1. Dawn says:

    I pluck (like you – below, but never above) but I never trim. I really don’t see the need, as long as they are brushed/combed neatly

  2. Laura Case says:

    What brow trimmer do you recommend? I need to buy one of those!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura,

      I’ve been using a pair of curved cuticle scissors but I just heard from Chelsea in the comments that they actually make brow ones, too! I’m going to look into it.

  3. Ineke says:

    You are such a great WRITER!

  4. LOL so I’m away and the boyfriend sleeps with both cats in bed. Everyone’s happy, though he does complain that they start playing like crazy at 6 in the morning, so he has to throw them out to sleep just a bit more. It’s weird because when they sleep outside of the bedroom they are mostly quiet throughout the night!

    I pluck (like you, below but not above) but don’t trim! I used to, but the hair that has been trimmed kept growing longer and at a weird angle, so now I leave it as it is. Some gel/wax helps. Since I really don’t have an awful lot of brow hair I’m fine with not trimming (I think)!
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  5. I was just thinking about what the rules are when it comes to brow trimming. My inner brows have strange lengths, and often im not sure what to do with them so i think trimming them would be a good solution. My outer brows are sparse and it’s annoying to fill them in but I do find that maintaining your brows makes a person look polished. Thanks for your tips, K. And my cat is the same way – she likes to open doors and cabinets by herself and goes bat sh** every now and then after her successful victory at opening a kitchen cabinet. =p Tabs and Bacon could be friends someday!

  6. Chelsea says:

    I trim mine using a little pair of brow scissors and a spoolie. I also pluck anything that is out of line. My brows are a tad sparse, but they look a lot less unkempt when I trim and pluck (but not to excess!)

  7. Nina says:

    The boys like pawing underneath the bathroom door – they keep on trying to grab the red bath mat. There have been times when they were able to drag the mat through the door too! Naughty cats — I wonder if its a weather thing!

    Y’know I really dont trust myself to trim my brows. Other than trimming new hair growth below the brow, I dont do much. I drag myself to my favorite threading lady and have her wield her expertise on my brows instead. I trust her more than I trust me when it comes to maintaining my brows. It doesnt help that not only are they pretty sparse, I also have a scar at te bottom of y left brow … πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Maybe it is. I have noticed that Tabs’ bad behavior increases exponentially when it’s warm or rainy.

      Or maybe they just like to bug us because it amuses them, LOL! Who knows?

      I just walked by the threading place at the mall (I went on my lunch break). Does it hurt? The thought of it terrifies me.

      • Nina says:

        I am pretty sure they like to bug us and discuss our reactions to their bugging amongst themselves whilst having a good chuckle! πŸ˜€

        Its not really painful, but the first time was scary because I had no idea what was going to happen …. You get used to it pretty quick and because the threading ladies work so fast, you dont even notice it.

        What will hurt though is when you have stray hairs that they thread out – I have a couple since I have that pesky scar. They will warn you that theyre about to take the strays out though so it isnt *that* bad…

  8. I’ve always thought you had really perfect brows, Karen, and assumed that you had them professionally done. I’m impressed–they’re ALWAYS perfect! I’m so jealous right now…I have really stubborn, downward-growing brows that don’t stay groomed up for hairspray or brow gel or ANYTHING :/
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  9. Stef Smith says:

    How about doing a brow tutorial? Showing exactly what you do.

  10. Ruchita says:

    I can relate to unruly brows and crazy kitties! πŸ™‚

    My brows are very annoying and grow downwards so I’ll brush them down to see if they are getting too long. I’m due for eyebrow threading soon, but I do some trimming and tweezing to maintain some shape in between threadings.

    The other day when I was working from home Mingus and Nina were running around the house chasing each other and wrestling and meowing all morning. Of course it was when I had to be on conference calls for work. In the afternoon they finally seemed to tire out and were sleeping like little angels. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Of course they went nuts during that time! It’s like they know the second you need to do something important so that they can go crazy, LOL!

      I’m happy to hear Nina’s fitting into the fur family nicely. Has Ella come around?

