If the phrase “brow mapping” immediately brings to mind long, sad afternoons in your high school Geometry or History, you’re not alone. Luckily, brow mapping is infinitely less complex than either of those subjects we’d rather not repeat.
In fact, even if it sounds new, you’re probably pretty familiar with the concept. The specialists who wax, thread, microblade, tint, or bleach your brows use it every time you go to see them. And if you’re the sort of individual who does any of these things on their own, you’ve probably done it too, even if you didn’t know it by its name.
Refining your brow mapping expertise is seriously the life hack you never knew you needed. Even if you’re an expert with your brow pen and have an Instagram-worthy repertoire of brow gels and other cosmetics, without really understanding brow mapping, your brows have not reached their true potential!
What Is Brow Mapping?
As we said, you’ve probably witnessed it before, or you’ve done a watered-down version of it. If you’ve ever done a deep dive into how to get the perfect eyebrows, you know there are lots of recommendations out there.
But brow mapping is posed to be the be-all, end-all. It’s based on the idea of the golden ratio. According to the dictionary, the golden ratio is “the ratio of a line segment cut into two pieces of different lengths such that the ratio of the whole segment to that of the longer segment is equal to the ratio of the longer segment to the shorter segment.” Which is to say, it’s a very confusing mathematical way of explaining why some things are extra aesthetically pleasing.
The golden ratio applies to so many things—art, architecture, flowers, even some vegetables. It’s also often used to explain why some people’s faces just draw our eyes more. Whether or not it’s really a useful way to define beauty, it’s a great formula to use to figure out your ideal brow shape!
What Are the Benefits of Eyebrow Mapping?
Eyebrow mapping is, all fancy background explanation aside, just like any other way of choosing your eyebrow shape. Ultimately, it may or may not be for you depending on your preferences and personal style. That said, there are a few benefits to brow mapping specifically that makes it worth considering next time you go to shape your brows!
For one, it’s personalized to the shape of your face. Whatever result you get from eyebrow mapping will be 100% based on you and your individual features. Often, we copy the brow shape of somebody we want to emulate, or just go with the shape we have naturally, or else use a predetermined stencil or stamp or mold to help give us a shape that feels good and symmetrical. Often these ways of doing things work really well! But if you want to know what’s best for you and your face specifically, brow mapping is the way to go.
With all the talk of the golden ratio, we may have buried the lede. Brow mapping is a way of using hundreds of years of beauty history to shape your look. Honestly, it’s kind of hard to argue with!
Lastly, whether you do it at home or have a specialist map your brows for you, it’s a much more reliable method. When it comes to using a specialist, it’s an easy way to immediately be on the same page so that you’re not afraid of walking out with a shape that doesn’t suit you.
If you do your brows on your own, it relies on math rather than chance or a very good eye. And trust us, no matter how good your eye is or how steady your hand is, if you’re guessing at your brow shape every time you pluck, your brows are not at their best.
How Does Brow Mapping Work?
Like many things to do with your brows, there are two main ways to go about brow mapping. The first is to do it yourself. The second is to find a specialist.
If you go to a brow specialist, they’ll work their brow map magic by taking measurements and marking their findings on the skin to point out areas of intersecting and easily illustrate how to form your ideal brow shape.
Other specialists will instead use a string coated in washable, non-toxic ink to basically perform the same process. After finding your perfect shape, your specialist will pluck, wax, thread, or microblade your brow, depending on what you’re seeing them for. We keep hearing that the weirdest thing about this very simple process is finally seeing how off the brow shape you’ve been living with this is!
If you’re doing it on your own, we both respect and fear you. We’d first and foremost recommend checking out some tutorials on your social media platform of choice—sometimes having a visual makes all the difference between the absolute perfect brow arches and… everything else.
You’ll want to use a brow pencil or, better yet, TatBrow’s Micro Precision Pen to draw your guidelines. Using the Precision Pen, draw a thin line along the edge of the makeup brush (or ruler, if you want to get profesh) on your face so you can see the exact point at which these lines intersect.
- Map your brows as they are—use a makeup brush, and angle from the corner of your nose through the inside corner of your eye. That’s where your brow starts (not anywhere near where it is currently? We know, it’s crazy!).
- Hold the brush from the corner of your nose straight through the middle of your eye. That’s your arch. (That’s not your arch? Again, been there…)
Hold the brush from the corner of your nose to the outer edge of your eye, and that’s how you find the end of your brows.
See? It’s actually not that hard! But there’s a wealth of art history and mathematical study to back this up as the best way to flatter your face, so it’s definitely a trustworthy method.
Okay, So, You Have Lines on Your Face—What Now?
So you’re sitting in front of the mirror with all of these lines on your face. Upside, you know exactly what shape your brows should be to help you look your best. Downside, your eyebrows are not at all that shape. Also, you have lines on your face.
This is where your specialist will wax, pluck, thread, microblade, tint, or shape your eyebrows per your request. If you’re doing this on your own, before you touch the lines, you’ll want to shape your brows.
Hopefully, there won’t be much to do. But if there are a lot of hairs outside of the lines, then you’ll need to take it into your own hands in whichever way you prefer. When you wash your brows after shaping them, you can wash off all of the lines and reveal your new brow look to yourself.
Brow mapping sounds kind of fancy, but it really is just another method to help you whip your brows into the best shape of your life. One thing we would really recommend if you found the brow shape you’ve been using is really far off of your new shape is a really good brow serum.
Some areas might be a bit thinner than you wanted in the wrong places—and sometimes, just the act of paying your brows a little too much attention can irritate your skin and brows alike. TatBrow’s Brow Enhancement Serum is a great, 100% vegan way to enhance and restore your brows after they’ve gotten a little tough love.
Other than that, you can more or less go back to your usual brow routine. If you’re into a bold, structured brow, it’s worth keeping a cheat sheet of the lines you need to brow map, so that you might be able to do a quick version of brow mapping when you’re using your TatBrow Micro Precision Pen to give your brow a strong outline that really flatters your face.
If you want your brows to be a bit fuller, using a TatBrow Microblade Brow Pen to fill out your brows in a smooth, natural way will no doubt take your perfectly mapped brows from pretty darn good to divine.
Brow mapping takes the guesswork out of telling a specialist how you want your eyebrows to look after any kind of treatment. It’s also an amazing, simple tactic to have in your back pocket if you do your brows at home!
Brow mapping is based on the golden ratio, which is the same formula that describes the swirl of rose petals—so when we say that it’s a great way to really bring your beauty into bloom, we really mean it. A rose by any other name, after all...