Here’s Why Your Eyebrows Will Never be *Exactly* Symmetrical
Main image – Moravska/Adobe
Have you ever heard of the saying “your eyebrows should be sisters, not twins?” It’s a common phrase used globally by makeup artists and brow experts and means that they should look similar, but not identical (for a more natural finish).
Oh how we love having another reason to not be perfect.
Feeling like your eyebrows are uneven is really common, and definitely not something to stress about. But if you want to know more about why you’re less than symmetrical- and what you can do about it- we’ve got you covered.
We spoke to celebrity aesthetician Ian Michael Crumm and Dr Kami Parsa, a Beverly Hills surgeon, about why it’s ok to succumb to natural brow imperfection. We find out why no one’s natural brows will ever look exactly the same. And we discuss the different techniques and procedures on offer that will get you closer to your brow goals.
Why won’t my brows ever be identical?
According to the experts, it’s actually more ‘normal’ for facial features to be asymmetrical, than symmetrical. “99% of the people in the world have asymmetric facial features,” explains Dr Parsa. “In fact, we did a study where participants were shown a symmetrical version of their face and they were not happy with what they saw.”
Have you ever tried one of those phone filters that makes your face symmetrical? You’d be surprised at how different – and not like yourself – symmetricity makes you look. All hail uneven facial features!
Does it matter if my brows are uneven?
Absolutely not! It’s natural and can derive from as early as pre-birth. “Differences in eyebrow shape, thickness or arch can be attributed to genetics where each side of the face develops independently during embryonic growth,” explains Ian. “Additionally, facial expressions and habits like plucking or waxing can also contribute to slight difference in eyebrow appearance.”
How can I fake great brows using makeup?
So, now we’ve discovered that naturally symmetrical eyebrows are off the agenda! However, if yours are more like distant cousins than sisters, there are ways to make them look more matchy-matchy. Starting with some good old fashioned makeup trickery.
“Using eyebrow pencils, powders or gels, you can fill in and shape your eyebrows to create the illusion of symmetry,” says Ian.
Whatever your preference, go for one that’s a shade or two lighter than your natural hair colour. If you try to match it to your exact hair colour your brows will look too dark.
If using a powder or gel, invest in a chiselled, slanted brush which will make it easier to create a line along the bottom of your brows. Now you have a rough shape to follow, you can then fill in the rest of your brow using the brush in upward strokes. (We love Real Techniques Dual Ended Brow, £4.99/$6.22)
If using an eyebrow pencil, make sure it’s nicely sharpened and that you’ve brushed your brows upwards first. Then lightly draw in upwards strokes, mimicking the natural hairs. Follow the natural shape of your brows then use a highlighter underneath to accentuate the shape. Fuller-looking brows, here you come!
Should I consider professional brow shaping?
Yes if your budget – and pain-threshold – can handle it. Everyone’s different but whether it’s threading or waxing you’re going for, it usually stings a bit.
However, it might be easier than doing it yourself. “Visiting a professional brow artist or aesthetician can help shape your eyebrows to better match each other,” says Ian.
Go in with a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the shape of your brows. Feel free to take pictures with you to show your technician the sort of thing you mean. And make sure you follow all the correct aftercare to get the most out of your new brow look.
What about brow serums?
“Using a brow serum can stimulate hair growth and improve eyebrow density, making it easier to shape them evenly,” says Ian. This is the perfect solution if you’re playing the long game.
In other words, don’t expect to get a fuller, thicker brow straight away. Like with a lash serum, it can take 4-8 weeks for you to notice results.
The great thing about them though is that they don’t just promote hair growth. They have conditioning and hydrating benefits too.
What is microblading?
“This is a semi-permanent makeup technique that can be used to enhance and create more symmetrical eyebrows,” Ian explains. It’s another good one for the long game but not without its, er, quirks…
A blade made up of lots of little needles is used to scratch pigment into the skin. We tried to think of a better word than ‘scratch’, but hey! Full transparency and all that.
The results are really effective, especially for those wanting to save time in the mornings. Be warned though, it’s not cheap and for such a low-maintenance solution, the upkeep post-appointment is quite tedious.
For example, experts recommend not getting your face wet for at least ten days afterwards and the healing process takes a good few weeks. This means brows look darker than they should at first so you might feel a bit self-conscious.
Having said that, it’s an excellent time-saving solution and can last for up to a few years, depending on your skin type.
Should I go for Botox?
It’s only really necessary if you require a brow lift, non-surgically. “We can inject Botox by the tail of the brow to get a little lift,” explains Dr Parsa.
“Small amounts of Botox are injected around the brow’s muscles to create an arch. There are some muscles that lower the position of the eyebrow so we paralyse those to lift the brow.”
What are the surgical options for a brow lift?
There are many, some more invasive than others. But an Endescopic Brow Lift is Dr Parsa’s most popular procedure.
“It utilises 3 to 5 small 1cm incisions behind the hairline to elevate the entire forehead and brows,” he says. “Most patients like this method because it is non-invasive as the Coronal and the Pretrichial brow-lift procedures and has a faster recovery time.”
If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about your uneven arches, you can rest assured we’re all in the same brow boat. Remember Dr Parsa’s game-changing statistic – “99% of people in the world have asymmetric facial features.” So, if you like the natural look and your brows are anything but identical, don’t go changing!
For those wanting to enhance their natural brows and are happy to invest some time in them every morning then makeup is the way to go. Using a brow serum will involve investing that little bit of extra time and patience.
If your budget can stretch to it and you’re feeling brave, consider professional brow shaping, Botox or microblading. This will save you the job of doing them yourself and the effects will last longer too.
And finally, going down the surgical road is the most highbrow option (if you’ll pardon the pun). It’s the one for when your brows are falling a bit flat and/or a medical professional recommends it.
Meet the experts
Dr Kami Parsa is Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who specialises exclusively in reconstructive, revisional and cosmetic surgery of the eyes and surrounding tissue.
His expertise in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery has made him the choice for patients who have had previous plastic surgery and now need revisional surgery around the eyes.
Dr Parsa has appeared on numerous media outlets around the world, including The Doctors show, Botched by Nature, Discovery Channel, The New York Times and the Miami Herald.
Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity aesthetican and beauty expert as well as co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast with Dr. Elyse Love. He is known for his passion for skincare and sun safety, is actively involved in philanthropic efforts to promote skin cancer awareness and believes that #ProtectedSkinWins.