Eyebrow Mapping: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

They say eyebrows are the frame of the face and hold the power to transform your look completely. A well-shaped brow can highlight your best features, providing balance and structure. On the other hand, a less-than-stellar brow can, well, really work against you when it comes to facial symmetry. And there's a lot to be said for working with — rather than against — your natural brow shape, despite whichever current trends are sweeping the beauty realms. And as we all know, what's hot can shift quickly and drastically when it comes to eyebrows, but that doesn't necessarily mean your brows should go from thick to thin and everything in between, too.

So, how do you achieve the perfect brows for your face? That's where eyebrow mapping comes in. The technique, while seemingly intimidating, is pretty simple and can easily be done at home — though a professional will likely be able to yield better results. All you need is an eyeliner pencil to mark points on your face, a straight-edged tool, and a visual example to follow. Let's dive deeper into what eyebrow mapping really is and the vast benefits to be reaped.

Eyebrow mapping is like a blueprint for your brows

So, in simple terms, eyebrow mapping is a technique to lay out your ideal brow structure. It is quite literally a map showing you the best path for your brows. The technique creates symmetry and balance. And the well-groomed, intentional shape of your brows post-mapping will likely enhance your overall look. Essentially, you are building the brows framework that best suits your features. Your friends might not know what's different about you immediately, but they'll definitely notice the glow-up. 

You might consider eyebrow mapping when simply filling your brows with a brow powder, but the technique is also used for longer-lasting brow treatments, like microblading. And if you have a bit of a math phobia — don't fret. It's not as complicated as it might sound. "[The golden ratio] is the mathematical ratio of 1.618 to 1. It represents the ideal visual harmony and balance. It's often used in design, architecture, and fine arts. Like the complex human body and objects found in nature, the 'perfect brows' follow the golden ratio rule," Peaches, a master instructor, director, and co-founder of SIX+AIT, told Byrdie.

The basics of eyebrow mapping

If you're ready to give eyebrow mapping a go at home, grab the items mentioned above and prepare to don some of the most beautifully balanced brows you've seen. To start, you will use your marking instrument — a white eyeliner pencil is great — and your straight-edge tool. Place your straight edge at the dimple of your nose (the corner of your nostril) and align it straight up past the inner corner of your eye. This is where your brow should begin and may or may not start growing there. Mark two dots with your white pencil at the bottom and top of your brow. 

Next, you will place your straight edge at the same point on your nostril and align it diagonally across the outer edge of your iris. This pinpoints your arch; mark it with the white pencil above and below also. Lastly, take your straight edge and, once again, align it from the dimple of your nose out past the edge of your eye. This marks the end of your brow, and do so again with your white pencil.

Filling in your brow

Now, it's time for the magic. Seeing your new, idyllic brow shape emerge from your efforts is quite the thrill. First, you will play connect the dots with a brow pencil. Start from your first white points and lightly follow the shape you've outlined. "These three points will help you to determine the basic shape of your brow. From there, outline the top of your brow by connecting these points with your brow pencil. Then, outline that same shape along the bottom of your brow, " Melanie Marris, founder and CEO of Brow Code, told Real Simple.

When it comes to boldness, you're the artist at the wheel. Determine how thick and full you'd like your brows to appear and make the vision a reality with your brow pencil or powder. It's possible that the method could take some trial and error, but the benefits of a perfectly sculpted brow specifically designed to best fit your facial features are well worth it.

If you opt for professional brow shaping, make sure mapping is included

If brow mapping at home isn't quite going as you envisioned, then making an appointment with a beauty industry professional who knows the ins and outs of the technique is a wise move. Typically, brow mapping is done prior to permanent or semi-permanent brow procedures.

If you notice this is a skipped step when you go to have your brows shaped, tinted, microbladed, or microfeathered then it may be time to consider other options. "Likely everyone should choose brow mapping over a brow service where the esthetician is just waxing whatever shape they like. That's like driving blindfolded—insane!" Catherine Wright, the owner of Holiday Organic Skin, told Byrdie. One of the biggest perks of brow mapping is the visual it gives you of what your brows should look like to best highlight your facial features. Once you know the lay of the land, so to speak, you'll definitely notice when something is off.

The benefits outweigh the risks

This surely isn't the case with all beauty procedures, but there are virtually no risks when it comes to eyebrow mapping — while the benefits are vast! Understanding the architecture of your brows and how to make sure they complement your features rather than garnering all the attention in a less-than-desirable manner goes a long way. You may not have even really noticed previously if your brows were uneven, too short, or the wrong shape for your face. 

But, after brow mapping, it'll be glaringly obvious if you or a beauty professional doesn't map out the correct ratio for your brows. Following the simple steps of brow mapping and experimenting with a few different brow products until you find the magical spell for the perfect brows is worth navigating. "Brows frame your face. A good set of brows, a swipe of mascara, and you're ready for anything the day might throw your way," Catherine Wright told Byrdie.