  11. Shannon says:

    I definitely trim. My eyebrow hairs tend to get pretty long πŸ˜› and I much prefer how my brows look when I trim. I pretty much follow the process you do! I find that it allows for more flexibility than plucking alone, since you can keep the shape and density of the brow intact.
    To be honest, though, I do pluck above my brows (tsk, I know…) but I have some stragglers who are obviously not a part of the eyebrow pack! Seriously, way above the rest of my natural brow. Non-comformists are not tolerated in those types of situations, lol.

  12. dementia says:

    I pluck even above the eyebrows. I also pluck stray hairs between eyebrows (no unibrow!)
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  13. Liz says:

    What blush are you wearing? It looks amazing.

  14. Laura T. says:

    I tend to pluck the stray hairs all over- above and below. I think I’ve been suffering from a bout of over-plucking, since I moved away from my threader. I trim them every so often, but I’ve found that my eyebrows look a bit better when they’re longer. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura,

      That’s happend to me once or twice. Sometimes you just can’t step away from the tweezers! And others you accidentally wax off too much, doh!

  15. BeckBeck says:

    I totally pluck above the brow, too – I have fair skin and medium-brown hair, and I get very obvious single brow hairs in both regions, so I just grab the dark ones and pull ’em out. Why is plucking above the brow so verboten? My mom always told me never to do that, either, but I never asked why…

  16. Rachel says:

    I am guilty of not trimming when I need to. I am scared it’ll be even more sparse than they already are! lol
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  17. Abby says:

    The tip about brushing the outer brows down will definitely help me – I always struggle with those pesky hairs! By the way, that coffee sounds (and looks) delish. Now I’m on the hunt for some!

  18. i am really impressed that you shape your own brows. they always look so good – i’m inspired!
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  19. Chris25 says:

    I’m listening to Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”. Good song. πŸ™‚

    My cats have a daily schedule of meowing for breakfast, playing/biting each other, sleeping hissing at the dog, meowing for dinner, sleeping, and finally playing before bed.

    What a hard life. πŸ˜›

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chris,

      That’s a good song. Violator is an excellent album from start to finish… I can’t believe I used to have it on tape, YIKES.

      So, I guess you and the kitties are together again?

  20. Kate & Zena says:

    I trust one person to my brows and that’s my Benefit brow specialist, Katie (yes, she has the same name as me! Crazy, huh?) She does them beautifully. I don’t do mine anymore fully anymore due to my Trich. The only thing I’m allowed to do in between visits is to shave the hairs very much underneath my brows with a brow shaver and to trim them! Otherwise, I am forbidden to touch them (but I sometimes struggle with this! Trich is hard to manage and cure.)

  21. Suzi says:

    I’ve done treading a few times. I think it hurts about the same ad waxing…well maybe a little more πŸ™‚ I think I get a cleaner look with waxing though.

  22. Mary (from the NARS isle @ Sephora) says:

    Hi Karen! I do the same routine! Pluck under the arch. Then I brush brows up and trim, then brush in down direction and trim along the natural arch. I need to trim in both directions, otherwise my brows get Andy Rooney-ish.

  23. That’s a great tip. I usually brush my brows into shape and thén cut hairs that still stick out, but this is a way better technique. I’ll remember that for next time. Thank you Karen!

    P.S.: Aaaah Tabs… lol πŸ™‚
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  24. Phyrra says:

    I just get mine waxed. I need to get one of those little razors to try and trim the longer ones. It makes sense to do what you suggest and brush up or down to trim the extra long ones.
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  25. I’m in the process of growing up my brows so this trick may come in handy! My brows are all over the place and I’m trying to stop myself from tweezing!
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  26. So I used your technique this morning and my eyebrows look great! No more stray hairs pointing stubbornly in the wrong direction. Thanks Karen πŸ™‚
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  27. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the brow tips. I have a cow lick type thing going on in the inner end of one of my brows. My hair sticks straight up! I have yet to figure out how to tame those unruly hairs! Any suggestions on a good brow gel? SOS!!! Haha! – its hard not to laugh about it. If u could see my brow, u would be laughing too!

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